[E3 2008] Sony E3 08 Press Conference Recap: Solid Game Lineup But No Major Bombshells

Alrighty, Sony’s E3 presser just wrapped up a few minutes ago and overall I’m left feeling somewhere in between the other two press conferences. It wasn’t as demo-oriented and didn’t contain any bombshells like the FFXIII for 360 announcement as the Microsoft briefing did, but it definitely had a lot more interesting titles than the Nintendo briefing. Here’s a list-form recap:

  • The briefing started with a live demo of Resistance 2 showing the fight against a gargantuan 300-ft Leviathan rampaging the streets of Chicago, the demo was then followed by the new trailer that GameTrailers debuted last night (and I embedded here). The scale of the game is incredibly impressive, but I wasn’t floored by the presentation, to be honest. It’ll be a sweet game, though, don’t worry about that.
  • Up next was a clever tie-in presentation in which the creation powers of LittleBigPlanet were used to create a level to present hardware sales figures and all that number-crunching crap that nobody cares about in a fun way that was actually a hoot to watch. It was a demo and an sales analysis all in one! Oh yeah, and the first line of $30 PS3 Greatest Hits titles were unveiled too, including Resistance: Fall of Man, Motorstorm, Warhawk, Call of Duty 3, Fight Night and Need For Speed: Carbon.
  • Focus then shifted to the PS2 and the whole “social gaming” initiative Sony has been pushing for its aging console. 130+ titles are expected for the PS2 by the end of 08, with a montage previewing stuff like Yakuza 2, Mercenaries 2, all the usual EA Sports stuff, Singstar Pop Vol. 2 and so on. A new Lego Batman PS2 bundle was also announced. It’ll come with the Lego Batman game and a Justice League animated movie on DVD for $149.99.
  • PSN discussion followed. This fall, Sony will institute a new single-sign-on system so PSN users across PS3, PSP and PC can access content using only one ID. Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty was then announced. It’s a PSN-exclusive downloadable expansion of sorts to the original R&C Future that’ll be available this summer for only $14.99. A montage of PSN games then rolled, showing cool stuff like R&C Future: Quest for Booty again, Crash Commando, Fat Princess, PixelJunk Eden, Flower, Siren: Blood Curse and Ragdoll Kung-Fu. Then came news of the expansion of GT5 Prologue’s Gran Turismo TV feature to include new HD content come August 1st and a brief updated trailer look at Home.
  • Next Sony dropped what is probably the biggest news of its conference to some: official word on its PSN movie download service. All the big movie studios are on board to deliver content — Sony Pictures, Fox, MGM, Lions Gate, Warner Brothers, Disney and so on — and the service will offer both purchases and rentals at affordable pricing (I think it’s something like $10-15 to buy and above and below $5 for rentals, higher for HD and lower for SD). All movies purchased or rented can also be transferred to the PSP so you can take it with you on the go. That’s a very nice feature. The good news is, you won’t have to wait long for the service, it’s actually set to launch tonight!
  • Now it’s on to the PSP. A new entertainment pack bundle has been announced, this one for Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters. It’ll come with a silver PSP slim, the Size Matters game, National Treasure 2 on UMD, a download voucher for echochrome and a 1GB memory stick. October is the retail ship date, $199 is the price. Resistance Retribution was then unveiled for the first time. Sony Bend is working on it for a spring 2009 release. Unlike the PS3 Resistance games, it’s a third-person shooter, not first-person. A montage trailer closed out the PSP presentation with video previews of upcoming titles like Patapon 2, LocoRoco 2, Super Stardust Portable, and Buzz, and it even showed Sega’s upcoming RPG Valkyria Chronicles. So it looks like that’s coming to more than just the PS3.
  • Attention was then brought back to the PS3 to close out the conference. The Life with PlayStation was detailed briefly. It’s a new service coming at the end of this month that’ll provide live news, weather and that sort of thing. Sony Online Entertainment’s DC Universe Online MMORPG was then unveiled for the first time by Jim Lee, it looks pretty cool. As of September, the 80GB PS3 will become the mainstay, replacing the 40GB model at the $399 price point. A couple videos then rolled teasing all the major upcoming games like Killzone 2, Resistance 2, Mirror’s Edge, Fallout 3, RE5, Prince of Persia, Far Cry 2, Soul Calibur IV, etc. And finally, the show closed with three successive trailers: one unveiling God of War 3 (yes!), the latest trailer for InFamous (already posted here), and the first-ever look at MAG, Zipper Interactive’s massive 256-player team-based shooter.
  • All in all it was a solid showing, just nothing that really got my juices flowing too hard. I wish more time was put into actually demoing the games live rather than cramming them all into a ton of montages. We can always watch trailers, in a conference like this we want to see the game played in person, dammit!

    Attached below are the press releases containing all the official details on the topics covered during the briefing. Give those a read and keep checking back for continued E3 coverage right here at VGBlogger.

    Sony Computer Entertainment America Announces New 80GB PLAYSTATION(R)3, Limited Edition PlayStation(R)2 Bundle, and PlayStation(R)Portable Entertainment Pack at E3 2008

    Company Also Launches New PLAYSTATION(R)Network Video Delivery Service and Showcases More Than 140 First-Party and Third-Party Games Across All Platforms

    LOS ANGELES, July 15 /PRNewswire/ — Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) held its annual press conference today at the E3 Media & Business Summit, making a series of announcements which demonstrated the strength of the PlayStation brand across all three of its platforms and further leveraged the heritage and momentum of PlayStation’s family of products to provide consumers with more compelling entertainment options than anyone in the videogame industry.

    Starting in September 2008, the newly announced PLAYSTATION(R)3 (PS3(TM)) 80GB model will become the mainstay of the company’s hardware line-up. The 80GB model will retail for $399, and will offer all of the features and functionality of the 40GB model with double the storage to accommodate more movies, graphics, music, photos and other entertainment content — all for the same price. As with its predecessor, the new 80GB model will be a complete entertainment system comprising of a Blu-ray(TM) player, HDMI output, an integrated Wi-Fi connection, Cell Broadband Engine(TM) and a built-in 80GB hard-disk drive. The multi-functionality of the 80GB PS3, combined with more than 140 exclusive and third-party titles and the PLAYSTATION(R)Network, is a comprehensive entertainment value designed to appeal to a wide range of consumers from hard-core gamers to general entertainment enthusiasts.

    Following the success of five PSP(R) (PlayStation(R)Portable) Entertainment Packs, SCEA announced the Ratchet and Clank(R) Size Matters PSP Entertainment Pack, a new bundle showcasing PSP’s multi-functional feature set, targeted for holiday gift-giving. Launching in October 2008 for $199.99 MSRP, the bundle will include a limited-edition “Silver” PSP system with the highly acclaimed game, Ratchet and Clank(R) Size Matters; a blockbuster movie on UMD(R) (Universal Media Disc); a PLAYSTATION(R)Network voucher to download the innovative puzzle game, echochrome(TM) from PLAYSTATION(R)Store: and a 1GB Memory Stick PRO Duo(TM) for storing music, videos, photos and more.

    In addition, SCEA introduced a new family entertainment bundle for the PlayStation(R)2 system, the most successful console in industry history. The limited-edition LEGO(R) Batman(TM): The Videogame PlayStation(R)2 Pack will feature the highly anticipated TT Games/Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment title LEGO(R) Batman(TM): The Videogame, Warner Home Video’s Justice League: The New Frontier on DVD, and a PlayStation(R)2 system — all for $149.99 MSRP, which represents a $30 savings for consumers if the contents were purchased separately. SCEA will also launch more than 130 new titles for PlayStation(R)2 system this year, totaling 10,000 PlayStation(R)2 titles by end of the year.

    “It’s undeniable we have three successful platforms, the broadest and best line-up of some of the biggest exclusives in the business, and are continuing to deliver compelling and original content to our consumers,” said Jack Tretton, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America. “Expect to see continued momentum this year as we remain focused on delivering products and services that extend the strength of our brand and reaffirms PlayStation’s place at the center of consumers’ homes.”

    Additionally, the company previewed more than 140 first and third-party games at E3 2008 proving its content line-up this year is unmatched in the industry due to its depth, breadth, and diversity. Throughout the holiday season and this fiscal year, SCEA and its third-party partners plan to release more than 140 software titles for the PS3 available on Blu-ray Disc(TM) (BD).

    SCEA is also developing more than 50 games, game packs, and add-ons downloadable via PLAYSTATION(R)Network in North America this year, offering something for every taste, lifestyle and budget. Also, to continue offering greater value to PlayStation fans, SCEA will launch PS3 Greatest Hits program on July 28 with 10 first and third party titles at a reduced price of $29.99. The PS3 Greatest Hits titles include Warhawk(TM), Motorstorm(TM) and Resistance: Fall of Man(R) from SCEA; Call of Duty(R) 3, Activision(R); Need for Speed: Carbon, Electronic Arts; The Elder Scrolls(R) IV: Oblivion(TM), Bethesda(R) Softworks; Ninja Gaiden(R) Sigma, Tecmo(R); Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six(R) Vegas and Assassin’s Creed(TM), Ubisoft(R).

    SCEA also reiterated its commitment to make PLAYSTATION(R)Network the best entertainment experience in the industry, by announcing a new video delivery service on PLAYSTATION(R)Store for PS3 and PSP systems in the United States. The new video service, available today, allows U.S. consumers to download full-length TV shows and movies to both their PS3 and PSP through the PlayStation Store for rental or purchase.

    In addition, SCEA further outlined progress against its revolutionary online experience, PlayStation Home. Highlighting new first party high definition virtual environments for hit PlayStation titles including, Unchartered: Drake’s Fortune and Warhawk. With significant third party support already on board, Sony Computer Entertainment will be expanding the beta in Summer 2008 and commence the open beta service by Fall 2008.

    Sony Computer Entertainment America Demonstrates Breadth of Software Content at E3 Media & Business Summit 2008

    SCEA Unveils Extraordinary Showing of Genre Defying Titles Across PLAYSTATION(R)3, PlayStation(R)Portable, PLAYSTATION(R)Network and PlayStation(R)2 Platforms

    LOS ANGELES, July 15 /PRNewswire/ — Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. (SCEA) today unveiled a broad line up of software for PLAYSTATION(R)3 (PS3(TM)), PSP(R) (PlayStation(R)Portable), and PLAYSTATION(R)Network during a press event to kick off the annual E3 Media & Business Summit 2008. In addition to revealing new content for over 20 first-party software titles previously announced, SCEA gave attendees a look at over 10 never before seen titles including PS3 system titles God of War(R)3 and MAG, Ratchet & Clank(R) Future: Quest for Booty for PLAYSTATION Network and Resistance: Retribution(TM) for the PSP system. An extensive look into Resistance 2(TM), the highly anticipated sequel of PS3 launch title, Resistance: Fall of Man(R), was given by Insomniac Games President Ted Price to kick off the show.

    “The PlayStation family of products is unsurpassed in 2008 with a lineup of exclusive content for all platforms developed by the best and brightest development teams in the world,” said Scott A. Steinberg, vice president of product marketing, Sony Computer Entertainment America. “We are dedicated to driving the industry forward leveraging our technology and development resources to offer consumers a wide variety of innovative titles, from casual games to hardcore games.”

    PS3 titles showcased during E3 2008 include Sony Computer Entertainment’s next generation open world adventure inFamous from Sly Cooper creators Sucker Punch Productions; LittleBigPlanet(TM) which allows players to create, play and share entire game levels via PLAYSTATION Network; the wild tropical racing action of Motorstorm(TM): Pacific Rift from Evolution Studios; the much speculated God Of War 3 in full 1080p high definition; NBA’09: The Inside featuring the detailed and engaging NBA experience both on the court and behind the scenes; the ultra realistic “Theater of War” epic, Killzone(TM) 2 from Guerilla Games; and SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation, the return of the defacto online shooter experience with up to 32 players.

    The highly-acclaimed Ratchet & Clank(R) series makes an appearance with a fresh title created specifically for PLAYSTATION Network by Insomniac Games, Ratchet & Clank(R) Future: Quest for Booty. Other original content available through PLAYSTATION Network was also on display, granting guest access to previously unseen footage of the experimental PixelJunk(TM) Eden from Q-Games, independent gaming experience of Flower, the episodic Siren: Blood Curse and previously unannounced games like Crash Commando and Fat Princess.

    SCEA also announced some of its most entertaining titles making their portable premieres on the PSP system with the quiz show fun of BUZZ!(TM) Master Quiz, an updated and portable version of the classic arcade game Super Stardust Portable and sequels to two of the most innovative platform action games to hit PSP; LocoRoco(TM)2 and Patapon(TM)2. Unveiled to the public for the first time was Resistance: Retribution(TM), a third person shooter developed by SCEA’s Bend Studio based in the Resistance universe and featuring a proprietary control system designed specifically for the PSP system.

    In addition to SCEA’s robust first-party line-up, PlayStation fans will have further reason to get excited about expanding their game libraries as over 350 new titles from their publishing partners will be released this fiscal year for the PS3, PLAYSTATION Network, PSP and PlayStation(R)2 systems, encompassing industry leading franchises as well as new intellectual properties from Capcom(R), Midway(R), NAMCO BANDAI GAMES AMERICA, and Sega(R). Exclusive titles that will only be found on the PS3 system this holiday season include Valkyria Chronicles(TM), a ground-breaking tactical RPG from SEGA(R)’s Japan Studios; Naruto(TM): Ultimate Ninja Storm(R) from NAMCO BANDAI GAMES AMERICA which introduces full 3D ninja combat and all-new free-roaming gameplay; and Disgaea 3, a new twist on the Disgaea battle system in 3D from NIS America, Inc. Activision(R), Bethesda(R) Softworks, Electronic Arts, Lucas Arts(TM), Ubisoft(R), and Take Two Interactive also provided attendees with an inside look on how their development teams were utilizing the power of the PS3 system for some of this year’s most highly-anticipated titles including Call of Duty(R): World at War, Quantum of Solace: The Game, Fallout 3, Madden NFL 09, Star Wars(R): The Force Unleashed(TM), Far Cry 2, Prince of Persia: The Fallen King(TM), and Bioshock.

    PS3 system owners looking for a bargain can celebrate as SCEA introduces the PS3 Greatest Hits program beginning July 28. With 10 titles as the initial inductees, PlayStation fans have the opportunity to experience the best titles created for the platform at a reduced price of $29.99. The initial titles into the Greatest Hits program include Warhawk(TM), Motorstorm(TM) and Resistance: Fall of Man(R) from SCEA; Call of Duty(R) 3, Activision(R); Need for Speed: Carbon, Electronic Arts; The Elder Scrolls(R) IV: Oblivion(TM), Bethesda(R) Softworks; Ninja Gaiden(R) Sigma, Tecmo(R) ; Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six(R) Vegas and Assassin’s Creed(TM), Ubisoft(R)

    First party games shown during the event included:

    PLAYSTATION 3:

    BUZZ!(TM) Quiz TV

    God of War(R)3

    Gran Turismo 5 Prologue

    Heavy Rain

    inFamous

    Killzone(TM) 2

    LittleBigPlanet(TM)

    MAG

    Motorstorm(TM): Pacific Rift

    NBA ’09 The Inside

    Resistance 2(TM)

    SingStar (TM) Volume 2

    SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation

    PSP:

    BUZZ! (TM) Master Quiz

    LocoRoco(TM)2

    NBA ’09 The Inside

    Patapon(TM)2

    Resistance: Retribution (TM)

    Super Stardust(TM) Portable

    PSN:

    Fat Princess

    Crash Commando

    Flower

    PAIN

    PixelJunk(TM) Eden

    Ragdoll Kung Fu(TM)

    Ratchet & Clank(R) Future: Quest for Booty

    Siren: Blood Curse

    PLAYSTATION(R)Network’s Video Delivery Service to Offer Movies and TV Shows for Purchase and Rental Through PLAYSTATION(R)3 and PSP(R) (Playstation(R)Portable)

    New service to expand entertainment offering of PLAYSTATION 3 and PSP giving consumers downloadable content when and where they want it

    FOSTER CITY, Calif., July 15 /PRNewswire/ — Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) today launches the company’s new video delivery service on PLAYSTATION(R)Store for PLAYSTATION(R)3 (PS3(TM)) and PSP(R) (PlayStation(R)Portable) systems in the United States. Consumers will have the ability to download full-length movies, television shows, and original programming accessible through the PLAYSTATION Store on PLAYSTATION(R)Network. With nearly 300 full length movies and more than 1,200 TV episodes, many available in both standard-definition (SD) and high-definition (HD), PLAYSTATION Network’s video delivery service makes PS3 the ultimate entertainment platform and enhances PSP’s status as a portable entertainment marvel. PLAYSTATION Network’s video delivery service will become available later this evening.

    Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) will initially make available to consumers content for video rental and electronic sell-through from top movie studios including: 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate Entertainment, MGM Studios, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Bros. Entertainment as well as titles for rent from The Walt Disney Studios and a wide-ranging menu of popular titles from a variety of television partners.

    “PLAYSTATION Network’s video delivery service capitalizes on the superior value and entertainment potential of PS3 and PSP — not only for gaming enthusiasts, but also for the millions of consumers looking to buy the best, most versatile solution for their home entertainment system,” said Jack Tretton, president and CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment America. “The collaboration of Sony’s film, TV and entertainment business units, coupled with our hardware and content offerings, provide consumers with entertainment experiences unlike any on the market.”

    The video delivery service will have full integration in the PLAYSTATION Network, utilizing the same login, wallet management, and user interface of the newly revamped PLAYSTATION Store. Video will be categorized, for example, by top rating, alphabetical order, television shows, and movies and content is also fully searchable, for example, by title, producer, studio and cast. In addition, PS3’s progressive downloading means users can view content shortly after the downloading process begins. Background downloading is also a feature of PS3, allowing users to access other platform features such as gaming and other XMB(TM) (XrossMediaBar) content while a video is downloading to their consoles.

    20th Century Fox’s “Jumper”, Lionsgate’s “3:10 to Yuma”, MGM’s “Rocky”, Paramount Pictures’ “Cloverfield”, Sony Pictures’ “Spider-Man”, and Warner Bros. Entertainment’s “10,000 B.C.” are a few of the titles available for electronic sell-through on the video service at launch. Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” will also be available for rent. Additionally, SCEI will be introducing original exclusive content such as Xam’d: Lost Memories, an anime series developed by Sony Computer Entertainment Japan, delivered in SD and HD.

    Consumers who rent a movie from the video delivery service have 14 days to watch the content. Once content playback is started, consumers have a full 24 hours to enjoy their rental. Pricing for rental movies at launch ranges from $2.99 to $5.99, and pricing for purchased movies ranges from $9.99 to $14.99. Sony has also adopted Marlin Digital Rights Management technology, an open industry standard for protecting and managing digital content, to provide consumers with flexible access to their content while ensuring digital rights are protected. Usage rules of the video download service will allow content for purchase to be shared on multiple activated devices including PS3 and PSP systems per PLAYSTATION Network account, depending on the type of content purchased by the user.

    One of the biggest value propositions of PLAYSTATION Network’s video delivery service is the ability to transfer digital content onto the PSP from the PS3. For the initial electronic sell-through or rental price, consumers can also transfer content onto multiple devices. The connectivity between PS3 and PSP platforms provides a seamless solution for those looking for entertainment experiences on their own terms — on the go or in their living room — all with a new-found freedom of not having to worry about TV schedules, movie listings or viewing on a desktop PC.

    About the Author

    Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!