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E3 2006 Sony press conference

Complete text commentary.

Live from LA! Sony's E3 press conference begins tonight, Monday May 8th at 4:00pm PDT (12.00am UK/1am CEST) - so bookmark this page now! Eurogamer will bring you live updates from the event right here: PS3, PSP, PS2, all the announcements, all the games, all the action. And seriously, we mean live! Little lines of text will pop up on the page as our troops on the ground smash them into their long suffering laptops (assuming your web browser can handle that sort of event-cone defying magic).

It's late, but you'd be mad to miss it.

Our live coverage of this event has finished.

Coverage

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Mark Kennedy

New line, man. See it go green!

Mark Kennedy

And I'M THE MAYOR

Mark Kennedy

It's test city right here

Mark Kennedy

Mic check, mic check, one two, one two...

Rob Fahey

ANOTHER TEST

Mark Kennedy

This is another test

Mark Kennedy

Test!

Mark Kennedy

Let's test again, like we did last summer...

Rob Fahey

Harrison throws pie at Moore, cackles wildly - more news on this shocking development soon. OMG This is the new MSN.

Rob Fahey

Breaking news: Man in monkey outfit tucks Ken Kutaragi under his arm and runs away (this is a test)

Rob Fahey

Welcome to the Eurogamer.net live text feed from the Sony pre-E3 conference! Our intrepid team is on the ground outside the Sony Pictures Studio in Culver City, Los Angeles (and our less intrepid teams are in a hotel in West Hollywood and keeping a watchful eye back in England). We're waiting to hear that Sony have opened the doors to the conference venue - there's been no announcement of any delay as yet, so we assume that we're going to get our dose of PlayStation flavoured goodness on schedule.

Rob Fahey

Sony has handed Memory Sticks containing trailers and other such goodies to attendees at the conference. Naturally, we'll be sharing the love in our screenshots section and on Eurogamer TV just as soon as the Memory Stick is pressed in the waiting sweaty paws of our video geeks back at Eurogamer base camp LA, so look out for that after the conference is over!

Rob Fahey

Everyone's drifting towards the queue for the conference hall but nobody seems to be making it inside yet. Clearly going to be a delayed start. The jokes just make themselves, don't they?

Rob Fahey

Little bit of movement. It's conceivable we might actually go in. Today. Probably.

Rob Fahey

Even Hideo Kojima is stuck in the queue. He looks bored.

Rob Fahey

Complete gridlock outside. No announcements about why - just lots of people looking at each other and moaning.

Rob Fahey

Even Hideo Kojima is stuck in the queue. He looks bored.

Rob Fahey

Even Hideo Kojima is stuck in the queue. He looks bored.

Rob Fahey

Still queuing. At least the weather is nice! We'll let you know if we spot anyone else really interesting looking really bored.

Rob Fahey

Still queuing. At least the weather is nice! We'll let you know if we spot anyone else really interesting looking really bored.

Rob Fahey

Movement. A bit more concerted, but not exactly swift. It's going to be ages before everyone's in. A late start and only a few people can get in to begin with? We couldn't possibly comment.

Rob Fahey

Apologies to anyone encountering errors trying to load pages at the moment - there are rather a lot of you reading, and our web servers get stage fright sometimes in front of such large audiences. Rest assured that our EG tech team are burning the midnight oil to fix the problem as we type - and if you're just viewing the Livetext, you shouldn't see any errors or interruptions in your feed. Which is nice. Oh, we're still in the queue, by the way. It's great.

Rob Fahey

We're inside. Two PS3s sit on a podium in front of a gigantic PlayStation logo. NBA Live 07 pods are off to the left. Larry Probst [EA's CEO] just walked past. Soon.

Rob Fahey

"Ladies and gentleman, please welcome Kaz Hirai."

Rob Fahey

"Ladies and gentleman, please welcome Kaz Hirai."

Rob Fahey

Hirai [Sony Computer Entertainment America's boss] is talking about how we want to be entertained in new and unique ways, and how PS3 is an "arsenal of media compatibility" bringing people together, connecting to the net and downloading stuff. "Make no mistake - PS3 is the most ambitious project we at SCE have ever undertaken."

Rob Fahey

Woo, stats! It wouldn't be a Sony conference without enough stats to make Football Manager fans weep. He turns to PS2 - Japan/Asia 23.27m, North America 41.82m, Europe/PAL 38.60m - 103.69m. With another ten million to come. 1.047 billion software shipments - 204m Jap, 477m NA, 366m Europe/PAL.

Rob Fahey

Hirai finishes with PS2 and is now throwing around PSP bluster. "At its core, PSP delivers unsurpassed gaming experiences in a portable system rivalling PS2." Plays up the multimedia side, including digital delivery. Now it's sales figures - Japan/Asia 4.7m, NA 6.39m, Europe 5.94, 17.03m overall. "No signs of slowing down." They forecast shipping another 12 million. Software sales are 47.3m - 10m Jap/A, 22m NA, 15.3m Euro.

Rob Fahey

PSP videos. A trailer reel featuring Killzone, World Tour Soccer 2, Ape Academy 2, LocoRoco, B-Boy and others plays. Also mentions PlanetPSP - some sort of digital guide. Lengthier videos including Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror and Gangs of London play. TalkMan too. Nothing massively new.

Rob Fahey

PSP "Greatest Hits" - budget titles, basically. Ape Escape On the Loose, ATV offroad Fury, Hot Shots Golf, Twisted Metal, Wipeout Pure. Coming to North America.

Rob Fahey

They're not ditching PSP, is what he's saying - reeling out stats to support the idea that movie UMDs and others are popular. Now he's pointing out how the PSP's had new functions added in the last year.

Rob Fahey

Later in the year we plan to add RSS video, voice over IP, camera and GPS peripherals, says Hirai.

Rob Fahey

Another video - people talking about how great PlayStation is. "I've been waiting forever" says one bloke about PS3. At least you didn't have to wait outside today, pal.

Rob Fahey

Some chick says she's excited about Blu-ray. "When I play games, I become a monkey" says a Japanese man. Er, it's a bit anticlimactic so far.

Rob Fahey

"So, now onto PS3." We're going to review its vital stats, apparently. Cell, Blu-ray, HD, "pre-installed HDDE", wireless controllers, etc. All stuff we know.

Rob Fahey

Hard disk is removable, but is there to begin with - just in case anyone was still debating that one. No sign of ducks yet incidentally. Back catalogue compatibility - over 15,000 titles, PSP "interoperability with PS3 via network, USB, Memory Stick". Hirai turns to Blu-ray. "Five of the six studios that represent 80% of all Hollywood content are backing Blu-ray."

Rob Fahey

Apparently PS2 is 95% DVD, 5% CD-ROM now in terms of new releases. "Imagination" is the only limit now apparently. I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Rob Fahey

"That's right - every PS3 will ship with a hard disk drive." Download content and network, and HDD can serve game performance, with game saves and caching etc. "Simultaneously throughout the world this November," he says about release date.

Rob Fahey

Clear black unit in all territories at launch, says Hirai. More than 10k dev systems to 208 devs in 11 countries. Final kits shipping now, 6 months prior to release.

Rob Fahey

Playable PS3 games confirmed on Sony's E3 booth. "Despite what you may have heard." And now Phil Harrison [Sony's worldwide studios boss] is on his way to the stage.

Rob Fahey

Kazunori Yamauchi is on stage. He's going to show us a GT prototype - Gran Turismo HD - for E3. At 1920x1080p resolution. He's holding a normal Dual Shock pad.

Rob Fahey

Four tracks. Tokyo R246, Nordschleife, others. 7 cars and 3 bikes. Racing and commercial "down to scooters".

Rob Fahey

It's very sharp. Apparently it's reusing old assets, but the resolution is what it sounds like. The frame-rate's certainly what he says - 60 frames per second.

Rob Fahey

As a reference point, the average broadcast TV HD is a third as good as this, apparently. The difference between this and GT4 PS2 is 12 times. No, we're not sure how exactly you measure that either. Some kind of special ruler, probably.

Rob Fahey

Other tracks are Circuit de la Sarthel and Grand Canyon. The load-times will be lower than GT4's 10-15 seconds. 2-3 seconds, he says.

Rob Fahey

It's like the ludicrous CG stuff they used to show for PS2 GTs, except it's actually there. We're being shown old GTs. GT1's up on the screen. It looks like a NES game by comparison. Even GT4 looks very rough after watching GT HD running.

Rob Fahey

The track-side people models are static mostly, with flashbulbs a la GT4, but the effect at pace and from above is much better, with some people moving about. The Grand Canyon looks amazing, with a particularly incredible over-the-cliff view.

Rob Fahey

The car detail isn't perfect, the bounding boxes look a bit suss on the older models - open wheel cars don't lock together like they do in TOCA 3, for example. Still, amazingly impressive. "We think the next GT will easily surpass the quality of Gran Turismo HD," Yamauchi says.

Rob Fahey

GT4 Online PS2 beta testing will take place after E3 in Japan and the US, he says. With full network capabilities, GT will "not expand, but explode". Ambiguous as to whether he means GT4 Online PS2 is coming soon, or if he's talking about the ramp-up to PS3. Next GT "not too far from the launch of PS3" - he hopes.

Rob Fahey

Next demo of something to be revealed at E3, says Harrison. Card battling, power of PS3, and EyeToy. "The Eye of Judgement" - developed by SCEI. You place cards with your actual hands (as in, the ones attached to your arms), from which monsters then appear on on-screen. They then fight.

Rob Fahey

Harrison adds a card. A duck materialises. Inevitably. And breathes fire on a two-headed demon. It'll be playable at E3 he says.

Rob Fahey

It's back to Kaz Hirai, who's smiling even more broadly than he was earlier. Online network strategy's the next topic. More than three million US registered users he says, right now. He says there are no lines between online and off in gamers' minds.

Rob Fahey

Account management, friends list, profiles, voice and text messaging, video chat, rankings, and latest info as basic services - i.e. free of charge, he adds.

Rob Fahey

Games, music, movies or whatever will be digi-downloadable. For PS3 and PSP owners. E-distribution coming later this year, as said in Tokyo. He pulls out a PSP running one of the first PSone titles released years ago. He flicks to the Game menu, Memory Stick, then clicks "PlayStation".

Rob Fahey

The old PS logo screen appears. And then there's the Space Invaders loading screen. It's Ridge Racer. It's 4:3 in the middle of the screen - not stretched. You can change the screen size by hitting Select, it looks like - zooming in a bit if you want.

Rob Fahey

More online stuff - microtransactions. Including a pre-pay PlayStation Card. With exclusive info for people who sign up for that. And now Harrison rejoins us.

Rob Fahey

The shop interface shows content for sale for WarHawk. Stuff's listed with prices. Highest is $6.95 for Arid Wasteland, a map - this is all presumably placeholder stuff, though.

Rob Fahey

He's showing SingStar PS3 - you can download songs, with videos in HD too. You'll be able to try SingStar on PS2 and PS3 at the Sony booth.

Rob Fahey

Browse catalogues in SingStar - Pop, Rock, etc. You select a song, confirm and download. There's a wallet system, spending limits. No word on prices for songs.

Rob Fahey

"My SingStar" community. Profile, scores, customisation, details on who's playing. You can add your video performance, snapshots and golden moments for friends to see.

Rob Fahey

Genji 2 is here. And will be at E3. Game Republic's Bill Rich is demoing it.

Rob Fahey

Genji 2 looks like a PS2 game in ultra high res. Real-time weapon and character changes in-game. Lots of battles in the background.

Rob Fahey

The fighting system looks similar to Genji 1. You can charge up a spinning combo, switch out your character for the other, etc. There's a giant crab there now. It's very visually detailed, but ultimately it looks like a regular third-person action game. He just flipped the boss then leapt on it and stabbed it in the gut.

Rob Fahey

F1 game for PS3 shown. And there's a gimmick - your PSP can act as a wing mirror, synchronised with what's going on in the main race. There's free software for that, which you upload to the PSP via USB.

Rob Fahey

All these are being played real time by the way. Heavenly Sword shown. And this looks very, very cool. God of War fans will love the look of it.

Rob Fahey

There's a Prince of Persia style glow to the dancing female swords-lady dicing up enemies in a coliseum. Chains them, slams them and slices their nuts.

Rob Fahey

It'll be playable at E3, as will the others. The camera snaps to different angles to frame awesome moves. Swinging men around, spiral spin slices, dual swords... The combat is incredibly fast, creatively shot, and full of exotic moves - now there's a Fahrenheit style button presses sequence in mid-air for the final boss.

Rob Fahey

A video of games "a bit further out". Factor 5's dragon-riding, mid-air battling, Shadow of the Colossus meets Panzer Dragoon looking "Lair" to start.

Rob Fahey

Next video! A street in what looks like Amsterdam. Cars zoom past. People stroll along. The camera pulls back to within a house. A man with a gun is there - he's just shot someone. It's another Getaway.

Rob Fahey

A game from one of Sony's Japanese studios next. An African horizon; a giant, astonishingly detailed and organic rhino on a plain; a giraffe appears, nibbles some trees. Now zebras and wildebeests mingle next to an oasis. Now it's sunset. Very pretty but not clear what it's about. Called Afrika - working title.

Rob Fahey

Hot Shots Golf/Everybody's Golf - still cute and stylised, but with lots more draw distance and resolution. Very loud and bouncy. Next up, a crazy surreal foreign land, pixies dancing (I'm not making this up), a bloke with a dodgy blue tattoo. Oh, it's Monster Kingdom - from Game Republic.

Rob Fahey

Two new games now, says Phil. London Studio's Eight Days looks like a third-person shooter with driving. Set in Arizona; we see gunplay outside a diner - it looks ridiculously detailed, like CG. Who knows, eh? A guy leaps over a bonnet, dives through a window, dodges an exploding tanker. If it's real, it's astonishing.

Rob Fahey

Next! Detailed jungles, treasure maps, platform-jumping in jungle ruins. The animation is astonishing, facially as well as general behaviour. Imagine Prince of Persia meets Far Cry. From Naughty Dog.

Rob Fahey

Of all the demos so far, the last two were the only really suspect ones, graphics wise. Now Ted Price from Insomniac is on-stage talking about Resistance.

Rob Fahey

Re: the "suspect" videos. As in - it's hard to believe they were anything other than Killzone-style CG videos, as much as we'd like to.

Rob Fahey

Back to Ted and his Resistance game. It looks a bit like a Call of Duty FPS, certainly some sort of high-end PC fare. He's really playing it though, fighting aliens in ruined English streets.

Rob Fahey

Sniping, throwing grenades that spit out crazy barbed spikes. "Press L1 to fire both barrels" his gun says. Ok Mr Gun.

Rob Fahey

It'll have 32-player online multiplay too, and will be on the booth at E3. Harrison says thank you and wanders off. Kaz is back. Beaming as usual.

Rob Fahey

"What about third parties?" says Hirai. Assassin's Creed video, Mobile Suit Gundam, Coded Arms Assault, Ridge Racer 7... [Tom became very excited at this point and said some things I don't think he wanted me to put on the Internet. - Rob]

Rob Fahey

He demonstrates what he calls "procedural awareness," showing how the player's eyes and body follow a ball cursor believably. He compares this with the PS2 - which, he says, couldn't do that. He talks about importance of footplanting for PS3 animation. "No matter what the sport, footwork plays a huge role." Freedom of movement is fully 360 degrees

Rob Fahey

We see two players playing in a gym, with impressive movement - there's only the odd graphical glitch on the bouncing of the ball. "This is not a video you are watching folks. This is running live on the PlayStation 3." NBA will be athletes' delight, EA reckons.

Rob Fahey

Now they're doing a demonstration of their PS3 facial modelling and animation system, which was built using motion-captured faces. Tiger Woods' face, to be specific - it's an amazing facsimile - the smile's unmistakable, and Tiger's reactions and vocalisations look very believable. "This demo wasn't a movie, this was Tiger running live on PS3."

Rob Fahey

John Woo's Stranglehold, Fatal Inertia ("Available at launch"), Bladestorm: Hundred Years War, Armored Core 4. That's the trailer reel done with. Larry "I run EA" Probst is on-stage. Talks about a "special partnership" between Sony and EA. Two brief demos, he says. NBA Live 07's been beaming at us from the left of the stage for an hour, so it's not surprising the first is that.

Rob Fahey

Still going! Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway (sorry, Ridge Racer does things to me), Tekken 6 (looking like DOA4 did, honestly), Sonic the Hedgehog (3D, Adventure in ninja res), Virtua Tennis 3, Virtua Fighter 5 (lots of swinging legs)

Rob Fahey

EA plans to support PS3 "with more than 10 titles" including Army of Two, MOH Airborne, Madden NFL 07 and others. We'll be able to play Madden PS3 on EA's booth. "Kutaragi-san, thank you for your leadership and vision - you can count on EA's support every step of the way," says Probst, who now wanders off.

Rob Fahey

Hirai's back again again. "Please give your attention to Metal Gear Solid 4 on PlayStation 3." We'll see what we can do, Kaz.

Rob Fahey

Old Snake is rambling again - war has changed, it's become a business transaction. ID-tagged soldiers with nanomachine enhancements. He's not a fan apparently.

Rob Fahey

It's all very similar to what we saw in the Tokyo Game Show demos, except a bit more back to reality perhaps. There's a showreel of familiar characters - Naomi Hunter, Colonel Campbell, Meryl (!). "We are the new FOXHOUND." Otacon's on now. And, yes, Raiden. Liquid. Ocelot. "Old Snake" is their term, by the way. Raiden had a Darth Vader motif going on - a face mask peeled back very sinisterly. "It's my turn to protect you Snake." Old Snakesays he has one thing to do. He puts a gun in his mouth. As the screen goes black, the trigger's pulled. "Coming 2007."

Rob Fahey

Hirai: "It wouldn't be a proper E3 without introducing the man known in some circles as 'The Father of PlayStation'." Ken Kutaragi's on. He asks if we're enjoyed ourselves. Americans yelp. By the way, if you're viewing in Internet Explorer, please hit Ctrl-F5 - we've made a fix that puts the updates in the right place on your pages. Sorry about that! If you're viewing in Firefox or similar, though, everything is fine. Literally everything.

Rob Fahey

"I have one more big thing that we have kept secret from you." Back in 1994, he says, the controller shape was quite unique. The new controller is out. It's a Dual Shock 2, or so it looks - but it's not, with a little Xbox-guide-style button in the centre. Phil Harrison's brought out with the controller, which has new technology inside it too, he says. "It's not what it looks like, it's what it does." A box appears on screen saying "Not to be opened until E3".

Rob Fahey

He's put the pad down. A pad is on screen. He picks it up, the one on screen flies. Has six degrees or freedom built in as standard with no external sensor required, says Harrison.

Rob Fahey

This'll come with every PlayStation 3, says Harrison. Fluid movement in games is completely possible, he says. Imagine leaning into corners, basically. And now Harrison's moving a duck around by moving his hands, without pressing any buttons. He says the new controller's lighter than the PS2 version. It'll ship with every PS3 he says.

Rob Fahey

Thank you, Kutaragi says, leaving the stage. Harrison's still up there. "Finally, I have to make a slight confession" he says. They've modified a game to take advantage, having known about the controller for "a couple of weeks", he says - it's WarHawk.

Rob Fahey

Dylan from Incognito comes on and he's controlling a plane on-screen by wiggling the pad with his hands, using the buttons to fire and nothing else. It looks like one of those dodgy virtual reality film concepts, except, er, he's doing it. Unleashes rockets, Panzer Dragoon/Rez-style at ships, which he dodges past using deft hand gestures.

Rob Fahey

Dylan Jobe: "It's incredibly exhilarating." The sensitivity, the weight "is what we were hoping for the PlayStation 3". "Very kinetic control mechanics" possible, he adds.

Rob Fahey

"Ladies and gentleman, thank you very much - don't you just love surprises?" says a clearly enthusiastic Harrison. Kaz Hirai is back. The sun is basically shining out of his face at this point.

Rob Fahey

We're nearly at the end apparently. "Today we're pleased to announce the global PS3 launch plan. Two configuration plans for launch - one with 60GB HDD, one with 20GB. Japan: November 11th. 20GB: 59,800 yen. 60GB will have open price retailers will set. America: Nov 17th. 20GB: USD 499, 60GB: USD 599. Europe: Nov 17th. 20GB: EUR 499. 60GB: EUR 599.

Rob Fahey

We will ship 2 million during launch period, 4 mil by he end of 2006, and 2 mil more by March 31st 2007, he says. So, six million by then.

Rob Fahey

Hirai name-drops some more games to be expected - including Devil May Cry and Resident Evil. "And as I mentioned previously, at E3 we have a sampling of software titles playable for the first time." It's all over. I'm going to lie down now. Thanks for reading - and remember, tune in tomorrow for Nintendo and Microsoft's conferences!

Rob Fahey

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