Monday, 20 June 2011

E3 Part 2 –- Sony Press Conference

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Sony needed a stellar presentation at E3 to make up for the horror show on their Playstation Network. Not surprisingly the conference began with a heart-felt apology from Jack Tretton, promising that the next two hours would re-affirm our trust and faith in a bright future for Sony and its customers. Over the course of two hours we were treated to a great range of highly anticipated titles, a clear push for further Playstation Move and 3D compatibility and the brand new handheld Playstation Vita.

Uncharted 3 was the first game to be demoed and why not begin with arguably the best title Sony have to offer. I am excited for the third title from Naughty Dog and quite frankly, you should be too. It will be very interesting to see how Tomb Raider 2011 compares to Uncharted 3 and if Lara Croft will give Drake a run for his money. I love how the guys from Naughty Dog took inspiration from the original treasure hunter and now roles have reversed once again and the re-creation of Tomb Raider now looks like Uncharted—the irony is fantastic.

Bioshock Infinite was another AAA title shown off and it was obvious from the audience’s reaction that everyone wanted to get their hands on Irrational Games’ horror adventure. I couldn’t help but feel disappointment playing number 2—maybe this was because the original was just so awesome and Bioshock 2 changed literally nothing—here’s me hoping the new setting and environment will force progress and change in the Bioshock universe.

Resistance 3 was the final hot-property franchise demoed and the alien shooter did look fantastic. I want to see the ending of the trilogy anyway but a few tweaks to the online multiplayer could really help the series challenge amidst the top-tier online FPS games such as Call of Duty and the up-and-coming Battlefield 3. This is obviously me with high hopes but I always felt that the Resistance series had a lot of potential and perhaps it will end with a big bang?

Unfortunately Sony seemed to lose count of the amount of games they wanted to show off during the presentation and instead of progressing smoothly onto Move, 3D and Playstation Vita, they kept unveiling games throughout. These included Starhawk, Sly Cooper, Dust 514, Star Trek and SSX—games that while aren’t high-profile, do show off the depth of Sony’s catalogue of games. Nevertheless, it was apparent that this list could literally have been removed from the presentation and more concentration should have been spent on more important announcements.

Focus was placed upon the Playstation Move, but nowhere near as much as Microsoft gave to their motion sensing Kinect. Sony also unveiled the desire to introduce Move to core games including NBA 2K12, newly announced Medieval Moves: Deadmund’s Quest, InFAMOUS 2, Saints Row and Star Trek but I liked that it wasn’t pushed as hard as Microsoft’s Kinect, giving gamers a vibe that implied a choice to use the peripheral as opposed to being forced by Microsoft.

3D is certainly not dead according to Sony, who actually had their audience put on 3D glasses during specific segments of their presentation. It was clear that another push for 3D incorporation was well under way with the announcement of a new Sony branded 24” TV package—allowing gamers to access 3D technology in one neat bundle. There weren’t really any exciting game announcements for 3D, but God of War: Origins and Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collection are both being prepared with 3D technology. A 3D trailer of Uncharted 3 was also shown off but I can’t comment on that for obvious reasons.

The star of show was undoubtedly the Playstation Vita, Sony’s super awesome new handheld console. With a fantastic price point and a very impressive roster of games including Uncharted: Golden Abyss, ModNation Racers, Little Big Planet, Street Fighter x Tekken and newly announced Ruin—the Vita is going to hit the ground running. It also seems that Nintendo’s new machine the Wii U and its touch-pad controller could very well be obsolete even before it hits store shelves next year. This is because with its own touch screen and almost PS3-like graphics, the Vita could be the perfect partner for the Playstation 3—doing the same type of things Nintendo hoped their new pad would achieve, but better.

While Sony certainly had plenty of content, the presentation lacked direction at times and it seemed pushing more of the high profile content would have been more effective than trying to fit some of the lesser titles in and around the big announcements. Nevertheless, having too much content can never be a bad thing—that alongside the Playstation Vita and it’s obvious that the future is bright for Sony. I was never a fan of Sony’s handheld machines but I think they have finally found the perfect formula and will be more than prepared to tackle the launch of Nintendo’s Wii U—the Playstation Vita will be vital to Sony’s future success.

Igor Kharin, CeX UK Contributor.

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