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E3 2008 blog: not quite live Sony Press Conference Blog


Okay, so Sony has shut off the Wi-Fi connection at the conference so this isn’t quite as live as I’d hoped it would be. Still, here are the announcements, my thoughts and reactions from what I hope will be the best conference of the show.

So far the conference looks like a Sony Centre. The walls of the stage are line with the latest Bravia models, six larger screens are showing some of the latest PS3 games: MGS4, Gran Turismo: Prologue, PixelJunk Eden, echoChrome, The Force Unleashed and SOCOM Confrontation. Here’s hoping that the show has much more in store. Of course it will.


There’s a hush as the sound goes down, cheering as the PS symbol cascade down the screens. Hey, I’m trying to get you in the mood here. Okay, Jack Tretton is on stage now. Here comes the intro ramble… Some words about the stress of E3 and a joke about it taking two years off his life. And now some history about the room we’re in… This is where the Oscars and Golden Globes are held. Jack Bauer and Billy Crystal are mentioned. Okay, here’s the link – new stars like Solid Snake and Kratos (yes, that means God Of War III) will be joining the Hollywood stars of the past. Yeah, that’ll do.


Jack’s now waxing lyrical about the history of the PlayStation. Yes, let’s look at some pictures of the PSone. And Crash Bandicoot. And Tekken. If this sounds a little cynical then it comes at the end of sitting through three other press conferences. Let’s get on with it.

Finally, Jack gets onto PS3 and Sony’s ten year plan. Blu-ray has won, the Cell processor is dring IBM’s latest super computer, Foldinh@Home is has connected 1.7M users worldwide. More willy-waving with talk of PS3 being a future-proof Blu-ray player and that games like MGS4 are only possible on Blu-ray.And now games. Gran Turismo 5, MGS4 (again) and GTAIV are rolled out and held up as examples as to why people buy PS3. Cut to video of the PS3 and room turns red.We start with a “third generation” title from Insomniac, Resistance 2 and to be fair it looks pretty awesome. Nathan Hale is in New York being attacked by some 20-storey high Chimera, battling it across rooftops and walkways – this is an epic boss battle if I ever saw one. This taster ends with Hale being picked up by the beast and flung hundreds of metres through the air. And now some R2 facts. 60 players online, 8 players co-op, yes we know this already. Ted Price shows a new level, set in the US countryside, he talks of scale and how Resistance 2 is the only FPS that’ll deliver on this front this year. We shall see.

Jack’s back and I wonder how long it’ll be before we get onto LittleBigPlanet. Oh wait, the words, “user-generated content” come out of his mouth. Here we go. It’s good to see that Sony has such great games coming up but these are the games we saw last year. It’s kind of like getting an update on what’s been going on over the past two years. These are the games that should have come out six months ago.


Ah, an innovation. They’re using a specially created LBP level to do the business news. No pie charts! Okay, this is genius: Sackboy is jumping arounf the level activating various bar graphs and operating levers and switches revealing facts and figures. Refreshing. Oh, and the business news? PS3, PSP are selling well. A new classics label is announced for PS3, the RRP will be $29.99 and a range of good PS3 games are included: Resistance, Rainbow Six Vegas and Ninja Gaiden among them.

Cynicism cast aside now, that we great.

Strangely though, we’re now onto PS2. 130 games to come to PS2 in 2008, apparently, Yakuza 2, The Force Unleashed, Mercenaries 2 and more Dynasty Warriors are among them, And Madden. A new price point too: $129. More words on SingStar, Buzz! And a reminder of how PS2 is aimed at families now, Nintendo must be quaking in its boots right now.Right, back on track now with PlayStation Network. Small announcement: there will be one single PSN identity, for PS2, PS3 and for signing on and sending messages via PC. Fact: in the last month there were 20M downloads from the Store, taking the total to 180M since Nov 2006. And now… surprises!

New game: Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest For Booty. It’s a download game, shorter but a continuation of the story from their last outing on PS3. New features and new moves crown what looks like a solid platform adventure game. It’ll sell for $14.99 when it released… Well, when it’s released.

There’s a little dig at Microsoft, as Jack references the number of games it has in its store and that they may be lacking somewhat in quality. A video of new downloadable games is shown and includes the amazing PixelJunk Eden, new Pain! content, flOwer, from the makers of flOw, Siren, a new 2D kung-fu game and more.More content is announced for GT5’s GT TV, with bespoke Polyphony Digital-created content and licensed motor TV from around the world, included our beloved Top Gear. Basically, there’s a ton of content coming to GT TV and it looks great. All high-def and all free of charge starting 1 August.Jack’s now moving onto community and, I’m guessing, the PS3’s new Trophy system and how it works with Home. Jack talks about it being the ‘binding factor’ of the PSN, bringing games, films and people together. He tells us that our, and your, patience will be rewarded when it finally launches but gives no firm release date. A video now shows us some of the themed rooms they’ve been working on and some of the licensed rooms, particularly one with Nike.

Announcement: downloadable movies! Pretty much every studio is a partner in this: Sony Picutres, Fox, MGM, Paramount, Warner, Disney, the list goes on… You’ll be able to rent and buy both movies and TV shows and prices range between $2.99 to $14.99. Jack points out that any of this content can be ported to PSP and PC. A demo shows how easy this will be – it basically has its own section of the Store where you can browse by studio, genre and so on. Download times will vary depending on connection speed, but you’ll be able to watch almost immediately with the streaming technology. And the best news? It’s live tonight!


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