E3 2011: The Sony Fight Back Begins
Sony had nothing more to lose from E3 in the wake of the devastating security breaches back in late April, but they certainly reasserted themselves as entertainment behemoths with their keynote speech. Straight off the bat, Sony throw us some of the biggest hardware launches seen in recent times, as well as key software releases to keep us excited in the near future. Whilst Microsoft’s keynote rotated around ground breaking software and the acquisition of big names, Sony’s was centered around the Playstation 3′s existing support for future technology, and the introduction of new hardware. For now, here’s a quick run down of the key aspects:
The Playstation NGP has been officially named “Playstation Vita,” dated and priced.
The successor to the PSP, the Playstation Vita, has been announced, with games such as Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Street Fighter vs Tekken and Wipeout 2048 being shown as gameplay demos during the keynote. The first look shows some serious power behind the handheld, with graphics starting to catch up with the current generation on display. The dual touch pad, dual analogue stick, dual camera handheld will be also shipping with the same SIXAXIS motion control system found in the PS3 controllers, and is due to be released worldwide this holiday season. Prices start at $250 for the WiFi only version, and $300 for the 3G enabled models.
PlayStation Vita Specification.
- Quad-core ARM Cortex A9 processor
- SGX543MP4+ GPU
- 5-inch OLED touchscreen (960 x 544 resolution, 220ppi)
- Rear touchpad
- Dual analogue control sticks
- Digital D-pad and six control buttons
- Six-axis motion sensing technology
- Stereo speakers & built-in microphone
- Front and rear camera
- Wi-Fi, 3G on 3G model
Playstation Move is being implemented across the board.
Much like Microsoft’s rallying behind Kinect technology in all the latest and greatest announcements, Sony are pulling rank around Playstation Move, with motion controls being implemented in various titles, such as NBA 2k12, Bioshock Infinite and Resistance 3. How effective these controls will be is yet to be seen, although the interactive demo of NBA 2k12, as played by Kobe Bryant, showed a good implementation of the motion controller.
Playstation release branded 3D 24″ HD screens, along with 3D glasses, at a seriously attractive price.
Sony are putting a lot of support behind 3D technology, and as a result are introducing options to offer the advanced tech at a low price point. The Playstation branded 3D screen will come with a 24″ display, as well as the exciting prospect of being able to display different screens to different users. Instead of the traditional split screen, one player will see a completely different, full screen viewpoint to that of the other, thanks to the 3D and other assisted pieces of technology available. Sony are also releasing a budget branded set of 3D glasses to accompany the new hardware. The price of the future? Well, the glasses are set to retail at $70 if bought alone, but the featured bundle – TV, glasses, 6ft HDMI cable and Resistance 3 – will ship for the very attractive price of $499. Now that’s value, folks.
Large focus on cross-platform gaming, with integration through Cloud, multiplayer and user content.
With the addition of the Vita to Sony’s portfolio of entertainment comes the announcement of true cross platform support, with save files, user content and multiplayer modes being shared between the handheld and the PS3. This content is shared via the Cloud – an online data service exclusive to the Sony Playstation family. Releases are also being tailor made with cross-platform gaming specifically in mind, such as DUST 517, the first person shooter set in the expansive universe of the popular MMORPG, EVE Online. The level of integration this title will have with EVE remains to be seen, but the trailer and first glances suggest very positive things to come.
More big releases are imminent, with exclusive content to PS3 owners.
To sweeten the deal, Sony have announced the latest entries in many hard-hitting franchises, as well as the promise of exclusive content for those who opt for the Playstation 3 alternative in the cross-platform releases. With InFamous 2 set to launch tomorrow, Resistance 3 and Uncharted 3 aim to stake their claim in the autumn games blitz, with release dates of September 6th and November 1st respectively. Many other big titles are due, but will offer Sony customers some serious benefits – Bioshock Infinite customers will get the original title on the same Blu-Ray, SSX contains an exclusive Mount Fuji track, Need For Speed The Run ships with seven exclusive cars and Battlefield 3 comes with Battlefield 1943 fully loaded on the game disc. ICO and Shadow of the Colossus are also being remade in 3D and are being released in the imminent future.
And that, in a nutshell, is that. Stay tuned with us for our coverage of Nintendo’s keynote speech tomorrow, and you can view our live blow-by-blow account of the announcements over at our Facebook page.