Sony E3 conference roundup • Page 2

New PSPs, new partnerships and high hopes for the PS3 price cut.

With the PSP out of the way, Phil Harrison appeared to talk more about PlayStation Network and the new downloadable games on the way. These included Echochrome - described as having "the least graphics and most gameplay of any game on show" - plus WarHawk, WipEout HD and Pain.

For Harrison's next trick, he took a photo of the audience on his mobile phone and sent it to his PS3 - where it appeared in a frame on the wall in his Home apartment.

After a sequence about SingStar PS3, during which nothing much new was revealed, Harrison confirmed you'll be able to launch games from within Home and set up multiplayer matches there. To demonstrate he played a Motorstorm race with 11 other players on a new track called Eagle's Nest that will be available for download next month.

Tretton then returned to the stage to talk once again about the PS3 price cut, stating that sales of the 60GB model have doubled at Sony's top five retailers since the cut was announced on Monday.

Then it was time to move on to third party games for PS3. Tretton began by revealing that NCsoft will be creating games for the PlayStation Network that "will be found nowhere else", based on both current properties and new IP.

A flurry of game demos followed - Haze, Assassin's Creed, Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare, to name but a few. Unreal Tournament 3 was declared as a PS3 exclusive "this year". The same trailer for Resident Evil 5 shown at Microsoft's conference made a reappearance, and there was footage of The Simpsons Game, Guitar Hero III, Medal of Honor Airborne and Rock Band.


Phil Harrison and virtual Phil Harrison. Notice the MotorStorm outfit his Home avatar has on. He loves dressing up.

Many of those have been seen before, but the excitement level rose a notch with the appearance of the next guest on the stage - Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima. He reconfirmed that the next instalment in the series will be exclusive to the PS3, without directly dismissing recent rumblings from Konami that options may be reconsidered. He also said MGS4 would be "the finale" for the series.

A long and impressive trailer followed, and Kojima told the audience, "This is real-time footage and you'll be able to play in this quality." More will be revealed in a demo in Tokyo next week.

More game demos followed - Ratchet and Clank PS3, Heavenly Sword, Drake's Fortune, LittleBigPlanet, Gran Turismo. Again, all titles seen before, but then came Infamous - the new title from Sly Cooper developer Sucker Punch.

To finish up, Harrison showed a trailer of Killzone 2. It was also shown off at a special press event last night, and the general consensus seemed to be that Killzone 2 is looking more impressive than might have been presumed. The trailer was also well received by the audience today.

Tretton concluded the event by summing up all that had been discussed - the new PS3 price, the new PSP model and colours, the emphasis on games and the importance for Sony of driving innovation.

And then it was over. Attendees might have been hoping for more surprises, and less of an emphasis on games that have already been announced and shown to the world. The same could also be said of Nintendo and Microsoft's conferences, arguably. The question, however, is whether Sony needed to do more than its rivals this year - and the answer remains to be seen.

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