E3 2008: Sony's Press Conference – The Best Yet
Thus far, Sony’s has been the best press conference of E3 2008, hands down. Their turkey melts were delicious, as were the mini-quiches and those fruit drinks they were passing out. The wait staff was prompt and efficient, particularly around the open bar. All I had to do was say “beer,” and there’d be one in my hand within seconds. Oh yeah, and they talked about games or something like that, I think…
Jack Tretton kicked off Sony’s press conference with pretty much a recap of everything we already knew (Blu-Ray wins the hi-def format war, the history of their company, etc.). He concluded by stating that 2008 would be “the year of the PS3″ and that this year they would be “all about the software.” Thankfully, he seemed to stick to his word as the show went on.
Ted Price from Insomniac then came out to give a live demo fo Resistance 2. He showed a part of a level where you encounter a 300-foot Leviathan, a building-sized beast that starts tearing through a 1950′s city trying to get at you. It was a pretty sweet show actually, and really showed off their emphasis on scale for this game. He also showed a new trailer for a game that basically set up the story and showed off more creepy monsters.
Then Jack Tretton stepped out again to run through the basic “numbers talk” we’ve gotten at all the other press conferences; like how many consoles they’ve sold to date and such. Luckily, they came up with an inventive way of conveying this information. As Tretton spoke, a live demo was shown for Little Big Planet that had been specifically created for the show. Instead of the usual graphs and charts, we got to watch Sackboy run through a level tripping switches to reveal facts and such. Besides being just more entertaining to watch, it also showed off the incredible versatility of Little Big Planet.
Tretton then went on to talk about the PS2, but of course didn’t really have much to say. All he really announced was that there were 130 titles coming out in 2008 and that a new Lego Batman bundle was slated to come out for $149…so…moving on…
Then he turned to the Playstation Network and actually had a couple cool things to announce. For one, there’s Ratchet and Clank Future: Quest for Booty coming out on the PSN, which will retain the same quality graphics as the previous game. It’ll be shorter than past full games, but it will also cost only $14.99. We also got to see more of Home, including the “living game spaces,” which are rooms that are decortated to reflect certain games. You can also meet people and launch an online match from these rooms. Tretton also announced that movies and TV shows were coming to the PSN for both sale and rental. This content can be transferred and viewed on your PSP, and some movies are already available for download right now.
The next discussion centered around the PSP. Another bundle was announced, which will include Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters, National Treasure 2 on UMD, and a voucher for Echochrome; all for $199. The biggest announcement though was for a new title called “Resistance: Retribution.” As you’d expect, it’s essentially a Resistance game for the PSP, though the trailer we saw seemed to show the gameplay form the third-person.
Finally though, we got the PS3, which of course had the most surprising announcements. It started off small with the announcement of “Life With Playstation,” a new program that will update you on news, weather, etc. My favorite part though (probably because of my inner comic book geek) was when Jim Lee came out to talk about the upcoming MMO, DC Universe Online. The game will allow you to create your own superhero or villain and then enter the DC Universe to either fight or help classic heroes like Batman, Superman, and The Flash. Hard to say how the gameplay will work exactly, but the short trailer we saw played like a who’s who in the DC catalogue.
Tretton also announced that the new core system will essentially be the 80 GB model (guess those sales of the Metal Gear Solid 4 bundle tipped them off onto what people wanted most). We were then shown a video montage of developers basically saying that they’ve now figured out how to use the PS3 effectively to create some awesome games, which was actually a little reassuring to hear. There was also of course the expected announcement of God of War III, acompanied by a cool teaser trailer. Unfortunately, it’ll probably be a few more months before we get any more details on the game other than the fact that it exists. Same goes for a brief trailer we were shown for Infamous, which is due in Spring of next year.
They ended the whole press conference by announcing a brand new game that they claim couldn’t be done on any other console, and they’re probably right from the sounds of things. The game is called “MAG: Massive Action Game,” and the title pretty much says it all. The game’s main feature is that that you can have huge 256-player online matches. You can also split up into eight-person squads, with one person as the leader; and each person can expand their skills as they play. The trailer didn’t show much though other than a typical military exchange in a typical Middle Eastern setting, though with a few noticeable highlights, such some paratroopers dropping out of a carrier. It should certainly make for some spectacular-looking firefights.