The following are my notes from the Sony Press Conference this evening. Forgive the sporadic nature of what you read, but I figured fast info was better than perfect posting.
Sirai in the audience Sony Global CEO
Completely new IP from the makers of Heavy Rain. (David Cage from Quantic Dream)
PS3 Exclusive: Beyond Two Souls.
Jody Holmes (main character) her story is told over 15 years. First time in a game you’ll live the life of a character and help her become who she is. Actress playing her is Ellen Page.
Realtime demo shows off one of the first scenes of the game. Faces are amazingly accurate and emotional. You know things are about to go down when SWAT shows up to confiscate a fifteen year old girl. I’m impressed with the level of tension they are able to create in the scene. “Come on Ivan, I think they get the message,” she says to thin air as the demo fades. Wow, just wow.
PlayStation All Stars Battle Royal trailer shows off fat Princess, Spyro, Kratos, Parrapa Rappa Sweet Tooth, and one more character I didn’t recognize. This definitely looks like fun. Today they announced that they will be releasing the game for Vita, cross compatible with PS3. Each character has a different approach, some are melee (like Kratos and Fat Princess) and others are more ranged (like Sweet Tooth) in their tactics.
Sometimes elements in the background will interact with the match and the players will have to deal with that. Much of the combat is about building up Super Abilties to various levels and use them to kill opponents. This game looks pretty balanced actually. Two new characters will be playable at E3 as shown in this trailer: Nick Drake and Bid Daddy from Bioshock.
Holiday 2012 release.
Little Big Planet 2 cross controller DLC available which allows for simultaneous gameplay across these two platforms.
1500 downloadable titles through PSN
Journey is PSN’s best selling title of all time.
PlayStation Plus will be adding a bunch of free titles: This month that will include LBP2, Infamous 2 and Saints Row 2 plus 9 others.
PS One classics will be coming to Vita, like FFVII, Tomb Raider and Wild Arms.
Vita will also be getting Hulu Plus and Crackle.
Call of Duty is coming to Vita, as a “AAA title” Black Ops Declassified.
New trailer from the Assassin’s Creed franchise for Vita. The main character is a woman. AC 3 Liberation. Will have cross goods across this game and AC3. Oct 30,2012 and will have a Crystal White Vita bundle.
Assassin’s Creed 3 live gameplay demo. This demo shows off sea combat and gameplay. The game includes a weather system that can change at any moment. The sailing of a ship looks just like movies I’ve seen of the 1800s. Also impressive is how lovely the sea looks, sometimes clear and green, and wild and rolling when the weather changes. Lightning even flashes on the horizon as you can feel the cannon barrage in your bones. Nathaniel Hornblower, eat your heart out.
AC3 will launch with a PS3 hardware bundle. Yawn.
Far Cry 3 … Four player coop is now available for the first time in the history of the franchise. What I don’t know is if this is over PSN as well or only couch coop, dedicated coop campaigns. The bridge blowing sure is pretty. And there will be a map editor to create your own fun. PS3 will get an exclusive DLC.
Sony is presenting Wonderbook AR technology using the PLaystation Eye and Move. It’s a physical book that connects to the peripherals. Very exciting for the gaming parents in the audiences. Moonbot Studios created Diggs Nightcrawler for Wonderbook. They even worked with JK Rowling to create Book of Spells. This book they are now going to demo live. The trouble with live demos is they sometimes don’t work like you would hope, and this one is getting a little tricky.
Playstation Suite will be bringing gaming to android tablets and phones, and Sony is making Playstation certified phones. HTC will be the first non Sony partner to create said phones. Will be renaming Suite to PlayStation Mobile
God of War Ascension “I’ve paid the price from my ambition,” Kratos intones, and then proceeds to fight some ugly goat men. Those goats don’t hold onto their horns long, I can tell you. It’s interesting that this demo has no hud. I assume that’s for the purposes of the press conference. Kratos shows off a new power: The abilitie to reconstruct objects over and over again to solve puzzles. In this case he builds stairs from collapsed scaffolding. He also uses that power to freeze enemies in the air. I guess it’s a time power of sorts. The menagerie continues to assail him as a Elephant man attacks, skewering guys on his axe-shaped tusks. What would Dumbo say if he saw you? March 12 2013 release date.
The Last of Us trailer starts off with the sounds of the game, the jungle desolation. The live gameplay demo features constant conversation between Joe and Ellie (?) as they explore the ruined city. You can tell this is Naughty Dog, but it certainly doesn’t have the charm of Uncharted. This is a much darker game, even in the sunlight. Guys struggle as you choke the life from them, and every bullet matters because they are so rare. In that way I’m reminded of Silent Hill. These aren’t superheroes, they are regular people doing extraordinary things. With how brutal the combat is, and realistic, it brings back memories of that original Dead Island trailer that so broke our hearts.