E3 2011: Sony Press Conference Verdict

By Colin Tan on June 9, 2011, 12:59AM EDT
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Tons of food, open bars and a huge software lineup ready to swoop in and steal the show. Yet, something went wrong. Sony dropped the ball with their presser. They opened strong with Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, with an exceptional demonstration of a new level, complete with gorgeous lighting, amazing animations and of course, 3D. However, it seemed like Sony didn't know what they wanted once Uncharted 3 left the stage, it was a bit of a wreck with every other presentation boring the life out of me.

Tretton's address on the PlayStation Network was a good one. Everyone expected it and he came out and said it before promptly moving on to the more important goods. Like I said, Uncharted 3 was amazing as expected. Perhaps it's because of that that everything else looked relatively mediocre. Sony promised announcements of new never "“before-seen games and new details, but instead we got more of what we already knew: Resistance 3, Starhawk, Twisted Metal, et cetera, et cetera.

Worst still, much like how Microsoft concentrated quite a bit on Kinect, Sony shifted all focus to the PlayStation Move, bringing out industry names like Ken Levine to confirm Move support for Bioshock Infinite; an upcoming Resistance 3 Move bundle; Sony and 2K even brought out Kobe Bryant of the LA Lakers to prove that playing NBA 2K12 with the Move was a brilliant idea.

What followed was a slew of more Move-dedicated titles like Medieval Moves. Unfortunately, nothing on Sorcery, which was announced at last year's E3 and was easily the most impressive piece of software for Sony's motion control portfolio. To be fair, the Resistance Move bundle was a neat announcement, but only because they did it nice and quick, unlike Kobe's performance and Levine complaining about bringing Move to Bioshock Infinite "“ which, by itself, was nice to know. Bioshock Infinite looks amazing, but how many of us actually care that Move is being supported in a game like that?

Sony also talked loads about 3D, which is to be expected. Games like Uncharted, Resistance and Starhawk looked stunning. The unveiling of the new PlayStation TV bundle for only $499 was brilliant, perfect for reeling in potential buyers interested in 3D. It's an especially low point, especially when current 24 inch HD screens cost about $300.

Possibly one of the best announcements to come out of Sony's presser was Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, a most welcome announcement indeed. Sony also came through with the price point of the PlayStation Vita, previously NGP, at a low $249 price point for the Wifi model, giving it much more value per dollar than the Nintendo 3DS. On that note, there were some interesting announcements like Bioshock Infinite and Street Fighter x Tekken. Ruin was neat as well, although nothing incredibly exciting save for the ability to transfer your game from Vita straight to PS3.

Confirmations of HD Collections like ICO and Shadow of the Colossus, as well as God of War "Origins Collection" was merely a scratch on the surface. Yet, Sony didn't push forward to talk more about the new PSP Remaster program, which is rather disconcerting especially since Monster Hunter Portable 3rd HD Version was the first official title announced. It's safe to say that isn't coming Westward anytime soon, especially since the PSP version isn't even out. Sony didn't bother with the Metal Gear Solid or Zone of the Enders HD Collections either.

The Vita queue was outrageous. A 2 hour wait to try five different Vita games, Uncharted: Golden Abyss included, for four minutes each. It's really not that much to get a handle on the hardware. I must say though, the "Touched It" sticker that was given out felt strangely gratifying, if only because of the associated innuendos. Ironically, I stood in line for 2 hours collecting Miis, puzzle pieces and playing Super Street Fighter IV against the fellow in front of me until my battery died. But not before a computer sales rep came up to us to advertise a $20 battery pack from Best Buy.

Sony had a ton of games playable on the floor, which gave the media an opportunity to try them out before anyone else at the E3 showfloor. The Resistance 3 demo showcased the Oklahoma level against the Longlegs and the Brute. Uncharted 3 showcased the multiplayer, same with Starhawk and Twisted Metal.

At the very least, Tretton managed to squeeze in a Ridge Racer joke. Sony's conference wasn't terrible by any means, but it wasn't as good as it could've been. If anything, it was rather boring especially since so much of it was information we already knew. You know there is a problem if you fall asleep during the Vita segment, especially since it was easily one of Sony's supposedly more excitable bullet points.

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