Notes from Sony's E3 press conference
While the call of the open E3 show floor left us with nobody in an actual seat at Sony’s two-hour-long press conference, we have eyes and ears everywhere. Everywhere.
Here are some highlights from Sony’s presentation.
Jack Tretton — President and CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment America
- 364 games coming out on PlayStation platforms this year
- “In 2009, if you want to have the ultimate gaming experience, you need a PlayStation.”
- Committed to PlayStation 2 as long as consumers see value in it
- 100 new titles for the PS2 this year
- What consumers really care about: great games
- 35 exclusive PlayStation titles in 2009
Evan Wells — Co-president, Naughty Dog
- Uncharted 2: Among Thieves “sets the new gold standard in limit-pushing”
- Multiplayer beta launches at midnight tonight
- Gameplay demo shown: graphics look great; think Gears of War meets Far Cry.
Andy Bowdoin — Zipper Interactive
- Live 256-player MAG multiplayer first person shooter battle shown — wow, that’s a lot of people. Controlled mayhem.
- Game debuts on PS3 this fall
- Looking to expand into tween market
- Hannah Montana bundle with lilac-colored PSP this July
- Content from Disney and Nickelodeon
Kaz Hirai — President, Networked Products & Services Group; President & CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment
- Officially announces PSP Go
- Two names for the device: The PSP Go, and “The worst-kept secret of E3″
- PSP Go will NOT replace the PSP-3000
- More than 50% smaller and 40% lighter than the original PSP-1000
- Downloads from PlayStation Network via Wi-Fi
- New PC application for PlayStation Store called “Media Go”
- New PSP application called “Sense Me” for building smart music playlists
- PSP developer toolkit price will be reduced by 80%
- All services, features, and functions will work on PSP Go and PSP-3000
- PSP Go for $249 on October 1st in North America and Europe
- Video delivery service now available natively on the PSP — direct downloads, etc.
- New content from Showtime, E!, G4, HDNet, UFC, Magnolia, and more.
Kazunouri Yamauchi — Polyphony Digital
- Announces Gran Tourismo PSP
- Full-scale, runs at 60fps on PSP Go
- 800 cars, 35 tracks, 60 track layout variations
- Not a shrunken-down version of the series
- Ad-hoc multiplayer (up to four nearby players)
- Trade and share cars with other players, cooperative car unlocking
- Video shown: graphics look amazing
Hideo Kojima — Kojima Productions
- Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker announced for PSP
- Setting is ten years after MGS 3, in the 1970′s, so it’s a true sequel
- Kojima will be “deeply involved” as will the team of MGS 4, so it’s not a spin-off
- Set in Costa Rica
- Resident Evil coming to PSP next year
- Coming to PSP this year: Little Big Planet, Socom, Monster Hunter, Hannah Montana, Harry Potter
- Adding 50 PS1 titles to PlayStation store, Final Fantasy 7 added today
- PlayStation Home has 6.5 million people worldwide, with 85% return users — looking to add more content from partners (EA, Ubisoft, etc.)
- New PS3 exclusive from Rockstar: Agent set in the late 1970′s. Cross the globe, espionage, assassins, etc.
- Demo for Assassin’s Creed II shown
- Gameplay looks good, similar to the first game
- Set in the Renaissance period, uses Leonardo Da Vinci’s inventions; a flying machine in some parts — kind of like a hang glider, etc.
- Over 30 different weapons in the final game, six additional weapons if you play the game on PSP and connect it to your PS3
- On store shelves by the holidays
- Video of Final Fantasy XIII shown, looks amazing
- Coming in 2010
- Video of Final Fantasy XIV Online shown. PlayStation exclusive in 2010. “A new online epic begins.”
- Working to create a much more realistic experience
- Pulls out what looks like a black Wii-mote with a glowing ball on the end of it
- Glowing ball is tracked by PlayStation Eye, true 1:1 tracking
- If you pick up a virtual tennis racket, you’ll see yourself onscreen, EyeToy-style, holding a tennis racket.
- In a first person shooter, you can actually move around the room and your on-screen character will move where you move in 3D
- Drawing, painting, etc. tracked with sub-millimeter accuracy
- Looks like a souped-up version of the Wii
- Still an engineer’s prototype, launches spring 2010
Little Big Planet
- Costumes coming from Disney — Jack Sparrow, etc.
- Kart racing: create and modify cars, characters, and tracks
- “Unlimited number of combinations”
- Gameplay looks like Mario Kart with PS3-level graphics
- Track editor looks pretty simple: drive out the track in front of you using driving controls and then lift terrain, spray dirt, add trees, etc. Sort of like SimCity 3000.
The Last Guardian
- Looks like The Neverending Story set in ancient Greece: a kid rides a giant flying chicken-cat around
- Graphics and animation look stunning — superb lighting and shadows
- Exclusive to PS3
Gran Tourismo 5
- I can’t tell if I’m watching HDTV or a video game, so that’s probably a good sign
- Exclusive to PS3
God of War 3
- Graphics look good, pretty gory. Dude ripped out a minotaur’s intestines. Lots of blood. Stabbed some horned beast in the eye with its own horn after ripping it off its head.
- “This will be the biggest year in PlayStation history.”