Hello! We're hanging out in the achingly cool bar and food truck disco out front of the LA Memorial Sports Arena, getting ready to queue up and go see what's happening in the world of PlayStation.
The Sony E3 2011 PlayStation press conference has ended.
What happened? The headline announcement was NGP becoming PlayStation Vita and getting a €299.99/$299.99 price (3G + Wi-Fi) and autumn (holiday) date. The standard Wi-Fi model will cost €249.99/$249.99.
We also finally saw cross-platform Vita to PS3 play in action in new title Ruin.
Sony also made much of PlayStation Move, which has now sold 8.8 million units. A Star Trek game was outed for the PS3 wand and will come with a phaser-styled Move controller. Even BioShock Infinite will have Move support.
Sony revealed Sly Cooper 4, gave the much awaited Ico and Shadow of the Colossus HD (and 3D) bundle a September date and revelled in EVE Online sister-game Dust 514 becoming a PS3 exclusive.
Uncharted 3 looked absolutely brilliant, and Sony unveiled two new PlayStation products - a 3D telly and a pair of 3D glasses. They'll be cheap and Sony hopes will get more people into 3D gaming. Whether they'll head overseas to the UK and Europe we don't know.
Oh, and Sony US boss Jack Tretton apologised for the PSN hack and identity theft.
What follows is the full blow-by-blow account of what happened.
Sony will have to go some to beat the DENSITY of Microsoft's announcements earlier. Based on previous years this will probably be a longer, deeper-diving affair, and we expect it to centre around NGP and Uncharted 3 - Sony's big hitters for 2011.
You know what would be nice, a new PS3 exclusive from Quantic Dream (heavy Rain) I've already seen enough games at this E3 that look like mindless shooters. Lets have some decent story lines for a change.
NGP pricing will be key too. Will it really be ''affordable''? Probably not.
And now we're inside! Staring down at a huge central screen flanked by a trio of circular vid screens on left and right. There are three podiums underneath the main screen, two of which look like demo setups. It's all bathed in cool Sony blue in contrast to the sun-soaked funk party outside.
We keep hearing rumours about what's going to be shown, the most compelling of which is that Howard Stringer is going to personally give his credit card details to everyone in the audience as a final all-encompassing apology.
Only joking - he's going to hack into Xbox Live on stage instead.
They're now flashing blue spotlights in my eyes, possibly related to the last comment.
Haven't been told anything about a delay so let's cross our fingers for three minutes' time eh?
While we wait, I'd like to waste some of your time by thanking Bertie, Tom Phillips and Eurogamer TV's Johnny Minkley for working basically non-stop from 8am UK through until now in order to keep the magic flowing. I will make special Viva Pinata gardens in their honour on my return.
There are still people filling in so I doubt we're ready to go just yet. The place is pretty full though.
"Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen and welcome. We shall begin in 10 minutes."
"We shall begin in five minutes."
"We shall begin very shortly. Also, please put on your Real 3D 3D glasses at this time." F*** that noise.
"We shall begin in one minute." 59, 58, 57...
Here we go!
Something's happening on screen. There's a lot of rumbling against a black backdrop. Loud cheers from the audience. PS logo. It's a spinning PS3 and some dance music.
And there's NGP. And Move. They're dancing. This is the most erotic thing I've ever seen. Now we're getting a montage of games - Uncharted 3 and friends - while dubstep (what else) rides along the top.
There's a montage of NGP games including WipEout 2048 and what looked like Hot Shots Golf. And now a Move montage with Resistance 3, Cars, MLB and others.
There's more games in these reels than you can shake a Move at - mostly third party. It's all pretty snapshotty and hard to follow. I think the point is meant to be that there's lots of different games on PlayStation platforms.
That's the end of that. "Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Jack Tretton."
HI JACK TRETTON. "Wow, what a crowd. There are a lot of people here."
You're welcome Jack. There are 6000 people here apparently. Jack's got a wicked blue tie on. Very on-message.
"This isn't the first time I've come into an E3 press conference with an elephant in the room. Of course I'm referring to the PlayStation Network outage. This is my first chance to address it a bit."
"To all our esteemed members of the press I say 'you're welcome'."
"To our partners... I know the network outage was costly to you. What's been incredibly inspiring is your support and offers to help us get back up to speed."
He's also thanking retailers for their support.
But the audience he's most interested in addressing is consumers. "You are the lifeblood of the company. Without you there is no PlayStation. I want to apologise personally and on behalf of the company for any anxiety we've caused you."
He says they're humble and amazed at the dedication gamers give to the PlayStation brand. "Network activity is currently at over 90 per cent of what it was before the network outage, and that is something we absolutely do not take lightly."
"We hope the next 90 minutes will go a long way in convincing you the PlayStation brand is stronger than ever." Apparently everything we see will be playable directly after the conference too.
"PlayStation 3 is the most connected device available today, and it's powered by the PlayStation Network."
PS3 apparently generates more than 30 per cent of Netflix' streaming usage, which he says is a good example of how much entertainment shizzle goes through PSN. CinemaNow is coming later this year too.
"Our commitment to you is that we're going to continue adding industry defining experiences to PlayStation and PlayStation Network each step of the way... The value of the platform is exponentially greater than it was a few short years away."
"One franchise that's become synonymous with beauty, perfection and the power of PlayStation is Uncharted..."
Naughty Dog co-presidents Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra are on stage to show us a live demo of Uncharted 3.
They've brought single-player and multiplayer content with them apparently. The SP demo we're seeing kicks off with Nathan Drake struggling against the wind and rain on the swaying deck of a ship at night. The choppy sea looks epic.
"Nice day for a boatride."
He heads inside to the ballroom of the ship where huge chandeliers sway. There's a guard at the top of some stairs who he grabs in a stealth kill and yanks over some crates. And another one he grabs from behind and sleeper-chokes.
He goes out on deck again and admires the undulating masses of water over the boughs. As he moves up he comes to a guard under a spotlight whose neck he breaks. Then he sees another guard creeping by observing his shadow from a wall-light, and takes him out.
Drakey's racking up quite the bodycount as he moves deeper into the ship below decks.
Platforming! He's just leapt onto something and descended into what looks like the main storage area... but aha, his enemies have pinned him down at gunpoint.
Nice! A guy strolls up to him to take him into custody or whatever and he disarms him with a slick takedown and starts cover-firing at enemies on gangways above him. But whoops, a car rolls along the deck and punctures the hull. Now the room is slowly filling inexorably with water and the ship is capsizing around him.
Good grief. The boat's now on its side and he's had to swim to the surface and clamber up crates to escape. Whoops, now he's fallen down a corridor (everything's sideways - it's a bit disorientating) and is getting knocked about by debris and rising water.
Something's pinned him down underwater but he manages to dislodge it with some button-mashing. He swims to the top of the flooding room to get some air, but now he's properly underwater and ripping at hatches to find a way out.
He makes it and coughs up his lungs in celebration. Now he's running towards camera as water chases him up a corridor. And that's it! Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception. Big applause.
Balestra says they want to bring that sort of experience to multiplayer too and we'll get to try a beta on 28th June (or possibly 20th, it was hard to hear).
28th we reckon. Now we're going to see another demo of UC3, this time in 3D. We see Drake in a suit lying in the gutter with a woman taunting him.
"I wonder what you're really afraid of. Not bullets or blood. You get off on this." Then someone shoots him.
They're looking for "the Atlantis of the sands" apparently - we hear Sully chatting to Drake about it.
Lots of cool-looking gameplay, including an amazing bit where he's leaping onto a moving plane on the runway. All the love interests are intact (Chloe!) and he's hanging out the back of a plane and and and. Looks stunning.
November 1st innit. That's the end of that. "Pretty amazing guys," says Jack Tretton. "We're going to sell a few copies of that bad boy."
He's now introducing Insomniac Games - "creator of some of the most iconic franchises on PlayStation". Marcus Smith is here to demonstrate "their next great masterpiece", Resistance 3.
"The Chimera have won the war, humans face extinction, and everything looks pretty bleak." For this demo, our hero Joseph has just embarked on a last-ditch journey to take the fight to the Chimera. We're seeing stuff from St. Louis tonight.
Joseph's going to join forces with local resistance to take down a Chimera dropship. "Put on your glasses," says Smith.
Right then, big old FPS in a street. Dropship, flying debris, a knackered bus, etc. Joseph's shooting at floating drone things in the sky, firing shotguns at guys in buildings, legging it around...
He's using a gun to fire through walls using infrared, and to bust the little portable energy shields the Chimera are using. Now we're going to jump ahead in the demo - apparently the ambush has gone bad and the player has to pick up a power core and leg it.
There's a big old Chimera walker thing with spindly War of the Worlds legs stomping around the level as Joseph ascends ramps made from the rubble of shattered buildings. The WOTW monstie skewers one of his pals.
That's that. That was "three minutes of Resistance 3 in 3D".
Back to Jack. "The combination of Move and 3D creates a completely new gaming experience," he says of Resistance 3. Today he's announcing a Resistance 3 Sharpshooter bundle - Sept 6 $150 - with Eye, Sharpshooter, Move, the game and the navigation controller.
Another couple of special collections being announced. God of War Origins Collection is a remastered 3D version of Ghosts of Sparta and Chains of Olympus.
We'll also get The Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection. Remastered in High Definition. Both that and the GOW thing will be out in September and in 3D.
"Content has just been one of the barriers for consumers with 3D. The other is price. We're going to make the entrance into 3D more affordable for everyone." Two new 3D hardware products being introduced.
Introducing a PlayStation-branded 3D display. 24-inch display "developed specifically" so there's a cheapish entry point to 3D content. Perfect for dorm rooms, etc, reckons Jack.
Ooh, it does a clever thing where you can do split-screen... without splitting the screen. Two players watch from different angles and see a different image.
As in, full-screen.
They're also doing an affordable pair of 3D glasses, which will be bundled with the special 3D TV, Resistance 3 and a six-foot HDMI cable - and the whole bundle will be for $499.
Time to talk about PlayStation Move. It's "adding more value and deeper engaging experiences" says Jack. 2K Sports are here to show how it's doing that. Wotcha got boys?
We're seeing NBA 2K12. Apparently the response to 2K11 was "overwhelming", with over 5m copies sold.
New feature we're being shown is called NBA on the Move. You target a player you want to pass to with PS Move.
The idea is to make accessible basketball simulation so anyone can pick it up. Heh, they're bringing out Kobe Bryant to demo it.
"Which team are you?" says Kobe. "I'm the Heat, man, what do you think?" says the developer. Kobe says that's "rude" and takes the remote off him.
He concedes a point. "I ain't worried about it. It's part of the game." Kobe runs up the other end and fouls someone.
"You know what, man? This game looks a little too real." The dev does a three-pointer as the Heat. "That's just not realistic at all. Forget everything I just said."
Kobe runs up the other end and scores. "All jokes aside, this is so realistic it's frightening. When I got here I went in the back and played it, and it's actually running the triangle offense better than we were last year. So kudos to you."
Game's out on October 4th. "NBA 2K12 will change the game." That might be helpful as I have no idea what just happened.
Jack's back! He's introducing a new Move title from the makers of Sports Champions. Here's Medieval Moves: Dead Man's Quest.
It's a fantasy action adventure game played with Move. Swordfighting, archery etc.
There's no inventory system and weapon selection - you select your weapon based on Move gestures. For example, when he wants to switch from sword to bow he just reaches back into his quiver for an arrow then pulls it out and does a bow gesture.
Now he's opening a door through some convoluted mechanic I didn't listen to the description of. No idea what's going on really. It's in 3D though.
Still wandering around firing arrows at skeletons. The art style is pretty cutesy, almost Maximo-esque.
He reveals a secret path by shooting explosive barrels. He could use his grapple hook to go through the secret path.
Poor Tom, maybe they will get something exciting on to wake him up.
That'd be nice.
Medieval Moves: Deadmund's Quest is out this autumn. Enough of that.
Jack's back and rabbiting on about PS Move some more. Loads of games support it, doncha know!
We're going to see inFamous 2 now, which is out tomorrow in the US and Friday in the UK. You can read our review elsewhere on the site.
Lots of shots of Cole running around flinging electricity at gangmembers in New Marais. This does look awesome, although it seems odd to be spending a few minutes with a game that's out tomorrow...
a strange comment to single out tom...
I'm only kidding. The UC3 demo was wicked - can't wait for them to wrap up so I can go play that.
This autumn we'll get a unique UGC experience for inFamous 2 - create online missions using PS Move.
We'll get more Move support for LittleBigPlanet 2 later this year - September.
Now they're going to show us Starhawk from Lightbox Interactive and Sony Santa Monica.
A dude is trudging through a post-apocalyptic-looking desert. "Every day is a fight to survive." Lots of men shooting one another. Driving buggies around. Transforming robot hawk things.
It's all CG but demonstrates the concept pretty well - warfare from planets out into space.
Jack says there's one Worldwide Studios title he gets loads of emails about...
A Parisian-looking cityscape. Woo it's Sly Raccoon!
He's leaping around rooftops at night perching on spires, running from cutesy helicopters, riding down ziplines and generally being awesome.
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time!
Coming 2012. Woo! Give me that!
Jack's back and introducing CCP, the guys who made EVE Online. Hilmar Petursson is here. "I come from Iceland, a place known for spewing volcanic dust that disrupts your transatlantic flights." Dust 514 is a PlayStation 3 exclusive, he says.
"We're taking a console shooter and connecting it directly to a PC MMO. Together Dust and Eve Online will connect... and share the same supercomputer."
They're also extending the experience to NGP. "How about I show you what you will be doing next summer?"
Here we go then. We're in a dropship holding a gun staring out at some sort of military installation on a grey planet. We move down and hide behind cover, firing at sentries among crates and dropships.
"They told us we had no chance," says a gravelly voiceover. "That we were fools to even try." The game is flicking between various ships and objects and saying how much their ISK value is. Out in space we see regular Eve.
"On this battlefield, one shot can change the course of history - and you're going to be the one who takes it." A planetary cannon just fired at a ship floating past in space. "One universe, one war," is the motto.
HI JACK. Dust closed beta later this year and a full release in spring 2012.
2K and Irrational Games are up next with a BioShock Infinite demo. We're talking to Elizabeth - she asks us to promise that if it comes to it we will not let HIM take her back, whoever he is.
God this just looks more beautiful every time I see it. Lots of screeching, sky rails, beautiful architecture, those blue skies, zeppelins...
Lots of applause for that one.
Ken Levine is on stage. "We've been doing a lot of press for BioShock Infinite recently, and I did an interview a few months ago, and I kind of tend to speak my mind... And let's say I expressed some scepticism about the very concept of motion control, and I may have said some uncharitable things about PlayStation Move."
Then a few days later, he says, Sony called to speak to him about it. "I expected a lot of gnashing of teeth and nervousness, and instead what they said was, 'Ken, we want to make you a believer.'"
Sony told him that they just wanted to remove the barrier to entry for a world like BioShock. "What if they could play your game? What would you wager if you could get them on board... without sacrificing anything?" And he replied that he wouldn't wager us - the people who play with real controllers.
But once he got past the initial anxiety about it, he realised there were other ways to interact with the world. "We're going to have PlayStation Move on BioShock Infinite, and the exciting part is we're just starting to get our head around what that can mean."
Ooh, he's talking about another game they're kicking around... "and recently we found the right home for it". He holds up an NGP. So Irrational's making an NGP game then, but no details yet. Bye Ken.
Jack says consumers who buy BioShock Infinite on PS3 will get the original BioShock on the same Blu-ray disc.
They're also doing an exclusive game mode in Saints Row The Third, he says, switching to THQ.
Next game is the Star Trek game from Paramount and Bad Robot. A co-op action adventure timed with the next JJ Abrams film next year.
"NGP" being used a lot... maybe using it as a full name?
Not sure Jack or anyone's actually said NGP out loud yet - I've just been using it.
There's going to be a Move-enabled prequel on PSN too for Star Trek.
Let's see some footage. OK.
This looks pretty swish but quite dark. Lots of nice set-pieces. "Coming 2012."
Sorry, yes, the NGP Irrational game is also in the BioShock universe.
Now we're switching up to EA Sports and SSX, which has an exclusive level on PS3 based on Mount Fuji with 10 runs.
Need for Speed: The Run will come on a special Blu-ray disc featuring seven exclusive supercars - including the Bugatti Veyron.
Battlefield 3 on PS3 "will be bigger than any other". You'll get Battlefield 1943 on the same disc.
"And of course EA will be supporting our Next Generation Portable as well." Jack's introducing Kaz Hirai next.
"How about that tie he's wearing? Round of applause for a tie."
Hirai is talking about the connected experience across a bunch of platforms. "We learned a lot during the recent outage of PlayStation Network, and one of the most important things we learned was about the trust and support of our consumers."
"We thank you for that." He says the network experience is also vital for the mobile gaming experience, as they learned with PSP.
"The question is, how do we deliver a PlayStation level experience to a wider audience?" The answer is PlayStation Suite, he says. It's the thing that spans other platforms inc mobile.
We'll get more information on PS Suite "in the very near future". Hirai reckons it will be a gateway drug for people on cellphones etc to get into PlayStation consoles.
PlayStation Portable "has been a home console-like experience in the palm of your hand" and so too will NGP be. He's listing its various features.
He's going to show NGP next. "What you've come to know as NGP is officially known as PlayStation Vita."
"So, what does Vita mean? Vita means life, and we're confident that PlayStation Vita will be the first product that truly blurs those lines between PlayStation entertainment and your real life."
Things are getting pretty blurry for me too Kaz. Can you get on with it?
He's still recapping the console's features. "Of course... this requires the nation's fastest broadband network." He says they're partnering with AT&T as an exclusive partner in the US... and loads of people laughed! Eek.
Kaz looked a little surprised by the reaction there.
There's a feature called Party where you can chat together over PSN whatever game you're in.
There's also a social networking feature called Near for comparing trophies and doing other "social connection" bits. We'll get more specifics on them in "the very near future".
Here's Scott Rohde from Worldwide Studios to show some games on NGP - sorry, Vita.
"We believe this device will change how people think about portable gaming," says Rohde.
We're going to see a brief demo of Sony Bend's Uncharted: Golden Abyss. They started working on it around two years ago, says the developer.
They're showing it using an over the shoulder camera shot of the developer holding a Vita, rather than direct-feed. So yes, we're getting a shakycam demo of Uncharted Vita...
Still, it does look very good. There's dynamic lighting and sexy water, and Nathan Drake looks and moves like Nathan Drake.
We're seeing how the game uses a mixture of traditional controls and touch. "We wanted to make sure fans of Uncharted could pick up and play it using controls they were used to, but in places where it made sense we've incorporated PlayStation Vita controls."
You're not locked into either set of controls. When dangling from ruins you could use the stick to cross or drag your finger on the touch-screen. Same for jumping - use the X button, or tap on the ledge for a cinematic leap.
Ooh, that's nice - if you drag your finger across a series of stones and ledges you can "paint" them to store up some movements, which Drake then performs smoothly without further input.
Here's some combat now, really benefitting from dual analogue sticks.
Drake's in cover, leans out with left shoulder and fires with right. Ah dual analogue, how we love you.
(Check it out - they colour co-ordinated the entire stage with Kaz's outfit.)
Big cheers for that demo, and fair play - Uncharted looks great as ever.
Now we're going to see a "social action RPG" which is "directly compatible with PS3". It's called Ruin. Idle Minds and Sony San Diego are on stage.
Not all of them, obviously. Ruin is an RPG, says the dev, and their goal was to offer everything you'd expect - loot, multiple character classes and things like that. But they started with combat.
Ruin's a sort of isometric game where the character's hacking and slashing away on a bridge. Looks a bit like Diablo.
"In Ruin, other players are your rivals." You can "help, hinder or even harm them" and you interact with them through PlayStation Network, Twitter and other social channels.
On-screen we're attacking a rival's lair, which is protected by a dungeon. A player's success in the game enhances and improves their lair and dungeon.
Sounds like the idea is that you are constantly digging out your Vita to fend people off. Now we're going to see the PS3 version, which allows you to pick up exactly where you left off. Lots of applause for seeing this in action.
The idea of taking the experience with you from the coach to your commute seamlessly by storing data in the cloud has been doing the rounds for years - hopefully Ruin will make a success of it. It did look fun, although the demo was a bit stilted on stage.
Now we're going to see some ModNation Racers action for PlayStation Vita. "It's an entirely new experience. It's not a port of ModNation PS3 or PSP."
You can use the touch-screen to draw the route for your track. He does a little doodle and jumps straight in. There's also a more detailed 3D editor with touch controls. He's laying down jumps and stuff really easily.
It also uses the back touch panel - touch it and it inserts terrain depth variation, sprouting up mountains the longer you hold it. You can then depress the land by pressing the front panel.
And now he jumps into the race on his track.
Round of applause. "We have a ton of great features we're going to share with you in the months to come... But owners of ModNation Racers on PS Vita will have access to the more than 2m tracks and cars" made by ModNation Racers' PS3 community.
Scott Rohde's back. "We are very proud to show that cross-platform interaction is functioning in so many different ways so early in the development of PlayStation Vita." There'll be lots more of this, says Rohde, including the cross-play feature with WipEout 2048.
WipEout will be at launch and the cross-play functionality is being demoed here tonight - as it was when we saw the game a little while ago. Check the preview elsewhere on the site.
LittleBigPlanet on Vita, meanwhile, will use a bunch of the system's unique features in unison, including touch and so forth. The trailer's up now.
Touch controls in the games you create, Sixaxis tilting, rear-panel object-manipulation, new MP modes (a sort of turn-based table footbal), multi-touch for two players on the same screen, and online stuff. In the editor someone draws a bridge with their finger. You can also snap photos and use the things you photograph.
We're going to see a demo of Street Fighter X Tekken for Vita next. "OOOOOH," goes a large section of the crowd.
Woo, it's Yoshinori Ono! I love this guy.
"I'm sure most of you are aware of the SF X Tekken project, which we announced for development last year. I'm here today to give you the latest info on this game. Today's announcement is that we have also decided to move forward with a PlayStation Vita version of SF X Tekken."
"We're also happy to announce that in collaboration with Sucker Punch, Cole from inFamous will be joining the fighters of Street Fighter X Tekken."
"Since we're all here, why don't we check out what kind of damage Cole does in the game?" Cue the on-screen demo. "Here's the latest version of the game running in real time."
Ono loads it up. Cole is tingling with electricity. "We feel that Cole's unique electrical moves and flying attacks will fit nicely into our game." You can do simple touch-screen controls or obviously play with the buttons. Ono is giggling because he's getting kicked around.
"So you have a good idea here of just how development is going..." Applause. "So as you can see, we already have the game up and running on the PlayStation Vita. It won't be long before you're able to play the game for yourself and get a feel for what it's like."
Scott Rohde's back and saying thanks. "This is just a sample of what's coming to PS Vita. In all there's more than 80 titles in development."
We're going to see a montage video of Vita games before Kaz returns. Will he announce the date and price?
Uncharted! WipEout! Little Deviants! LittleBigPlanet! Sound Shapes! Project: Gravity! Hustle Kings.
ModNation Racers! Super Stardust! Project: Ruin! Reality Fighters!
Hot Shots Golf! Shinobido 2: Tales of the Ninja! Virtua Tennis 4! Dynasty Warriors.
Dragon's Crown! And that's it for the montage. Time for Kaz.
Here we go... "The holiday season this year."
Two models at launch - WiFi and 3G/WiFi. WiFi-only will retail for $249 / 249 Euro, 24,980 yen. Mad cheers.
The 3G/WiFi model will retail for $299 / 299 Euro, 29,980 yen.
So we don't have a solid date yet, but at least we have a price. Perhaps the opposite of what some people expected.
"With PlayStation Vita, the whole world is in play," says Kaz. "Thanks for your time."
Not over though. Jack Tretton is back. "Great news on Vita but I can't believe Kaz made fun of my tie. I was tempted to bust out that Ridge Racer line but I like my job too much." OH ZING.
He's wrapping up. "Thanks for your time and attention, but the best is yet to come."
And we're out, by way of yet another montage of game footage. Thanks everyone! See you tomorrow at 9am PST / 5pm BST for Nintendo and Project Cafe mentalism.