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E3: Sony Brings the Reasonable

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Opening exactly how everyone expected, Sony’s President for America Jack Tretton gave what was a decidedly humble apology with a hint of humour — “an elephant in the room” indeed Mr. Tretton. Quickly shooting this elephant allowed the conference to go on without the nagging issue sitting over the heads of all involved.

So the real start for Sony was of course Uncharted 3, a game that looked both pretty and quite frankly instilled an inhuman urge to dive through my laptop screen and play. Alas, I shall just have to wait for release date. An impressive boat based level reminiscent of The Poseidon Adventure (the original thank you) added another onto the list of great cinematic Uncharted moments Huzzah.

As was the same last year Sony pushed 3D gaming with glasses full tilt with Uncharted 3 and Resistance 3 (so glad they avoided the obvious pun) utilising full 3D support. However the price point on a 3D HDTV is still pretty high. So, here came Sony to the rescue with a PlayStation branded 24” 3D TV that offers multi-image output to different glasses.  You want to play old school multiplayer?  Well you can — one player receives one image signal to their glasses while the other is sent a different signal. No split screen required people magic. The price point on the package that includes Resistance 3, Sony’s cheaper 3D glasses and a six foot HDMI cable sits at $499.

Marcus Smith from Insomniac Games took the stage to show a quick demo of Resistance 3, a series I have never delved into due to a combination of being poor and other games taking my fancy. All that considered, I liked the look of the third entry, a revolution against alien overlords is a plot device I am quite fond of, that and the game play looked pretty damn fun.

We saw HD collections galore this year, not only is the Silent Hill Collection coming exclusively to PS3 but the system is also receiving the Metal Gear Solid Collection along with 360. The two revealed at show are also exclusive to PS3. The God of War Origins Collection contains the two PSP GOW games in remastered HD output. The big one though is the ICO and Shadow of the Colossus Collection, with The Last Guardian delayed this collection offers up the team ICO fix gamers have been sorely missing this generation.

Then came the Move games, starting with NBA 2K12 a presentation that featured Kobe Bryant struggling to shoot for the basket with the move controller.  That really set the tone for the entire Move segment to be honest. Medieval Moves an action adventure game followed this with little to no enthusiasm from this on looker.

inFamous 2 will support Move controls, which if I’m honest is not an incentive.  People that are going to buy that game are going to get it regardless of Move support. The option for user generated content via the Move however is very intriguing; bring on user created grinding runs. Extra control for Little Big Planet 2 via move and an exclusive Star Hawk game slide into the exclusive reveals to come.

Good old’ Sly Cooper will return in Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time.  The titles tend to offer up a stealthy approach and a colourful palette that remains welcome to both casual and hardcore gamers. Sucker Punch look to be brining some good content over the next year.

There was also DUST 514, a first person shooter set in the EVE Online universe, exclusively for PS3.  It will offer real connectivity with the EVE Online universe on PC, such as Dust 514 campaigns and multiplayer battles directly affecting the world of EVE Online.

Ken Levine dropped the unexpected bombshell that Bioshock Infinite will support Move, apparently Levine’s earlier distaste for the controller had diminished after Sony showed his team the capabilities of the Move. Some impressive in-game visuals were both pretty and creepy at the same time.  Every PS3 copy of Bioshock Infinite will come with a copy of the original Bioshock for free. Levine also revealed that Bioshock will be coming to Sony’s next generation portable.

On the subject of Sony’s PS Vita, the initial line-up looks okay, with standouts like Uncharted, Golden Abyss, and Modnation racers coming to mind.  Some of the other games looked fairly unimpressive. RUIN could have some potential if the in-game graphics engine gets an overhaul with some game play improvements along the way.

The touch controls looked pretty damn responsive on PS Vita with the ability to map out Drake’s movement from ledge to ledge with one’s finger and then watch him move along said route. The combat controls gave an expected tap and punch system that looks to offer no lag times, which can only be a good thing.

I for one am very glad that I do not live in America, as the PS Vita will utilise a partnership with AT&T on their 3G model.  That company has had some issues in regards to data transfer on other formats, we’ll see how well this goes on release day.

Street Fighter X Tekken is coming to PS Vita as well.  That game will sell itself, giving players the opportunity to end age old disputes over who would win between Ryu and Jin or between Bison and Kazuya.

The PS Vita demo highlighted the Sony exclusive Cole from infamous fame squaring off in game.  A montage came next with the obligatory Dynasty Warriors game being featured along with Wipe-out and Everybody’s Golf.

The release date and price point made me take notice more than the technology, with a holiday season release coupled with a RRP of $249 for the wi-fi only version and $299 for the 3G version.  That is less than expected for such a high end portable.

So there we go, a smattering of new exclusives and some impressive hardware reveals, specifically the PlayStation branded TV and the PS Vita both offered up at a reasonable price. Lack of any major third party titles such as the upcoming Final Fantasy XII-2 were noted and my personal wish of a Kingdom Hearts sequel never came to fruition.  Oh well, there’s always Jump Festa.

On the whole, I’d give them an 8/10.

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