Sony E3 2012 Conference Recap

E3 is here once again, and with two of the Big 3 doing their conferences on Monday, it was Sony’s turn to unveil what they had to say for their press conference this year.

Sony started it off in their usual fashion. Musical video montages showing their past games and accomplishments.

Jack Tretton, President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment of America, came to the stage to first give praise to the people who he says deserve it the most: the gamers. He then reminded everyone that people not at E3 can still get somewhat of the experience through PlayStation Home’s virtual space. He also noted that President and CEO of the Sony Corporation, Kazuo “Kaz” Hirai, was in attendance.

Jack Tretton then introduced David Cage, developer at Quantic Dream and makers of the previous Sony PlayStation 3 exclusive Heavy Rain. Here, David Cage went on to describe the studios newest title named Beyond: Two Souls. He was also proud to announce that actress Ellen Page (Juno, X-Men The Last Stand) would be providing motion capture, likeness and voice acting for lead character Jodie Holmes. He describes the game in which you will interact in the characters’ life from the beginning, from child to adulthood.

He then proceeded to show off a live demo of the game in which Jodie sits in a police station, with a blank stare on her face and an unnamed officer attempting to talk to her. After the conversation goes nowhere, and a drink not taken, he sees the cup begin to vibrate and then get thrown onto the wall. After the unnamed officer leaves the room, Jodie proceeds to talk to an unnamed spirit or apparition saying “I know they’re coming…”. SWAT officers then break into the station and surround the office door where Jodie sits. The demo then cuts quickly to different clips throughout the game with the ending showing Jodie grabbing a SWAT commander telling him that if they don’t leave her alone, she will kill them all next time. And then called the power or spirit accompanying her, what seemed to sound like “Ivan”. No release date for the game was given.

Jack Tretton then returned to the stage and spoke about the infamous (get it) “Michael” commercial that included a bevy of PlayStation mascots. This lead to talk and a showing of the new exclusive game PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royal. Chan Park of Superbot Entertainment, developers of the game, then appeared on stage and said that the game will in fact come to PlayStation Vita and will have cross gameplay compatibility with the PlayStation 3 version of the game. A demo was then done on the Ratchet and Clank level with characters Sly Cooper, Fat Princess, Sweet Tooth and Kratos showing off the power moves for each of the individual characters. The level then changed to incorporate the Hydria boss from the original God of War in the background. After the demo was over it was shown that 2 new characters, Nathan Drake of the Uncharted series and the Big Daddy from Bioshock, would be included on the Sony floor demo. No exact release date given, only that it would be available “Holiday 2012”.

A cross-controller DLC for LittleBigPlanet 2 was announced for cross platform play and simultaneous multiplayer with the PlayStation Vita version of the game.

More information was given on the state of the PlayStation brand. It was said that 80% of PlayStation 3’s and Vita’s are connected online. And that the PlayStation Network has become the home for more independent developers and games such as Journey and The Unfinished Swan. Also said was the over 200 digital titles are available on the network.

Talk was then changed to PlayStation Plus. Given to PS Plus members were a total of 63 full PlayStation 3 games. And that even more games would be offered such as Infamous 2, LittleBigPlanet 2 and Saints Row 2. Jack Tretton announced that everyone in attendance at the Sony conference would be given one free year of PlayStation Plus.

Finally announced for PlayStation Vita owners is that PlayStation 1 classics are coming to the system, although no specific date was given. YouTube was previously said that it would be brought to the Vita and that now Hulu Plus and Crackle will also be coming too.

An announcement was said from last year’s Sony E3 conference that a Call of Duty game would be available on the PlayStation Vita. It was now announced that the game would in fact be Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified and would be coming “Holiday Season”.

Focus was then turned to Ubisoft. First announced was a new game coming for the PS Vita called Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation featuring a female main character, a first in the series, coming Holiday Season 2012. This game would also be included in a special crystal white Wi-Fi PlayStation Vita bundle with a 4 GB memory card and the game.

Attention was then brought to the main game and upcoming release of Assassin’s Creed 3. Alex Hutchinson, Creative Director at Ubisoft, came on stage to speak and said the game would be set during the 18th century, with a lead character named Connor. A game demo was then shown of your character controlling a ship to wage war with the British. After a lead ship was damaged to a certain point, your characters boat would be brought close enough to have your crew board the enemy ship. To which the demo ended.

Jack Tretton returned to say that a new Assassin’s Creed 3/PlayStation 3 bundle would be available day and day with the launch of the game.

Dan Hay, Producer at Ubisoft Montreal, then came to stage to announce that FarCry 3 would have a 4 player online co-op feature. A demo was then shown and Dan Hay announced that the game would also have a single player campaign, Multiplayer across the island, map editor and exclusive DLC for the PlayStation 3 version.

Next President and CEO of Group Entertainment, Andrew House walked on stage to show off the newest product for the PlayStation 3; Wonderbook. With this new product, stories would be told through written text and augmented reality. House then said that Moonbot Studios is working on a title for Wonderbook named Diggs Nightcrawler.

Also announced was that renowned Harry Potter author JK Rowling would be working on a game called Book of Spells. Dave Ranyard of Sony London Studios was then brought out to show off part of the game. This demo showed different spells and visuals with augmented reality such as dragons flying off pages to set the book on fire, pop out storytelling and even mini-games involving the spells you learn from each chapter. Book of Spells was said to be coming out Fall 2012.

The subject was changed to PlayStation Suite and that the world of PlayStation would be coming to portable phones and tablets. HTC was announced to be the first non-Sony partner for Suite and that it would be called PlayStation Mobile.

Jack Tretton returns to the stage now to speak about Sony’s first party studios. This lead into the presentation of a live demo for God of War: Ascension.

When the demo started Kratos, with his recognizable ash covered skin, is shown running down a pier to face some enemies ahead. Familiar gameplay was shown the animation looking a bit smoother than God of War 3 and Kratos battling an elephant-type mini-boss and what seemed to be a Kraken sea monster. After the demo was finished, a release date of March 12, 2013 was given.

Finally Naughty Dog’s live game demo of The Last of Us was shown. The two characters, older male and younger female, were shown walking through a broken down city with vegetation growing everywhere. They then entered what seemed to be an old abandoned former upscale hotel where they soon discovered they were not alone. After the male character snuck up behind an enemy and killed him, he was spotted and took careful aim with his gun that only contained 4 bullets. After killing some enemies and emptying his gun, he physically took to attack and defend himself. After wrestling another enemy who was wielding a shotgun and taking it out of his hands, he was attacked from behind and was being choked before the younger female came to his defense and stabbed the man in the back. The playable character then picked up the shotgun and shot his assailant in the head before the demo almost instantaneously cut to a logo of the game.

Jack Tretton then came out to close out the show.

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