The New PSP GO!

The New PSP GO!

Sony might have had the best showing at E3 this year, but for two reasons. Firstly, Microsoft provided us with an absolute roller coaster ride on Monday. Secondly, somehow Sony managed to leak pretty much all of their reveals before Jack stood on stage and prefaced his reveals with the worst kept secret of E3.

I don’t want to provoke a riot from Sony fans and I am desperate for PS3 to keep challenging Microsoft, but I was left after 2 hours with a feeling of – is that it?

Let’s step through what was on offer though as there was plenty of good stuff to look at. This isn’t a blow by blow, but comment on what impressed me and what disappointed.

The extended game play of Uncharted 2 was perhaps the most stunning game Sony had on offer. I would argue it is graphically ahead of anything you’ll see on 360 and better than that it looked like a lot of fun. The video showed Drake battling a Hind helicopter, which was comprehensively destroying the building Drake was running around in. The multiplayer beta is up today, so I’ll be downloading it just look at the graphics. For videos take a look at the Playstation Blog

The extended demo of MAG is the first time I have been able to picture how the command structure might work and what it will be like to play it. It is certainly and interesting and groundbreaking concept coordinating 256 players in such a way as to make for a fun experience, but this game is not a system seller. I expect it to get a dedicated fan following and I might be one of them.

PSP Go! was “revealed” and was exactly as we’d seen on Sunday and for me the only jaw dropping moment was when a price of 249 Euros was announced. Don’t get me wrong – I will be buying one of these, but it seems an awful lot to pay, especially if I can’t transfer my UMDs and therefore have to keep my PSP 2000.

Sony then showed us why we should be interested in PSP again, with Gran Turismo, a new Metal Gear Solid and with the promise of a new Resident Evil game next year. Gran Turismo will launch with the Go! in October, whilst Resident Evil will hit next year. Gran Turismo looks good and a sizable proposition with 800 cars and 35 tracks. Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker looked considerably better than the last MGS on PSP and is a chronological sequel to MGS3 and set in the 1970s.

Richard Marks then stepped on stage to demo Sony’s new motion sensing technology. We had heard rumours of a strange controller with a ball on it that was tracked by a camera and that’s pretty much what it turned out to be. Their technology used their existing Playstation camera to track something roughly ping pong ball sized, which could change colour. All we saw was pretty rudimentary tech demos, but it was impressive how closely the motion was tracked on screen allowing for enough precision for handwriting and highly accurate sword blows. A full featured game might have given this the wow factor but most people won’t realise how clever the system is when they are just watching the ultra simplistic graphics we were shown.

It was then onto the impressive finale which featured Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy XIV, The Last Guardian, Mod Nation Racers, Gran Turismo 5, Agent and God of War 3. This section had the potential to blow our minds, but left me disappointed.

I felt we’d seen Final Fantasy XIII enough already and a brief moment of amazement when Final Fantasy XIV was announced as a PS3 exclusive for 2010 turned to “whatever” when the trailer was suffixed Online and I realized it would be another MMO attempt.

The Agent announcement was heralded as a Rock Star PS3 exclusive, but without even a teaser, it fell completely flat.

I’m not really looking forward to Gran Turismo after playing Prologue, but the trailer did suggest damage modelling

Mod Nation Racers was give a 5 minute stage demo and trumpeted as this year’s Little Big Planet. It was interesting but ultimately a kart racer that let you build your own tracks.

The Last Guardian is Team Ico’s new game and whilst the trailer is still probably trailer of the show, why was it leaked two weeks ago? The game features a boy and an enormous griffin type creature and according to a later interview with Oueda requires the boy to cajole his companion into helping him solve puzzles. A release date of 2010 was announced. Give me this game now!

2 faced snake thing

2 faced snake thing

And then onto the big one and the release date announcement – God of War 3. The stage demo featured gameplay that showed that this is definitely God of War and the Hi-Def makeover just makes it just seem that bit more visceral, with blood and guts literally spilling forth. Unlike the original it’s not the platform’s best looking game, which might be Uncharted 2, but I’ll be desparate to play this when it’s released next year.

Overall then, I expected to be stunned, but I think it was a lost opportunity. Sony could have made more of games like Heavy Rain and Ratchet and Clank and they skipped over their PSN games entirely.

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