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E3 2009 : Sony's Press Conference

Gamasutra covered Sony's E3 press conference live from Los Angeles, including Uncharted 2, M.A.G., PSP Go announce/pricing, Gran Turismo PSP, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker PSP, Rockstar's Agent, FFXIV Online, mot

June 2, 2009

5 Min Read

Author: by Staff

Gamasutra covered Sony's E3 press conference live from Los Angeles, with all the announcements from the PlayStation creators, spanning the PlayStation 3, PSP, and PlayStation 2. Here are our full notes from the press conference: 11.11 - Sony EVP Jack Tretton comes onstage to introduce why 2009 for PlayStation will be "our best year ever". He points out that Sony is the only company with "three successful systems" in the market. 11.13 - Tretton talks about the PlayStation 2, which is at $99 and now has more than 2000 titles available. He also comments that "today's PS2 users are ultimately tomorrow's PS3's consumers." He notes that there are now more than 24 million PSN accounts worldwide. 11.18 - Naughty Dog representatives come on stage to discuss Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, revealing that the multiplayer beta for the PS3 game will start tonight. They then show an action-packed gameplay sequence for the title. 11.23 - Tretton introduces Zipper Interactive's M.A.G., aka Massive Action Game, and showcasing a live 256-player battle in the PS3-exclusive title. The impressive live demo showed players who are squad leaders directing other players in a complex military squad-based FPS title. 11.30 - Discussing the PSP, Tretton notes that the global installed base is now 50 million, and introduces Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Kaz Hirai, who discusses the changing nature of digital technology. He then officially announces the PSP Go, representing a new PSP "specifically designed for the digital lifestyle." But he makes it clear that the PSP-3000 and UMDs will continue to be marketed alongside the new PSP Go - which is more than 50% lighter and 40% smaller than the original PSP. 11.34 - Hirai also confirms the 16 gigabyte of flash memory, as well as Bluetooth compatibility for the PSP Go, and also notes new PC software, named Media Go, to help interface your PC and PSP. In addition, the PSP toolkit price for developers will be reduced by up to 80%. Hirai also confirmed that all PSP titles going forward will be available both digitally and via UMD. 11.40 - The Sony Computer Entertainment CEO confirms that the PSP Go system will launch in the U.S. on October 1st for $249.99, with a simultaneous European release and a November 1st debut in Japan. 11.42 - Polyphony Digital's Kazunori Yamauchi is then introduced, confirming Gran Turismo for PlayStation Portable, both via UMD and digital versions, running at 60 frames per second. He confirms that it's "not a shrunken down version of the series" but a full addition to the notable racing franchise. 11.47 - Konami's Hideo Kojima comes out on stage to announce Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker for PSP, revealing that it is set 10 years after Metal Gear Solid 3, in the 1970s, and is "not a side story", rather a full new game. It's set in Costa Rica, and features the traditional MGS sneak-run gameplay. The teaser trailer ends with a traditionally silly gag involving a cardboard box. 11.55 - Tretton also introduces a number of other PSP titles shown in trailer form, including Motorstorm: Arctic Edge, LittleBigPlanet, and a number of other notables in fast-montage form. 12.00 - Calling PlayStation Home a "dynamic new marketplace", Tretton reveals 6.5 million users worldwide for it, and an 85% return rate. He reveals that Street Fighter and Resident Evil's virtual in-PlayStation Home items have sold around 100,000 units in less than 2 months, and confirms more custom items from third-party publishers due soon. 12.07 - A montage of PlayStation 3 titles is shown, including a number of multi-platform titles, before introducing a new Rockstar North game exclusive to PlayStation 3, Agent. Little information is released alongside it thus far, other than the game being set in the 1970s and "the shadowy world of espionage". 12.19 - Following a demonstration of Assassin's Creed 2 which saw gasps from the crowd over slick Renaissance execution techniques, a custom cinematic of Final Fantasy XIII shows, before Tretton reveals a shock - that Final Fantasy XIV is coming in 2010, and it will be exclusive to PlayStation. 12.24 - A short trailer of Final Fantasy XIV, with plenty of fantastical CG visuals, is shown, and it's revealed that its full name is Final Fantasy XIV Online. 12.26 - Dr. Richard Marks comes onstage to showcase camera and motion sensor-based interface technology, showing a Wiimote-sized "engineering prototype" controller which includes "a variety of buttons and motion sensors", and a glowing orb on the end that the PlayStation Eye can track. He shows a combination of EyeToy and motion sensor which allows the player to see himself on the screen, but with 'virtual items' rendered in place of his controller, including a baseball bat, flashlight, sword, and so on. Marks and his colleagues then showcase a "first-person shooter" control style which allows the player to move around and control a gun, with a trigger on the controller, while a combination of the EyeToy and motion sensor track him. The duo also show the amount of precision in this control method, showing the ability to write things with 'sub-pixel' accuracy, and then the ability to combine two controllers to do archery simulation. 12.35 - Tretton discusses LittleBigPlanet, revealing 900,000 levels created so far, and then introduces the PS3 exclusive ModNation Racers, "a thoroughly modern take" on kart racing created by United Front Games, and taking a LBP-style customization attitude to the genre. They then demonstrate the physics-heavy kart racing game with the typical wacky powerups, and showcases both customized characters and a highly customizable track design tool with LittleBigPlanet-like 'easy use' contruction interface. 12.49 - Fumito Ueda's much-awaited title The Last Guardian is confirmed with a trailer that shows the large bird/mammal hybrid bonding with a young boy in a Ico/Colossus style rugged landscape, developed again by Sony's Japan Studio. 12.54 - Polyphony's Gran Turismo 5 is trailed via a sumptuous trailer, revealing that the game has both the World Rally Championships and NASCAR licenses, as well as traditional high-end sports and racing car deals. 12.59 - The Sony conference ends out with a long real-time gameplay excerpt from the much-awaited PS3 exclusive God Of War III, including plenty of giant boss fights, impressive visuals, and bombastic effects.

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