E3 2012: Sony Press Conference Highlights, Images, and Videos
Sony's presentation today was nothing short of amazing. They might not have had huge unveilings, but what there was to see was certainly solid! Below is a recap of what we saw from the front row (save for the reserved seats in front of us where lots of big industry execs where sitting down). It sure was exciting!
They started with a cool video collage flashing images of Sony titles, all of which we seemed to recognize. It was just a reminder of all the good stuff we've been playing and will be able to play on Sony systems: God of War: Ascension, Darksiders II, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, Sorcery, Assassin's Creed 3, Hitman: Absolution, Portal 2, The Last of Us, Metal Gear Solid 4, Resistance, Disney's Epic Mickey 2, BioShock Infinite, inFAMOUS 2, Tekken Tag Trounament, DMC, Madden 13, Lollipop Chainsaw, Monkey Ball, LBP Karting, Nino Kuni, and a lot of focus on a Move wheel attachment (not sure I had seen that one before). Anyway, you get the idea.
After the all-stars montage, Jack Tretton, President and CEO of SCE America walks into the stage. He talks about Sony fandom, the world's greatest minds at work creating games for PlayStation platforms, and the vibrant and loyal gaming industry we have, always moving forward. He also presented Sony's Kazuo Hirai, the ever-cheerful President and CEO of Sony Corporation, who was sitting barely two rows in front of us (a nice man indeed!)
When Tretton started talking about Quantic Dream and reminded us of the 2010 title Heavy Rain, everybody's faces lit up. The wait was over, as Quantic Dream was there to announce their new title for PlayStation 3, called Beyond: Two Souls. It explores what's on the other side, what happens after death.
The ultra-realistic game will have the Academy Award nominee Ellen Page as the protagonist, under the skin of Jodie Holmes, a mysterious girl who seems to have not only a strange and mum attitude but also remarkable mind and physical powers. They say making the right choices in this game we'll discover what lays beyond. Certainly the best way to get a feel for this game is checking out the trailer. There's a lot more action than you'd expect!
Another great hit for PlayStation will be PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale. After watching a demo on stage, I can officially confirm the game is extremely similar to Smash Bros. for Nintendo platforms. However, that's not a bad thing. It looks like a super-fun brawler with beloved characters such as Sly, Kratos, Parappa the Rapper, Sweet Tooth, Fat Princess, Kratos, Killzone... and they also announced two new ones: Nathan Drake from Uncharted and Big Daddy from BioShock! From what we saw, some players have energy-based attacks, whereas others rely on sneaking and other signature moves. They said there'll be more surprises and announcements in the coming months, but so far, so good. Oh, and the game is coming out to both PS3 and Vita, with Cross-Play functionality so up to 4 players can play simultaneously using either system.
Tretton also announced the upcoming Cross-Controller DLC, which will be available later this year so gamers will be able to play games on PS3 using the Vita as controller.
After some impressive numbers about PlayStation Network and the support for indie games, Tretton mentioned the extra goodies they'll be adding to their PS Plus premium service. Subscribers will be getting free access to some important hits like LBP 2, Infamous 2, and Saints Row 2 starting tomorrow. To make it even sweeter, they gave us all a voucher for a full year of free PS Plus. Heck yeah!
Of course, they weren't going to leave behind all the great titles PS Vita will be getting this year: more than 60 in total! Not to mention PS1 Classics such as Tomb Raider and Final Fantasy VII, exciting media services like Hulu Plus and Crackle, etc.
Luckily, that wasn't it for Vita. In just a few months, FPS gamers will be able to play one of their favorite shooter series on the palm of their hands, with console-quality gameplay, including multiplayer. They were talking about Call of Duty: Black Ops - Declassified. And you know what? That wasn't the only amazing, console-quality title they had in store! Assassin's Creed III: Liberation will also deliver an unprecedented gaming experience on the Vita, casting players in the role of a female American Revolution warrior, fighting for liberation in XVIII century New Orleans. Looks great!
What also looked great was the Crystal White PS Vita with which they'll be bundling the game starting Oct. 30th. Certainly an enticing buy if you don't already own Sony's portable baby.
Assassin's Creed III will also come bundled with the PS3 when it launches on the same day as the Vita version. What we didn't know is there'll be naval warfare involved in the game. The awesome trailer showed us how Connor takes the revolution to the high seas. Neat!
Ubisoft has also been working hard on Far Cry 3, and the insane FPS taking place in a remote island sure looked like a fun game. Well, two games, because in addition to the lengthy single-player campaign, it'll include a brand new co-op campaign for up to 4 players that they demoed on stage. Also, they mentioned PS3 gamers will be getting exclusive DLC for this title.
Then they moved on to PS Move. Games like BioShock Infinite, Dust 514, Epic Mickey 2, LBP Karting, and Sports Champions 2 will feature unique motion-controlled gameplay. Their intent is to transform experiences and redefine expectations. Just like they plan to do with Wonderbook. This new and innovative series of interactive story books will have players use motion controls to interact and change stories, so each experience is different. They've also partnered up with JK Rowling, creator of the Harry Potter book series, to offer an experience unlike any other with the first Wonderbook title, Miranda Goshawk: Book of Spells. Here, players will be able to learn and practice spells from the Harry Potter world, from Wingardium Leviosa, to Incendo, and many others. This augmented reality, motion-based experience will be tied up to the Pottermore online experience they currently have. London Studio and Moonbot Studios are also working in the ambicious and groundbreaking Wonderbook project, so we'll just have to wait and see how far it goes.
There was also a brief mention about playing PlayStation games on PlayStation Certified Android-powered devices via what was until now the PlayStation Suite. They decided to rename it PlayStation Mobile. They highlighted an HTC phone that'll be compatible and said many such phones will be available this year offering the experience.
As you'd expect, they saved the best for last. First, God of War: Ascension. They showed an action-packed demo that looked amazing, with Kratos ripping horns off of satyrs, stabbing an elephant man to death, and climbing atop a kraken for the ultimate fight. I just can't wait to get my hands on this one! (Hopefully I will in the next day or two...) The game's scheduled for release in March of 2013.
Last but not least, they surprised us with a very exciting demo of The Last of Us, created by Naughty Dog, the studio behind the Uncharted series. Mixing up stealthy moves with action, the use of diverse weapons with crazy melee combat, and with some cooperation between the two main characters (a man and a teenager, yes), the game has as much promise or more as the Uncharted games. It looks like a deep and action-packed adventure no one should miss. If you thought it might be a bit on the weak side due to the teenage girl and the inspiring jungle setting, you're wrong. The trailer ended with a gruesome close-up of a headshot. Way to go!
That was it for Sony. No big revelations but lots of good stuff to make us hungry for the holiday season and beyond.
An enthusiast of gaming adventures as well as party and puzzle games. Writer, editor, translator, graphics designer, and a multitasker at heart. Maria has worked in the gaming industry since 2007, though she's been a gamer since the eighties. She proudly wore her Spain jersey when they won the 2010 World Cup!
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