Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sony Conference Impressions

I want to start off by saying that Sony probably had a better E3 Conference than they have the last 2 years. It was well put together outside of the fact that Jack Tretton and Phil Harrison both relied on the teleprompter way too much.

Sony did well with showing off games, but there really wasn't anything big shown outside of a longer version of the Killzone 2 preview with more in-game play and some of the interesting Playstation Network games shown (EchoChrome, Pain, WarHawk, etc.). I am excited by Killzone 2 and the Playstation Network games, but is it enough to get me to run out and purchase a PS3? Not at this point honestly simply because they didn't given any release dates. If all the Playstation Network games are coming before the end of the year that may make me more interested.

There was also bits and pieces of Home being shown off. The best part was when Jack ran into Kaz and made a joke about "Rrrrrridge Racer". It's nice to see that Sony is not as stuffy as they usually are, but maybe this is the new outlook with Jack running things. I'm still not sold on Home, but I know what Sony is trying to do. They are trying to tap into the crowd that Nintendo is currently grabbing: those people that don't play a lot of games, but are interested in social interactivity. Will they do well with Home? We'll just have to see.

The new slimmer PSP was shown off as well and was probably the biggest announcement from Sony. It doesn't make me want to run out and get a PSP, but Sony certainly made a push to show off some of the upcoming high-profile games coming to the PSP.

The biggest negative from Sony's Conference was the fact that they didn't give any dates for any of the games they showed off outside of their timed exclusive for Unreal Tournament 3 in November. Both Microsoft and Nintendo gave dates on games and many of the games Sony showed off are not even coming this year. Plus, why the heck wasn't Lair shown? It's coming out in a month. Is it not as good of a game as they were pushing it to be? It's just really poor not to show off one of your bigger releases before the end of the year.

Probably the biggest news was that Sony confirmed that Metal Gear Solid 4 was only coming to the PS3 and a new clip was shown. Many people know how much I like the MGS games, but even this game doesn't make me want to jump and get a PS3 at $499. The only sad part of the preview shown was that it was just cutscenes shown and not actual gameplay. I think it is important that gameplay be shown off to generate more buzz. Maybe they are showing it behind closed doors, but I was impressed that they already had English voices in the game. This gives an indication that the game must be close to being done (also confirmed by the Early 2008 at the end of the clip).

In the end I think Sony came out pretty well. They are getting ripped apart by some developers about only dropping the price by $100 for the PS3 (and chances are good the 60GB version will go the way of the 20GB version when the 80GB version comes out at the $599 price point), but I think they hit everything they needed to (Lair notwithstanding).