E3: Sony Briefing

Sony was the middle guy this year. We knew about everything they were going to announce, and they didn’t really blow us away with anything. Pricing was announced for Move, and it was perfectly mediocre. Nothing earth-shatteringly low, and nothing ridiculously high. We knew that PlayStation Plus was coming in one form or another, we expected Killzone 3, and we knew they’d demo all that Move stuff.

The highlight for the conference for myself and many people was Kevin Butler. That is good and bad all at once. On the one hand, incredible speech, amazing comedy, and very authoritative in a hilarious way. Sony also served an amazing spread of food before the show and G4 was on hand outside the venue to give their thoughts on the conference before it all went down. On the other hand, I’m not sure that it’s okay that gaming wasn’t the best thing Sony had to show at their gaming conference.

Move makes sense. I love the idea of taking what is essentially Wiimote functionality and integrating it with a camera to get more precision, face tracking, and the like. It isn’t anything earth shattering beyond the Wii; it’s an evolution, certainly not a revolution (if that goes to anyone this year, it’s certainly Microsoft for Kinect). They did have some cool titles on display such as Sorcery, but I’m wondering if that couldn’t be accomplished with virtually the same success on the Wii with MotionPlus as it is on the PlayStation. Tiger Woods seemed like a verbatim copy of the Wii versions of years past to me. Sony bills Move as being intuitive and very human, which is excellent. Except that the Wii did that. Four years ago.

I have to say that, after playing Move, I was more impressed than I thought I would be. It is the only offering with actual hardcore games like Heavy Rain and Socom 4. And just because Wii did it a while back doesn’t mean that PlayStation can’t do it for its own titles now.

In terms of their other offerings, they’ve announced that they have finally made a move (no pun intended) into the Canadian movie distribution market set to launch July 1st (I wonder if that was a coincidence) and that their premium service with PlayStation Plus is set to launch in July. The latter is something we will have to wait and see about because the content that they offer up exclusively to Plus members could be anywhere from ‘meh’ to mediocre to mind blazingly worthwhile. Time will tell.

Overall, at the three conferences, the things I was most skeptical about turned out to impress me the most. Kinect was more accurate than I could ever have predicted, the 3DS was pretty magical, if not a bit tiring on the eyes, and the Move was very comfortable and didn’t really feel like a Wii ripoff after all. Check out the next article for our thoughts on Day One of the show, the swag, and the games that we managed to check out. But first, of course, check out the pictures below!