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E3 2006: Sony Press Conference Live Updates

Stay tuned to this space for updates from the live conference taking place now...

8:03 PM Eastern: Mostly discussion of system sales stats. Some PSP stuff being shown: PlanetPSP Travel Guide (self-explanatory), World Soccer 2, Talkman (translation software), Loco Roco, B-Boy (a new "street-dancing" game), Gangs of London (The Getaway spin-off). Nothing earth-shattering yet, but it's good to know that the PSP is still getting some love!

8:05 PM Eastern: Talk of further support for the PS2 "for many years to come." Some footage of alredy-announced upcoming PS2 games being shown. Sony will also be releasing a PSP Greatest Hits line.

8:08 PM Eastern: RSS Video, GPS, Camera, and VoIP being added to the PSP later this year. Sony claims PSP Movies are still popular! A video showing average people talking about how the PS3 will change their lives.

8:10 PM Eastern: Re-affiriming the already known PS3 stats (supported formats, screen rez, etc). Memory stick and Compact Flash compatibility. Up to 7 players can play on one console with wireless controllers.

8:16 PM Eastern: "The PS3 will expand the HD market." The hard-drive will be removable. PSP connectivity with the PS3. "Within 5-6 years 80% of entertainment industry will be supporting Blu-Ray." PS3 hard-drive will support game saves and game content assistance (help with loading), as well as content downloaded from the internet.

8:21 PM Eastern: 208 developers supporting the PS3, there will be playable PS3 titles on the show floor this year. Gran Turismo HD Announced. Motorbikes and scooters to be included, perhaps among other vehicles. Racing and commercial vehicles. Footage being shown. It is only a prototype right now.

8:29 PM Eastern: Load times on GT HD are 2-3 seconds. It is being played on what looks like a modified Dual Shock 2 controller, but whether this is the "real" PS3 controller or just a stop-gap for developers to use in testing is unknown right now. Crowd on sides of the tracks in GT HD very realistic, they move and react to what's going on in the race.

8:35 PM Eastern: Now talking about a card-based battle game? They're bringing the Eyetoy creator up. The game is called Eye of Judgement. You can interact with the card using your hand. It's actually pretty cool.

8:39 PM Eastern: Talking about PS3's online strategy right now. Haha, a mention of myspace.com. Sony's goal is to create an environment that is a virtual "community" a lot like myspace-esque sites in addition to gameplay capabilities. Variety of entertainment content for PS3/PSP. Bringing up the PSOne emulator on PSP. The game profile will load up straight from the memory stick. They are showing off the original Ridge Racer on the emulator. You can change the screen size.

8:44 PM Eastern: Sony wants to remain "fresh" yet not forget about its past, hence the emulator. Back to Phil Harrison on stage. They are showing the PS3 interface. Shops for purchasing content can be integrated into the games. They are demonstrating a version of Sony's Singstar - 100s of songs can be included on a Blu-Ray disc, plus many more online. The "SingStore" will allow you access to the downloads.

8:50 PM Eastern: Customized accounts for different games. In Singstar, you can have a whole profile, plus the ability to upload your karaoke performances to the network, complete with video (using a camera, likely the next iteration of the EyeToy). Genji 2 for PS3 is being shown - it is an action game. The stages of the game will be based on ancient battles in Japan - sea battles and horseback battles included. Real-time weapon and character changing.

8:53 PM Eastern: Showing F1 PSP now. We've seen most of it before, but they are now demonstrating a "wing mirror" using the PSP. You can position the PSP next to your TV and be used while you're driving. The software will be downloadable for free and will be synched with the PS3. Now showing Heavenly Sword footage.

9:00 PM Eastern: Now showing a compilation video of some of the games that will be coming out later on: Lair, The Getaway, "Afrika" - no real gameplay details, but very realistic looking, Hot Shots Golf, Monster Kingdom.

9:05 PM Eastern: 2 BRAND NEW titles being shown now. First is made by the London studio. Two cars racing across a desert shooting at each other, showcasing amazing physics. The game is called 8 Days. The second is from Naughty Dog and looks medieval. Looks like an action-adventure game. There is no title being revealed as yet. Ted Price, the prez of Insomniac Games is invited on stage.

9:10 PM Eastern: Resistance: Fall of Man is being demonstrated. Takes place in 1951 Britain, alternate universe where WWII never took place. Multiplayer will be included, of course. Resistance will be playable on the show floor.

9:16 PM Eastern: Harrison exits, attention returns to Kaz Hirai. Third party titles for PS3 now being shown: Assassin's Creed, Ridge Racer 7, Brothers In Arms: Hell's Highway, Tekken 6, Sonic The Hedgehog, Virtua Tennis 3, Virtua Fighter 5, Strangehold, a Koei game.

9:24 PM Eastern: Electronic Arts is on stage now, talking about their PS3 games. NBA Live '07. Showing a side-by-side comparison between PS2/PS3 quality. Much faster actions/reactions for players in PS3 version. A live demonstration is being shown. New technology "U-Cap" or Universal Player Capture. They are showing a real-time demo using an image of Tiger Woods.

9:30 PM Eastern: EA Video reel - MoH Airborne, Army of Two, etc. Now going back to Kaz Hirai. He is going to show off Final Fantsy XIII footage, similar to the footage at Square-Enix's conference earlier. METAL GEAR SOLID 4 now being shown! A new trailer, it would seem....

9:41 PM Eastern: Meryl, Raiden, and an even older Snake being shown. At the end of the video this "older Snake" is putting a gun in his mouth. A huge secret about to be revealed about the PS3 controller?! The PS3 controller looks a lot like the dual-shock, but has a USB port on the back, wireless capability, and 6-degrees of motion that effectively allow it to be used like a floating joystick. You can tilt and turn it in all different directions. A demo of Warhawk is being played using the controller to fly the in-game craft.

9:46 PM Eastern: The Conference is wrapping up now. Global Launch details forthcoming - one with a 60GB HD, one with a 20 GB HD. Will ship in Japan Nov. 11, 59.800 yen for 60 GB. In the US, November 17th, retail for $599 for 60 GB, or $499 for 20GB. Europe will see a release on the 17th also and the units will retail for 499 Euros (60 GB) and 399 Euros (20GB). Titles will be playable on the show floor. The Sony Press Conference has come to an end.

5/8/2006 Cavin Smith

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