Sony Press Conference
Microsoft basically owned yesterday's E3, and while Nintendo couldn't pull anything better out of the bag Sony certainly gave Microsoft some food for thought in their E3 briefing. As with last year, US chief Jack Tretton was hosting, the big cheese assuring that 2009 will be the best year ever for Sony.
Tretton is keen to point out that - despite media reports to the contrary - Sony is doing better than ever, with three hit platforms seeing Sony take an impressive thirty percent market share last year. The PSN continues to grow, with even the PS2 still thriving, evidenced by the 100 games expected out for the format this year.
Sony are also rolling out there products in South America, Tretton noting the impressive growth statistics so far achieved in the region.
Still, this show is, nay should be, all about the games, and Naughty Dog VP Evan Wells takes to the stage to confirm that the Uncharted 2 multiplayer beta test will kick off at midnight tonight. Wells also showed off some lovely new in-game action from Nathan Drake's latest, and we were treated to a segment set on the rooftops of some exotic locale - our hero and his British side-kick pursued by a helicopter gunship.
Next up was a surprise focussed on the number '256', Zipper Interactive bringing us real-time action from MAG, the first-person shooter that will support the previously mentioned total in multiplayer mode. Tactics will be important in a title supporting this number of players, and Tretton was eager to point out that the game simply wouldn't be possible on any other system.
Moving onto the PSP, and we hear word that Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines will be released for the handheld on November 10th, before Kaz Hirai ushers in "E3's worst kept secret": the PSP Go. Digital delivery will be the focus, while the fifty percent smaller and lighter device will drop the UMD in favour of PSN access via WiFi. 16Gb of internal storage will be used, and the system sports a sliding-screen design.
The handheld's memory will be upgradeable, and this model will run alongside the older SKUs, future games set for release via both UMD and online. A Western release will occur on November 1st, the PSP Go costing 249 USD / Euro in North America and Europe.
The PSP action was far from done, however, Polyphony's Kazunori Yamauchi telling us that Gran Turismo PSP is on its way back - and will land on October 1st worldwide. Online support will be included, with 800 cars and 35 tracks promised. Then there's the 'true' sequel to Metal Gear Solid on the handheld, Hideo Kojima unveiling Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. A full Solid Snake adventure is planned, the story to be set at the height of the Cold War in the 1970s. If this wasn't enough, we're also told that Capcom will deliver Resident Evil: Portable in 2010.
One for the fans was next on the agenda, Tretton revealing that Final Fantasy VII will hit the PSN Store this very week - just one of fifty PSone titles being released this year. The exec went on to talk up the significance of the PSN and the PS3's online services, exemplified by Home which is apparently going from strength to strength.