Joystiq live from Sony's E3 2009 keynote


10:27AM PT We're live at the Shrine Auditorium, waiting to take our seats and begin the ritualistic dance we both know as a "liveblog." Will there be a PS3 price cut? Will it be "PSP Go!" or "PSP D'oh!"? We don't know yet, but you will as we cover Sony's presser live. Follow along with your bingo card and make your Sony predictions in comments!

Follow us live after the break. (Updates are in reverse and begin at the top.)




1:07PM PT Tretton finishes the show and we're out of here. Thanks for reading along at home, everyone!



1:07PM PT "We're actually cutting the demo here" but they promise we can finish it off on the show floor. Unfortunately, it'll miss the holiday season. You won't be ripping out organs in God of War III until March 2010.

1:06PM PT Yet another creature appears, this time a red-eyed three-horned beast that claws at Kratos. The ESRB won't be too happy about how Kratos rips off one of the beat's horns and uses it to stab it in the brain.

1:05PM PT Whilst fighting a centaur (it's two things, y'know), Kratos uses a pair of metal gloves to pummel the enemy. The franchise iconic QTEs appear yet again to allow Kratos to perform a finisher. He slashes at the torso of the beast, and we can see some organs and innards fall out. Good thing we didn't eat lunch yet.



1:04PM PT The visuals do look significantly enhanced over the previous demos we've seen of the game so far.

1:03PM PT Yet another towering boss appears, this time made of what appears to be magma. For the most part, this looks exactly like God of War II, red orbs, combo meter, finishers and all.





1:02PM PT The demo shows Kratos already wielding a bow & arrow. He shoots one at a flying enemy, and lures it closer, using it to climb to higher distances. Yes, he still stabs them brutally, just like in the last trailer.







1:00PM PT The God of War III demo is now projected on the big screen. The title screen has Kratos' face on the right side of the screen. It's very detailed -- you can see all sorts of wrinkles there. Looks like Kratos hasn't aged very well! Also, he's still very angry. But you expected that, right? The demo immediately begins with a group of skeletal enemies rushing towards Kratos, which he dispenses with ease.





12:59PM PT The visuals look good, but let's not forget that GT5 Prologue looked pretty good as well. It's hard to tell if this is a revolutionary jump or not.

12:58PM PT The new trailer highlights various dirt tracks in a new rally-style racing mode. The trailer briefly shows a crash, but it happened so quickly we couldn't see if there was a damage model in place.





12:58PM PT
Jack is back: "Please feast your eyes on this short tease of Polyphony Digital's Gran Turismo 5." A "short tease"? Really? We suspect that all of Forza Motorsport 3 was developed in the time it's taken to make this tease

12:56PM PT Alright, now we've got some new footage! Enemy soldiers, some stealth gameplay, and a peaceful shot of the little boy and his kitty dragon resting in a field. Yes!



12:55PM PT There's definitely been some graphical improvements – will be great to watch these two side-by-side. We're thrilled to see that the kitty-dragon is still intact and cute as ever. Geneticists, you've got your work cut out for you. We want a kitty dragon, pronto!




12:54PM PT A little boy is running down a hall, a giant beast is chasing him. So far, this is identical to that leaked trailer.



12:53PM PT Jack is back: "Now it's my pleasure to give you another sneak peak" at a PS3 exclusive. This is a "new glimpse" at Fumito Ueda's latest game, "The Last Guardian." By "new glimpse" we're expecting to see an updated version of the video that was leaked some weeks back. Sure enough, it begins focusing on the well with the chain.



12:51PM PT Seemingly everything can be manipulated: the water level, the angle of the sun, the number of sheep on the side of the road. You can take these tracks and upload them to PSN, download them again, and even remix them. Sorry, BigPark, looks like ModNation Racers has piqued our curiosity a bit more.

The game will be released in 2010.

12:50PM PT Interestingly, those of you that visit Sony Wonder Labs in NYC will be able to see a tech demo that's remarkably similar to the creation tool showcased today. The fact that this is so quick makes it far more appealing than LBP's Create mode, which as many have found out, isn't the easiest thing to use. The developers are populating the track with various props, such as weapons pick-ups, trees ... and sheep.









12:48PM PT Using TrackStudio, they're going to make a brand-new track in under five minutes. This is another component of the "Create" model. So, he quickly creates a loop, but it's boring, so we're adding in details. He's pulling mountains out of the ground, and then adding a lake to the other side. Also, he's laying down some dirt on the surface, adding some trees. This is applied like a paint brush – it looks very intuitive.

12:48PM PT While the characters are cartoony, the tracks are surprisingly realistic, akin to some levels from Pure.







12:43PM PT Right now, the two developers are showing off the avatar selection screen. The animation is absolutely adorable. One character has its costume changed to a dress, and it tries to hide, embarrassed. Like LittleBigPlanet, ModNation Racers focuses on implementing physics into the gameplay design.









12:43PM PT "I'd like to introduce a new franchise today" that is also exclusive to the PlayStation 3, and part of their "Play. Create. Share." genre. United Front Games is out, showing off ModNation Racers. ModNation Racers is a "thorougly modern take" on the classic Kart Racer. "We empower you to express yourselves and become superstar designers yourselves."

12:41PM PT Tretton notes that LittleBigPlanet now has over 900,000 user created levels played over 2 million times. Additionally, you'll be able to buy a Jack Sparrow costume for LittleBigPlanet as Disney Interactive Studios joins the LBP world.



12:40PM PT A sword and shield demo (again, this is totally 1 to 1!) shows an incredible level of precision. He takes his sword and tickles the armpit of the dummy, before flipping his limbs around. The same arena has morphed, and he's throwing ninja stars. And now: archery. The bow and arrow functionality is very slick – for our money, this already looks comparable to Wii Sports Resort.

"We're looking forward to sharing more with you in the near future. Thank you everyone!" Jack is back. "See, not everything got out. This is going to be a really exciting part of PlayStation's future. ... Prepare for a launch in Spring of 2010."







12:37PM PT A demo of a real-time strategy game – of course the RTS is the first thing everyone thinks of when considering a mouse-accurate input device.









12:36PM PT We're being shuffled through a series of demos showing off the possibilities of the wand. The latest: writing. "The pencil shows off the precision really well." We're trying art – using analog buttons, he can apply more or less paint with his brush, and the spray paint can (which gets shaken up) is affected by the angle of application.





12:32PM PT We're seeing a live playback from the PlayStation Eye camera, watching the wand replaced with ... well, anything. Tennis racket, baseball bat, fan, stop sign, sword, flashlight. The tracking looks perfect. The wand is now being used in a primitive, but fluid, FPS mock-up.



12:32PM PT The demonstrator now has a virtual racket, fails at hitting a ball and then admits "it's still hard" to the laughing audience. He finally hits the bouncing ball with a stop sign and says "yes!"

12:30PM PT "So there's one that didn't leak out, huh?" Jack quips. Alright, Tretton. We'll give you that one. "We're not just here to talk about what's coming out this holiday season" but also what's going to be occupying gamers for the next several years. "We're working to create an experience that's much closer to real-life than anything you've ever seen." The PlayStation motion controller.

Richard Marks was here to show off the first PlayStation motion controller, the PS2 EyeToy. The latest camera will enable "a completely new set of experiences" using a new controller. "It has a variety of buttons" and sensors. He cautions that the controller in his hand is a prototype, and will most likely change.

The live demonstration shows a rendered (and dull looking) living room that moves around to follow the wand. "This is true 1 to 1 tracking."



12:29PM PT
"So there's one that didn't leak out, huh?" Jack quips. Alright, Tretton. We'll give you that one. "We're not just here to talk about what's coming out this holiday season" but also what's going to be occupying gamers for the next several years. "We're working to create an experience that's much closer to real-life than anything you've ever seen." The PlayStation motion controller.



12:28PM PT Jack is back: "We're very excited about Final Fantasy XIII, but Square Enix isn't stopping there." And he just announced Final Fantasy XIV! "And PlayStation 3 will be the ONLY console" that XIV will be available on when it launches in 2010. Wait, what? Final Fantasy XIII and XIV are launching in 2010? The all CG trailer asks heroes to "take their blades" and "answer the call of destiny." Final Fantasy XIV is ... real? And online!

It's an MMO! Final Fantasy XIV Online. Looks like Square Enix finally has a proper follow-up to Final Fantasy XI, their last online-exclusive Final Fantasy game.





12:25PM PT
FFXIII's main character, Lighting has a few quotables in the trailer. Squenix fans can figure out their significance: "I can barely keep myself alive!" "Humans are tools; I'm not going to die for one of them."'





12:23PM PT A new trailer for Final Fantasy XIII appears on screen with full English voice acting. There's a lot of CG, unlike the gameplay shown at Microsoft's conference.



12:22PM PT Jack is back on stage introducing Square Enix. "You all know Final Fantasy XIII will be coming to PlayStation 3 in the spring and I'd like to show you a video they prepared to whet your appetite." Cue the obligatory FFXIII trailer!

12:21PM PT The trailer ends with Ezio diving into the water – nice to see a killer assassin can swim this time around (Good for Ezio!). Assassins Creed II and Assassin's Creed Bloodlines on PSP will be on store shelves this holiday season.



12:20PM PT Ezio casually runs up to two people standing atop a roof, and just smashes his palms into their faces. Looks like having blades embedded in your sleeves is a good trick for an assassin.

AC PSP will unlock additional weapons in the PS3 version of AC II. The connectivity is casually referenced, but it's good to see some synergy between the various PlayStation brands again.



12:19PM PT AC2 starts right where AC1 ended, with Desmond using the Animus machine to enter the memories of another ancestor. His new ancestor is "Ezio" – they pronounced it "ET-ZEE-OH" if you were curious. Ezio will need the help of some of this friends, and Leonardo Da Vinci is one of those friends. The "Flying Machine" is one benefit of that friendship. This thing is going to make the world of Assassin's Creed 2 far easier to navigate.

12:16PM PT Ubisoft now takes the stage to showcase Assassin's Creed II, which was mysteriously absent from the Microsoft keynote. The visuals are remarkably improved over the first game. Of note, the lighting looks far more natural. The water shimmers under the moonlight, with fireworks bursting in the sky.



12:14PM PT Tretton is back and just included Lost Planet 2 in his mentions – so, definitely coming to PS3. Tretton now introduces a "new property from Rockstar North" called Agent that will be exclusive to PlayStation 3

"Agent will take the player across the globe" in the shadowy world of espionage. "You're all aware of the impact GTA had on our platform and we expect Agent" to do the same. Sony announced an exclusive collaboration with Rockstar two E3s ago. Unfortunately, they didn't show any footage from the game.

12:14PM PT Another video to show us "what's on tap for PlayStation 3." Uncharted 2, inFamous, Madden, Final Fantasy XIII, MAG, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Brutal Legend, White Knight Chronicles, Ghostbusters, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, Buzz, Saw, Tekken 6, Red Faction Guerilla, Dark Void, Guitar Hero: Van Halen, Heavy Rain, Battlefield 1943, PixelJunk Shooter, Katamari, Fat Princess, Zombie Apocalypse, DC Universe Online, LBP (?), BioShock 2, Ratchet & Clank, Fight Night, AND God of War 3.

12:010PM PT Tretton jokes that he has a mohawk in Home, and that his tag is "MrT." We somehow doubt that. Why don't you PS3 users try and add him?



12:07PM PT
Home is "only possible on PlayStation 3." Guess that rules out a possible PSP version, right?

He's giving us a rundown of all the publishers they're working with on Home – lots of big names in there. Some stats meant to encourage us that Home is gaining traction with gamers. Now a trailer meant to show us "how far the platform has come since we launched it six short months ago."

12:05PM PT Kaz: "PSN comes to E3 with momentum on its side." 24 million registered users in 55 countries; more than 475 million pieces of content downloaded; more than 90 exclusive titles. "In addition we're adding more than 50 PlayStation One classics to the PlayStation Store" this year including Final Fantasy VII, available today.



12:03PM PT And somehow Fat Princess appears in the PSP montage. Let's hope that wasn't a mistake like last year's Valkyria Chronicles. The audience claps all the new girl-oriented games, like the Miley Cyrus game and a new dog simulator that looks a lot like Nintendogs.

12:02PM PT And so we've got a montage of PSP games ... what? We thought they'd be showing some Resident Evil PSP footage. A brand new 2D echochrome made a brief appearance in the montage.



12:02PM PT Footage of LittleBigPlanet PSP takes the big screen, in addition to the new Jak & Daxter game. On screen is a white PSP Go! confirming multiple system colors.

12:00PM PT "Ever since Resident Evil first brought gamers to the fictional town of Raccoon City in 1996" the series has enjoyed great success on the PlayStation platform. "We're very proud to welcome Resident Evil to the PSP at this time." It'll be a "whole new game" made specifically for the portable.



11:59AM PT Kaz is back on stage. "So, all of us have been going through a little bit of Metal Gear Solid withdrawal ... we now have the antidote we all needed." After encouraging us to check out the Go on the show floor, Kaz is off the stage and Jack is back. Why no mention of Raiden? Perhaps Kojima will make yet another appearance once the PS3 content is featured.

11:57AM PT The trailer ends with two Snakes entering a box labeled "Love Pack." [Ed. - Okay then.]



11:56AM PT It's called "the legendary missing link" of the Metal Gear saga. "Worldwide anticipation becomes reality!" it says. I think our anticipation turned to annoyance after the third or fourth countdown for this title. "Monstrous foes incapable of feeling pain." Shockingly, we see four clones of Big Boss all taking aim at a giant Metal Gear-esque mech. Clearly, Kojima is preparing a mind-frak with this one again, folks.

11:54AM PT The Peace Walker trailer starts with live film footage, reminscent of the first Metal Gear Solid game. The first in-game footage takes place in Costa Rica. "A nation without a military" must turn to a "nation without a government." In this game, Big Boss is already seemingly in control of Outer Heaven. The visuals are notcieably improved over the first Portable Ops game, with improved lighting.



11:53AM PT "Peace Walker: the setting is 10 years after Metal Gear Solid 3, the 1970s" This is a "true sequel" to Portable Ops. Kojima: ""I will be deeply involved in this title, including writing the script" – it's not a spin-off and it's not a side-story. And since it's on the PSP I will not forget to add all the features and the specs that the PSP offers." It will have all the Metal Gear franchise features and the PSP features. "Please enjoy the new trailer, Peace Walker."

11:50AM PT
Kaz is back on stgae. This fall, October 1, to help celebrate the launch of the PSP Go: Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. Looks like yet another PlayStation leak was revealed early. We caught wind of this yesterday. It uses the same image of Big Boss from the pre-E3 Kojima Productions site to promote it.

"When it comes to Metal Gear Solid, there is no substitute for the incomparable Hideo Kojima" – Kojima-san is pulling keynote double duty! First Microsoft, and now Sony. You cad!

11:50AM PT The footage is unbelievable. As in, we don't really believe it. The visual fidelity matches GT4 on PS2 easily. We'll have to see it on the show floor ourselves.



11:49AM PT "Another feature that is also geared specifically for PSP is the trading and sharing of cars" from your garage to your friends. Because there are 800 cars in the game, it'll be difficult to get it by yourself. If you work with your friends, you'll have a much easier time. "To have people meet with others and meet in Ad-Hoc mode" is important to GT PSP. Sounds like they got a lot of inspiration from Monster Hunter.

"And finally, I'd like you all to take a look at a video we've prepared of Gran Turismo PSP." And Yamauchi is off the stage, replaced by a flashy video of GT PSP, running on the Go of course.

11:46AM PT Game will use Ad-Hoc mode for races. No mention of online Infrastructure?

11:45AM PT "Single player mode contains standard races, time trials, and drifting." You can also earn your licenses, in GT fashion. "Though it is running on such small hardware, Gran Turismo offers a full-size" experience.



11:45AM PT "I am very honored today to be given this opportunity to announce Gran Turismo PSP" – wait, wasn't this "announced" about three years ago? "It's running at 60fps" he says. "Gran Turismo PSP contains 800 cars, 35 tracks" and multiple variations of each track.

11:43AM PT
You'll now be able to download videos from the PlayStation Store directly onto the PSP. Before, you could only download games on the PSP directly. "There will be more content that is easier to get onto your PSP"

"Ladies and gentlemen, pleaase welcome the founder of Polyphony Digital and the father of Gran Turismo, Kazunouri Yamauchi!" The screen announces "Gran Turismo for PSP."

11:42AM PT
The PSP Go will be available in stores in North America for $249 and 249 Euros, the same price the original PSP launched. In Japan, it's ¥26,800. Launches October 1 in North America.



11:41AM PT
The PSP has been largely critized for its lackluster music support in the past. Considering it's one of the most used features on the platform, this is an important step. Will it be available on PSP-3000? "All PSP games going forward will be digitally distributed via the PLayStation Network" but also delivered to retail via UMD as well. This policy has already been largely implemented in Japan for a few months.

11:38AM PT
"MediaGo has replaced the current version of Media Manager." "It makes content transfer of pictures and movies that much easier." This thing sounds PC-only (Sony has a history of not supporting Mac). "Launching on PSP and PSP Go this Fall, SenseMe" is going to deliver custom playlists from your PSP straight to your earholes.

11:38AM PT
You'll be able to download straight from the PSN Store straight to the Go, as expected (read: leaked).

11:37AM PT
"For those who live a more digital lifestyle" and people who don't want physical media. "And I have it here right in my pocket. And here it is." Kaz pulls the PSP Go outof his pocket. "We have a couple names for this device. First we call it the 'Worst Kept Secret of E3. Let me be clear": The PSP Go will not replace the PSP-3000 or UMD."

"Its size is really built for the digital consumer." 40% lighter than the original PSP-1000. Interface for PSP Go! is shown on the screen. It looks like the XMB is not abandoned in this iteration.

11:34AM PT President of SCE, Kaz Hirai is taking the stage. "I'm really excited to be back here on stage at E3." "We went on the road visiting with publishers, developers" and players to ask them "How can we make the PSP better?"

11:34AM PT
"Dissidia Final Fantasy will be launching on August 25." Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines will hit on November 10. A Hannah Montana PSP bundle is hitting as well – the audience sarcastically applauds!

11:33AM PT
MAG is ambitious, but the visual fidelity really suffers.



11:31AM PT
A ton of soldier's on the player's team are charging a bunker, which serves as an enemy spawn point. The HUD looks somewhat crowded, but with 256 players, what do you expect? The team commander is staying out of the fray, establishing new spawn points and setting up air raids.

11:29AM PT
An aerial view again really drives the scale of the presentation home. Now we've zoomed into first-person, looking through the eyes of just one of those blue dots.

11:27AM PT
MAG gameplay demo. "We're going to see a live 256-player MAG battle."

11:21AM PT
Tretton suggests that we're tired because we're playing inFamous, which released inconveniently before E3. It's true. It's very good. (Read Joystiq Review).

Evan Wells takes the stage to show off Uncharted 2 for PS3.

11:20AM PT
"The fact that PS2 outsold next-gen systems in April" is telling, but more telling, Jack tells us, is that it did it in its 9th year. PS2 remains the perfect family console with games for everyone."

He's covering the rollout of PlayStation 3 in Latin America – lots of numbers, lots of data, lots of boring stuff.

11:17AM PT
Jack: "In 2009 if you want to have the ultimate gaming experience, you need PlayStation."



11:16AM PT
"364 games coming to the PlayStation platforms this year." "You'll see why 2009 will be our best year ever, even better than the record year we had in 2008." Jack says PlayStation captured 30% of video game retail sales last year and reiterates the validity of all three platforms: PSP, PS3, and yes, even PS2.

11:15AM PT
As industry leaders, Jack considers that to include press leaks, and they won't be beaten by anyone. Good one, Jack! The crowd loves it.

11:13AM PT
"Ladies and gentleman, please welcome your host Jack Tretton." Jack: "Wow, thank God you guys showed up. Given this industry's inability to keep confidential information" Jack didn't think anyone would want to show up.

11:11AM PT
We've got a montage of PS3 games – not all exclusives, mind you, but all things PS3. We're seeing Dark Void, Call of Juarez, and more. Now it's exclusive time! The screen is up and we've got an enormous three-panel video of a PlayStation-fans dream. Exclusive titles include previously-revealed Uncharted 2, MAG, God of War 3. Crowd cheers at sight of Kratos.



10:57AM PT
"We should begin very shortly." Same old routine – cell phones off; please take your seats request; us trotting out the "where should we take them" joke. Good times.


10:37AM PT
We just want you to know that we've holed up in a corner to bring you these updates. Other options included: free food and drinks; playing one of the eight PS3 game stations; or napping.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.