Sony Computer Entertainment America has rather unexpectedly launched its official E3 website over the weekend, and in the process revealed rather more about the line-up than it had perhaps planned. Although the front page of the site and the game index lists only 21 titles (some old, some new), clicking through to a game and then changing the two-digit number on the end of the website address will take you to various pages the platform holder obviously hadn't planned to publicise just yet.
Amongst the new titles openly listed on the main page, Champions: Return to Arms - the sequel to this year's Champions of Norrath (due out here May 28th) - will probably attract the most attention. Once again in development at Snoblind Studios, it's already promising more than 75 hours of gameplay per character, new multiplayer and online options, and an early 2005 release.
The official list also reveals the subtitle for Namco's forthcoming Ace Combat update, which SCEE recently announced plans to publish in Q1 2005. Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War appears on the same list as some third party titles we hadn't previously seen, including 100 Bullets and The Red Star (both Acclaim).
However it's the URL-tweaking technique that reveals the items of most interest. The list at the bottom of this page is every official Sony first or second party, or SCEE-published title found on the site, revealing a very strong line-up for the platform holder, in spite of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas' seemingly confirmed absence.
At the top of the order, Final Fantasy XII, Jak 3, Ratchet & Clank 3, Killzone, The Getaway 2, Dark Cloud 3 and Sly 2: Band of Thieves will more than keep us happy. Other, slightly less significant titles are still intriguing - God of War (recently revealed) will certainly be on our list, as will Rise of the Kisai (from Bottle Rocket - potentially the first of those Mark of Kri sequels), while Front Mission 4 and Death by Degrees are also worthy of investigation.
On the subject of previously announced titles, we could be here all day. Metal Gear Solid 3, Battlefield 1942 (presumably a mislabelling of Battlefield: Modern Combat, given the latter's absence elsewhere), BloodRayne 2, Burnout 3, Call of Duty: Their Finest Hour, Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires, Juiced, Mercenaries, Monster Hunter, Robotech Invasion, ShellShock: Nam '67, Silent Hill 4, Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow, Spider-Man 2, Star Wars: Battlefront, The Warriors (a Rockstar North title), Driv3r, Godzilla: Save the Earth, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Shadow of Rome, Terminator 3: Redemption, Under the Skin (Panic Maker in Japan), Viewtiful Joe 1 and 2 - we could go on, but you get the idea...
Other new titles include an Arc the Lad sequel, ATV Offroad Fury 3 (Rainbow Studios/THQ) and Cold Fear from Namco. URL-tweaking also throws up third party titles Destroy All Humans!! (from Star Wars: Battlefront/Mercenaries developer Pandemic and publisher THQ), Shark Tale (Edge of Reality/Activision - surely related to the film of the same name), and the rather ambiguous 'Tomorrow' from Ubisoft. While the latter could simply be an odd reference to Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow, we're not so sure - PT appears elsewhere on the site, and this title seems to be an Ubisoft Paris Studios / Annecy Studios product.
Either way, we should find out about that and all these other titles at E3, although it's worth pointing out that the unpublished pages dug up over the weekend lack official confirmation - something illustrated by the presence of some seriously erroneous information in a couple of the entries' info boxes (Formula One 2005's listing, for example, when F1 2004 was announced just last week). You have been warned, but don't be too put off - this year's E3 will clearly play host to a hell of a lot of intriguing titles, and with these and the usual array of "first look unveilings" on the cards, PS2 owners will certainly have a lot to smile about.
- The Getaway 2
- God of War
- Gran Turismo 4
- Final Fantasy XII
- Jak 3
- Ratchet & Clank 3: Up Your Arsenal
- Arc the Lad
- Athens Summer Olympics (Athens 2004)
- Dark Cloud 3
- "Formula One 2005" (most likely Formula One 2004)
- Hot Shots Golf: Fore!
- Rise of the Kisai
- NHL Hockey 2005
- Forbidden Siren (already released in Europe)
- Sly 2: Band of Thieves
- Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain
- World Tour Soccer 2005
- Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War
- Champions: Return to Arms
- Cold Fear
- Death by Degrees: Nina Williams
- Front Mission 4
- Star Ocean: Till the End of Time