Sony's E3 keynote
introduced several new gaming features and titles that are expected to enrich
the overall gaming experience for console and portable users alike.
It's no secret that Japanese consumer electronics corporation Sony has had some
major troubles over the past month and a half. On April 20, the PlayStation Network (PSN) went down after
millions of users' personal information and credit card numbers were stolen in
a massive security breach. Sony did not announce the breach until April 26.
This prompted a three and a half week blackout where customers around the world returned their PS3's in favor
of Xbox 360's. Sony even put forth its best efforts to keep customers happy by
offering free games and premium subscriptions through the "Welcome Back" Customer Appreciation Program. PSN
wasn't available worldwide once
again until June 2.
At that same time, Sony Online
Entertainment was also hacked.
Now, at Sony's keynote at E3, many wondered if Sony would address the fiasco
and apologize to users for all the recent troubles.
I. The Apology
The keynote began by handing out pairs of 3D glasses to the audience. Around
quarter after 5 p.m. PST/ 8 p.m. EST, the audience was instructed to put their
glasses on, and the show began.
It started with a 3D video of PlayStation products and games, including
"Mortal Kombat," "Green Lantern," "God of War,"
"Uncharted," "Little Big Planet," "Hot Shots,"
Next, the question of whether Sony would address the PSN outage or not was
"To our esteemed members of the press, I say: You're welcome," said
Jack Tretton, Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) CEO. After insinuating
that the press had a field day with the PSN outage, he then addressed
consumers. "I want to apologize both personally and on behalf of the
company for any anxiety we have caused you."
II. Upcoming Titles & 3D Adoption
After the quick apology, Tretton jumped right into a few quick facts, such as
the fact that PS3 is the "leading device for streaming Netflix," and
that "virtually all" games shown at the conference will be playable
in an arcade setting at E3 immediately after the keynote.
Video game developer Naughty Dog then showed a demo of "Uncharted 3,"
showing Nathan Drake killing enemies like a champ. The game looks very
cinematic as Drake escapes several dangerous occurrences. Multiplayer beta
starts June 28, where players can go to Subway and get early access to the game
before its official release November 1.
"Resistance 3" was the next game to be shown off. It's a shooter that
will be bundled with the Sharpshooter and PlayStation Move as well as a
Navigation Controller and PS Eye camera for $150. "Resistance 3" will
also be available in the PlayStation monitor package, which will include a
24" 3D TV, a pair of glasses, HDMI cable and "Resistance 3" for
$500 in an effort to encourage 3D adoption.
"We're going to break the mold on pricing for 3D this year," said
Tretton announced the release of "God of War: Origins Collections,"
which is a remastered version of PSP's "God of War" games.
Next up was 2K Sports, who discussed the new "NBA 2K11." The game
will use PlayStation Move motion control to identify players and allow them to
pass the ball to one another and shoot. Kobe Bryant then entered the stage to
test the game.
A demo of "Medieval Moves: Deadmund's Quest" played next. A user
plays as a skeleton who moves through a castle fighting enemies with a sword.
It includes arrow-shooting and puzzles, and is playable in Sony Booth.
An "Infamous 2" demo followed, which will be released tomorrow. Sony
doesn't plan to add user-generated levels until fall 2011, and will also
add PlayStation Move support
to "LittleBigPlant 2" and "Dust 514." Although, "Dust
514" is a shooter that will also connect to the Eve Online PC MMO game,
and will support the Move and the Next Generation Portable (NGP).
"Starhawk" and "Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time" are presented
next. The new Sly Cooper game will be available in 2012.
Ken Levine of Irrational Games then came onstage to discuss "BioShock
Infinite," saying that he did not like the idea of motion control
initially, but Sony talked him into making "BioShock Infinite"
PlayStation Move-compatible. There may also be a "BioShock" game for
NGP in the future. In addition, Tretton noted that the PS3 version of
"BioShock Infinite" will come with a complimentary copy of the first
"BioShock" on the same Blu-ray.
Tretton said a PlayStation Move-compatible "Star Trek" game will be
released with a Move accessory shaped like a Trek phaser, and a downloadable
prequel will be available as well.
Electronic Arts (EA) hit the stage next to offer three new PS3 offers,
including "SSX," "Need for Speed: The Run," and
"Battlefield 3." "Battlefield 1943" will also be added to
the "Battlefield 3" Blu-ray disc.
III. PlayStation Vita
Kazuo Hirai then addressed one of the most popular topics of the night: the
NGP, which is the PSP's successor. But Sony has officially named the NGP
Hirai started off with a speech about networking. PlayStation devices will
eventually utilize PlayStation Suite, which will connect gamers on Android
smartphones and tablets as well. It will be available in the "very near
PlayStation Vita will be exclusively available through AT&T's 3G data plan,
to which the audience booed.
PlayStation Vita has two social network apps called "Party" and
"Near," which allow users to organize friend lists and discuss what
you're doing online, etc.
A demo of "Uncharted: Golden Abyss" played, as did
"Ruin" in an action RPG for Vita. It's a "standard top-down
loot-oriented ARPG." "Mod Nation Racers" was also announced for
Vita, which allows a user to create a course by dragging their finger along the
screen, then play the course.
A slew of other games were demoed and announced for Vita, such as "LittleBigPlanet"
and "Street Fighter X Tekken." "Street Fight X Tekken" will
introduce Cole from "Infamous" into the game.
Here's where Vita gets really interesting. Your game can be saved on the Vita
via "cloud saving," which can then be played from that point in the
game on the PS3. It looks like everyone is getting into the cloud storage services.
The Wi-Fi Vita will be available for $249, and the 3G Vita will be available
for $299. It will launch during the holiday season 2011.