E3 2011: The Sony Conference

E3 2011: The Sony Conference

Expectations were high going into Sony’s E3 2011 Presser. Would they address the PSN downtime headon? Would there be any games that haven’t already be announced? Would we get a price and release date for the NGP?

One thing is for sure. It didn’t start on time… or end in the promised 90 minutes.

Let’s dive in and see how everything turned out once they finally did get it underway.

Here are the games and other products that were covered:

– Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
– CinemaNow on PS3
– Resistance 3 (with a bundle that includes the Sharpshooter, Eye, and Move bundle)
– God of War Origins 3D (Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta)
– Team Ico Collection 3D (Ico and Shadow of the Colossus)
– Playstation branded 3D TV and 3D Glasses (bundle announced for $499)
– NBA 2K12 with NBA On the Move
– Medieval Moves: Dead Man’s Quest
– Starhawk
– Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
– Dust 514
– Bioshock: Infinite (bundled with Bioshock 1 free)
– Saints Row: The Third
– Star Trek
– SSX
– Need for Speed: The Run
– Battlefield 3 (bundled with Battlefield 1943 free)
– Playstation Suite
– Playstation Vita ($249 for WiFi and $299 for 3G/WiFi)
– Uncharted: Golden Abyss (Vita)
– Ruin (Vita and PS3)
– Modnation Racers (Vita)
– Little Big Planet (Vita)
– Street Fighter x Tekken (Vita)

When the conference did finally start, a montage featuring the NGP (now officially named Vita) and upcoming marquis titles kicked things off. Jack Tretton was the first person to take the stage and his first order of business was to address and apologize for the PSN outage. While the crowd wasn’t with him, barely laughing or clapping, it was the smart thing to do.

Playstation users will have access to CinemaNow for free, providing additional access to streaming movies.

The first game shown was Uncharted 3, introduced by the co-presidents of Naughty Dog. The lighting, scenery, set pieces,water effects and character models look unbelievably good. This was a great start and it was a brilliant piece of gameplay to show. Uncharted multiplayer beta begins next month, Subway will be partnering to give players early access to the full multiplayer experience in October, and the game launches on November 1, 2011.

Resistance 3 is next up, following Joseph Capelli across the country to make a final stand against the Chimera in New York City. The gameplay shown off took place in St. Louis and displayed some familiar weapons and a few new ones including some kind of vortex bomb. A Doomsday Edition bundle with a Sharpshooter, Eye Camera, and Move Set for $150 will be available.

A God of War Origins 3D collection and the Team Ico 3D (Ico and Shadow of the Colossus) collection will be releasing this September.

Sony, understanding that gamers will drive 3D, is releasing a Playstation branded 3D TV and glasses. A bundle with the TV, one pair of glasses, a 6 ft HDMI cable, and Resistance 3 will be available this fall for $499. Additional glasses will be available for $69.99. The TV features a neat split-screen mode that gives both players a separate image. This combines the best of competitive couch play without sacrificing screen real estate. It also eliminates screen peaking, you cheater.

Next up was 2K Sports with NBA On the Move for NBA 2K12. Passing and shooting is a point and click affair for precision and accessibility. Kobe Bryant came out to demonstrate.

Medieval Moves: Dead Man’s Quest is another Move game featuring sword and projectile combat with puzzle solving. Infamous 2 will feature Move support and the user-generated content we’ve heard so much about. Little Big Planet 2 will also incorporate Move for new design tools.

Starhawk was displayed publicly for the first time with a release window of early 2012. It looks like the starfighters can transform into mechas for ground combat.

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time was a surprise announcement, teased for 2012. Sly fans have a lot to be excited for.

CCP, the Icelandic company behind EVE Online, announced Dust 514, a Playstation exclusive. The game will connect to EVE Online and will have presence on the NGP also. It looks like an innovative combination of the MMO and FPS genres in two separate games. The beta will land in late 2011 and full release next spring.

Interestingly, Bioshock Infinite was part of the Sony presser. Ken Levine was even on hand to discuss his take on motion control and past unfavorable comments about the Move. They are just starting to integrate the Move, so there aren’t any details yet on how that will work. The big surprise of his time on stage was the announcement of a Bioshock title on the NGP. PS3 Bioshock Infinite will include the original Bioshock on the Blu-Ray.

Next, Saints Row: The Third will have an exclusive mode on the PS3.

A Star Trek game will launch in conjunction with the new Star Trek movie next year. The game will be PS Move compatible with a phaser peripheral on tap for release. There will be an exclusive downloadable prequel on Playstation exclusively.

EA titles were showcased next. SSX will have an exclusive Mt. Fuji level. Need for Speed: The Run will have an additional 7 supercars. Battlefield 3 will be bundled with Battlefield 1943 on the disk. Sony seems to be banking on exclusive content to woo people when it comes time to choose platforms for launches that also appear on the 360.

Kaz Hirai took the stage to talk about mobile gaming. Playstation Suite will make Playstation software and experience available on other platforms. Next, he spoke about the NGP… now the Vita, officially. Dual sticks, front and rear touchpads, sixaxis, front and rear cameras, OLED screen, WiFi and 3G/WiFi models will be available. It’s going to be exclusively on AT&T? Many people in the audience were booing… loudly.

Apparently, the Vita will offer party chat. I think there are some PS3 owners that might appreciate this feature. A street-pass like social feature called Near will be integrated into the system with more specifics coming later.

Uncharted: Golden Abyss was the first title shown off. It looks like a PS3 title; quite impressive. PS Vita controls are optional, but make use of the touchscreen and sixaxis.

Next on display was a “social action rpg” game called Ruin that looks to be a dungeon crawler. Protect your lair while invading those of your rivals. There will also be PS3 sku that allows you to take your Ruin game on the road (transfarring…). There will be Facebook and Twitter integration.

Modnation Racers will have a new version developed especially for the Vita. Track creation will support the touchscreen for ease of use.

Little Big Planet will also get a Vita edition that shares tools and costumes with the PS3. You can make your own costumes and stickers using the camera on Little Big Planet. Great stuff for LBP fans.

Street Fighter x Tekken will be on the Vita! This is surprising and exciting for fighting fans. For the Vita, Infamous 2 characters will be joining the fray.

Vita is CONFIRMED to launch at $249 for WiFI and $299 (plus AT&T service) for 3G/WiFi. Release is also CONFIRMED for late 2011.

And, that’s a wrap!

Surprising, there was no Twisted Metal, no Lost Guardian and, unfortunately, no God of War 4.

Mike is the Reviews Editor and former Community Manager for this fine, digital establishment. You can find him crawling through dungeons, cruising the galaxy in the Normandy, and geeking it out around a gaming table.

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