Monday, June 6, 2011

Blog Post: My thoughts on Sony's E3 2011 Press Conference

It's never the content at a Sony E3 press conference that's the issue....well, with the exception of their infamously bad PS3 reveal, of course. Sony always packs their press conferences to the brim with announcements, trailers, and plenty of montages for both its portable and home consoles. The biggest issue has always been the presentation itself, which to me feels incredibly dry and tends to run for far too long. I always find that while Sony usually has the most to announce at their conferences, they do it in the most boring way possible.

This year we saw Sony make an effort to spice up their presentation a bit. We got an (incredibly lame) pre-show, and they stuck a pretty pointless performance at the very end, but hey, gotta give them credit for trying. At the very least, this presentation, while it still felt a tad too long, was far better paced than in the past, and they really did announce and show plenty of titles for all their platforms: the PS3, the PS Move, 3D gaming, and, of course, the reveal of the new PSP, the PS Vita. Sly Cooper 4 was a pretty great announcement, as was having Ken Levine up there to tell the crowd how his studio was eventually sold on motion controls. Sony also went through great lengths, like last year, to secure exclusive content in multiplat titles, something that will definitely make PS3 fans happy.

Though they spent a little too much time on the Playstation Move (damnit Sony, watching someone play a sports game is boring) it's good to see that they, like Microsoft, won't be abandoning their Wii-competing device, even though the Wii seems to be no longer competing (more on that tomorrow). It's also great to see that, unlike Microsoft, that device hasn't become essential to playing all of Sony's new games.

Regarding the Playstation Vita, the visuals on that thing look nice. I wouldn't say they totally blow away the 3DS, but they definitely look like a step up. The system also seems to have its own features, like back touch screens, so props to Sony for not just ripping the 3DS off like they could have. The games they have coming for it also look much more impressive than most of the stuff they were putting on the PSP, making it look like Sony will really be pushing for North American success, something the PSP really never achieved. I also have to give Sony credit for competitively pricing the PS Vita.....yeah, it's sad that we're in an age when $249.99 is considered competitive pricing, but, lo' and behold, that's what Nintendo's charging and Sony's definitely met that price.

There are a couple things I would have liked to have seen, like a trailer for the upcoming Twisted Metal game and Final Fantasy 13 sequel, but hey, can't have everything, and the show ran long as it was. Sony overall put on an impressive show and though the presentation could still use some tightening up (and Sony, let us know the names of the games in your montages!) they definitely showed Microsoft, Microsoft used to do a press conference.

Rating: B

Sony's confident that the PS3 will become the hardcore gamers' system of choice, and after seeing Microsoft's conference, it's hard to argue. How Nintendo's Cafe will fit into this, well, tomorrow we'll find out.

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