Sony's overwhelming pre-E3 press conference, which focused exclusively on the unveiling of PlayStation 3, is now over here in Los Angeles and amongst the highlights were countless showreels of games drawing upon both old and new franchises and news of support from numerous high profile developers.
The full list of games identified at the event can be found below. Big names include Metal Gear Solid 4, which while not shown is definitely on its way, Vision Gran Turismo, which basically resembles all those videos they used to show that the games never quite lived up to, Tekken, which was trailed by a chap with steaming muscles who sent sweat droplets flying past the camera, and Devil May Cry 4, of which virtually nothing was shown.
Other known titles include The Getaway and Killzone - a pair of Sony Europe franchises which threaten to look very impressive on the next-generation format - and the likes of Formula 1, Fight Night, and even Mobile Suit Gundam, which made us think that perhaps stompy robot games are about to find new feet. If you thought Transformers looked good, the Gundam video would have made you sob.
Particularly impressive though was the volume of new franchises. We'll bring you more details on them all shortly, but Eyedentify was particularly impressive - a game that involves being the operator, your EyeToy-ed face splattered over comms devices and PC screens in-game, and talking to two very saucy female assassin-esque protagonists; as was WarHawks, with its fleets of aeroplanes and floating aircraft carriers streaming across the sky.
But the biggest impression was probably left by MotorStorm from UK-based Evolution, which threw so much mud and so many explosions at the viewer that we lost count. Mud would splatter the screen, the guy would glance at the speedo, the wipers would come on only for a bike to land on the windshield and the car to be propelled through the air and explode, and the camera move on to the next one. Hyperbole is inevitable, but we're probably going to have to come up with an entirely new vernacular to articulate just how "exhilarating", "jaw-dropping" and all the rest this stuff really is in light of what we've been sitting in front of for the past five years.
In addition to what's on the list below, we also saw KOEI pledge two further games, Factor 5 talking about their support, and video of an as-yet untitled Rockstar game that smacked very heavily of Red Dead Revolver. Grand Theft Auto was alluded to at one point by Kaz Hirai, who said that it would be fascinating to see where franchises born on PlayStation (including GTA, Metal Gear and Gran Turismo) went next, but Rockstar and Sony stopped short of full confirmation.
Finally, while Square Enix showed off a video of the PS2's Final Fantasy XII (and spoke of a "fiscal 2006" release date), and pledged to take Final Fantasy to PlayStation 3, the highlight from them was a tech demo of the introduction to Final Fantasy VII shot in real-time on PS3, with Advent Children levels of detail. Square Enix is not remaking it, Yoichi Wada told us, but we appreciated the sentiment.
Right then. The software line-up, most of which appeared in video form to some extent. We'll have screenshots of as many of them as possible uploaded shortly.
- Devil May Cry 4 (Capcom)
- Eyedentify (SCEJ)
- Fifth Phantom Saga (SEGA)
- Fight Night Round 3 (EA Sports)
- Final Fantasy (Square Enix)
- Formula 1 (Liverpool Studio)
- The Getaway "Screen Test" (Team Soho)
- Heavenly Sword (Ninja Theory)
- I-8 (Insomniac)
- Killing Day (Ubisoft)
- KillZone (Guerrilla)
- Metal Gear Solid 4 (Konami)
- Mobile Suit Gundam (Bandai)
- MotorStorm (Evolution Studio)
- NioH (KOEI)
- Tekken (Namco)
- Vision Gran Turismo (Polyphony Digital)
- WarHawk (Incognito)