The conference started off with a montage of clips including Uncharted: Drake’s Deception, Ratchet and Clank, and Infamous 2. After about five minutes, Jack Tretton, the President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment of America, was welcomed onto the stage. After a ten minute apology for the PlayStation Network outage, he thanked everyone for their patience and support during that dark month in gaming. Next came the numbers – Jack explained how the sales of PlayStation have increased exponentially from last year and then told the audience to put on their 3D glasses because all PS3 games being showcased will be available in 3D.
Naughty Dog got things rolling with a gameplay demo of a new Uncharted game – Uncharted: Drakes Deception. Drake was shown fumbling around a ship as it rocked side to side in a storm. After a few interesting stealth kills, quick time events and some gunplay, the ship began to sink and cinematic camera angles follow Drake as he tries to escape its hold. After a trailer, Naughty Dog announced a partnership with Subway restaurants that promises codes for access to Uncharted’s complete multiplayer mode up until release with a purchase of a meal.
Next came Insomniac’s Marcus Smith showing off Resistance 3. The demo showed off some great visuals and game play mechanics. New enemies, such as shield drones that protect the Chimera infantry, could be seen, as well as an improved Auger rifle (a weapon that can deploy a shield and shoot enemies through walls). The demo ended with an encounter with a giant insect like monster destroying St. Louis. Jack Tretton then revealed a Resistance 3 bundle that will include the PlayStation Move, camera, navigation controller, and a Sharpshooter gun. The bundle is set to release on September 6 for $150 USD.
Jack then pointed out Sony’s complete commitment to 3D on the PS3 by showing off two 3D collections: God of War: Origins, featuring re-mastered versions of the PSP games Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta, and also the ICO collection, featuring re-mastered versions of the PS2 hits ICO and Shadow of the Colossus. The release dates for these collections are slated for September.
Jack Tretton then tackled the issue of barriers for consumers when it comes to taking advantage of 3D gaming. He introduced a PlayStation branded 24-inch 3D display with some very intriguing technology in it. The display has the ability for two people playing a game to see two individual full screen images rather than a split screen image dividing the screen in half. The monitor is to be bundled with a pair of 3D glasses, Resistance 3 and an HDMI cable for $499 with additional glasses retailing at $69.
The next section of the conference was focused on the PlayStation Move. It showcased NBA 2K12 being played by Kobe Bryant horrifically demonstrating the new on the Move technology which allows gamers to aim at team-mates for quick passes and for player selection. Medieval moves was shown next on the floor – it’s a family game that utilizes all the mechanics in the move title Sports Champions into a medieval themed first person platform game.
After some footage of the currently available Infamous 2, they showed some previously unannounced PS3 games. First was was game from Incognito, the team behind Warhawk, titled Starhawk. It features jet fighters that transform into huge Mechs and some epic space battles. Second was a trailer for a Sly Cooper game featuring Dimitri, the Hispanic disco dancing lizard from the series. Dust 514 was next – it looks like a first person shooter PS3 exclusive set in the EVE online universe. Dust 514 will be a persistent shooter that will be directly connected to the PC MMO Eve Online. Ken Levine from Irrational Games then spoke about the inclusion of Move support for the new Bioshock Infinite and showed off some gameplay. The new Star-trek movie themed game was then shown and confirmed to support the Move as well. Battlefield 3 was next up to bat and Jack mentioned the PS3 version will include Battlefield 1943 on the disk.
Kaz Hirai, the Executive Deputy President of the Sony Corporation was then welcomed onto the stage to announce the new portable gaming device the PlayStation Vita, for more details on this please see my article about the PlayStation Vita here. After the PSVita reveal, the floor was opened up to the audience to demo all the new products while dancers, DJ’s and performers ended the conference with style.
All in all I felt it was a great conference for Sony. Sony has some great exclusives lined up for this holiday season such as Uncharted 3, Resistance 3, and the ICO collection. I liked the fact that Sony is really dedicated to pushing 3D entertainment to the public and I was definitely intrigued by the 3D monitor they announced especially by its ability to display two images separately. I would of liked to see some more PlayStation Move demonstrations, as I felt the move really hasn’t evolved much over the last year. I was very impressed with the PlayStation Vita; I felt that, for its price point, Sony has a very well made handheld and I’m excited to see how developers will utilize all of its bells and whistles when it’s released.