E3 2010 – Sony Press Conference
Nintendo and Microsoft’s time in the limelight at E3 2010 had passed – they’d dropped bombshells, introduced new consoles, new ways of playing and – in the case of the former – announced nothing less than a 3D handheld….so the pressure was on for Sony to pull out all the stops. Could they build on the progress that the PlayStation 3 has made this year? Could they make the announcements to get gamers foaming at the mouth? Most importantly, could they deliver a presentation that justifies the existence of the PlayStation Move, or has their ping-pong-ball topped wonder still got work to do?
Taking to the stage backed by three huge screens, Sony’s Jack Tretton ( President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment of America) was his usual cool, calm and collected self, promising that Sony have a “a lot of action and a lot of great product” to deliver. Emphasising the future proof nature of the PS3, Tretton explained that Sony are looking to be “dazzling and transformative” and that “consumers want all their games, music etc accessible in one device”. That device – unsurprisingly – is the PS3.
It was now Kaz Hirai’s ( Chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer of Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc) turn to promote Sony two chief tenets – ‘Innovation and Content’, both areas that the company are looking to take to new levels. Sony are the “undisputed leader in 3D”, we were told, and the PLayStation 3 is a “perfect vehicle for 3D distribution” with “35 million 3D-ready PlayStation 3s” already in peoples’ homes. The company was certainly keen to emphasise how serious it is about 3D; in their words, “2010 will be remembered as the year that PlayStation brought authentic 3D to the industry” – a lofty claim indeed.
To back this claim up, Sony revealed a short demo – in 3D for those at the event – of the much anticipated Killzone 3. Guerrilla Games’ Herman Hulst detailed how important an element 3D is in the production of Killzone 3, before a live demonstration of two sections from the game. Set in snow bound, industrial areas and frosty canyons, it was all as loud, dirty and good looking as we’ve come to expect from the series, with the new-fangled jet packs looking like a lot of fun to use. Though we’ve yet to experience the 3D for ourselves, this certainly has the potential to deliver on a pretty spectacular scale to those lucky enough to own a 3D TV. The game is due to launch in February 2011, and will also fully support the PlayStation Move.
The list of games that Sony confirmed will come with full 3D and PlayStation Move support was undoubtedly pretty impressive, including the likes of Motorstorm: Apocalypse, Gran Turismo 5, Mortal Kombat, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, NBA 2K among others. Sony, it seems, are absolutely serious about getting a 3D TV in everyone’s living room, and this was certainly a spirited attempt at convincing early adoptors to part with their cash.
Before moving onto looking at the PlayStation Move in more detail, Tretton noted the 10th Anniversary of the PlayStation 2, which was the “second most played console last year” and one which “continues to provide value”. Luckily for those of us itching to get to the more juicy parts of the presentation, attention was soon shifted to Move.
As a whole, Sony’s PlayStation Move pitch this year was solid, if not particularly mind-blowing. With only a handful of new titles to show, the intention was clearly to cement the technology’s focus on precision, and Sony’s desire for it to bridge the gap between casual and hardcore gamers.
The first new Move title to be shown was Sorcery from developers The Workshop. Clearly aimed at Harry Potter fans, the title focuses on wand-based magic, with wrist-flicks and gestures casting spells. Visually, it looks part-Zelda, part-Fable, and the concepts on show certainly look intriguing.
Also demoed was EA’s Tiger Woods PGA Tour which, we are told, is “no longer about pre-canned animations, but 1-1 movement”. The small, subtle movements that the game looks to facilitate certainly looked impressive. The Move support wil be available via a downloadable update.
Also announced was Heroes On The Move, which looks to be a party game featuring Sony favourites Ratchet, Clank, Sly Cooper, Jake, Daxter and Bentley.
It was at this point that the slightly dry feel of the presentation took a more comical turn, with the arrival of (PlayStation advert star) Kevin Butler. What followed is probably the first videogame-based stand up routine we’ve ever seen, and you know what – it was actually quite funny. “Am I crazy or did I see 100 French acrobats prancing around an arena the other night?” (mocking Microsoft’s recent Cirque du Soleil extravaganza). The PlayStation 3 and Move will enable us all to “box using game characters who have important features likes arms…and necks” we are told, and most significantly, he outwardly declared his – and Sony’s – love of games. This segment worked well, and went a long way to show that you don’t have to give away new consoles to connect with your audience.
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