And so it begins, the Sony Conference which follows a dismal show from Nintendo. Providing a helpful history lesson Jack Tretton steps onto the stage, first detailing to the audience that he can and will not be performing one handed push-ups, and then later going on to detail the history of the many Sony platforms. Throughout the history lesson, several of the PlayStation blockbusters are shown on a range of platforms, showing that the consoles truly came to life a few years down the line. Considering that Sony have a 10 year placement plan for their consoles it is no wonder that they are trying to sell the idea of being with PlayStation for the long run.
Shortly after the clever marketing ploy, detailing the impressive nature of Cell and Blu-ray technology and boasting about the PlayStation platforms holding 75 exclusive titles; the games begin. Stepping up first is the PlayStation 3 with Resistance 2 being the flag ship game to be demonstrated first. The trailer shows some impressive environments and a skyscraper tall enemy, of which I am sure this city has never seen before (and never again, as the city is in ruins now). The monster crashes in-between the buildings and launches yourself along with your teammates across the city roof tops. One thing is clear; fanboys globally will be fighting for the best trailer award between Gears of War 2 and Resistance 2; a discussion of which I will stand aside.
The trailer closes and Ted Price, the CEO and President of Insomniac Games takes to the stage. After promoting the mass scale of the game with 8 player online co-op and 60 player online multiplayer, and the mammoth enemies, environments and battles, a second trailer is introduced. This trailer is the recently released CGI trailer that has already worked its way around the internet, so unfortunately a slightly disappointing close on Resistance 2.
Little Big Planet comes up next, with everyone’s favourite Sack Boy taking the limelight. Unfortunately he has been used and abused for nothing more than an attractive fact sheet, proving a custom made platform level to boast about the platform sales and goals for the future. The little glimpse of the game is shown which revolves around the character customisation aspects. The demo shows enough depth and room to create a very personal little Sack Boy of your very own. It was a wide spread disappointment when Sack Boy left the stage with no melons or skateboards in sight; but we are sure that the next few days will unleash that specific desire.
The PS3 ends on a basic note of ‘To see these games and more in action come back stage’. Shocked and surprise the PS3 section is over before it even began, but thankfully that is not the last to be shown of the PS3. The PlayStation 2 and PSP platforms shortly follow, and since here at Console Monster we concentrate on next generation we will move swiftly on to the next topic of interest that shortly followed, PSN.
The first news of the PSN service was the ability to download movies and television programs. The new service allows for users to download in SD and HD. It will take approximately one hour to download a full two hour SD movie, though you can watch the movie/television programme one minute after you’ve hit the download button, thanks to progressive downloading. Full movies to own are priced at around $14.99 and rentals are around $2.99. The service launches later today (Tuesday 15th July) in America, although it is not yet known whether the service will be available anywhere else when it is launched.
The interfaces are demonstrated live, proving user friendly menus and fast image loading throughout; something which would be impressive if functioning as well Xbox LIVE. You can preview content, buy instantly or add to cart for larger purchases. Previews come in the form of small trailers which can be viewed in full to get a preview of a download.
The second snippet of news came with the announcement of a version of Ratchet and Clank, which is to be released exclusively on the PlayStation 3 Network later this year. A trailer for Ratchet and Clank: Quest for Booty was shown and the price of $14.99 was announced. Along with the trailer was another trailer for more PlayStation Network titles, which included footage of: Crash Commando, Fat Princess, Pixel Junk Eden, Pain: Amusement Park, Flower, Siren: Blood Curse and Ragdoll and Kung Fu: Fists of Plastic.
Returning back to the PS3 for more gaming pleasure, Jim Lee takes the stage to announce the first title from Sony Online Entertainment for the PS3. After a brief introduction, which included some remarkable one handed press-ups and an embarrassing boast of Everquest achievements, Jim Lee sets the trailer for DC Universe Online. Whilst the premise of SOE MMO games coming to a console is one which will fill many gamers with glee, the particular trailer shown looked bare and demonstrated very little promising features. Hopefully the footage shown was extremely early in development and the team can get the game up to scratch for release.
A break in the large game presentations came in the form of a new 80GB PlayStation 3 holding a price tag of $399.99, and a some brief comments from developers working on large titles such as Call of Duty World at War, Far Cry 2, Fallout 3, Prince of Persia and Star Wars – The Force Unleashed. The main emphasis of the comments revolved around the large storage capabilities and the sheer power capable by the PlayStation 3; something which has yet to be truly taken advantage of.
A blitz of short game trailers followed with some exclusive titles such as Motorstorm Pacific Rift, Little Big Planet and Buzz, with a handful of multi platform titles such as Mirrors Edge, Soul Calibur IV and Fallout 3. The games shown provide a clear list of winning titles which are hitting the console soon; many of which certainly deserving a guaranteed purchase.
As is common the best has been saved for last, as three fantastic looking titles are demonstrated at the end of the conference; the first of which was the unveiling of the God of War III trailer. Unfortunately the trailer was purely CGI but was more than enough to get the crowd excited with the return of one of the most renowned PlayStation fanchises.
Second to roll onto the big screens was Infamous, an impressive action title developed by Sucker Punch. The title can best be compared to a dark breed of Crackdown, promising some explosive gameplay moments in what looks to be a deep and detailed city. Given super powers you are left with the choice of how you will use them, for the good or bad. The game looks extremely healthy in its current state, and is certainly a highlight which we cannot wait to get our hands on, here at Console Monster.
The last game came as a surprise, both in the concept and the highly original title; MAG, Massive Action Game. Before attention is quickly lost by the name, it is worth mentioning that the game boasts 256 online multiplayer matches, of which will be split into teams of 8. The battles promise a large range of weaponry and vehicles, including large scale drop ships. Whilst only a CGI trailer was shown, the concept and information displayed for character depth and customisation show for some rather promising game mechanics. Hopefully Zipper Interactive will keep a close eye on balancing the sheer scale of the game and provide what could be a unique experience coming home to PlayStation 3.
As the event comes to a woeful close, goodbyes are made and a fantastic little number from Air starts rolling in the background, “Kelly watch… the stars? Pew pew, pew pew!”; I kid you not. Thank you for reading and keep checking back for future coverage on all games listed.