Well, if the Sony E3 Keynote 2009 Press Conference is any indicator, the monarch has returned to reclaim his throne. Sony's line-up for the PS2, PS3, and PSP was not only chock full of great looking games, but also exclusives, and some much needed innovations for the PlayStations.
All in all it was a very strong showing for the PlayStation at the Sony E3 2009 Press Conference, one what wrapped-up both a return to the former, successful PlayStation strategy of offering new tech and exclusive titles you can't find elsewhere.
If you want to watch the two-hour Sony E3 2009 Press Conference, feel free, but to simplify matters I've put together a summary of all the major announcements from it for you. No thanks necessary.
As much as possible, I'll keep the announcements in chronological order, as they appeared in the press conference.
First, we found out that the PS2 is far from dead. In fact, we'll be seeing approximately 100 new PS2 games this year.
A brief demo of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves not only looked superb, but th physics engine really seemed to push action gaming to the next level with incredible puzzle opportunities.
With 256 person, two-team battles the massive multiplayer online shooter/war game MAG looked great and seemed to suffer from no lag at all.
The worst kept secret of E3, the PSP Go was revealed. While not intended to replace the PSP-3000, it does look interesting, and certainly cute. How well the new control scheme plays will be an entirely different matter. The PSP Go will be out October 1, 2009 in North America and Europe, November 1, 2009 in Japan (which seems backwards). The PSP Go will cost $249 in the US, and 249 Euros.
In more PSP news, Media Go will be replacing the Media Manager and Sense Me music player playlist creator is headed to the PSP. Hopefully this will make the PSP a more robust portable MP3 player.
Much to the delight of developers, and perhaps in an attempt to score more, the PSP dev toolkit price will be lowered by 80%. Similar to that of the PS3, a video delivery service is headed to the PSP with the promise of a large amount of TV shows and other content.
Grand Turismo PSP, which was a show stopper, will feature 800 cars, 35 tracks and ad-hoc multiplayer for up to four racers to compete at the same time. Grand Turismo PSP looks to be out October 1, 2009. In more PSP gaming news, the new Metal Gear Solid PSP game, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Maker, is supposed to be a true sequel in that it’s set 10 years after Metal Gear Solid 3. Kojima assures us he is both heavily involved and that Metal Gear Solid: Peace Maker is part of the main Big Boss story arc and will be out in 2010. Resident Evil Portable, a PSP exclusive, is also coming in 2010.
Sony seems committed to improving Home, and the PlayStation virtual world will be getting a lot of new content.
Rockstar North is working on a new PS3 exclusive titled Agent. The 70's themed game will be focusing on assassins. An announcement which segue way-ed well into the showing of the Assassin’s Creed 2 demo. Which showed a young assassin working during the Italian Renaissance. This gives opportunities for folks like Leonardo Da Vinci to appear in the game. Assassin’s Creed 2 can connect with Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines, the PSP game, to unlock exclusive weapons for the PS3 version. Assassin’s Creed 2 and Assassin’s Creed Bloodlines are slated for 2009 holiday season releases.
The long Final Fantasy XIII demo looked superb, and featured English voice acting. It led into one of the biggest PS3 announcements of the Sony E3 Press Conference, the fact that Final Fantasy XIV, a new MMO, will be a PS3 exclusive and come will come out the same year as FFXIII, 2010.
A new PlayStation 3 Motion Controller, still in development, made it's debut. Presently it looks like a black stick with a ball on top, but when used with the PlayStation Eye camera, it serves as a wireless motion controller, not unlike the Wii-mote. On screen it is represented by everything from a tennis racket to a sword, and looks highly accurate, unlike the Wii-mote. It will be interesting to see how developers respond to the new PlayStation 3 input device.
Disney Little Big Planet character costumes will be available for download in the fall of 2009, and they look adorable.
A small, but very clever PS3 exclusive, Mod Nation Racers, looks to bring Game 3.0 to racing to the console sometime in 2010.
The Last Guardian, poised to wrap up the Ico and Shadow of the Colossus trilogy was shown in a trailer. The Last Guardian will also be a PS3 exclusive.
PlayStation 3 owners should be happy that Gran Turismo 5 is well underway and looks to be one of the most impressive racers ever built.
The 2009 Sony E3 Keynote Press Conference wrapped up with a jaw-dropping twenty minute demo of God of War 3 due out in 2010 It’ll be out in 2010, and the demo with over 20 minutes of gameplay is at E3.
It was a fantastic showing for the big black box, and while many were disappointed that a price drop was not announced, I think a return to exclusives and new, innovative hardware will truly pay off for PlayStation in the end.