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Live E3 2011 Coverage – Sony

In Videogames on June 6, 2011 at 3:58 PM

This post will feature live, up to date info on the Sony press conference.  In order to keep the news up to date just hit your browsers refresh button.  Coverage for the Sony press conference begins at 5 PM PST/8 PM EST.  Also, be sure to check out previous coverage of the EA, Ubisoft and Microsoft conferences on the main page.

5:02 PM – Sony’s press conference has apparently been hacked and its users’ passwords and personal information have been stolen.

5:04 PM – As a special thank you for its users having been inconvenienced by this hacking attempt, Sony promises to showcase at least one exclusive game that’s not Uncharted 3 or Infamous 2 at this year’s E3 press conference that you will be able to receive for full price upon release.  Viewers will also get one free month of PlayStation Plus as long as they pay for it in advance.

5:07 PM – Finally the press conference begins…I think.  The press conference is rated E-M.

5:08 PM – Wait, it actually isn’t happening.  Instead we’re getting subversive adds for Infamous 2.  This is worse than all three of the previous press conferences combined.

5:12 PM – Thankfully the subversive PlayStation Blog advertising has ended and instead we have a lone shot of a dark staircase and lame music.  This is ten times better than what was previously on the screen though so no complaints.

5:15 PM – Sony’s 2011 E3 press conference is currently undergoing maintenance.  We will have a live update once a week telling you nothing about the status of the press conference.  A “welcome back” package may be considered, we just have to figure out what the cost-benefit of said package is.  We might show you E3 videos from three years ago.

5:16 PM – Finally the conference begins.  I’m guessing Sony spits out a lot of figures about how great they are and how NGP and 3D will revolutionize everything.  More to come after this super long intro video ends.

5:18 PM – Apparently the audience has been given 3D glasses and are wearing them despite this video currently being 2D.  I stand corrected, the big screen does appear to have 3D going.

5:21 PM – Five minutes later the press conference finally begins.  Jack Tretton, the only person who rivals Don Mattrick in annoyance, comes out to welcome us to Sony’s E3 2011.  Jack Tretton discusses the PSN outtage and then, like a complete asshole, says “your welcome” for giving them a story.  That’s one of the most shallow “apologies” ever.  Afterwards he semi-sincerely apologizes to developers and fans.  He claims the press conference today will make up for the outtage.  Good luck there.  Tretton then announces a slew of features the PSN offers and a new partnership with Cinema Now and more down the road.

5:26 PM – Surprisingly (or unsurprisingly) the show opens with Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception.  The demo begins with Drak running around a rainy, pirate infested cruise ship of sorts, showing off some pretty intriguing physics as the ship wobbles back and forth along the rocky waves.  The demo also highlights some great lighting.  However, not much new is coming in the way of gameplay.  It’s the same repetitive mix of cover based shooting and parkour jumping.  The demo leads into a cutscene (because what game isn’t chock full of those anymore) with Drake setting off a grenade on a potential assailant before going full Rambo on the ship as the game jumps full force into its cover based shooting.  The ship goes Poseidon Adventure and Drake now traverses its hulls sideways in a pretty clever bit of level design.  The demo ends.  Big applause.  After the demo we get a full 3D trailer for the game.  Why 3D I have no idea other than Sony is still all about it.  The trailer doesn’t show much we didn’t already know – Helen Miren steals Drake’s necklace, Drake and Sully go to the desert to track her down, old characters show back up, and violence ensues.  Release date at the end announced as November 1, 2011.

5:37 PM – Tretton comes back out to call upon Insomniac games to show off Resistance 3.  We get a live demo and he urges the audience to “put on [their] glasses” because, of course, Sony is all about 3D.  The first part of the demo shows almost nothing exciting and just your typical FPS fare in a closed environment.  They fast forward to another similar setting with some more generic FPS stuff happening.  Not sure what to say other than yawn.  More nothing happens.  A monster attacks in slow-mo.  And that’s it.

5:41 PM – Tretton is back out to hype up Move and 3D support for Resistance 3, including a “sharpshooter” bundle that comes with a move controller, nav controller, eye camera, sharpshooter gun and copy of Resistance 3 for $150.  He then hypes collection packs for the PSP God of War games as well as Ico and Shadow of Colossus all available in 3D.  Tretton announces new 3D hardware including a special 24″ PlayStation 3D display.  Interestingly the screen allows multiple displays for two players rather than split screens.  The monitor will be available with Resistance 3, an HDMI cable and new PlayStation glasses.  He announces the bundle at $499, which sounds like way too much money for a 24″ TV.

5:47 PM – Tretton then brings out 2K Sports to show PlayStation Move support on NBA 2K11.  Kobe Bryant comes out to show the new Move features.  He plays as the Lakers and gets beat down by some 2K guy playing as the Heat.  Kobe is losing hard so he starts talking smack about the game.  That was a bad PR move.  Also a bad idea to bring out someone who called the Warriors an “Xbox offense who couldn’t win in the playoffs.”

5:52 PM – Tretton’s back out to announce a new title called Medieval Moves: Dead Man’s Quest.  Again we get a 3D glasses prompt because Sony is all about the 3D.  The game looks like a bizarre FPS style where the player changes weapons between throwing stars, swords and arrows.  In place of an inventory system the game uses controls to select weapons such as reaching behind you to grab an arrow from your imaginary quiver.  This game looks like little more than a tech demo, which compared to what Microsoft showed for the Kinect is a pretty huge step backwards for Sony.  Unless this is targeted for children I don’t expect a lot of sales on this one.

5:58 PM – Up next is a trailer for Infamous 2.  Considering the game comes out tomorrow we could’ve at least gotten a demo.  According to the video the game’s available now even though Tretton says it comes out tomorrow.

6:00 PM – Tretton goes back to talking about Move and upcoming support for LittleBigPlanet 2.  He says soon there will be “millions” of games in the Move library.  I think that’s hyperbole but he sounded sincere.  Then we get a new game from the people who made Warhawk called Starhawk, which looks like it has more in common with the Will Smith version of Wild Wild West.  However, the trailer finally reveals jet planes fighting in space so that really told me nothing about the game.

6:03 PM – Now Tretton shows us a trailer for a new Sly Cooper game.  Not sure what to make of this since I was never a fan of the originals but the trailer does have a sleek, comical look that kids would eat up.  The game is Sly Cooper: Travels in Time and its due out in 2012.

6:05 PM – Jack Tretton then brings out CCP to announce Dust 514 for the PlayStation 3.  Dust will tie into EVE Online somehow and features Move support.  Not sure what to make of this.  The trailer shows your generic futuristic space FPS.  The trailer tells me absolutely nothing about this game so I guess wait for more to come.  Tretton says games like Dust are exactly what sets PlayStation apart.  What exactly that is I’m not sure.

6:09 PM – Now we get a juicy new trailer of Bioshock: Infinite.  Graphically this looks very similar to the first two Bioshock titles.  Not sure what to say other than that.  Out comes Ken Levine to talk about the game or more realistically to talk about himself.  Ken goes into Gabe Newell 2010 mode to retract his anti-motion gaming sentiments and plug how awesome it will be for Bioshock: Infinite.  Before he leaves he announces a new upcoming Bioshock project for the NGP that he conveniently has in his back pocket.  However, he doesn’t say anything other than that so we’ll be left in suspense for what that game is.

6:14 PM – Tretton then quick hypes tow other games with Move support in Saints Row: The Third and a Star Trek game complete with a phaser peripheral.  Then its straight to a video for the Star Trek game, a shooter where you can play as Spock or Kirk.  Then Tretton announces three EA exclusives for PlayStation 3.  He starts with SSX, which isn’t a PS3 exclusive but will get a PS3 exclusive map for the Himilayas.  Then Need for Speed: The Run will get PS3 exclusives on a special disc that equates to nothing more than bonus content.  Finally, PlayStation 3’s version of Battlefield 3 will include a free copy of Battlefield 1943.

6:20 PM – Tretton then introduces Kazuo Harai to make an announcement.  Harai begins with a two minute speech about the last six years of Sony and their cross media, connected experience.  This culminates with the reveal of PlayStation Suite, allowing users to play certain PlayStation products on specific PlayStation supported devices such as smart phones.  After the quick mention Harai goes straight into NGP talk and highlights the already known attributes such as the OLED screen and dual touch screens.  NGP then gets its official name as PlayStation Vita because vita means life and this system promises to blur the lines between entertainment and real life.  Oh boy!  Harai goes through the features again, culminating with support for both Wi-Fi and 3G, including a partnership with AT&T as the exclusive carrier for Vita.  Harai finally stops talking to actually show the system off and brings out Scott Rohde.  Unfortunately Rohde just keeps talking instead of showing some footage.  Now we get a reveal for Uncharted: Golden Abyss exclusive for the Vita and finally we get some gameplay.  The graphics look impressive but nowhere near what we saw earlier for Uncharted 3.  They then show off the touch and Sixaxis controls for the game before immediately saying after that you never have to use them, which makes me wonder why this is even on the Vita if you don’t need to use any of its features.

6:34 PM – Now here comes two new faces to discuss Ruin, an “action-based RPG” for the Vita.  The game looks like Torchlight.  Why it’s on the Vita I’m not sure as they still haven’t used any feature exclusive to the Vita.  Then we find out that Vita will also be on the PS3 and you can share saves on the PSN cloud.

6:39 PM – Next up is a Mod Nation Racers game for Vita that is stressed as not a port.  This shows the first practical application of Vita with a touch screen map editor that allows you to draw a line with your finger and instantly make it a track, then edit that rack using the in game editors.  The back touch panel allows you to raise terrain and the front panel can depress land or spawn items.  The Vita version will also include all the creations from the PS3 version of Mod Nation Racers starting day one.  Of the three games this is the only one that actually utilized Vita as a console.

6:44 PM – More Vita game announcements such as Wipeout 2048 and LittleBigPlanet.

6:48 PM – Out comes Capcom to showcase Street Fighter X Tekken.  They also announce the inclusion of Cole from Infamous to the game for some reason, though don’t limit his inclusion to just the Vita version.  In their demo Cole beats the hell of Ryu.

6:52 PM – That presumably ends the Vita content portion of the show, culminating with a video to showcase how awesome Vita is going to be.

6:56 PM – Harai comes back out and specifies that there will be two models, a Wi-Fi only model for $249.99 and a 3G model for $299.99.

6:58 PM – Tretton is back out to close out the conference and promises several “special performances” that I guess you can only watch live.  Another boring show.  Hopefully Nintendo saves the day tomorrow.

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