Gaming Thoughts 6/6/11 - Sony E3

So, I'm a bit out of order here. I totally missed the Microsoft session this morning (silly job and all), and may wind up having to watch the video of it later (probably not tonight as it is starting to get late). No doubt, I'll have the same issue with Nintendo's tomorrow morning. I do plan to watch both though and give my thoughts on them afterward. However, tonight I did get to watch Sony's E3 demo, and being (very) new to using Twitter (despite having an account for awhile now), I felt that would be a good exercise in sharing off-the-cuff notions while watching it.

Sony really had to come out strong given their recent PR disasters.

Things started off with a bang introducing Uncharted & Resistance 3. Both looked pretty good - Uncharted in particular. I recently played and beat God of War: Chains of Olympus and have been eying Ghost of Sparta. Hearing that they will both be remastered and made for the PS3 as a new collection however, I believe I will wait for that. Chains was outstanding, and I'm currently playing through God of War 1 & 2 in that collection, and picked up #3 over the weekend. That plus the Ico collection have me rather excited.

I've had little to no interest in 3d tv's. my current TV set me back quite a bit in both cash and wife-granted brownie points, but I have to admit the new package Sony is offering is interesting (HDMI cable, Resistance 3, a set of glasses and a 26" tv for $499). Perhaps the most interesting thing in my mind, and from the reaction the audience gave, I think they agreed, was the promise that the glasses not only would allow 2 players to participate in 3D gaming, but allow them to see completely individualized screens. In other words, no split-screen on co-op. Anyhow who's played cramped quarters in split screen knows how cool that sounds - we'll see if the execution matches.

Lots of Move stuff. Unsurprising given what I have heard was a Kinect-heavy theme by Microsoft, and considering the big pushes Sony and Microsoft made last year to get the word out about the Move and Kinect. I was sort of 'meh' on the announcement it would be in Bioshock Infinity. That game looks great on its own. It looked kind of gimmicky when shown with NBA 2K12 as well. That's been my favorite NBA game since around 2k5 or so, and I was far more interested in the new features they mentioned, but gave no actual info to.

Now, in case anyone thinks I'm hating on the Move - far from it. I have a two-player Move set I won last year (and STILL need to write about). I'm certainly willing to try those features out, but honestly question if they will make the experience any better. That said, my youngest seemed fascinated by Medieval Moves, and here it IS the gameplay and doesn't sound like a potentially gimmicky tacked-on feature.

Several of the trailers were underwhelming to me like Sly Cooper's. I know a lot of people have been picking on the Star Trek announcement, some people saying it looks like a poor man's Mass Effect. Considering I think Mass Effects 1 & 2 were some of the best games I've ever played, that still might not be a bad thing, but really what they showed in the trailer was incredibly superficial and it is way too early to see if that's a fair comparison in any way or not.

Their new handheld, the PSVita got the tail end of the conference. I'll start off by saying that the graphics look good, the dual analog sticks are a great idea, the touch screens and cameras in the front and back certainly present a good number of possibilities and they touted it having 6-axis detection like the first party PS3 controllers have. I expected a pretty high price point but the Wifi model is the same as a 3DS - $250, and the 3G/Wifi model is $300. Better than I expected really, though still a bit more than I was hoping (I really, REALLY like my handhelds at $200 or less). That said, I've always liked my PSP more than the DS so I was curious about the games mentioned.

Uncharted again looked great for the system, and my son thought Mod Nation Racers looked cool as well (we've recently acquired and started to play it on the PS3 and it has proven quite popular). The little Big Planet announcement had both my youngest super-excited though. They love LBP, and we have it for the PS3 and recently acquired it for the PSP. Seriously, that took the show for my younger two kids, and both are going to bed with visions of Sack Boy, dancing in their little heads.

It'll be interesting to see where this goes. Sony claims to have a ton of developers ready to roll on the Vita, and let's be honest - the 3DS came out of the gates pretty weak with its initial lineup. This may come down to the titles readily available.

Overall I enjoyed what they showed. There were not a ton of surprises in the first half, but it was fun seeing some of the titles like Uncharted 3 getting some play time and the news on the Vita was quite interesting in my opinion as well.


  1. I thought it was an incredible showing by Sony. The Vita is a great piece of tech for that price, and so many great features for people who already have PSN.

    The PlayStation TV is great too. I like local multiplayer, and being able to literally split the TV into two is great news for bringing local FPS multiplayer back.

  2. @Games - I agree. I thought Sony had a really strong showing. Usually I'm interested in about 50% of the presentations by the big three, and even then only about 50% of those are at all applicable to me (for example, I don't have a Kinect or a 3DS).

    But there were very few presentations I was not interested in, and even though the Vita is still a long-shot first-day buy for me (at this point), I was incredibly interested in it. Same goes for the 3d bundle

  3. Local multiplayer where you can use the full screen for each player and have a different view? Wow to say the least.

    I agree that splitting the screen, while cool, just ends up being cramped even on large screens. I have a 57" so it's not quite as dramatic, but still significantly chops your space with 4-player mario kart or a 1/2 horizontal split for GoldenEye.

  4. @Robert - you know what? I had Mario Kart in mind when I was thinking of how split screen can so cramp your space, especially if you have quadrants. Of course, they only touted two players being able to see different screens, but it's an interesting step and an evolution of 3d tv I had never considered previously.

  5. The Vita's prices were really surprising. I think it'll be interesting to see how it sells at those prices.
    The TV was nice, but not for $500 for me.
    It was a 24" I believe, and they're throwing in other stuff(game, cord, glasses).
    I know you can find 24" HD tvs(not 3D I know), for under $300 easily now; and I'm cheap so I would probably just wait for a price drop on it. Until something really catches my eye though, I'll just stick with our 32", or the 19", SD tv for gaming.

    There wasn't really anything unexpected from Sony's show though, so I was kind of in the middle on it.

  6. @coffee - I'm the same way about the tv. It was like 24 or 26" was all, but it did come w/ a set of glasses and Resistance 3 so that's probably $100-$150 in value. The HDMI cable cracked me up since you can get one off of monoprice for like $3, but it is a convenience thing I guess.

    I loved the Vita. Too much move stuff for my liking.


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