E3 07 Sony Press Conference

by: John -
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Sony held their press conference over at Culver Studios in Culver City like last year and I think they had a pretty good showing this year. We arrived a little late because of the shuttle service but we did walk in in time to see the new PSP. It's smaller, lighter and features a nice video output. The 19% reduction in width should make it a little nicer to carry around. If you want to view all your movies or videos on a big screen TV, just plug a video cable to the PSP, press the display button, and you're pumping video to a display of your choice. Kaz showed a trailer for Spider-Man 2 on the PSP and easily changed it to the large screen through this method. Two new colors were shown with the one that Chuck is picking up being a white one with Darth Vader on the back. While the current PSP is priced at $169, the new ones come bundled with a game and priced at $200.

More after the jump.
A lot of Home was on display and I like how they integrated the service with your own web space available through Sony. Phil Harrison showed a nice demo where he took a picture with his phone, which had the XMB interface by the way, and it appeared in his Home space. The one thing they did show that I was happy to see was that you could launch games in Home and jump in to the game with your friends. Quitting the game put you back straight into the Home software making it clear that Sony's keeping its promise to make Home integration available once the service launches.

Sony didn't use statistics to toute their product and let the games speak for themselves. From what we saw, I think Sony's positioned themselves pretty well. First off, their third party support is strong and we got a debut of a new Metal Gear Solid 4 trailer that showed the game as you would see it when you play. I migh have drooled a little while the trailer was playing and Kojima announced this will be his last Metal Gear game as well as tie up all the storylines from the past. Could we see the death of Solid Snake in the fourth game?

Sony ran quick vingettes on other games as well and Infamous along with Uncharted Drake's Fortune look quite impressive. Infamous has this Heroes type feel where you are an individual infused with power that you can use for either good or evil. It's up to you to decide and I hope that there's a lot of diversity if you can play as either side. Uncharted features 3000 different animations for the main character and with the help of some blending techiques offer some impressive looking action.

A big news coming out the press conference is that NCSoft is partnering with Sony to produce some titles. Whether it's new IPs or converting some of their products to the platform, NCSoft should give Sony some nice MMORPGs to their platform.

Little Big Planet looks pretty slick and the ability to create new levels and share them with others will offer a ton of replay value for this game. The editor looks simple to use and you can create some fun shapes by subtracting areas from solid objects. Build up puzzles and trade them with others. Little Big Planet's going to be hit for the PlayStation 3.

Ratchet and Clank comes back in a big way with Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction which had some nice visual style. We actually got to play this after the showing and the one level we played was rather fun. I threw down a transmographer to turn the enemies into penguins. Tossing a groovinator made the penuins do a funny dance. The groovinator also made some robot enemies shake about and pelvic thrust with hilarious results. Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction looks like another great game and another great title for Insomniac Games.

The Heavenly Sword feature dwelved a little more into the story. The main character is in posession of a sword made for the Gods and since the sword isn't for humans, it's draining the life away from the female lead. The action ranges from one on one combat to hordes of enemies giving some variety to the fights in the game. Heavenly Sword looks like a great title and I really liked the action that was displayed in the demo.

The grand finale for the show was a real time showing of Killzone 2. Sony got a lot of flack for showing a pre-rendered demo of the game and this time they had a member of the development team playing through the game to show that it indeed running on a PlayStation 3. The game looks very well made and everything gelled together well making the visuals in Killzone 2 one of the more impressive looking games I've seen so far.

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