E3 2011: Sony’s Conference, thoughts and Liveblogging

We were pleasantly surprised to see that Sony delivered a professional and mostly gimmick-free conference this year. Jack came out on stage as he usually does and gave statistics but this year they were wrapped in an apology. It went over well and even though Jack still can’t be taken seriously, it seems like Sony is at least ready to put their head down and move forward.

Nothing spectacular and jaw dropping came out of Sony, but what they did do was deliver continual bits of information on multiple games without getting too caught up in, as Graev says, smelling their own farts. They hyped the Move a little bit, but nothing on the circus level antics of Microsoft (we thought the Bioshock Infinte dev saying he used to hate Move but then liked it after he got paid off was funny; okay, he didn’t say that exactly). Starhawk and Dust 514 both got some attention as well. Dust 514 is a PS3 exclusive which neither of us had known before. Seems like it will function on the level that MAG does.

The big show for Sony was their new Vita handheld console (aka NGP). The big let down was that the 3g plan is with AT&T on top of a $299 price tag if you go the 3g model ($249 if you go Wifi only). The graphics on the games were all great looking from what we could see. The handheld Uncharted game and the Diablo clone (Ruin) looked nice and colorful with good controls.

Overall, no real solid complaints about Sony but nothing to memorable either.

Graev: It was really good. A lot better than Microsoft and the publisher conferences. Uncharted looks good. The new Sly game is cool. The Vita is something I do not understand. It’s a portable device that plays console games. I want a portable device that plays portable games and things unique to a portable from Sony. We saw a bunch of PS3 games that they are bringing over to the Vita, and that doesn’t interest me. I’d rather just play them on PS3. Unless you have a need to be mobile, why pay $249 (low end Wifi only or $299 + AT&T) for something you probably already own?

Keen: I was impressed by the balance they had in their presentation. Uncharted looked good, Resistance looked good, the Vita looked like it’s going to at least be a quality handheld, regardless of whether or not it’s one I would buy. I think the Move is still a joke. Some of the titles they showed like the Fantasy action game being on rails just once again prove the limitations and the gimmick of motion controls. By far it was better than Microsoft but not at the caliber I wanted from an E3 presentation. Maybe the most exciting thing for me was the cloud save from the Vita to the PS3. Would it take multiple copies of the game?

It’s also worth nothing that Sony is bundling at 24″ Playstation branded 3D TV, glasses, and something about Resistance for $499. The TV has some special technology that does split screen differently for coop so that the glasses show one person one thing and the other person sees a full screen of a different image. For the price and the bundle, it’s not a bad deal given the cost of 3D tv’s, but the size is still so small that it may not do us any good.

Original: It’s been a long day but the light is visible at the end of this tunnel.  Sony’s Conference begins in less than an hour and we’ll be Liveblogging once again.  We’ve been having quite a bit of fun making fun of how bad some of these have  been and drooling over exciting announcements.  We hope you’ll join us once again for what has turned out to be quite a successful day of liveblogging and interact with us while we bring you our immediate thoughts and impressions of what is sure to be an interesting conference from Sony.

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  • I’m actually really excited for the Vita. $250 for the Wifi versions sounds really fair to me, and I can’t use the AT&T 3G in Canada anyway. If it has good battery life and a decent launch lineup – like Modnation Racers and that Ruin game – I’ll pick one up this holiday for sure.

  • The $250 is competitive with the 3DS for sure. Graev brings up a good point that Sony may be taking a loss on it to stay competitive.

  • The Vita interests me not just because of its launch line up looking good or looking good soon, it interests me because in addition to this it likely also means that its about time that the PS2 era be ported further to the PSN. I’d love to have my entire Final Fantasy collection be on hand helds.

  • Is the 3D-TV split screen option shows what 3D tech can do? If so I can see 3D tv tech staying for quite sometime.

    Imagine mass market televisions from other companies which advertise how you and someone who do not want to see the same show do not have to by each person throwing on a pair of glasses and a wireless headset with 5.1-9.1 sound.

    This could be a bigger tech leap than we realize.

    Side question: Will it be 2D each player is seeing?