Sony GDC press conference Finished
Sony hosted its GDC press conference in San Francisco this week, and Eurogamer.net was on the scene to report live on the unveiling of PlayStation Move - the PS3 motion controller.
Due out this autumn in at least one bundle that costs less than $100, Move was the sole focus of the conference. Read on for impressions of the game demos as we saw them.
Our live coverage has now ended. Here's what you missed: Updating...
Now this is happening! Hello everyone. Ellie's in the queue for the Sony GDC conference right now, with kick-off just a few minutes away. Or, in classic press conference tradition, probably a few more minutes away than anyone realises.
It's 4pm PST / midnight GMT, so we should be on our way extremely soon. Unless it's 29th February again.
(And now Ellie takes over.) We're in! Today's conference is taking place from a big hangar type building, all lit up in PlayStation blue. The message on the giant screen reads 'IT ONLY DOES EVERYTHING.' Perhaps we're here for the announcement of the new Sony Swiss army knife?
OF COURSE NOT - we're here for Move, the motion controller formerly known as Arc. And Gem. And Kaz Hirai's Magic Electronical Wand of Joy.
It's Shuhei! Looking dapper in a blue jacked. Black trousers though. Shame.
He's so excited to be here with us. "Today is a special day... As we officially unveil the motion controller for PS3 and its games." GAMES!
For the first time today, they will schedule some of the games available "for the fall launch window".
"May I introduce to you... PlayStation Move."
PlayStation Move combines precise motion control with the full PS3 HD gaming experience, apparently.
Shuhei's done, it seems. He's handed over to SCEA's Peter Dille. "I couldn't get in without a badge."
He's talking about how happy he is to have actual gamers in the building as well to see Move for the first time. It's powered by "terrific technology" that allows Sony to "innovate and differentiate".
Before we get onto Move properly though, Dille wants to talk to us about PS3's momentum, starting with Killzone 2. That was good. Then Uncharted 2. That was also good. "A banner year," it says on the screen.
The PS3 Slim, the price cut, the "It only does everything" marketing campaign - Dille's pretty happy with the "total entertainment solution for the home" that PS3 has become.
PS3 was the only console that experienced 50% growth in software sales from 2008 to 2009, says Dille. They're even having clock issues. Sorry, stock issues.
"I'd like to thank the games press for giving this game its due," Dille says about Heavy Rain. You're welcome.
White Knight Chronicles now. COME ON PETER SHOW US YOUR WAND.
MLB 10 The Show is on the screen now. Some sort of rounders game? KEEP YOUR ROUNDERS PETER WHERE IS OUR MAGICAL STICK.
For a lot of people, Heavy Rain, MAG and God of War III would be a great year, says Dille, but for Sony it's just the first three months. ModNation Racers is coming, SOCOM 4 is coming, it's all good. "We're saving a couple of surprises for E3."
But we're really here to talk about Move today, Dille says/notices. The Move system is "revolutionary and a step ahead of anything currently on the marketplace".
"We like to think this is the next-generation of motion gaming."
"Nintendo has done a great job introducing motion gaming to the masses."
He loves teh Nintendo, but lots of people like high def. "We like to think the migration from Wii to PS3 is a pretty natural path," he says. "Total entertainment solution" again.
On the screen there are pictures of a man, woman and ethnic minority using the wand as a glof club, tennis racket and sword and shield.
Now there are images of the PS Eye, PS3 Slim and a posh telly. "Previous motion devices have used the controller simply as a pointer... Ours becomes an extension of your body."
"It allows you to immerse yourself in the action with incredible precision, rahter than simply playing the game."
He's repeatedly referring to examples of the games, which we're going to see. More women on screen now, using the wands like bows and arrows. Not lipsticks and hairdryers, oddly.
"Games that will appear to core gamers" according to Dille. There's a pic of a US soldier holding a virtual machine gun now.
"We're really approaching this like a virtual platform launch," says Dille, with multiple bundles you can buy. More specific pricing information will follow, but the PS Eye/game/Move controller will be under $100.
Dille expects this to be a "seminal" moment for PlayStation and indeed gaming. And you're experiencing it live!
"Our technology will never compromise gameplay," he says, presumably taking a pop at one or other of Microsoft or Nintendo, although we're too jetlagged to really work it out.
There's a lifestyley video playing, based on the "It only does everything" mantra. A man is using two wands to punch in a fighting game with too much fuzzy felt bloom.
Now there's a woman using a bow and arrow in a virtual wood. Two girls using two wands to play table tennis.
A middle-aged bloke using it as a virtual golf club. A teenage boy using two wands as a sword and shield.
A whole family now. A little girl is painting on the TV screen. A montage of the games you'll be able to play - EyePet, archery, LBP, is that Alan in the Dark? Fall 2010 confirmed. PlayStation Move - "It only does everything."
Scott Rohde, VP of Worldwide Studios, is on the stage. "We have been truly inspired by PS Move," he says. "Or else," we assume.
They're really stressing the precision and subtlety angle on this. Jonathan Ross will be pleased. "PS Move is responsive, precise and able to handle both fast and subtle movements. THe latency is as robust as the Dualshock and Sixaxis wireless controller." "We have virtually no limits to the types of genres and gameeplay experience we can create."
The fact it has an analogue trigger and face buttons really helps, he reckons. Now we're seeing Gladiator Duel, a one-on-one arena combat game.
Sorry, that's a game called Sports Champions, and a game within it called Gladiator Duel.
Another bloke is playing with two wands, live on stage. We see him on one half of the screen and the game on the other.
Digital Foundry's going to have a field day with all this. The split window thing indicates that there's very little latency to the naked eye. He's swinging his weapons around and they're flying just as quickly on-screen.
The next title we're seeing is the table tennis bit of Sports Champions. Hang on, a sports mini-game bundle as a wand launch title? How novel.
In Duel, incidentally, his sword, shield and character appeared as transparent images. He was in a battle arena, fighting a woman from third-person perspective, and he showed how you can do an overhead attack, then a special attack by swinging the shield then sword.
But, yes, table tennis. He's doing backhand serves, simple shots. While he talks, gesturing slightly with his bat hand, the table tennis paddle on-screen responds very swiftly and precisely. Presumably he's quite practised at this, but as Rohde says, "the precision is quite evident there".
Now we're going to see a game called Move Party, where video can be used for "augmented reality, face tracking and chat". Ooh, it's a Brit demoing it. Hello there crumpets vicar etc.
A woman is playing it while Liverpool bloke commentates. She uses the Eye to take her picture and says something to it - "Make a funny noise," the game demands.
Looks a bit like EyeToy - the in-game screen shows the real life lady as if in a mirror, but holding a virtual tennis racket. She uses it to swat a load of butterflies.
Now she's holding a virtual paintbrush and drawing a circle on the screen. Again, there's no latency.
Time for the next mini-game - Wacky Barber Shop. The lady is holding a virtual clippers and using it to cut an alien's hair.
Next mini-game - Blown Away. Now she's holding a fan. She must use it to keep floating chicks in the air and guide them into their nests.
Not exactly Killzone, is it? Looks quite fun though.
"The chicks hit the fan." GENIUS.
Now we're moving on to LittleBigPlanet. "You can literally go into the game and manipulate objects." LITERALLY?
Of course not, but you can use the wand to lift and move in-game objects. One bloke is uising a regular controller to control sackboy, while another bloke usies a Move to help him out - moving a platform over some flames, for example.
Now he's rotating an object to bridge a gap and let sackboy cross it. He's catching Sackboy in a hat then throwing him up in the air.
"Users will be able to create the same level of detail." Instead of switches, you can use the motion controller to get through environments.
It looks like the bits you can move with the Move are highlighted in bright pink.
We're going to see a video of the Move interacting with EyePet. A family boots up EyePet in their lifestyle living room. Business as usual so far.
But now... The girl picks up the wand and uses it as a hairdryer on the EyePet. You can also use it to spray different colours or do haircuts, or draw things for the EyePet to copy.
In other words, the Move takes the place of the magic card thingy EyePet currently comes with. "Coming 2010" it says, as it's not out in the US yet. Presumably they'll patch our one.
Now we're seeing another new game - Motion Fighters (working title). A man called Johnny Mac is demonstrating. He's clearly from Liverpool. [The home of football. - Ed]
He's using two Moves. On-screen we see the back top half of a bloke with loads of tattoos. Johnny's using the wands to make him perform uppercuts on another bloke. Now he gets the bloke in a headlock and starts smashing his head in. "That one's always a winner." You can do both clean and dirty moves, plus holds and finishing moves.
The game is almost black and white - there are just a few touches of red and yellow in the environment. Looks a bit like Sin City.
He elbows the bloke in the face with both arms, and the demo's over.
There are going to be other Move bits, apparently, including the PlayStation Move Sub-controller.
"You can play all the way through SOCOM 4 with PS Move and the sub controller." The SC has another analogue stick, basically.
There's a man playing SOCOM 4 and he's got the Move in one hand and the sub-controller in the other. He's using the SC to move his character and aiming with the Move wand thing.
The pictures sort of speak for themselves. He can move around in traditional third-person shooter style, go to iron sights, and lob grenades.
Apparently the reason it's suitable to play through the whole of SOCOM 4 is that it was really easy for Zipper to integrate the control system. Now Rodhe's going to "kick it back to Pete".
"We promised at the outset you'd see a broad range of games... The PS brand has always been a very big tent." What?
Oh right, a tent that welcomes all ages and genres.
Third party logos on screen now - Acti, Capcom, WB, Namco, Squenix, Crave, Konami, Ubi, SEGA, Tecmo, Disney, EA. [We'll have a full list of 36 supporting companies after the conference. - Ed]
"Virtually all" third parties are in, and are finding the Move very easy to develop for. They're creating dual skus which work with both Sixaxis and Move, and which can fit on the same Blu-ray disc.
Dille's spaffing on about it doing everything again. This summer it will also do 3D gaming, as announced at CES.
"Seeing a video is one thing - seeing a demo is another - but playing the games is really what it's all about."
There are 30 kiosks next door so we can play the games. Only 30?
And it's over. We're racing over to that kiosk right now!
Thanks for joining us everyone. Look out for screenshots galore and more details on Move in the next few minutes.