After an incredible showing from Microsoft yesterday that showcased several exclusive games and the incredible Project Natal it’s time for Sony to respond with their E3 press conference. While much has been leaked already (PSP Go in Qore) or flat out shown already (Heavy Rain, Uncharted 2) there are still a few surprises in store as Sony never shows all its cards before a big show like this.
Right now I’m at home live blogging this event as I’m so much of a Sony fan that I left work early so I could watch the conference in the comfort of my apartment. Yup, Ian has no life confirmed.
1:00PM – Wow it seems like the conference is going to roughly start on time as the nice sounding British lady just came on the PA system to tell everyone to sit down. If I recall last year the show started 10 minutes late. While we wait Sony is playing some buttery beats for everyone. Good times.
1:05PM – The British lady is back and she says the show is two minutes away from starting. Stop teasing us and get on with the show.
1:08PM – The buttery beats continue as the PA lady once again tells us that the show is close to beginning. Sony must be double checking that all the awesomeness that we’ll see today is ready to go.
1:09PM – The show is finally starting with a very sleek montage of the PS button icons, PS2, PSP and PS3 popping out from a white background. We now have our first montage of the night with the Queen song “One Vision” playing as we see Army of Two: 40th Day, Ratchet, Brutal Legend and Uncharted 2 in motion. This is quite awesome and edited quite nicely.
1:13PM – Now SCEA President and CEO Jack Tretton is hitting the stage and has already made a joke concerning the various leaks. Glad to see Jack has a sense of humor and he seems a bit more relaxed compared to last year.
1:14PM – The screen on which the various games will be shown on today is 40x80. Holy crap.
1:15PM – Jack is currently going through the typical spiel of how varied the PlayStation brand is and how good the line-up is which includes Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time and Batman: Arkham Asylum.
1:16PM – The PS2 is getting attention first as Jack is throwing out some impressive numbers for a console that has been out for nine years and once again says that the system won’t be abandoned and support of it will continue.
1:18PM – Jack is giving us the PS3 numbers and they seem to have hit their goals and new releases in countries like Brazil.
1:19PM – Thankfully that seems like the financial numbers are done now and Jack is talking about the games with the first shout-out going to Infamous.
1:20PM – Now Evan Wells, President of Naughty Dog, is out to show Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. The game looks amazing but I’m sure all of you know that already. This latest demo has Drake traversing among an amazing downtown vista with some incredible visuals and geometry. This also marks the first time we see Drakes new ally in action.
1:23PM – Right now Drake is facing off against a massive gunship while battling enemies on rooftops. This looks amazing with some incredible explosion effects and the pace of the battle seems superb.
1:25PM – Now the building Drake as taking refuge in from the helicopter just collapsed since the helicopter blew it up. WOW!
1:26PM – Uncharted demo is over and now Jack is bringing out MAG for our first public demo of gameplay. 256-player goodness.
1:27PM – Holy crap, Zipper is actually showing off a 256-player battle. Right now a 3D version of the map is being shown off and you can get a real ideal of how big this game is.
1:29PM – Visually the game looks good and the combat seems solid. Seeing all these soldiers on screen with helicopters (which serve as spawn points) flying is really cool.
1:31PM – MAG demo is over. Game looks cool. Now just give us beta details.
1:32PM – Now it’s time for the PSP to shine. Hopefully that wasn’t it as far as PS3 goodness goes.
1:33PM – Jack is discussing some of the upcoming games the PSP has including FF: Dissidia and Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines which is coming out Nov. 10. There will also be a variety of new PSP packs which come with games like LocoRoco 2.
1:35PM – SCE President Kaz Hirai is on stage now to discuss the PSP. It’s good to see him since he hasn’t been on stage in two years.
1:36PM – Kaz just announced and showed off the PSP Go which was in his jacket pocket. It’s also good to see Kaz has a sense of humor as he also made another joke concerning the recent leaks and worst kept secrets of E3.
1:38PM – Kaz has announced a new way to access the PS Store via the PC with “Media Go” which will allow users to download the goodness that will be played on the PSP GO.
1:39PM – We have a new music application called “Sense Me” which will allow users to set moods in which the application well then scan the users music library and choose music based on their mood. It’ll be available on Media Go. Sounds nice.
1:40PM – Kaz reiterates that Sony will continue to support UMD and will not ditch physical based formats with the release of PSP Go.
1:41PM – PSP go will launch at a price of $249. Ouch.
1:42PM – The PS Video Store will now be available on the PSP with new partners including Showtime, G4, Viz Media, and Magnolia Films amongst others.
1:43PM – The Gran Turismo creator and Polyphony Digital President is now showing off Gran Turismo PSP, a game we thought was vaporware.
1:44PM – Gran Turismo PSP has 800 cars, 35 tracks, license modes and will run at a buttery smooth 60fps. The game will also feature a 4-player adhoc racing mode and a mode which will allow users to trade cars amongst one another. Can we see some footage now please?
1:48PM – If what is being shown during this GT PSP video is actual gameplay then consider my jaw on the floor. The video has an amazing buttery beat and is being release on Oct. 1.
1:50PM – Kaz is back and now it’s time for Metal Gear and Hideo Kojima is coming out on stage now. Don’t get mad over what happened yesterday people.
1:51PM – We have a new Metal Gear game for PSP called Peace Walker which is set 10 years after the events of MGS3. Wow, Hideo is writing the script along with producing the game and the MGS4 staff is developing it. Hideo promises that this merely isn’t a spin-off and is a true MGS game and a proper sequel to MGS3.
1:53PM – Peace Walker trailer is playing with a nice mix of live-action stock footage and a mysterious voice over narrating it. This time Big Boss is doing his sneaking mission in Costa Rica. It’s about time he takes a stroll on a beach. Visually the game looks good, almost on par with MGS3.
1:56PM – Peace Walker trailer is over now and the new Metal Gear is a flying vehicle that looks like it was taken out of Zone of the Enders. Game is coming out next year. Boo!
1:58PM – Kaz is done with his PSP segment and Jack is on stage with some Resident Evil news. The PSP is getting an original PSP game planned for release next year.
2:00PM – PSP montage time. Jak & Daxter, Motorstorm: Artic Edge, Socom Fireteam Bravo 3, Monster Hunter and Soul Calibur are some of the games shown.
2:01PM – It looks like we’re getting a PSP version of Eye of Judgment. Cool
2:04PM – Jack is giving the PlayStation Network some love as it has over 24 million registered users. Jack also promises that 51 PS1 classics will be released this year with the release of Final Fantasy VII today.
2:06PM – Home is getting the limelight now as Jack is talking about some of the hits so far including the Street Fighter IV items and some of the upcoming items and partners. Nothing too amazing so far in terms of announcements. Cue the Home montage.
2:09PM – Back to the PS3 as we’re getting a sizzle real of some of the upcoming games. Uncharted 2, White Knight Chronicles, FFXIII, Batman, and Dirt 2 are some of the games shown. Can we see some of the exclusive games please?
2:12PM – PSN game montage time includes EyePet, CritterCrunch, PixelJunk Shooter and something that looks like Geometry Wars. The montages are getting boring.
2:14PM – Jack just announced that Lost Planet 2 will be getting a PS3 release in early 2010.
2:14PM – A new Rockstar PS3 exclusive called “Agent.” It’s an espionage action game set in the late 70s. The conceptsounds cool, nice logo. Jack promises the game will be a big hit like GTA and I believe him.
2:15PM – We’re finally getting a proper look at Assassin’s Creed 2 with a stage demo. Damn, this game looks good, really nice atmosphere. So far everything looks the same, nice animations, smooth platforming.
2:17: Da Vinci’s flying machine is being shown off in the game as Ezio, the protagonist, is flying around Venice while occasionally taking down enemies on the ground. Just imagine AC1 with nicer visuals, more lethal kills and that’s what AC2 is.
2:20PM – AC2 will support connectivity with the PSP version of AC as it will unlock new content. It’s cool to see developers use that feature.2:21PM – AC2 demo is over and after using a smoke bomb to escape capture Ezio makes a leap in the water as he can now swim. The game looks awesome.
2:22PM – A new Final Fantasy XIII video is being shown now. It’s nice to hear the English voice acting as it sounds good. Everything else is just standard FFXIII, nothing too amazing in terms of new content. Most of the new characters shown pretty much fit the common FF character molds. The game does look superb as far as visuals go.
2:26PM – Jack has just dropped a true megaton with the announcement of Final Fantasy XIV and the fact that it wil be PS3 exclusive. The art style for the game is more organic and medieval compared to the tech driven world of FFXIII.
2:28PM – The FF trailer is over and it said Final Fantasy Online. WTF is this? Did Jack mess up?
2:29PM – Oh snapplecakes it’s motion control time and Dr. Richard Marks, creator of the EyeToy is coming out on stage. Dr. Marks is promising a product that is unlike any other on the market.
2:30PM – The device is a prototype and looks a bit off but hey that’s why it’s a prototype.
2:31PM – This new device allows 1:1 motion and a digital object can be placed in the hand of the player. So if you’re playing a baseball game a digital bat can be placed in the player’s hand. Looks pretty cool.
2:34PM – Right now a FPS view is being shown off and looks awesome. Now demos showcasing the accuracy of the controller including being able to write your name as it would look like if you were using a pen is shown.
2:40PM – An archery demo was shown that looks like a blast. No other details on possible release dates were announced.
2:42PM – Disney is coming to the world of LittleBigPlanet as users can expect a series of Disney character packs to be released soon.
2:43PM – A new casual kart racing game called Mod Nation Racers is shown. As the title implies users can fully customize their rider, vehicle and can also build their own race tracks. So far the game looks nice visually and seems like fun. Building courses looks fun and easy and the tools are very accessible.
2:44PM – ModNation Racers demo is over and is another 2010 release.
2:51PM – Time for Team Ico as their new game “The Last Guardian” is being shown off. This game looks gorgeous. The new trailer has most of the same scenes as the leaked version did except it all looks gorgeous. The quality of the visuals and the feathers on the creature are just amazing.
2:55 Now some new footage just featuring the boy is being shown as he fights several guards and does some platforming.
2:56PM – If “The Last Guardian” didn’t do it for you here’s Gran Turismo 5. I would really like to see the face of the Forza guy right now. Gran Turismo is The Real Driving Simulator since the damn thing looks like real life in some sections.
2:59PM – The punches keep on coming as God of War 3 is being shown off via a stage demo. What’s being shown off is the very start of the game and we’re seeing Kratos take on some skeletal foes as random people are being killed. GOW3 looks really sharp, the detail and lighting is awesome. The detail on Kratos and his blades up close is really good as you see every small detail and glow.
3:01PM – Now there’s a massive lava Titan in the background and in typical God of War fashion that character is moving in the background whilst you kill fools. Amazing.
3:04PM – So far GOW3 has all the good stuff we know the series for but it just has an extra level of polish that takes things to the next level. Small touches like having the QTE buttons have flames really adds to the game. I’m hoping a new trailer is release soon.
3:06PM – God of War 3 demo is over, game is coming out March 2010.
3:08PM – That’s it everyone as the conference is over.
Microsoft put up a hell of show yesterday but it seemed that Sony managed to match or exceed what has been shown by their competitors so far. The PSP Go looks cool but has a price that makes my fanboy wallet cry and the PS3 exclusive games look amazing, especially The Last Guardian from Team Ico. And of course let’s not forget about the reveal of the PS3 motion device, which in my view matches and in some respects exceeds what Microsoft’s Natal can do. I’ll be posting my full thoughts on the conference and what it means for Sony as a company and the future of the PlayStation brand either late tonight or tomorrow.