By expected demand Sony started their E3 conference by speaking about the hackings they endured that resulted in the PlayStation Network being taken down for nearly a month. I was glad they took the challenge to getting out in front and addressing it on stage and apologizing to consumers, publishers, and retail outlets but it kinda left me feeling even more jaded by talking about how they learned their lesson and seeking to improve their network and hoping to win back customers with their line-up at E3. Even now hackers are still attacking Sony at various levels and top experts in security claim that PSN still isn’t safe. But you know I let it slide and witnessed what they have to offer.
Like Microsoft they followed a similar trend continuing the message from their previous E3 Press Conference last year. Catering to the hardcore gamers by showcasing a robust offering of titles including demos of Uncharted 3 and Resistance 3(their top exclusives) and much much more all in 3D. A powerful display of what they have to offer on the PS3 and PS3 alone. Transitioning a bit towards hardware and 3D, Sony still pushing 3D down the hatch has developed cheaper 3D glasses as well as a unique 24 inch television that allows an affordable 3D experience in high definition with exceptional technology that displays two different images to two separate players while playing in 3D. So that they have a seamless co-op experience without have to share the screen. Very impressive hardware that looks to be a fit in the dorm environment with its cheap price point and small size but I’m still not sure if that will push people including the targeted market to buying into 3D. After that they moved into championing the Move controller(pun intended) with a pretty shotty demo with Kobe Bryant featuring the move on NBA 2k12 which convinced I’d rather have a Kinect then Move controllers, neither of which I really care about.
Proceeding to show off some more of the core games that are exclusive to the PS3 such as Infamous 2, Sly Cooper and others. Again a good line up but it left me a bit bored since they were all trailers but one game did catch my attention. A game from CCP called Dust 514. Being a MMO gamer I know CCP from their highly sophisticated slightly cutthroat Sci-fi MMO Eve Online, t they are developing the PS3 exclusive FPS that works in concert with Eve Online. Though they didn’t specifically say how but I noticed in the trailer I saw that the equipment and vehicles all cost ISK which is a form of currency in Eve Online that can be purchased with real money, leading me to speculate that your Eve account could support you financially in 514 maybe in visa versa as well. An interesting maneuver I can’t wait to see what CCP does with it.
Making good use of their Blu-ray disc format a lot of games that are multi-platformed are getting something special with their PS3 versions. Including past interations of the game, exclusive content and so on; Good play utilizing the extra space. Extending their reach into the mobile market with PlayStation Suite a platform for certified phones that allows them to play PS games. Currently only available for the Android platform and the only phone certified at the moment is the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play via Verizon. Their play is a special marketplace to squeeze in some revenue since they admitted they couldn’t compete in the mobile market I suppose this is the next best thing.
The big announcement of the conference was the official unveiling NGP now called the PS Vita(Cheese anyone?). Besides the name everything else very promising at best. Sporting the same technology found in most high end smartphones a gyroscope, front & rear camera, touch screen and accelerator along with all the fixings you get on the PS controller with a unique back-touch screen. Showing off what they can do with PS Vita they demoed Mod Nation Racer showing off the creation tools utilizing the touch screen and back panel to create a racer track and environment. Demoed Uncharted: Golden Abyss where they utilized the touch screen to guide Drake across terrain. A variety of titles are being developed to use the PS Vita to its fullest capabilities and unique inputs. All and all the games look very good, a true calling card to those want graphically impressive mobile experiences. The real kicker here that really got my attention was the price point for the devices. The Wifi version will cost $249.99 while the 3G version will run you $299.99
Overall Sony has an impressive line up of games but it bothers me they’re still trying to shove 3D down everyone’s mouth and Move functionality I still can’t get behind. There are making moves but I’m not sure they are the right ones. One positive note however is the PS Vita even looking at from the spy glass its kind of a PSP update but with the right kind of support it can flourish especially with the 3DS not doing as hotly as previous Nintendo handhelds. Good line-up and handheld but meh about the conference overall. Grade B+