Well as I promised, E3 is a huge time of the year for gamers and DAMN if this isn’t a great E3. The announcements, surprises, and drool-inducing trailers are abound. I’m gonna be a busy little Game Lord and what better place to start then with the House that Sony built? Now, with Microsoft announcing that Final Fantasy XIII will be released on the 360 as well as the PS3 in America, Sony had to make sure they put on a good show. Now though we didn’t get all the information we wanted, we did get a lot of good news.
For starters, lets hit some stats. Fires the good news, Playstation 3 sales are now up 150% from this time last year, that’s a big increase, thanks in no part to Blue ray’s win of HD-DVD. The bad news however is that Sony is still losing 3.3 billion dollars from production costs. Ouch. However, the coming holiday season and beyond should definitely see that number drop.
Sony started their press conference by stating that “2007 was for hardware, 2008 is all about the software.” For those who don’t know, allow me to translate: games. Games! GAMES!! Yes Sony is upping their anti in the game department and I, for one, can’t wait. Several previously Xbox 360 exclusive games will be making their way to PS3 including musical RPG Eternal Sonata, and big time successful shooter, Bioshock. On top of that, Final Fantasy XIII Versus is going to remain a PS3 exclusive title. But fret not because that’s not all Sony is getting plenty of their own games as well. Resistance 2, sequel to the smash-hit Resistance: Fall of Man, is slated for release by the end of the year or early next year. Little Big Planet is looking better and more fun every day and, although there is no release date yet, Sony actually did their opening presentation all in a level created in Little Big Planet. And to really get the juices flowing, Sony announced that their Greatest Hits franchise make a return int he current generation. Many games will be re-released as greatest hits and retail for $29.99, these games will include, Ninja Gaiden, Motorstorm, and Assassin’s Creed.
Not to be outdone, the PS2 is still staying strong. That’s right I said the Playstation TWO. The PS2 is still considered an active console and actually has up to 130 games slated to come out this year including the new Madden and NCAA games, Lego Batman and Yakuza 2. Further, a special PS2 bundle will soon be available packaged with Lego Batman, and the Justice League movie, retailing at $149.99.
Finally we have Sony’s never-say-die handheld console, The Playstation Portable. Many people considered the PSP dead in the water, however with the PS3 connectivity, and some downloads, the PSP has became stronger then ever. Out soon will be not one but 2 bundles for the PSP, including a Madden pack and a Ratchet and Clank:Size Matters pack(which will come packaged with National Treasure 2 on UMD) Both of which will retail at $199.99. Bundles and connectivity aren’t all the PSPhas to offer. With games like Resistance: Retribution, LocoRoco 2, Patapon 2, and Valkyria Chronicles coming out, Sony’s handheld powerhouse may be primed to get more face time then some consoles did.
Now I’ve been a bit misleading, Software isn’t JUST games. It’s also features, namely: network. With Xbox Live dominating the world of online console gaming, what is Sony doing to keep up? A lot actually. With every system update more and more features are added to make the Playstation network more streamlined, smoother, and more fun. And with 180 million downloads to date already, I’m eager to see what else they can do. One such feature that will be added is a Universal log-in enabling you to acces information and mantain your account from your PS3, PSP, or even via a PC or cellphone. Another big part of the online gaming experience is downloading games. Many people already know about Home and Little Big Planet, but there’s so much more on the horizon. Ratchet and Clank Future: Quest for Booty, is slated to come out for download via the playstation network to directly continue the storyline of Tools of Destruction. On top of that games like Fat Princess, Pain Ammusement Park, Siren, and Ragdoll Kung Fu: Fists of plastic, are all set to hit the Playstation store soon.
Finally, another huge news bomb, and answer to Xbox Live’sdeal with Netflix, is sony’sannounced partnership with Disney, Lion’s Gate, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, and MGM to bring movies, for purchase or rental, to the PS3 via download in regular and High Definition.
Lastly, but certainly not least, a glimpse of the future. Slated for a September release, an 80 gigabyte Playstation 3, with allt he workings of the current 40 gigabyte version, will hit shelves for $399.99, look for these to be BIG this Christmas season. Also set for release this year are SOCOM US Navy Seals: Confrontation, Guitar Hero World Tour, and Killzone 2. Oh, and if that’s not enough to make you curse time for moving slowly. Set for early next year: God of War III. Get ready Microsoft and Nintendo, looks like Sony is looking to take back the glory they once had. To see Sony’s press conference in its entirety, click here.
I would like to send out a big thank you to Adam Sessler, Morgan Webb, Kevin Pereira, Olivia Munn, and all the X-Play and Attack of the Show, crew, and just G4 in general, for making it possible to get these E3 updates as soon as they happen.