The Microsoft press conference was definitely lukewarm to say the least. But Sony definitely has the resources to make their press conference much more exciting. Let see what the company is up to:
Sony’s press conference started with a long introductory video showing some of their most important franchises. President and CEO of Sony Jack Tretton went onstage and said “This is the super bowl for all of us in the video game industry.” These are all the major announcements:
Beyond: the show opened with the latest game of Quantic Dream, the developer of Heavy Rain. David Cage confirmed that the title will tell the story of Jodie Holmes and attempts to explore complex concepts such as death and what’s beyond it. The main character will be played by Ellen Page. One of the first scenes of the game was shown and everything was supposedly running in real time. Emotional, unique and breath-taking were just a few adjectives used by Cage to describe the game and even when it’s too early to tell if that’s the case, this is indeed a title developed by Quantic Dream. In other words, expect a cinematic experience.
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale: a short trailer with some of the main characters was shown. Kratos, Sweet Tooth, Sly Cooper, PaRappa and the guy from Killzone are some of those characters. SuperBot Entertainment also confirmed that the upcoming fighting game will be released for both the PS3 and Vita. The title will be cross-compatible so players with a PS3 can play against players with a Vita and vice versa. Map interaction, different characters and combos were explained during the demo. Finally, two new characters were unveiled: Nathan Drake from Uncharted and Big Daddy from BioShock.
PS3-PS Vita Cross Play: Cross controller DLC was announced for Little Big Planet 2. Apparently, this means that players can use both the Vita and a PS3 controller to play the game on the PS3. Jack Tretton stated that around 80% of the PS3 and Vitas are online and that there are 1500 downloadable titles available for both platforms. Some of the indie games were mentioned, such as Journey, Papa & Yo and The Unfinished Swan, which is coming out later this year. According to Tretton 200 digital games are coming to PlayStation.
PlayStation Plus: with cloud saves, discounts and free games this initiative offers tremendous value. Sony revealed that multiple titles are going to be free to all those who have PlayStation Plus. Some of the games mentioned were Infamous 2, Saints Row 2 and Little Big Planet 2. A voucher with a one year free subscription was given to everyone who was at the press conference. As PlayStation Plus isn’t available in certain territories, members of the foreign press can exchange those vouchers for codes.
PS Vita: Some of the digital titles that are coming to the console were mentioned, including Guacamelee and When Wings Attack. PlayStation One Classics compatibility is finally coming to the Vita and the feature is expected to be available this summer. In addition, some of the entertainment services were mentioned. Hulu Plus, Crackle Television and the YouTube app are all making its way into Sony’s portable console. Music Unlimited was also mentioned.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified: This is an upcoming Call of Duty game coming for the PS Vita this holiday season. Unfortunately, nothing was shown.
Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation: This is the Vita version of Assassin’s Creed III. For the first time in the franchise the main protagonist will be a female assassin. Some of the features of this version of the game were mentioned, including near, camera and touch controls. Additionally, the two versions of the game (PS3 and Vita) can be linked to unlock content. A new bundle that includes a white Wi-Fi version of the Vita, a copy of the game and a 4GB memory card was announced. Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation is coming out on October 30, 2012.
Assassin’s Creed III: Then was the turn of the PlayStation 3 version of the game and the demo looked simply stunning. The whole demo was a naval sequence that introduced Connor, the captain of the ship the man on stage was controlling. A new bundle that includes a PS3, a copy of the game and DLC was also announced. Assassin’s Creed III is also coming out on October 30, 2012
Far Cry III: four-player cooperative mode was shown. A map editor will be featured. Free exclusive DLC for all those who own a PS3.
PlayStation Move: Apparently there are already 250 games that support Move and more are coming. London Studios presented Wonderbook, a new title in which the player uses physical books and the PlayStation Eye makes use of its augmented reality technology to transform those books into interactive images. For many, the highlight of this part of the show was the fact that J.K. Rowling will be writing an exclusive book called “Book of Spells” that will be exclusive to this game. The title is coming out on fall 2012.
PlayStation Suite: Is an initiative that allows PlayStation certified games to be played on certain devices (like Android phones and tablets.) HTC will be the first non-Sony manufacturer to be able to run PS certified games. From now on PS Suite will be called PlayStation Mobile.
God of War: Ascension: Although, I don’t consider myself a huge fan of the God of War franchise I really liked the first two games. But Sony Santa Monica is now working on an upcoming God of War in which Kratos is mad and is seeking revenge. Really? Is this game even necessary? Hopefully, the game will be amazing and Sony will prove me wrong. An extremely gory demo was shown in which Kratos defeated ugly enemies, elephants and bosses. A bracelet that allowed the main character to rewind time to solve puzzles was also featured.
The Last of Us: This is probably the most intense demo so far. The two main characters, Ellie and Joel, are exploring an abandoned part of the city, but they suddenly run into some bad guys. Some of the scenes in the demo were grotesque and extremely violent and the conclusion was just brutal.
Unlike Microsoft, Sony did end up showing many upcoming games. Although the company didn’t make any references to their next generation console, at least we have a pretty good idea of what we’ll be playing during the next twelve months or so. That’s the end of Sony’s Press Conference.