E3: Notes from Sony’s Playstation Press Conference

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Jun 7, 2011 in Videogames |

Playstation E3 Conference 2011

There’s no hiding the fact that Sony has been dealing with quite a bit of bad press as of late. As many of you may already be aware, the company has been suffering from numerous attempts to hack their servers and subsequent fallout. Many outlets have been quick to criticize the company for their inability to react in what they’ve deemed a timely manner, while others have applauded Sony’s attempts to rectify the situation for both developers and consumers alike. Did Sony’s E3 conference do anything to restore our faith in their brand? Or, was it just another in a long line of missteps?

Rather than ignoring their recent outtage, Sony’s Jack Tretton took the stage to immediately apologize. A small, yet effective gesture that allowed the conference to move forward without hitch. Sony continued that momentum throughout most of their show ending on what some are considering to be a serious game-changer. They listed off quite a few exclusives, most of which seemed to be content related rather full titles, and gave us a closer look at their upcoming handheld, now officially known as the Playstation Vita. I’ve listed some of the larger announcements and franchises below.

Uncharted 3

Uncharted 3

The first title Sony showed off was their upcoming Playstation 3 exclusive, Uncharted 3. The title had been announced some time ago, though its come a long way since then. The stage demo started with Drake infiltrating a ship, and inadvertently causing it to sink while trying to make his escape. The demo was followed by an extended trailer showing the return of fan-favorites, Chole and Elena. As expected, the visuals were top-notch.

Resistance 3

The latest Resistance title looks to take place immediately following the Resistance 2 with humans have lost the war against the Chimera. Once again, you play as Nathan Hale, having recently been dishonorably discharged. Deciding to take matters into his own hands, he mounts a resistance to take it back. Like Epic’s Gears of War series, the game feature quite a bit of combat against enormous enemies. It looks great, and if you love first-person shooters, you’ll probably be excited for it.

Starhawk

Starhawk screen 1

The spiritual successor to the Warhawk series, Starhawk looks to take the experience to the next level with all kinds of neat additions. From the brief trailer, there looks to be new vehicles, aircraft/spacecraft now appear to be fully convertible,  allowing you to change into a Robotech-esque mech. There’s also a build mechanic that allows you to drop structures onto the battlefield, demolishing anyone underneath them. It seems pretty grand.

God of War Origins Collection, Ico & Shadow of the Colossus collection

Sony didn’t really show these off so much as they merely mentioned them, but I have to admit that I’m excited for the  Team Ico games in both HD and full 3d. Like Resistance: Fall of Man, they deal with quite a bit of scale and have fantastic art direction. The God of War collection will feature remastered HD editions of the God of War PSP titles. Fans of the series who haven’t had a chance to play the portable titles will probably be really excited for these.

Star Trek

Star Trek Game 2012

Wow, I don’t even know where to start with this. It won’t be system exclusive in and of itself, but this is the first I’ve seen of the actual gameplay and it looks like it’s Star Trek meets Mass Effect. Given the direction of Abram’s recent film, the third-person shooter format really seems to work here. There’s some kind of cover system for firefights, and the character models look like they come straight from Abram’s film. The game will be a tie-in for the next film, so I’m thinking we may be stuck waiting until December of next year for the official release. There will be Playstation Move support, and a Playstation Network exclusive prequel.

Dust 514

I had heard a little about Dust 514 prior to the conference. It’s a first-person shooter that takes place in the Eve Online universe exclusively for the PS3. The game will directly effect events in the MMORPG and vice-versa. Some of the rumored comparability would be like players in Eve Online being able to fund the war effort taking place on the planets below in an effort to change the tide of the battle in their favor, resulting in a economical change through out the galaxy. The trailer showed a weapon being fired from the planet hitting ships in space. It’s a great concept, and I’ve love to hear more about it in the months to come.

Bioshock Infinite & Battlefield 3

Bioshock Infinite

We didn’t see too much of Bioshock at the conference, but it looks fantastic. Definitely has the aesthetic we’ve seen in previous titles. Lots of art deco, etc. Ken Levine is involved again, so I’m sure it’ll end up being amazing. The PS3 edition comes with a free copy of the original Bioshock, a game that’s become increasingly harder to find for the console since only a limited number were initially printed.

Battlefield 3 will come with a free copy of Battlefield 1943, and features some of the most realistic visuals I’ve seen from any first-person shooter to date. The game is multi-platform, so nobody will really be missing out, I will go on record as saying that it looks like it might be far more impressive than the next Call of Duty, so Activision has a lot cut out for it if they expect to be able to compete. The game will launch two full weeks before Modern Warfare 3 and will be completely free to play online.

Playstation Vita

Sony NGP

The big announcement of the evening related specifically to the Sony’s NGP, or as they’re now calling it, the Vita. In addition to showing off a whole host of launch titles — all of which look stunning, especially their upcoming all-new Uncharted title — Kaz Hirai finally announced the long awaited pricing scheme for the various models. As he stated back in January, the console will be priced competitively, and he wasn’t lying. Two models will be made available, with the wifi-only model priced at $249, the same price as Nintendo’s 3DS. They’ll also offer a 3g + wifi model through AT&T — I know, everyone moaned and I doubt Sony saw that coming — for $300.

The 3DS hasn’t been selling very well, and with the Playstation Vita being priced so evenly, many people might finally consider jumping on the Sony bandwagon. The system seems to be capable of generating stunning visuals and many of the titles seem to feature a form of interactive cloud-based sharing with the Playstation 3. This allows gamers to take their PS3 titles on the road, and vice versa. Hopefully Nintendo will respond with a few tricks of their own when they host their press conference later today.

Tim is a pro-blogger and freelance writer out of San Diego, California. In addition to Fanboy.com, he serves as Features and Reviews Editor for the Japanese culture and entertainment blog, Japanator. For more information, follow him on twitter, or check out TimSheehy.com.

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