Jun 02 2009

Liveblogging the Sony E3 Keynote

Published by at 1:57 pm under News,Video Games

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We’ve seen Microsoft, we’ve seen Nintendo and now all that’s left is poor last place Sony, who used to rule the console-scape with a mighty fist in the PS2 day, but has struggled to make people buy the overpriced, blue-ray playing, non-exclusive franchise having PS3.

I don’t have a whole lot of predictions for this show. I would imagine there’s going to be a TON of God of War III stuff, since it’s the only thing holding Sony back from oblivion at the moment. A packaged deal with GOW and a price cut for the system is absolutely necessary to keep Sony in the game, and I expect nothing less from the conference.

Also we’ll see a significant portion of time devote to the PSP Go!, the new handheld which despite it’s best efforts, let’s be honest, will never, ever catch the DS. But I will be interested to see all the details of the device. I’ve had resonably good experiences with the PSP, but the system isn’t worth buying for GOW: Chains of Olympus alone.

But what else will be announced? Specific title-wise, I have no idea. Maybe Kojima will show up and tell us more about the next Metal Gear, even though Sony is probably seething at him that he jumped ship to Microsoft.

Alright, time for a quick lunch break, then onto the liveblog, which starts below:

2:10 - Starting early, late? I don’t even know. I thought we had another hour.

2:11 – Intro video with lots of shooty-action games. A welcome switch from Nintendo’s smiling families.

2:13 – Heh, funny press leaks joke Jack.

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2:16 – FFXII, COD: MW2, Heavy Rain, Arkham Asylum. Yup already better than everything Nintendo showed.

2:17 - Yeah it really is crazy how popular PS2 still is. At $99 with so many great titles for it, it’s a great deal. And there’s a 100 new titles coming for it this year.

2:18 – Wow, who would have thought Sony would be the one with all the charts and numbers? I guess they have something to prove.

2:20 - Naughty Dog on stage talking about Uncharted 2. I never played the first one, but the new one looks pretty damn good. It’s like Tomb Raider but way less lame. And with less boobs. It’s a trade-off. Man, this game looks gorgeous. You really can’t tell what’s a cutscene and what’s gameplay.

2:26 – Alright, now we’re talking MAG, the 256 player online spectacle. We’re going to see it in live action.

2:27 – Wow, the crowd is eating this up. The 128 vs. 128 loading screen is impressive enough.

2:31 - Yeah it’s cool, it’s almost too big though. How do you win when 128 players on the other team keep respawning?

2:33 – PSP mumbo jumbo. Go! announcement time?

2:34 – Haha, the crowd cheers the lilac Hannah Montana PSP bundle.

2:36 – PSP Go! The worst kept secret of the show. But wow, it’s a lot smaller than I thought it was. It’s pretty much like a sliding cell phone with a D-pad.

2:37 - 16 GB doesn’t seem like that much, considering all games are downloaded. I imagine that space gets eaten up pretty quickly.

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2:39 – Adding music stuff to it. Trying butt heads with the iPhone I suppose. Good luck with that.

2:41 - Uh oh, PSP Go! is $249.99. The DS is what, $170? It’s cheapter than the iPhone I guess…

2:42 – I don’t get it, the Go! isn’t replacing the current PSP? That’s retarded. They’re just cannibalizing themselves.

2:43 – Gran Turismo 5 news. Man, this game has been coming out for like ten damn years. I’m already over it.

2:44 – Oh wait, nevermind, it’s Gran Turismo PSP.  Blah, blah it’s a real Gran Turismo game, you can trade cars with your friends, etc. Does the Go! have any better graphics than the normal PSP? I guess not, but the game does look like the sharpest handheld game I’ve ever seen.

2:50 - Metal Gear Solid, Hideo Kojima is here. Pretend that whole Microsoft thing didn’t happen. Wow, that is a tight shirt Kojima.

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2:51 - New PSP title, Metal Gear Solid: Peacewalker. Solid Snake and the Bay of Pigs. I’m sure it’ll be the best PSP title ever, but I’m still not buying one.

2:57 – That was the longest ending to a trailer I’ve ever seen. Complete with Snake gay joke.

3:00 – More PSP titles. Motorstorm, Resident Evil, Little Big Planet. I still can’t get over the fact there are two PSPs now. I guess Nintendo has been doing that for years, but still, it seems weird that they wouldn’t just replace the underperforming unit.

3:02 – Video still going on. Come on, we’ve spent a good half hour on the PSP now, let’s get a move on.

3:04 - Talking about the PSN, my biggest concession to the system because it’s free, unlike XBL being greedy bastards. Did he just say they were offering Final Fantasy VII for free online? Damn…

3:06 – A commercial for Home. Boring people get exciting with Home. Businessmen turn into punk rockers. Lawyers turn into Chun Li. It’s better than Miis or 360 Avatars, I’ll give it that.

3:08 - Montage video for new PS3 games, no time to actually talk about them. Uncharted 2, Infamous, Madden, FFXIII, MAG, Arkham Asylum, Brutal Legend, Motostorm, Ghostbusters, Mafia, Saw, Ice Age, Tekken, Tiger Woods, NCAA Football, Heavy Rain, Pool, Fat Princess, DC Heroes, Little Big Planet, Wolfenstein, Bioshock 2, Jack and Daxter, God of War III. .

3:13 – Why the hell did they show all those videos on five tiny screens as opposed to the one big screen? They were bragging about how “they’re the only system that could do that.” Also, is that seriously the amount of God of War III we’re getting? No way.

3:14 – Exclusive Rockstar game for PS3 called Agent. Assassination in the 1970s. Sure, sounds good. Any footage?

3:15 – Assassin Creed 2. Hopefully it’ll be more than the trailer we saw at the Ubisoft conference. This show better be closing with God of War and a price cut…or else.

3:16 – Cool, it’s actual gameplay footage. Venice looks much more exciting than the bland desert cities of the first game. Ooh, Leonardo’s flying wings. They know that didn’t work in real life right? Ezio is trying to kill some rich Italian dude. OH DOUBLE KILL. Yeah, this game rocks. Hard. Glad it’s for the 360 :)

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3:21 - Final Fantasy XIII. Man, this is a long event. Whatever, this implies we will see GOW at the end. New cutscene video. Typical craziness you’d expect.

3:25 – Final Fantasy FOURTEEN? WHAAAAT? This is kind of a joke when we don’t even have an official release date for thirteen. Or do we? I don’t know. And XIII is on Xbox but XIV is PS3 exclusive? How does that work?

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3:29 – New tech stuff. Motion controller. It has a blue ball on it. What. The. Hell.

3:32 – This is kind of a joke compared to Project Natal.  Nervous laughter abounds.

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3:41 - Some kind of cool stuff here. It looks like shit, but the implications for gameplay are there. But right now the goofiness of it far outweighs the practical applications. Natal is better than “Playstation Motion Control.” There’s no arguing with that.

3:44 - Modracers. Mario Kart sans Mario plus graphics. God, this is a crazy long event.

3:50 - Exceptionally long track building demo. Slow chant…God….of…

3:51 – Ooh new Team Ico, good stuff. Let’s see.

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3:54 - Touching video documenting the friendship between a boy and his giant pet hyena bird. Called “The Last Guardian.” Applause, applause. It does look thoroughly awesome.

3:56 – “Short tease” of Gran Turismo 5. **** this game. Seriously, it’s time for release already. Eight years into production is no time for teaser trailers.

3:58 – About time, God of War III. Let’s DO THIS.

3:59 – The live demo. It’s God of War, with better graphics! Which is of course all we really want. Kratos has some new moves which are awesome. He just disemboweled a centaur and his intestines spilled out. Delicious.

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4:06 – Yes, that was exceptional. Not due out until March 2010, that’s quite a hike. But any amount of time is going to be worth the wait.

Well, overall I’d say Sony did pretty well. I appreciate them having a distinct lack of little kid’s game, and their exclusive titles are still a lot more robust than I gave them credit for. PSP Metal Gear, Final Fantasy XIV, Uncharted 2, Gran Turismo, The Last Guardian and of course, God of War III.

I’m not sure where I stand on their new motion tracking eyetoy upgrade. It’s got cool applications, but I can’t see it being used successfully in a game for quite some time. Though I suppose the same could be said about Project Natal, but that demo made it seem like it was straight from the future, while this one was heavy on the goofballing and awkwardness.

So I’d say better than Nintendo and short of Microsoft, but not a bad place to be. It really was a lot better than I expected, but really all the companies exceeded expectations after a lackluster year in ’08.





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18 responses so far

  • IcemanD

    Let me guess, your an Xbox fan…

  • Matt

    I believe he is, but i also agree with his GT5 comment and that Project Natal looks much better right now when compared to Sony’s motion tracking.

  • IcemanD

    @ Matt: Oh, I agree on both acounts as well. It’s the tone of his blog that screams M$ fanboy.

  • nick

    haha youre gonna GUESS hes an xbox fanboy?

  • Matt

    Like i said, I believe he is.

  • Matt

    Sony’s “Wiimote” looked like a bad movie prop lol. That needs to drastically change.

  • Henrik

    Nah. Nintendo was best. A new Mario Galaxy AND a new Metroid. I cant wait!

  • Henrik

    And Sony just seemed to rip-off Nintendo this year. Wii mote and mario kart rip-offs.

  • nick

    jealously towards sony, lets hear more

  • Madison

    @ Matt, nick, IcemanD

    You guys crack me up. Look at how defensive you’re getting because of the “tone” of Paul’s blog, which consists of fragments, phrases, and inital impressions. Do you really think anyone here has an agenda or is “jealous” of a console? The more good games, the better – it drives competition and gives a wider variety from which to choose.

    I own an XBox. If Sony has a great showing, cool. Good for people who own Sony products. I though Sony’s presentation was awesome; makes me wish God of War 3 wasn’t an exclusive.

    The XBox and PS3 are both amazing systems and both give hours and hours of pleasure to their owners. Who gives a shit which one is “better?” They’re both awesome.

    The whole XBox vs. PS3 debate is silly, and I never understood how people can be devoted to a brand. I dont’ believe Paul is bashing either system, he’s simply giving his impressions of each presentation. If he has something negative to say, I’m pretty sure it’s not due to brand loyalty. We’re adults here.

  • IcemanD

    @ Madison: I don’t believe you guys have an agenda nor am I implying you are pumping a certain brand. It’s just obvious he is an Xbox fan is all.

    I’ve never understood the flamewars either. Ive owned all three. I actually sold the Wii to buy a PS3 as the Wii is definately not geared toward gamers. The Xbox is a solid system (game wise at least, I’m currently on my fourth one due to the RRD).

  • Madison

    @ IcemanD

    I hear ya. Fair enough.

    I would own all three systems, I just don’t have the time I used to to sit and play video games. Trust me, I WISH writing for Unreality was my only job.

    I’m on my 3rd XBox, but the first was lost in a flood. Second was RRD.

  • nick

    madison, my first comment was at the writer of the article but my 2nd was at the commenters who were calling things at the sony conference a ripoff

    i think that a live blog should not have personal comments in it. people want to hear whats going on, not what this random person thinks of it.

    for example:
    3:32 – This is kind of a joke compared to Project Natal.

    what a stuck up comment.

  • Madison

    @nick

    You don’t think a live blog should have personal comments? Good luck finding one that doesn’t.

  • nick

    ign’s was perfect, theres nothing the blogger put down that you could argue was bias in any way.

    this guy’s 1st two paragraphs make me not trust this dudes opinion on anything because hes so against the ps3 right off the bat

  • http://paul@unrealitymag.com Paul Tassi

    Man if I couldn’t personally comment, I wouldn’t have done this at all. What fun would that be?

    I always took liveblogs to be running commentary on an event that you’re both watching, or at the very least, something to look back on to see someone’s immediate reaction to something as it happened.

    If you want straight news about the event, there’s a million articles about that, or if you wanted to catch an event live, there’s a ton of streaming sources on the internet.

    And yes, I do own an Xbox, so I am admittedly a bit biased toward it. But I’m not a “fanboy.” My favorite system growing up was Nintendo 64 and I rocked the shit out of my PS2 after that for many years. It just so happens that now Xbox best suits me, and I like to call out the shortcomings of other systems.

    I’m more disappointed than anything in the other two companies. I wish Nintendo and Sony would give me solid reasons to buy their systems, but I’m not going to buy a Wii to play a new Zelda or Mario game every three years, sifting through piles of shovelware in the meantime. And I can’t afford a PS3 just to play God of War; it’s not rational to buy one when Xbox has most of same titles, most recently snagging Final Fantasy and Metal Gear.

    That being said, I hate Xbox plenty as well. The subscription fee for XBL is a joke and the console is physically the worst product ever released in a few decades with literally an over 100% failure rate (as in, the new system they send you usually breaks the first few times as well). So everyone has their problems.

    Genuinely I think that Microsoft had the best conference this year (most because of Natal, I actually think Sony showed better games), but I have to congratulate all three companies on exceeding expectations in every aspect. This really was an amazing E3, especially when comparing it to last year.

  • nick

    natal? really?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDzXqK4fh-A

    THAT was more impressive than uncharted 2?

    but i understand your other points… i guess. even thought 90% of 360 “exclusives” i can just buy for my computer….

  • IcemanD

    @ Paul: Thanks for chiming in. Your response reads a lot more like an Xbox fan and not a fanboy.

    The main reasons I bought the PS3 was for the Blu-Ray player and because my Xbox was out of service so much. Truth be told, I play all new games (which is few as I also no longer have the time) on the PS3 cause the disk drive on my Xbox is fubar’d.

    Luckily….the drive messed up with Halo 3 in it. So, I effectively have a PS3 and a Halo 3 machine.

    I’m just waiting for a title good enough to get me to pay $200 for a new arcade Xbox.

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