After a rough couple of months, Sony's gotta be hungry for a win, but will its E3 keynote be the place for that victory? Will the company have a sense of humor about its security problems? Will it ignore them all together? Will we all pretend to be surprised when the NGP is totally called the PS Vita? We'll all find out together when the company shows its hand at the LA Memorial Sports Arena Monday, 8 p.m. EDT, 5 p.m. PDT!
7:01PM And the presser is punctuated by an abnormally loud trailer which plays as the side screens roll up revealing the demo stations. The main screen is receding back into the room, and we'v got a ton of playable units. There's a whole stage now with a DJ dropping what we presume to be "phat beats." We're going to go see what's available down there – thanks for reading along!
6:59PM "With PlayStation Vita, the whole world is really in play." That's the tagline we guess? Kaz encourages us to go check out the arcade. Jack is back on-stage. He was upset that Kaz teased him about his tie. "I was tempted to bust out that Ridge Racer line, but I love my job too much." Ha! You win that one, Jack.
6:57PM Kaz is back on-stage, and he's getting to the price. The Vita will be available this holiday and the WiFi model will retail for $249, and the 3G/WiFi model will retail for $299. If you were wondering if Sony learned its lesson from the PS3, we think you've got your answer. Amazing what off-the-shelf components can do!
6:55PM While it was a pretty short demo, the game looks impressive. Capcom is really nailing the look of its fighting games on portable consoles – first Street Fighter IV on 3DS and now this! Rohde is back, promising lots of third-party support for PlayStation Vita. We've got a highlight reel to show some of the Vita's games off. There's Golden Abyss, Wipeout, Little Deviants, LittleBigPlanet, Sound Shapes, some cel-shaded title (?), Hustle Kings, ModNation Racers, Super StarDust, Ruin, Reality Fighter, HotShots Golf, a Dynasty Warriors title, and some other ones we weren't quick enough to write down.
6:50PM Yoshinori Ono is on-stage from Capcom to talk about the project. "We're also happy to announce that in collaboration with Sucker Punch, Cole from inFamous will also be joining Street Fighter X Tekken. While we're all here, why don't we check out what kind of damage Cole does in the game."
6:48PM "The LittleBigPlanet toolbox has been expanded," Rohde says. He also mentions the two cameras -- of course! We knew there was something we'd forgotten. Next up is Capcom to talk about Street Fighter X Tekken on Vita.
6:46PM LittleBigPlanet is coming to Vita as well, with touchscreen controls, tilt controls, rear touchscreen controls, and we're guessing some other control mechanisms we've already forgotten about. It looks adorable, as always, and the touchscreen promises some pretty powerful new tools to make levels.
6:44PM "Owners of ModNation Racers on the PlayStation Vita will have access to over two million" pieces of ModNation content from the PlayStation 3, including tracks and more. Sounds like Sony is fulfilling its promise of cross-platform functionality. Wipeout 2048 allows up to eight players to compete, whether they're on PS3 or PSP.
6:42PM Next up is ModNation Racers for Vita. This is an "entirely new" experience that's been developed specifically for Vita's unique feature set. They're showing the series' staple: The track editor. With the Vita, it's possible to use the touchscreen to create your track. In addition to the main touchscreen, you can use the rear touch-panel as well. He selects a tree "paint brush" and paints trees into the middle of the track. Another brush creates an Alpine village.
6:39PM You can save your progress in the cloud, and continue playing on the PS3. The rival system encourages you to take the Vita with you wherever you go, but also allows you to play at home with the PS3 SKU if you're more of a hermit. (We are!).
6:37PM We're looking at a demo of a new NGP title with the working title "Ruin." It's an isometric dungeon crawler, with the requisite loot and fantasy setting. The game has some kind of social networking integration so you can have "rivals." In this case, we're in a rival's lair and we're strolling through messing up the place.
6:35PM A press release just went out with the prices – the Vita will be $250 for the WiFi model. Wow! Hey Nintendo, consider the gauntlet THROWN!
6:34PM "Our goal wasn't just to create an authentic Uncharted game, but to create a game unique to the PlayStation Vita."
6:33PM This is a segment of the same demo we previewed last week – they're paying specific attention to the new input methods in Golden Abyss. Touch for melee, climbing, and Sixaxis tilt for leaning into a jump. You can "paint edges" to move Drake along a series of handholds. Now we're in a combat scenario which, thanks to the Vita's (ugh) dual thumbsticks, actually plays like an Uncharted game.
6:30PM The team from Sony Bend take the stage to talk about Uncharted: Golden Abyss. They talk about how much power is needed to get an Uncharted game to a portable platform.
6:28PM "Vita will allow live voice chat over headsets, no matter where they are or what game they're playing." That sounds like an improvement from PS3 ... interesting. He brought up Near, the geolocation layer, but didn't add much. He promised they'd be sharing more in the coming months. Next up is Worldwide Studios' Scott Rohde to talk about developing for PlayStation Vita.
6:26PM "We'll be partnering with AT&T as the exclusive carrier for Vita in the United States." Wow, ha! The audience started laughing! No, seriously, they laughed. Out loud. Awkward.
6:24PM "What you've come to know as NGP, or Next Generation Portable, is officially known as PlayStation Vita." Wow ... so it was true. Not sure what to say about that but ... it doesn't sound right. Just us?
6:23PM He's talking about PlayStation Suite, the company's exciting initiative to get PlayStation software off of PlayStation hardware. The first pieces of hardware include PlayStation-certified Android devices ... which we already knew. There's still so many questions, Kaz! Why so coy?
6:21PM Kaz Hirai takes the stage, giving Jack a handshake. "We learned a lot during the recent outage of the PlayStation Network and one of the most important things we learned was the trust and loyalty of our customers."
6:20PM Jack's running down some of the PS3-exclusive features in EA's latest games, including SSX (Mt. Fuji is exclusive), Need for Speed: The Run (exclusive cars), and Battlefield 3 (free copy of Battlefield 1943 on the disc).
6:18PM We saw a trailer for the new JJ Abram's-set Star Trek game – we'll be checking it out later this week and will share more then.
6:17PM Jack takes the stage again, and says that the Blu-ray of BioShock Infinite will include a free copy of the original BioShock. Sounds like Irrational and Sony are getting awfully cozy!
6:16PM Levine says there's one more thing: another game set in the BioShock universe that the team at Irrational has been thinking about. It's ... an NGP game. He pulls a device out of his pocket.
6:15PM Next up is BioShock Infinite -- it's an abridged version of the gameplay demo we saw some weeks back (read: awesome). The audience agrees! Ken Levine takes the stage. "In this interview, I expressed some skepticism about the very concept of motion control, and I may have made a few disparaging comments about the PlayStation Move." A few days later, Sony wanted to talk with him about the comments. They said they wanted to make him a believer. Once they got past that initial anxiety, they discovered some other ideas that could allow. In short, Infinite will have PlayStation Move support but they're not ready to talk about it.
6:09PM The game looks a lot like a space-themed shooter – very Killzoney, if you will. The promise is intergalactic war, and it sounds to us like CCP are one of the few groups out there who can deliver on that promise. "Dust 514 is a great example of what sets PlayStation apart," Tretton says. There will be a closed beta at the end of this year and a full release in the spring of 2012.
6:06PM Next up is CCP (they make EVE, remember?) and they're here to talk about Dust 514, which will be a PS3 exclusive! "We're taking a console shooter and connecting it directly to a PC MMO." As promised, Dust will connect to EVE. It will include Move support, a dedicated Home space, and even extending the game to NGP. Ambitious stuff!
6:04PM As promised in the recent PS3 rerelease, we've got a tease for the latest in the Sly Cooper series. It's a "family friendly game" that even core gamers couldn't put down. But wait, it's not Sly ... it's a lizard named Dmitri! The title is "Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time."
6:03PM We're watching a trailer for the LightBox / Sony Santa Monica project, Starhawk. Transforming planes, dune buggies, yes please. "Wecome to the new frontier." That's another tasty trailer! We'll share as soon as Sony gets it out there.
6:00PM "Starting in September, we'll add a much deeper PlayStation Move functionality to LittleBigPlanet 2." Players will be able to use Move to make levels and also make levels specifically for Move.
5:59PM Even though it comes out ... tomorrow (!) we're watching a trailer for inFamous 2. Sure, it may not be the most exciting reveal we've seen so far today, but man does it look tasty.
5:57PM Next, Deadmund's crossing a wooden beam, requiring the player to stick out his arms for balance. And that's it for this demo, and it's available this fall.
5:56PM We're seeing a lot of contextual Move actions, like twisting a key in an oversized lock. You can use your bow to detonate ye olde explosive barrels, or sever ropes that are keeping trap doors aloft. Close 'em up if you want to stop more enemies from storming in. Two rotating geats block Deadmund's path -- so he has to shoot an arrow through to hit a switch, just as a gap appears between the gears.
5:54PM It's a first-person game when you're launching arrows at enemies, but changes to third-person when you pull out the sword. It's a cartoonish action game, complete with somewhat cute skeletons and colorful castle interiors.
5:52PM It's due on October 4th, by the way. Tretton's back, and is introducing a new Move title from the creators of Sports Champions: Medieval Moves: Deadmund's Quest.
5:51PM The verdict? "So realistic it's frightening," Bryant says. That's going on the back of the box, surely. (Try and out-hyperbole that, gaming press!)
5:50PM We're seeing a Move demo of NBA 2K12. You just point at the player you want to pass to, and press a button. 2K's even brought out Kobe Bryant to show off the game. Kobe Bryant, with a pink ice cream cone, playing a basketball video game. This is why we come to these keynotes!
5:46PM The 3D monitor bundle will be available for $499 and include PlayStation 3D glasses, Resistance 3, and an HDMI cable. Extra glasses will be $69.99.
5:45PM This is neat – Sony is making a 24" PlayStation-branded TV, with special two-player splitscreen technology which, with a pair of glasses, will allow two players to enjoy two player games on one screen.
5:44PM Remember that rumor about the Ready at Dawn-developed God of War PSP games coming to PS3? Yup, totally happening. The Origins Collection will be available this year with full 3D support. Also coming: the Ico and Shadow of the Colossus collection, also with 3D support.
5:43PM On September 6, Sony will offer a $150 Resistance 3 Sharpshooter bundle, including the game, the gun, and a Move kit including navigation controller.
5:41PM We're watching a 3D demonstration of Resistance 3 (look at that Olly Moss artwork!). As is the norm with this series, we're treated to some fun weapons. The 3D is rather impressive when coupled with Resistance 3's massive enemies. Rain sticks to the screen, which is a nice touch with the 3D enabled.
5:33PM That ship level is now a swimming level, with Drake making his way underwater, keeping an eye out for spots to catch a breath. He find a dry area and, in Nathan Drake bad luck tradition, water bursts back in and he leaps forward, marking the end of the demo.
5:37PM Jack Tretton's back. "We're gonna sell a few copies of that bad boy," he quips. The next developer to show something off? Insomniac Games. Marcus Smith is going to demonstrate Resistance 3.
5:36PM We're seeing a 3D trailer of Uncharted 3. The effect is impressive, but we're most drawn to the character interactions, as always. Drake and Sully are after a city of "immeasurable wealth," of course, which takes them all over the world. We also catch glimpses of Elena and Chloe!
5:32PM Drake's cornered in a cargo room and takes the opportunity to headbutt one of his captors, snatching a grenade off of him, which he uses to cause a distraction. A couple well-placed bullets later and we're in a shoot out. Water is filling the ship, eventually capsizing it. Drake falls backwards (sideways?) into the water.
5:30PM "It's gotta be down this way," Drake mutters to himself as he works his way even further into the ship. The lighting is particularly impressive in the demo. Also, wonder why they're not showing this in 3D.
5:28PM Drake's on a ship that's caught in a storm – the entire environment is moving all over the place. You can see the choppy ocean over the side of the boat. Drake makes his way inside and takes down a handful of enemies, stealth-style.
5:23PM He praises PlayStation partners for helping to kick things off again after the PSN outage, and thanks retailers for providing shelf space when there was none on the disabled PlayStation Store. He wants to apologize to consumers the most, calling them the lifeblood of PlayStation. Aww!
5:27PM Naughty Dog co-presidents Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra take the stage to talk Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception.
5:26PM Tretton is promising over 120 gaming stations right here, which will be available after the press conference for us to play with. Just like Microsoft's press conference this morning, Tretton is talking about how PlayStation 3 is being used for more than just games. He says PS3 is the most popular Netflix device, with one study showing it account for nearly 30% of Netflix's streams. They're also adding Cinema Now support.
5:22PM He's referring to an "elephant in the room." Tretton would like to personally address us. He notes the media's love for controversy, and wryly says, "You're welcome."
5:21PM Jack Tretton takes the stage with a pleasant wave and a questionable color scheme. "There are a lot of people here."
5:19PM WE'RE GONNA WRITE OUR UPDATES LIKE THIS SINCE IT'S SO LOUD. Some more scenes from Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Dead Rising 2: Off the Record, Dragon's Dogma, FIFA ... this should be a very games-centric briefing.
5:18PM We're seeing a bunch of clips in 3D -- Mortal Kombat, Uncharted 3D, Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One. Now some NGP titles and Move titles -- we're establishing Sony's "3D World." (Psst, that's just like the real world!)
5:16PM A deep rumble is blasting us from the stage. We're being sub-woofed to death.
5:15PM We've donned our REAL D 3D glasses. The announcements are about to fly right at us!
5:14PM Sony's wi-fi seems to be holding up pretty well in here. Strange that we had to enter our credit card details to gain access, though ...
5:12PM If, theoretically, we could get some peanuts and then proceed to mock the entire briefing, we could confidently claim to be sitting in the peanut gallery.
5:11PM There are girls going around with ballpark-style peanut trays handing out 3D glasses. We sort of wish they were peanuts. Actually, scratch that, we REALLY wish they were peanuts.
5:08PM "Good afternoon ladies and gentleman and welcome. Our program will begin in 10 minutes." That's a little behind schedule – things were supposed to be under way seven minutes ago.
5:04PM We see two Move-equipped demo stations. We hope it portends a showing of the Move-enabled House of the Dead Overkill. We can't wait to experience all of those F-bombs in 3D!
5:00PM We've taken our seats and are waiting for the conference to get underway. We're so close to the trio of raised stages, we'll be able to see our reflections in Jack Tretton's glossy shoes.