Los Angeles was transformed into a gamer's paradise this week as journalists, publishers, developers, and gamers descended on the city of angels to highlight what's to come in the world of video games. Like most of the companies in attendance, Sony brought out their big guns, showcasing the future hits for the PS3, PlayStation Vita, and PlayStation Move. They highlighted new installments in major franchises and offered glimpses of a new ones. Here are the highlights:
Familiar Faces: 'Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time' & 'God of War: Ascension'
Just as studios bring their sequel blockbusters to Comic-Con and record companies highlight new albums from their biggest artists, it's common for game companies to emphasize familiar faces. Two of Sony's most beloved characters will soon be returning to the PS3 - Sly Cooper and Kratos. While Kratos has been here before with the hit 2010 game "God of War III," Sly Cooper has been a character for which fans have long-hoped for a next-gen iteration. The last game, "Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves," was released for the PlayStation 2 in 2005. Sanzaru Games is developing the new title in the hope of releasing it by the end of this year while the company that made the first three games, Sucker Punch, has moved on to the "Infamous" series. Will the new "Sly" live up to the high expectations? And will it be delayed again considering the title was one of the highlights of E3 2011?
And what should we expect from "God of War: Ascension" (hitting stores on March 12, 2013) other than more God-crushing action? It will be the first "GoW" game to include multiplayer functionality and this prequel to the trilogy will play in Stereoscopic 3D for those who have the tools to do so.
New Exclusives: 'BEYOND: Two Souls' & 'The Last of Us'
Perhaps the most interesting game Sony had to present at E3 was Quantic Dream's "BEYOND: Two Souls." The company that made the amazing "Heavy Rain" has developed a new interactive psychological thriller that could fulfill the potential of their last amazing title. You play Jodie Holmes, a woman with supernatural powers, who was motion captured in vivid detail from a performance by Ellen Page ("Juno"). With a graphics engine that looks nearly like a film, Quantic Dream promises that this will be "one of the best-looking games ever seen on PS3" and report that they plan to get it out by the end of this year. Stay tuned for more news on this exciting title as its announced.
Whereas "BEYOND" came as something of a surprise, we've been excited about "The Last of Us" for some time now and Sony was quick to show it off at E3. Revealed last year at the Spike TV Video Game Awards, this post-apocalyptic adventure was created by the awesome team at Naughty Dog, the men and women behind the "Uncharted" series. The bad news was that "The Last of Us" won't be out until 2013 but those who saw the first bits of actual gameplay at E3 report that it looks like it will be worth the wait.
Beyond Gaming: Bundle, PSN, Vita, and Move Announcements
Sony also announced that they will sell a PS3 bundle in October that includes "Assassin's Creed III" along with highlighting continued advancements in cross-functionality for their devices and more reasons to be a PlayStation Plus member. Players can now use their PlayStation Vita as a controller for "LittleBigPlanet 2, allowing creation and sharing through a handheld device that was designed for those functions.
The company also unveiled the PlayStation Move Racing Wheel which is pretty self-explanatory and will serve as a driving wheel for games like "Gran Turismo 5," "Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit," and the upcoming "LittleBigPlanet Karting."
Finally, the company announced some incredible enhancements to their PlayStation Plus service. Now included in the cost of enrollment are some of the company's most beloved games, including "Infamous 2," "LittleBigPlanet 2," and "Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One," and the company promises new games will be available monthly. It's a good time to be a Sony PS3 owner.