E3 - Sony discusses PSP, downloadable games

We're heading off to Sony's E3 briefing. How will they answer Microsoft's impressive game showing and Nintendo's...well, Nintendo?

We'll say this much: Sony needs to deliver, especially in light of Microsoft's dazzling array of games, which impressed the E3 crowd last night. Will Sony announced the PSP 2.0? The Rumble-enabled Sixaxis? New PS3 and PSP games? Give us your best guesses in the comments below as we wait for the Sony briefing to start.

We know this much: Killzone 2 will make its first public appearance. It will supposedly have an "extensive" single-player campaign.

Just a few minutes to go. What will Sony show? Popular wish lists include God of War 3 (?), Gran Turismo 5 or possibly even Resistance 2. All pure speculation, but common consensus is that Sony will have some surprises...at least, we hope. Keep your finger on the REFRESH button for regular, breaking updates live from the floor!

Apparently Killzone 2 has been confirmed for a 2008 release. No real surprises there, but it's still nice to have a more solid date. The Sony event starts in seconds...keep refreshing for updates.

It starts! Jack Tretton takes the stage. w00t! "We're going to handle our press conference a little bit differently this year."

Ooh, new footage of HOME. The graphics look, much, much more detailed and sexy. Nice texture detail and...wait! That's Jack Tretton in the HOME footage! His avatar is a spitting image of him...

Tretton tells us that he's nervous -- he's "more of a podium guy." He also says he's checked his fly three or more times...

"Great innovation and great entertainment. We're going to show you game, games, and more games." Games that take advantage of the PS3's technology, plus "a few more surprises."

Commitment to the consumer: The PS3 price drop and the new 80GB PS3 with Motorstorm. Nothing new there...but they've got "a few more tricks up our sleeve." Hmmmm....

Hmm... the new God of War and Silent Hill Origins for the PSP...a solid way to kick into the holiday line up for the PSP. Are things like the Sims 2 Castaway and Sonic really going to move the hand held ahead to keep up with the growing popularity of the DS? Though there's no new footage being show, titles like Final Fantasy Tactics is definitely looking good. Castlevania Dracula X Chronicles may be the title on the PSP that steals the show.

The global announcement of the evolution of the PSP... well a more efficient battery and quicker loading times are great improvements... 33 percent lighter and 19 percent slimmer and outputs in hi-def. The ability to output to a hi-def TV at the press of a button seals the deal. If you don't own a PSP, this looks to be the one to buy. Sony is definitely moving towards interconnectivity and stepping up to the bar previously set by Nintendo in hand held gaming. A dedication to innovation... it looks like they are living up to that promise. I'm not sure if additional colors are keeping up with that, however if your not into black and the whole "emo" thing, then it's good to know that you'll be able to pick it up in ice-silver. Now that it's packaged with Daxter and a 1 gig memory stick in October there's little reason not to drop the US$199, and yes the old model is $169 in September. Throwing a Wookie on stage to show off the Star Wars edition PSP is just icing on the cake. Star Wars Battle Front Renegade Squadron may not be the must-have title on the PSP but promises Ewok-sized fun.

Downloadable games are looking like the way the future of gaming is moving. 80 new titles will be hitting Playstation by the end of next spring. Which of the five games shown today will be the hit of the season? Post your thoughts to the comments. Echo Chrome Looks like it has the M.C. Escher flair. Simple graphics with some intense and addictive looking game play. This looks like puzzle and action gaming is moving together. Wipeout HD and Pain.... personally i like the sound of Pain, though I am a bit of a junkie for speed, in that way only Wipeout can deliver. War Hawk, SOCOM Confrontation look like a great addition to the library of tactical shooters. The ability to download them, or pick them up on Blue Ray is going to be great.

Itunes meets, Myspace, huh? That's how Sony is describing the upcoming title Sing Star. I'm not certain if this is going to be the best combination or not. The social network though Home is certainly a look at how Sony is bringing together community. The ability to load games directly from Home truly shows off the integration of the online content and the PS3. I for one am glad the Sony is moving in this direction of integration and accessibility of on-line content.

Though the price drop is not ground breaking news, the 80 gig versions of the PS3 for $599 and the 60 gig version for $499 are a nice move on Sony's part. Even though Sony couldn't toot their horn about their sales figures like Nintendo did earlier, they are going all out barging about the success of Blue Ray. Well, we all need something, and there's nothing wrong with that.

So what do third party developers have to offer for the PS3 this fall? NCSoft is bring online games to the Playstation network. Anyone who's played City of Heroes knows that this is a great addition to Sony's family of third party developers. Ubisoft's PS3 exclusive Haze may not be the shooter to rival Halo 3, but looks like the action packed bullet fest the PS3 needs. Unreal Tournament 3 as an exclusive PS3 version. Allowing users to download their own content into the game is a first for Sony and is what I'll look forward to.

It's good to see that Sony is not going overboard promoting footage from cross-platform games like Call of Duty 4 and Assassins Creed, which are great games, but most of us saw that last night at Microsoft's event. Resident Evil 5, and Burnout Paradise look just as great on both consoles, and will be killer titles so I can understand why they showed the off, but what's up with the Harry Potter game? Is anyone really looking forward to that? Shoot your thoughts on the comments.

The announcement of Metal Gear Solid 4 Guns of the Patriots is no shock, but man does the trailer of the in-game footage look great. I find it hard to believe the in-game fighting will look nearly as beautiful as what the video shows off, especially the tap dancing with spikes on human flesh, but even if it only looks half as great and intense as that it'll be the game of the fall. Kojima promises that what he showed was in-game, so we'll just have to wait and see.

Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction is the one game I can't wait to get my hands on. It looks more intense and darker than any title in the series to date. The visuals are amazing and the Rachet and Clank games are always spot on with game play and story. Folklore looks to be a monster catching game, but from the looks of the video, it's truly a hybrid of many different genres. However the game turns out, the ability to suck a soul out of an enemy is always as sweet as getting that last bit of frosty goodness out of a lime spiked south of the border frozen drink.

It's nice to see things like Little Big Planet, which I'm sure will be a hit, but the footage of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune by Naughty Dog is jaw-dropping. These types of releases are absolutely what Sony needs. Coupled with the price drop PS3 may yet make a come from behind run. Sucker Punch's Infamous looks like the exclusive that will turn the tide of battle. Sony definitely as the advantage offering new IPs.

The beauty of GranTurismo can only be beat by the footage shown from Killzone 2. Jack and Phil, sitting near a fire inside the Home network, realize that they've "forgotten" something. Deliciously dark real-time gameplay footage of the Hellgeist and nice character design. Thanks for remembering, Phil.

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