Well, yesterday was the last of the famous E3 keynote speeches, this year wrapping up with Sony Entertainment getting up on the stage to show off anything and everything that they could for their console department. I won't mince words here. It was not, shall we say, a good showing. As a matter of fact, it was a downright painful train wreck that was so awful I couldn't look away...and then wanted to look away. Without a doubt it was also Sony's worst E3 performance in years, if not ever.
As I start, I must say that I missed the first few minutes of the presentation, which happened to be when Sony unveiled its new 3D technology to the world with a 3D trailer of Killzone 3 (a pre-alpha build, you've got about a year at minimum to save for it). While Sony's presenter must get points for sticking to the script, it probably wasn't the best idea to talk about how Sony has brought 3D gaming to the world and will be the one everyone associates it with when the majority of the news groups in the crowd have been playing with the 3DS not ten minutes earlier. Anyway, Sony did confirm that you'll need one of the newer 3D TVs (sold by Sony, seeing the connection here?) so if you're planning on experiencing Killzone 3 in all it's glory (and it did look solid from the bits I have seen) you may want to start saving now. Sony also spoke about a few other 3D capable titles such as Gran Turismo 5 and the new Mortal Kombat game, but of the few I've seen mentioned Killzone 3 and GT 5 are the true standouts.
Speaking of Gran Turismo 5, those of you who purchased their PS3 systems for the game are finally going to get your wish as the game at long last has a release date this holiday season (November I believe). The game itself looks nice, with lots of detail and I could have sworn I saw Top Gear's own "The Stig" driving a car at one point. A lot of day/night/sunset effects where shown off during the video as well, and the whole setup looked really pretty.
Sony then moved on the second part of their keynote, and it was here that things started off alright but went soon went steadily downhill. Sony brought out what many were curious to see, the Playstation Move. The demo started out fairly well, with Sony showing off a fantasy game called Sorcery which used the Move much like Nintendo's Zelda game had controlled earlier, the player using motions and hand actions to perform spells and in game actions. While I've only seen a few clips, it looked like a fun game and judging from the talk I've heard about it afterwards, Sorcery seems to be the Move game people are most looking forward to.
Then it went downhill. Sony's next choice of demo for the Move? A golf game. This was where I began watching, and I came in as the downhill movement had reached critical momentum. The first problem was that honestly, golf is not that exciting to watch. Secondly, even if the game is different (and the guy giving the demo prattled on about 1:1 power and so forth), for all intents and purposes the game in execution looked a lot like any of the golf games for Wii. The crowds reaction was so muted that at one point the guy giving the demo stopped and wouldn't go further until he had gotten applause, which he then had to ask the crowd for several times before they grudgingly gave it up.
From there on the show got steadily worse. The next two minutes following the golf demo consisted of the lead Sony speaker talking about a joint product placement deal with Coca Cola in which every single move game will feature in game product placement and advertisement from Coca Cola which everyone should be happy about. Why? Honestly, this portion made me a little mad. It's one thing to stick ads all over a game (especially when they will be blatantly out of place, how will Coca Cola ads look in Sorcery?), it's another thing to announce it at E3 and tell everyone that they should be happy Sony will be making money off of ads you'll have to look at in game. I really hope that either A) I misunderstood what they're doing or B) they reconsider this, because it was a slap in the face.
Next, Sony brought out Kevin Butler (The PS3 PR guy) to do a little talking for the next few minutes. Unfortunately, although a lot of the fans in the crowd loved it, it wasn't because it was about any good news for Sony, in fact, it was hardly about Sony at all. Butler spent an entire 5 minutes doing nothing but mocking the other consoles, making fun of everything from Cirque de Sol to the gamers playing the systems, insinuating that Sony gamers are the only "hardcore gamers" but should remember to be nice to their "casual brethren" in the gaming industry. At this point, I wanted to just quit. It's one thing to mock the competition, but to dedicate five whole minutes to mocking your competitors (who happen to be doing financially a whole, whole lot better) at a show designed for showcasing new material is just in poor taste.
After that, Sony show never really recovered. They showed off quite a few more games, but many of them were titles already announced for other systems that we had already seen earlier in the E3 show, and therefore weren't that impressive (kudos to Dead Space 2 though for continuing their trailer right where the 360 trailer had left off) and looked identical. About the only special mentions Sony had left to pull were Gabe Newell announcing Steamworks and Portal 2 coming to PS3, although he looked like he'd been forced to eat a soap bar as he said it, unsurprising considering his very public opinion of the PS3, and how on earth did they get him on stage? Then Sony spent quite a long time talking announcing at new Twisted Metal title for the PS3 before spending some time talking about how this would be the year (make this number 5) that Sony puts all its weight behind the PSP and it succeeds against it's competitor the smartphone (I found it both sad and funny that they refused to directly admit Nintendo was kicking their butts). They finished off this segment by showing off the new advertising campaign (which was already out of date, touting that Metal Gear Solid was PSP exclusive when Nintendo had announced MGS for the 3DS about an hour earlier) and then thankfully ending the show, which had already dragged on far to long.
Sony's showing was quite possibly one of the most dismal E3 showings I have ever seen, with very little new content to show and a whole lot of fluff about their own superiority.
One thing I should mention, Sony did eventually get around to announcing the pricing of the Move. The Move remote itself will be $50, the Nunchuck attachment $30, and various bundles bounce around from there. Check closely however, some games require you to have two Move remotes per person instead of a Move nunchuck and remote combo.
Tomorrow, on to better news as we go through some of the awesome game trailers for titles shown off and announced at this years E3!