E3 Day 2 Extra: Liveblogging the Sony Keynote Speech
Because sleep is for wimps:
Jack Tretton is on stage. After a couple of PSP announcements Phil Harrison takes the stage.
He shows 'Echochrome' for the PlayStation Store which has the 'least graphics but the most gameplay'. It seems to be a puzzler based on the mind-bending drawings of M.C. Escher. Certainly has the least graphics - it's all black and white line art...
He announces both a 1080p 60 fps version of Wipeout called Wipeout HD with full online multiplayer - Pain (the Jackass-inspired game that's already been covered elsewhere) - Warhawk - and Socom Confrontation, the first next-gen Socom title. All of these titles are for the PlayStation Store. Warhawk and Socom will be available on Blu-ray disk also.
Phil talks about the new additions to Home. He shows Home running on his Sony Ericcson mobile phone!! It doesn't allow 3D but it does allow you to connect to Home to get messages etc. and has a mini-XMB interface. He takes a picture with the phone and puts it in his pocket.
Phil goes on to show a vast array of Home spaces for purchase to show the variety of new properties that will be available. He shows a Singstar video playing on a virtual TV in his virtual house which leads to a video about Singstar on the PS3 and it's downloadable content and PS Eye compatibility. Look at that! The picture he took is in a picture frame on the wall! Home Mobile uploads automatically to your Home space.
He also shows the PC element of Home where it is a full social networking experience linked to the PlayStation Home network. This is almost too much!
Is there any more? Yes - you can also launch any game from BD disk or your HD directly inside Home! He launches Motorstorm which goes straight into a multiplayer game on a NEW track called Eagles Nest that will be available for download next month... It will go straight back to Home wherever you left off when you quit the game. Stunning.
Phil leaves the stage and we go back to the announcement on the 80Gb model of the PS3 at $599 in North America and the $100 price drop on the current version. Sony announce that the PS3 has helped Blu-ray reach a 2:1 sales ratio against HD-DVD.
NC Soft is announced as a new Sony developer! NC Soft is the famous MMO developer and they will be developing MMO titles exclusively for PS3 - excellent announcement.
As expected Haze is announced as a timed exclusive on PS3. Words were chosen very carefully - "if you want to play it this Summer you'll only be able to do that on PS3" - which means it will go to other platforms but not until Autumn/Winter at least. Ensuing Haze video shows features such as vehicle control, gun control on helicopters and the ability to 'play dead' to catch out enemies.
A multi-stage deal with Epic and Midway is announced that allows for a fully optimised version of the Unreal Engine for the PS3. 100 games are in the works for this engine and Unreal Tournament 3 is confirmed as a PS3 exclusive this year! User created mods from the PC version can be brought over to the PS3 version. UTIII is released this November in the US and the video Sony shows looks absolutely stunning.
Sony show other titles that are coming this year. They include Call of Duty 4, Assassin's Creed, Kane & Lynch: Dead Men, Resident Evil 5, Burnout Paradise, Madden NFL '08, Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix, The Simpsons Game, Guitar Hero III: Legend of Rock, Medal of Honour: Airborne and Rock Band (see, it IS coming for PS3).
One more exclusive is announced. It is available only on PS3. It's Metal Gear Solid 4. Hideo Kojima takes the stage. He says "I safely made it to E3 again! MGS is celebrating it's 20-year anniversary this year. I've been creating this franchise for 20 years but MGS4 will be the FINAL in the series. The story of Snake will end in this game and this will be my last game in the series. So all the story plots and mysteries will be revealed. The game itself will be a stealth game but with new elements in the battlefield. Stealth in the battlefield. I promise you I'm putting all my skills and experience of the last 20 years into MGS4. Today I brought with me the newest trailer. It's not a movie, it is real-time footage from the PS3 so welcome to the premiere".
The trailer is completely outstanding in every way. You'll be able to download it via the US PS Store today. Afterwards Kojima-san asks "How was it!" and gets a big round of applause. He assures everyone that what they saw was real-time footage and you will be able to play in that quality. He says that next week at a show in Tokyo he will show a real demo of the gameplay!
Phil Harrison re-takes the stage. He's back in the Home theatre to show some more exclusives. Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction is the first up. It is said that the level of detail and sophistication is only achievable on the PS3. Next up is Folklore. Folklore looks incredible and seems to have a real mix of action, RPG, beautiful graphics and a 'dark' storyline. Heavenly Sword now features. There's been so much news about this game I need to add nothing extra!
NBA '08 is announced next and looks incredible in 1080p 60 fps with realtime roster updates direct from the real NBA. If a player gets an injury in real life, he gets an injury in your game! One of my personal favourites, LittleBigPlanet, is next. Sony show a video of the 'create' part of the game, with the concentration on the game evolving naturally as players create new levels and share them with the entire PSN. The final game Phil wants to show us from his virtual self in Home is Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. Once again we're treated to an awesome video where the lead character has over 3,000 animations alone all seamlessly linking to provide realistic movement, emotion and characterisation.
Next up from the real Phil is Infamous, another exclusive from Sucker Punch. A teaser trailer is shown that gives you a sneak preview of an 'anti-hero' game where you have to decide whether your superpowers save or destroy the world.
GT5 Prologue is announced with full online multiplayer as a stopgap whilst we wait for the full GT5 experience. It looks outstanding and should appease the masses who are always complaining about the delays in the current stock of GT titles.
One more announcement from Phil. A video starts and it's Killzone 2. Everything we are about to see is realtime. They show a video similar to the one I featured earlier in the Day 2 round-up, so go experience it for yourself now. This video shows much more real gameplay and the game looks completely amazing. Imagine everything you wanted Resistance to be and more...
The press are invited to play many of the games in the room next door which of course I can't do because I'm stuck here in the UK watching this all on a live feed. That's it. It's all over. Frankly, it's a great keynote from Sony with lots of brilliant announcements and I can't wait to see what the real writers make of the advancements in Home and the batch of exclusives Sony announced. Goodnight all..