Tuesday, June 15, 2010

E3 2010: Thoughts on Sony Conference

Sony is a bit unfocused this year.

Sony tried to accomplish two major goals at the beginning of this year's conference: a) Convince people to buy the whole "Native 3D" thing, and b) believe in the PlayStation Move. They were only successful in one of those key points. So the PlayStation 3 have games that are made specifically to take advantage of high definition 3D - like the incredible looking Killzone 3 - but how is that accomplished really? With special glasses made specifically for the PlayStation 3? Will it need one of those newer native 120Hz televisions and their expensive 3D glasses? Can the PlayStation 3 emulate 3D for all of the titles on the consoles in the future? There were just too many questions unanswered for the point to be successfully carried across. [Update Note - 5:05pm: Super Stardust HD is one of the games that have been recently updated with the ability to play them in 3D and since I do have that game, I installed the patch and went into menu screen to look for a toggle to enable/disable 3D but it wasn't there. So I am assuming that if the PS3 recognizes that a display is 3D-ready then it would kick in the stereoscopic image? This is confusing.]

The live audience gets to wear 3D glasses and watch 3D demos on the big screen.

Uh, the inclusion of those 3D glasses as a PlayStation 3 family member is misleading.

As for the PlayStation Move, I was already sold when it was first announced. Sony stressed out that the new controller is all about precision and... "buttons!" - something that is sorely missing in Microsoft's Kinect - and I am in total agreement with them. The demonstration of "Sorcery" was incredible where you can freely control your character's movement using the "Navigation Controller" while doing a lot of fun motion movements with the wand easily to execute a variety of magic attacks: something that cannot be done by Kinect. The PlayStation Move is also more advanced compared to the Motion Plus because of its PlayStation Eye implementation. I was so excited about the whole thing but unfortunately the price point is a bit steep: The two separate components of the Move experience - the wand and the Navigation Controller - are sold separately starting this September 19th in North America at $49.99 and $29.99 respectively. Since some games use a double wand setup, that means at a minimum, one must spend about $130.00 to be fully prepared and equipped. Ouch!

I like how the orb on the Move changes color to indicate that a spell is fully charged.

----- High Points -----

The new Mortal Kombat looks very promising.

Kevin Butler wanted everyone to know that casual gamers are gamers too.
The thing is though, Sony's casual games look a lot more fun to play because
of the brilliant PlayStation Move implementation and camera tricks.

Sony has created an exact replica of their E3 showroom in PlayStation Home!
What a great use of that ever forgotten piece of free software on the PS3.

Metal Black is back for the PS3. The graphics need more work though.
And oh, Metal Gear Solid: Rising will be released on the PS3 too!

----- Low Points -----

A Bad Step:

How about you guys step it up by giving us that UMD installer for PSP Go?

The "Step Up" campaign for the PlayStation Portable seems rather desperate. Basically, Kevin Butler now has a side kick, a smart-aleck kid who think he's real gangster and cool but the whole concept was just not funny to me, just confusing and slightly offensive. With the 3DS arriving soon, I am afraid that PSP's death may just be right around the corner. God of War: Ghost of Sparta will not be enough - the system requires more quality titles to survive.

Elevate Sony's Revenue:

One step forward, twenty steps back for the PlayStation Network.

Starting later this month, PS3 users can subscribe to the PlayStation Plus program for $49.99 a year and receive free games, exclusive contents, and advance demo access. If you listen carefully to the this part of the briefing, you will learn that you only get to keep all the goodies when you are subscribed to the PlayStation Plus. Thankfully, online play for PS3 games will still remain free without the need to subscribe to this stupid service.


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