It looks like 2012 is going to be another great year for gamers, thanks to the sheer number of awesome releases coming up. We’ve even got a couple of new console systems to look forward to – the PlayStation Vita handheld, and Nintendo’s next generation Wii U. Over the past week or so we’ve been battling it out here at VidThru.com, but we’ve somehow managed to get a consensus on the titles we’re most looking forward to in the months ahead. Start saving up those dimes you found under the couch cushions, ‘cause you’re gonna need them! Continue reading
Sony Computer Entertainment America, Inc.’s press conference at E3 was highly anticipated because of the expected announcement of a new PlayStation portable system, dubbed NGP previously and now revealed as the PlayStation Vita. Also spotlighted were the PlayStation’s 3-D capabilities – clearly, Sony has committed itself to the cause – and new games that will support the Move peripheral.
Of course, the conference started with an apology by CEO Jack Tretton regarding the PlayStation Network’s downtime, who said that network connectivity is now back to 9o percent of what it was before the hack. He announced a new media partner, CinemaNow, before delving into the games – most of which were seen in 3-D by the 3-D audience with the help of glasses .
The Big Games
The first game trailer shown was Uncharted 3, which started Nathan Drake aboard a listing ship and ended with an explosion that broached the ship’s hill. The multiplayer beta for Uncharted 3 begins June 28; and, in October, a promotion will begin that allows gamers in the U.S. to visit their local Subway to get early access to the entire competitive game before it’s fully released in November.
Next came Resistance 3, which takes place in August 1957 about four years after the evenings in Resistance 2. Humans face extinction after the Chimera have won the war, and protagonist Joseph Capella leaves Oklahoma to make a last-ditch strike in New York, which means a sojourn across the country. He teams up with groups such as the Remnants in St. Louis to attack the invaders. The game, which supports Move, is being called a “perfect example” of how immersive action and action-packed gameplay can be done with the help of 3-D and Move. On September 6, Insomniac Games will offer the Resistance 3 Sharpshooter bundle, a package that will include the game, the Sharpshooter, a PS Move controller, a navigation controller and the PS Eye camera, all for $150.
Two collections were announced next: The Gears of War Origins Collection, a re-mastered work that includes Chains of Olympus and Ghosts of Sparta, and Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collection, with games fully playable in 3-D available this September.
Apparently, more than 100 3-D games are available on the PlayStation now. And Sony announced that it will soon offer a PlayStation-branded 24-inch 3-D display, designed for affordable access. This display will actually let two people playing a game together to see individual, unique full-screen images, rather than having to deal with the split-screen. Sony will also offer 3-D glasses; both these items are coming in the fall. Also, the 3-D monitor will come bundled with a pair of 3-D glasses, a six-foot HDMI cable and the game Resistance 3 for $499; the glasses will be $69.99 separately.
Sony says the PlayStation Move is gaining momentum, with 8.8 million units sold so far worldwide and 200 games that will utilize it by year’s end.
To show off the way Move is being used in games, Sony brought a guest on stage to play NBA 2K12: Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who joked about the realism in the game and then said, “All jokes aside, this is so realistic it’s frightening.” He claimed that in the game, players ran the triangle offense better than the Lakers did last year.
A new fantasy action-adventure called Medieval Moves: Dead Man’s Quest was shown off next, utilizing the motion controls to allow a seamless transition between swordfighting, archery and projectile-throwing based just upon the gestures being used. A playable demo showed how this will work in the game.
INfamous 2, now available, was shown with its Move support as well. Sony announced that this fall, it would add unique user-generated content experiences to the game, allowing players themselves to create online missions that use Move.
LittleBigPlanet, coming in September, will also get a deeper functionality through letting users add their own levels utilizing Move.
In early 2012, expect a new third-person shooter called Starhawk, complete with mechs and, yes, Move support. Sony also showed off the game Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, expected in 2012.
One interesting bit of news is that the creators of Eve Online, CCP Games, are creating a PS3 exclusive shooter about planetary conquest and ground combat called Dust 514, and the game will come with a feature that’s never been attempted before. The console game will actually connect to the PC MMO Eve Online with a shared universe. The game supports Move and will be in closed beta by the end of the year, with a full release expected by spring 2012.It will also come to the new PS portable
BioShock Infinite was displayed in all its glory, with Irrational Games’ Ken Levine saying that he had expressed early skepticism with motion control until Sony contacted him following an interview and showed him the possibilities. Now, he says, the company is starting to “get our heads around what that means.” What it seems to mean that BioShock Infinite will support Move motion control. Levine announced also that there will be a PS portable game set in the BioShock world. And, by the way, if you purchase the PS3 version of BioShock Infinite, you’ll get a copy of the first BioShock game on the same Blu-ray disc.
Saint’s Row: The Third came up next, so that the announcement could be made that buyers of the PS3 version of the game will get a unique weapon. The game is set for release on November 15.
Star Trek, scheduled for release in conjunction with the new J.J. Abrams movie in 2012, is also set to be 3-D and compatible with Move. At that time you’ll be able to purchase a peripheral modeled after the phaser. And when Star Trek comes out, PS3 players will get the playable prequel to the game, a digital-only title available exclusively on PS3. The footage for this one was early, in the pre-alpha stage.
Electronic Arts came up to say that snowboarding game SSX will offer a special PS3-only race down Mt. Fuji, with 10 drop points and rendering from NASA satellite data. And Need for Speed: The Run’s Ps3 version will actually offer a special Blu-ray disc with seven additional supercards, including the Supersport, the Hennessey Venom GT and the Bugatti Veyron. Battlefield 3, also, will feature exclusive content just for PS3 users; the version will be bigger, offering a Blu-ray disc with an extra game, Battlefield 1943. EA also announced it will support the new Playstation portable.
Sony’s Kazuo Hirai came up to introduce PlayStation Suite, software designed to let owners of smartphones and tablets (on the Android OS, for example) experience PlayStation content and get a taste for what Sony has to offer. “It’s a whole world that will experience our products through PlayStation Suite,” he said.
Hirai then made the announcement about the Playstation portable system. He said that the next generation machine “breaks traditional boundaries of entertainment with new ways to control the device, new ways to interact with your world and new ways to interact with your friends and of course, with your entertainment. ”
The new system will feature a dual touch pad and 5-inch OLED screen, along with dual cameras for an augmented reality experience. The touch pads and cameras will be on the front and the back; the unit features a six-axis motion sensing technology. It’ll be called the PlayStation Vita, the first product that blurs the lines between entertainment and real life. It’ll be available in both Wi-Fi and 3D Wi-Fi models, and incorporates social network and location-based gaming. AT&T will be the exclusive carrier for Vita in the U.S., allowing users free access to 24,000 AT&T Wi-Fi hotspots nationwide.
Features include “Party,” letting users voice-chat live no matter where they are or in what game, and “Near,” a social connection tool that lets you share and connect with others. Cloud saving will be possible.
Games shown for the PS Vita included Uncharted: Golden Abyss. The Bend Studio guys played a demo to show how the game incorporated the touch screen, traditional controls and tilt controls to create a game that was unique to the PS Vita.
Ruin, which will also be compatible with the PS3, is an action-based RPG with character classes, deep advancement and lots of loot featuring a dynamic combat system. It demonstrated how you can seamlessly transfer your game from the Vita to the PS3 back and forth.
The creators of ModNation Racers displayed just how easy it can be to create a track using the touch-screen, then edit it using multiple touch points to create mountains and other landscape features. More features will be announced in the months to come, but it’s clear that owners of ModNation Racers on Vita will be able to access two million creations – tracks, cars, etc. – made by ModNation community users on day one.
Other games shown include Wipeout 2048, a Vita launch title allowing eight players online either via PS3 or Vita and LittleBigPlanet, offering an expanded toolbox.
Capcom’s Street Fighter X Tekken will also appear on the Vita, and the company’sYoshinori Ono had an exciting announcement to make: Cole MacGrath of the Infamous franchise will join the fights. He said Capcom felt that Cole’s electrical moves and flying attacks would play well in this fighting title.
All in all, Sony says there are over 80 titles in development for the PlayStation Vita, and every major game company has signed on. The system is set for release this holiday season, 2011. The Wi-Fi only model will retail at $249.99 and the 3G model is priced at $299.99.
Sony had some good news to tell for gamers, and it’s nice that the Vita isn’t priced completely out of reach. As a person who owns a PS3 but doesn’t play it much, I have to admit I was convinced that now, I might have to give the system another look.