Click here to see a slideshow of photos from Day One of E3!
Sony Computer Entertainment of America just held their annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) press conference at the Shrine Auditorium earlier today, showing off the games and technology that they will have to offer for the year. Hosted by Sony CEO Jack Tretton, the two-hour event included a number of surprise guests, impressive demonstrations of new technology and numerous games that were announced for the upcoming months.
The show opened with a very impressive demonstration of Killzone 3 in 3D. Although it'll cost you a small fortune to get the full 3D experience, there's no doubt that the game looked amazing.
All of the attendees were given 3D glasses to experience Guerilla Games' upcoming release. Everything about the game became a much more enriching experience--the added depth that the 3D provided made the environments within the game feel much grander in scale. Enemies approaching the player felt much more threatening, and the platforming sequences were more frightening and realistic. It's a shame that Sony didn't push 3D technology as the main focus of the press event, it clearly was the most impressive part of the conference. Whether the game was seen in 3D or not though, it looked stunning. The game will also launch to be compatible with Playstation Move support.
Other games were announced to support 3D, including Motorstorm Apocolypse, Gran Turismo 5, and The Sly Collection, which is a HD remastered version of the Playstation 2's Sly Cooper games. It appears that Sony is completely supporting the concept that 3D is the future of gaming. At this rate, Sony just might convince the world to upgrade to 3D-ready TVs.
Sony's next focus is the Playstation Move, which is supposed to be a more precise and "immersive" answer to Nintendo's Wii remotes. With all of the attention and demonstrations that Sony gave to the Move, it is clearly Sony's main focus during the conference.The first game that was demonstrated using Move support is Sorcery, a third-person action/adventure game with a Harry Potter-esque feel to it. Players control a youthful character simply named "The Apprentice" by using the Move control to control the motions of his wand. During the demo, he selected various spells using the on-screen cursor of the controller. When he moved his hand in a specific direction, the character would move it in a similar fashion. The demo ended when The Apprentice encountered a large golem, and the audience appeared to have been relatively excited for the game. The problem with this game however, is that the game feels so generic, and the environments are a bit repetitive. At the current state, the game seems a bit mediocre, even if it was Wii game. The use of the Move isn't anything new or all that exciting. The game has a long way to go before it's completed, and there is plenty of room to turn this game into something memorable.
The next game that was used to demonstrate the Move was Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11. The game uses the Move controller in a similar way to last years' iteration of the game for the Wii using Wii Motion Plus. Similar to Sorcerer, the use of the Move technology for this game is much too similar to other games to make it very interesting.
Currently, the Move hasn't been shown to differentiate itself from the Wii controllers enough to make it stand out on its own. Sure, it has the potential to do so much more than the Wii's controllers. Although it's currently in its infancy, the Move technology is doing what the Wii has already tried and gamers need more to grab their attention.
Kevin Butler, Sony's smart talkin' advertising star, then made a surprise appearance. Every stab that he takes at competitor Microsoft and Nintendo drove the fans nuts, and he successfully managed to pump up the energy in the audience. he continued to say "Playstation Move changes everything," which ended up as the main theme for the afternoon.
The pricing for the Move was then announced by Tretton. $49.99 for the Move controller alone, and $29.99 for the navigation controller. Considering that the required Playstation Eye camera costs $39.99 retail, that'll cost you about $110 to experience Playstation move... yikes! Considering that the Wii system can currently be purchased for $150, the Move will be one heck of a tough sell to anyone, whether they're a seasoned or casual gamer.The next focus was the PSP, but nothing too exciting or new was shown, other than the new God of War: Ghost of Sparta and Invizimals, a casual pet game which requires the PSP camera. Considering that the PSP Go can't use the camera, it's clear that Sony is starting to lose interest in their most recent iteration of the handheld.
"PlayStation Plus" is announced, which is a subscription based networking plan not too different from XBOX Live. Priced at $50 per year, the service offers more on top of what current PSN users can get for free. Offered in the upgraded service are things like exclusive/early access to demos, beta invitations, QORE, and "freebies" such as avatars, themes, PSX games, and minis. The audience did not know how to react to this announcement, it was followed by an awkward applause.
Developer Media Molecule demonstrates Little Big Planet 2 next, and it completely expanded what they have started with the original game. Players are now able to create all sorts of different games of different genres. In the demonstration, games were shown that involved shooters, platforming, racing and even sumo wrestling. Although many gamers have lost interest in the original, the sequel may be enough to grab the gaming community's attention once again.
The new Medal of Honor, the sequel to Dead Space, Infamous 2, and a teaser for Portal 2 were shown, and these games look pretty damn impressive. Gabe Newell, co-founder of Steam, even goes out of his way to say that the "Playstation 3 version of Portal 2 is the best version on any console."
To close the show, a surprise announcement of a new Twisted Metal game was made by Eat Sleep Play's David Jaffe and Scott Campbell. The two of them entered the stage by a replica of Sweet Tooth's famous ice cream truck--and the crowd went wild, of course. Various new multi-player modes were shown, and the game appears to retain the same dark and twisted sense of humor that made the series so popular so many years ago.
Sony made a very impressive demonstration of their commitment of how they plan to change the way players experience gaming during this year's E3 press conference. With 3D-ready games and the Playstation Move, Sony wants players to become more immersed into the games--even if it'll cost players a lot of money.
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