Tuesday, June 2, 2009

E3 2009: Thoughts on Sony Conference

Sony knows that it's all about the games... For now.

Though not significantly better than the previous showings by Microsoft or Nintendo, the Sony Conference was somewhat more entertaining because of one key thing: the focus on showing off great games with the memorable ones being The Last Guardian, Gran Turismo 5, and God of War III. Even though Sony did cast a fishing line into the ocean of casual gaming during the presentation, the humor - no matter how unintentional - soften the blow a bit for what's going to be a major attempt to cash in on the market found by the Nintendo Wii. Also funny was how the presenters kept making jokes about the PSP GO information leak which actually makes Sony seem less of a cold, heartless corporate giant that they like to portray themselves to be. On to the points of interest:

With that kind of a price, don't you wish you never heard of a PSP Go?

1) PlayStation 2 - A boasting session about how the PS2 still dominates the video game market. More games are scheduled for release this year. A statement was made that new PS2 owners will later become new PlayStation 3 owners. For a moment there I thought that Sony was going to enable backwards compatibility again for the newer PS3 units to encourage the transition but alas, that wasn't the case.

2) Metal Gear: Peace Walker - As predicted, Hideo Kojima showed that smug little face of his again to unveil a Metal Gear game but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it is a PlayStation Portable exclusive. This means that Metal Gear: Rising is currently planned for the X-Box 360 only. Definitely an unexpected twist.

"I want to thank the Academy for honoring my film Metal Gear Solid 4:
Guns of the Patriots
- wait, where am I again?"

4) Motion Controller - Darn, even Sony caved in at the sight of the mighty dollar. The controller itself looks like a microphone with a giant globe at the tip that changes color. It's used in conjunction with the PlayStation Eye camera. Strangely, I was quite entertained by the tech demo because unlike "Project Natal", Sony was able to successfully demonstrate how the controller may work for a variety of popular genres, including first person shooters and strategy games. The best part here for me was when the two presenters kept looking at the ridiculously phallic looking stick at the beginning and you could see that they were both trying so very hard to hold back their laughter because the thing just look so funny. The motion controller is still in the early stages of development and I am glad that Sony didn't put too much emphasis on it during the show. It's innovative in that Wii Motion Plus sort of way but not groundbreaking like "Project Natal".

Presenting, the Sony Comedy Hour. Starring two guys and a stick.

5) Final Fantasy XIV Online - What? XIII isn't even out yet and they have XIV already in the making? Though this is a PS3 exclusive, it's sadly a massively multiplayer online role playing game and I am done with that genre at the moment. No gameplay footage was shown but based on the CG cinematic, it looked similar to the Final Fantasy XI Online. A true shocker of an announcement.

Maybe it's free to play online?

6) ModNation Racer - It's a PS3 racing game, LittleBigPlanet style. You can customize your vehicles and characters as well as create and upload your own racing tracks to be shared with the online community. The creation tool is so intuitive that they were able to complete a complex looking stage being made in just under 5 minutes. Quite impressive and very innovative. I'd like to see more "Explore-Share-Create" games on the PS3 in the future.

Want your racing tracks to look better? Easy. Just add sheep. And lots of them.


No comments: