E3 2012: The Sony Outlook

While Sony is the second console manufacturer to have their big E3 press conference, thanks to Nintendo pre-show video presentation, they were really the final company to show off their wares. With Nintendo showing off the new Wii U, Microsoft showing off their new Smart Glass app and a massive $5.5 billion net loss their 2012 fiscal year (ending March 31, 2012), Sony was expected to make a splash at E3.

The first game that Sony showed off was a new IP from Quantic Dream called Beyond. It’s the story of a girl who has psychic/telekinetic powers. While it’s not the same as the Kara tech demo that Quantic showed off earlier this year, it does share some of the same technology. The facial animations shown were reminiscent of the excellent animations we saw from the likes of LA Noire. Quantic says that gamer decisions and how well you play the game affect how the game plays out. Slightly ironically considering the running joke about The Last of Us, Ellen Page stars in Beyond.

Speaking of The Last of Us, it was the final game shown at the keynote. (And while it may look like the girl in the game is Ellen Page, it’s not.) Naughty Dog showed off some shooting and melee combat gameplay from the game. We’ll have that video on the next page.

God of War: Ascension was the third big PS3 exclusive shown yesterday. It looked like your classic God of War gameplay with Kratos hacking and slashing his way through demonic adversaries. I had hoped that the appearance of goat men was the debut of a new M-rated Harvest Moon game but maybe we can hope that BioWare can take care of that. The scheduled release date is March 12, 2013.

PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale had a live gameplay demo that showed off the ability to play multiplayer using PS3 and Vita connectivity. Some franchises are also putting exclusive games on the Vita like Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation and Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified. The highlight of the PS Move offerings was a series called WonderBook which uses the Move controller and camera to create an augmented reality gaming experience. The first WonderBook is The Book of Spells by JK Rowling. The live demonstration was probably the coolest thing that Sony showed during their presser.

As for PSN updates, over 200 new downloadable titles will hit the PlayStation store over the next year. PlayStation Plus users will be getting some good games for free. These include Infamous 2, LittleBigPlanet 2, Saints Row 2 and more. (All press members in attendance also got 12 months of PS Plus for free as well. Bastards.) PS One classics are also coming to the PS Vita with such titles as Twisted Metal 2, Cool Boarders 2, Tomb Raider and Final Fantasy VII.

The disappointing thing from the Sony press conference is that we never got any hardware news. There was no new information on the rumoured PlayStation 4. It was believed that Sony would announce a price cut for the PS3, Vita or a bundle of the PS3 and Vita. Given Sony’s current financial issues, an increase in revenue from moving more units would have made sense but would come off as a bit knee-jerk. Seeing as E3 runs through Thursday, there is still time for Sony to make another announcement.

On page two, we have some of the more interesting videos from Sony’s presentation.

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