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E3 2008: Sony Conference

I'll be leaving to the conference in a few minutes. Here's is the official page that you'll want to be looking at for up to the minute updates. So after 11:30 Pacific/2:30 Eastern, you'll want to start refreshing this page, as Ben will be providing you folks live updates. In the meantime, feel free to kick up discussion in anticipation of the conference. When I return, I'll share my thoughts and feelings on Sony's announcements. Also, impressions/previews begin today, as E3 is officially underway. -Arnold K.

Starting Conference

2:25 p.m. EST- We're anxiously awaiting the start of the conference.  Arnold tells me things are just about ready to get going...I won't issue any predictions, but let's just say I'm hopeful.  I type about 90 wpm, so you'll know 10-30 seconds after they say something important. ;)

2:36 p.m. EST- We're underway.  Wait...what's this...?  Riddick?  Anyway, intro montage of games.  PS3 then PSP.  About what you'd expect.  There's the PlayStation Network, more games...just saw Ghostbusters.  Okay, moving on.  Jack Tretton has stepped up.

2:41 p.m. EST: Tretton- "2008 is the year of the PS3...we've just begun to scratch the surface."  A little bit of PlayStation history, here...going all the way back to the original PS1.  "First video game console to move over 100 million units."  PlayStation 3- a "10-year vision; PS3 drove the Blu-Ray format to victory."  More talk about the sheer power of the PS3, which is officially record-breaking according to Guinness.  Store games, movies, music, photos and videos in one place for the next decade on the PS3.

2:46 p.m. EST: 2007 was all about hardware, but 2008 is all about software, says Tretton.   Talks about GTAIV, MGS4, GT: Prologue.  Exclusive content...exclusive games is what makes up gamers' minds, he says.  Is Tretton hinting at something, here?

2:48 p.m. EST: Here's Resistance 2. Holy...!  Something seriously large...amazing environment.  Visuals obvously upgraded.  That thing reminds me of SotC!  This is seriously impressive.  And...that  must be Insomniac's Ted Price to talk about the plot of the game.  Very sweet.  "Many games talk about 'scale,' but Resistance 2 really delivers."  Bottom line: "Resistance 2 offers more than any other shooter in 2008."  And here's another R2 trailer.

2:55 p.m. EST: Tretton's back.  User-generated content is the current subject.  This leads into LittleBigPlanet (another PS3 exclusive); "creating and sharing levels" for the game is a big draw.  It's not just a new game, "it's a whole new experience."  Sit down with your "six-year-old daughter or your hardcore gaming friend with a smile on your face."  They've created a level themselves, and now they're going to show it off.  Here comes Alex Evans, co-founder of Media Molecule, to introduce the new level.  hee hee...he''s there to show off business charts with the LBP character.

3:00 p.m. EST: More than "5 million units across the PlayStation family in the first 6 months of 2008."  NPD predicts 2008 might see the game industry soar over $23 billion.  Announced distribution in Latin America for the first time...currently ahead of their sales goals so far.  New games; Greatest Hits for PS3 will be available at $29.99.  Resistance, MotorStorm, Warhawk, Call of Duty 3, Fight Night, Need for Speed Carbon, Rainbow Six: Vegas, Assassin's Creed, Ninja Gaiden Sigma and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.  Nice.

3:04 p.m. EST: Moving on to PS2.  More than 130 PS2 titles for 2008.  The EA Sports games, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Warriors Orochi 2, Yakuza 2 (confirmed for NA, we assume), Mercenaries 2: World in Flames.  Talk about Buzz! coming to the PS3, with "special theme" packs on the Store.  Eh...'yawn'  Something about SingStar.  Oh, and a Limited Edition LEGO Batman PS2 bundle, available this fall with an extra movie for $149.99.

3:10 p.m. EST: Onto the PlayStation Network.  "Critical element" is the games...a few surprises...?  Yep, a brand new Network title and here it is: Ratchet and Clank Future: Quest for Booty.  It's a "new concept."  A "shorter game at a lower price."  This is a continuation of the R&C: Future saga; it picks up where Tools of Destruction left off.  It'll cost $14.99 and become available this summer.  Move on to see some other new Network titles, including some games called Flower and Rag Doll Kung Fu.

3:17 p.m. EST: Polyphony preparing Gran Turismo TV on the Network via Prologue.  Pay-per-View viewing, broadcasting original content in full high-def.  Content will be available on August 1.

3:21 p.m. EST: Talk about Trophies, which leads direcctly into PlayStation Home, "the binding factor for the PlayStation Network."  Commitments from the biggest gaming partners (and non-gaming partners) to Home.  Here's a new video...  As Tretton says, this should be well worth the wait.

3:23 p.m. EST: Downloadable movies coming to the PS3; officially unveiled today (even though we already knew about it).  Network video delivery service open to all studios, MGM, FOX, Lionsgate, Warner Bros., Disney, Paramouont, Sony Pictures, and many more have already signed on.  Offering both standard and high-def rental and electronic ownership; prices range from $2.99 to $14.99.  This content is portable.  It can be placed on the PSP after downloading on the PS3 if you wish.  Here comes Eric Lempel to describe it.  Looks REALLY accessible and easy via the will take about one hour to download a 2-hour movie in SD.

3:30 p.m. EST: Hey!  This is all ready to go tonight!  DL movies are here!!!

3:32 p.m. EST: Here's the PSP.  Sales "shot through the roof" after the redesign last year.  "There is no equel" from a portable gaming perspective.  This fall, a new entertainment pack: October will see the Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters bundle, that includes the game, the National Treasure 2 movie, a silver PSP, and a voucher for Echochrome.

3:33 p.m. EST: New PSP game: Resistance: Retribution!  Cool!  Then they move on to the PSP software that's scheduled for this year and early next.  Force Unleashed, Madden, Patapon 2, Super Stardust Portable, LEGO Batman, Buzz! Master Quiz, Valkyria Chronicles.

3:40 p.m. EST: Back to PS3.  Google/YouTube connectivity with PlayStation 3.  See worldwide news in "real-time;" this is Life With PlayStation and it'll be good to go by the "end of the month."  They now talk about Sony Online Entertainment, including DC Universe Online.  Here comes Jim Lee to talk about it.  First sneak peak at the game.  Looks good.  Essentially, it opens up the comic book world to online gamers, and the possibilities seem limitless.

3:47 p.m. EST: Tretton returns.  80GB PS3 is now a primary focus...?  80GB PS3 coming that has the same functionality as the 40GB PS3; it'll be the same price as the current 40GB model.  It'll be $399, so this be a big price drop.  Well, that's good news!

3:49 p.m. EST: Developer testimonials in regards to what the PS3 is capable of.  They're talkling about the disc capacity, which is great, and the system is "super powerful."  "A lot of untapped potential."  Ubisoft, Bethesda, LucasArts, 2K Marin, EA/Tiburon, Treyarch, and others are talking about the good stuff.

3:53 p.m. EST: Tretton displays the games; the reasons why 2008 is the "year of the PS3."  LittleBigPlanet, Resistance 2, MGS4, Quantum of Solace, SOCOM: Confrontation, Ghostbusters, Soul Calibur IV, The Agency, Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm, Mirror's Edge, SingStar, Guitar Hero: World Tour, NBA 09: The Inside, Buzz! Quiz TV, Killzone 2.

3:57 p.m. EST: God of War III trailer!  Sweet!  Kratos wants "chaos." LOL

3:58 p.m. EST: Next up is a trailer for InFamous.  This one looks fantastic.  Set for Spring 2009.

4:00 p.m. EST: A new game "that's not remotely possible anywhere" but the PS3.  What is it...?  Zipper Interactive is going to tell us...  A new multiplayer experience for the PS3: it's called Mag.  How massive will this scale be?  Up to 256 players at once during battle; a "sweeping battle experience using only real players."  Woah!  Fine-tune soldiers to match personal playing styles, "combine large-scale combat with intimacy of 8-player units."  And here's the trailer...

4:03 p.m. EST: Jesus.  Can a MMO action game look THIS good?  It's a war!  An honest-to-goodness WAR.  People everywhere...this could be another evolution in online gaming.  Holy sh**.

4:05 p.m. EST: It's over.  We'll get started on the headlines.

7/15/2008 Arnold K. & Ben D.

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