June 2, 2009 (The Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles) - After the recent reveal (or leak) of the PSP Go!, we wonder what other surprises SONY has in store for PlayStation fans. We know there's a new Ratchet & Clank Future, God of War 3, Uncharted 2, and what else? Expect new hardware for the PS3, as well as the unveiling of a new franchise.
Check out the play-by-play below for up-to-date info on the Press Conference.
11:10 - The conference opens with a video featuring lots of white Sony symbols that fade into the PSP, PS2, PS3, and the PSN. Then they show various footage of upcoming titles.
11:13- Jack Tretton takes the stage, making a few jokes about confidential information being leaked. He also mentions 364 titles coming out this year on the PlayStation Brand.
11:16 - Sony claims continuing support for the PS2, which is selling great at $100. The plan to release over 100 titles for it this year!
11:20 - Also, the PS3 will receive 35 titles this year.
11:22 - Evan Wells walks onto the stage to show off Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and proceeds to announce that the Uncharted 2: Among Thieves multiplayer beta will be live tonight; then they show us a new gameplay trailer of the title.
11:28 - Up next, we check out the 1st live gameplay demo of M.A.G., an online game that takes up to 256 players at the same time. The gameplay runs incredibly smoothly, and we'll be able to test it out this week at E3.
11:32 - Time to talk about the PSP. The handheld offers an uncomparable amount of features, as well as high quality visuals. That's why they continue to suppport it with great new hardware like Patapon 2, Loco Roco 2, God of War: Chains of Olympus, etc. They're even launching a hot pink Hanna Montana PSP! Hmm...
11:35 - In any case, Kaz Hirai, President & CEO of SONY Computer Entertainment takes the stage to show us their latest hardware addition. You might have already heard about "the worst-kept secret of E3," the PSP Go! This new handheld is not here to replace the current PSP or the UMD. It's just a 50% smaller alternative that's also 40% lighter!
11:39 - Its new Memory Stick supports higher capacity memory cards, and the new device also has bluetooth techonology. Along with this handheld, a new media manager for the PC is being annoucnced: Media Go! This will make synchronization tasks much more intuitive. Also, the games for thiss device will be downloadable. Wow! That was no surprise! But... it's still good news. It does indeed look awesome.
11:42 - There's also a new video delivery service, which will now be delivered natively through the PSP. It will include shows and movies of all kinds, from many different partners, including sports.
11:47 - Kazunouri Yamauchi, from Polyphony Digital, comes onto the stage to talk about Sony's biggest racing franchise: Gran Turismo. It'll be coming out for the PSP. Despite the small size of the handheld, it runs at 60 frames per second and is a fully-fledged version of the game. Players will be able to share content with other players and a lot more.
11:50 - So... who said Kojima wasn't come to E3 this year? The sneaky president of Kojima Productions is back, this time announcing Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, for the PSP. The team behind MGS 4 will be actively participating in the making of this upcoming title, which will indeed include Solid Snake! A trailer shows us what the game will be like. The action takes place in Costa Rica, 10 years after Metal Gear 3, in 1974. MGS: Peace Walker will be available sometime in 2010.
12:00 - Metal Gear won't be the only hot franchise coming to the PSP this year. Check it out: Resident Evil, LittleBigPlanet, Final Fantasy, Monster Hunter, MotorStorm, SoulCalibur, Shin Megami Tensei, Pixeljunk Monsters, Fat Princess, Unbound Saga, Star Wars: Battlefront, Rock Band Unplugged, and the list goes on. Anything else? Let's add Final Fantasy VII, which is coming out today, via PSN. In total, there'll be 50 PS1 games available for the PSP this year.
12:06 - Sony Home video reminds us how much potential it has and how big it's becoming.
12:08 - New video shows us all the upcoming titles for the PS3 this year, including the following: Uncharted 2, Madden 10, Final Fantasy, M.A.G., Batman: Arkham Asylum, Brutal Legend, White Knight Chronicles, DiRT 2, Ghostbusters, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, WET, Mafia II, Buzz! Quiz World, SAW, King of Fighters XII, Tekken 6, Overlord II, Red Faction: Guerrilla, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2010, Dark Void, G-Force, Guitar Hero Smash Hits, Karaoke Revolution, Heavy Rain, Battlefield 1943, Critter Crunch, Katamari Forever, Fat Princess, Eyepete, SingStar Queen, DC Universe Online, GI Joe, LittleBigPlanet, BioShock 2, Ratchet & Clank Future, God of War III, and many more. Wait, did they show LittleBigPlanet? Hmm.. just wondering.
12:13 - Rockstar North, makers of Grand Theft Auto, are also making a new franchise exclusively for the PlayStation 3. It's called Agent. The game will take place in the 1970s, and that's all we know for now.
12:15 - Time to check out Assassin's Creed II. A gameplay demo is shown. The game, as you might already know, takes place in the Italian Reinassance, Ezio will be the protagonist this time around. Agile like Altair was, he climbs up the buildings and then rides a glider designed by DaVinci, who provides Ezio with interesting inventions. The game will be in store shelves this holiday season.
12:22 - Final Fantasy XIII won't be coming out this year, but Spring 2009. This means there's still a long wait ahead of us, so Sony decided to show us a new video to whet our apetite. Thank you for that... I guess.
12:25 - Luckily, Square Enix is also working hard on another title. Final Fantasy XIV. Whaa!! And even more incredible: It'll be released also in 2010, exclusively for the PS3.
12:28 - Oh oh... Are we hearing "motion controls" now? Sony is also working on this techonology. They have a new controller and, though the design far from final, it seems to respond to motions 1:1. These motion controls, combined with the PlayStation Eye, make for an interesting interactive experience. In the live demo, we see the player holding a tennis racket and all sorts of weapons. They tell us: "Imagine holding Ratchet's wrench!" This technology is aimed for casual titles rather than hardcore ones, which means the games will be accessible for everyone and, best of all, should be fun.
12:34 - The demo doesn't end here. Players can interact with objects on the screen in such a way that it breaks the barrier between the virtual world displayed on the screen and the player's surroundings. The device is so precise that you can even write and draw on the screen, or use it to control an RTS or even a first person shooter. Fighting and swashbuckling also looks very precise, to the point that it makes us wonder if games like Red Steel 2 will make it to the PS3 sometime in the future.
12:39 - Wow! So that makes it three gaming systems with motion control potential. Not just the Wii anymore! This demo definitely looked promising, perhaps even more so than the sony one. But, who knows? We'll have to test it ourselves to decide!
12:41 - After talking just a little bit about the upcoming LittleBigPlanet for the PSP and its level of creativity, they announce Mod Nation Racers, a game with the same creative premise, though focused on racing. We've seen this done with Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts before, but the overall design looks very appealing and on the lines of LBP. Character customization is a must, as well as personalizing your vehicle.
12:45 - This Mario Kart-inspired racer also includes power-ups to spice up the gameplay, and a cool race track creator, that seems quite intuitive and complete. The graphics look amazing, including the smooth textures that reminds us of LittleBigPlanet.
12:52 - After that interesting announcement, we can't help it but be even more excited about what's coming next. Wait... is it ICO? Shadow of the Colossus? The screen says "The Last Guardian," but it looks a whole lot like ICO to me!
12:57 - Now, something we all expected, a teaser trailer of Gran Turismo 5, the "real" driving simulator. Glad they're moving on with it!
12:59 - Looks like things are getting to an end, as we're presented with a live, jaw-dropping demo of God of War III.
1:00 - Kratos looks more badass than ever, punishing the enemies with his hardcore Chains of Olympus. He then shoots an arrow to get rid of a pesky bird, and eventually he reaches an area where the biggest danger awaits. After dispatching some minions, he proceeds to fight a strong centaur, then a nasty goat-like mythical creature, and finally, he's ready to face a tremendous boss that's literally on fire. Think of a volcano shaped like a chimpanzee! But... Oh no! They ended the demo before the fight! Luckily we'll be able to play the full 20 minute demo on the showfloor. Phew! We'll keep you posted with a hands-on preview soon. By the way, the game's coming out March 2010!
1:07 - That's all there's to it! Certainly this Sony presentation wasn't half bad! Stay tuned for more updates this week.
CCC Site Director / Editor-in-Chief