Category Archives: E3

Six exciting things from E3 2014 | Opinion | Gaming

E3 2014We’ve been going on about E3 for years (seriously, it’s our most rambled about subject…) but this year’s show was something different and exciting – it wasn’t a disappointment.

After the tough time Microsoft in particular had last year, the general air of positivity to come out of this year’s show is genuinely astonishing.

Seriously, game announcements were tumbling out of people’s mouths so quickly people’s eyes started to bleed from all the shiny new-ness…

And so what do we make of all of this? We make precisely six (totally not a random arbitrary number) things which we’ve decided to tell you a little bit about, in no particular order.

It’s like Crackdown on crack

CrackdownIt’s always nice to see a game resurrected from the dark corners of the past (OK, that may cease to be the case if they release an HD remake of phone game phenomenon Snake), and Crackdown brought a smile to many a gamer’s face when it exploded on screen – multiple times – at Microsoft’s conference.

The original game in the series proved a hit, but its sequel didn’t set the world on fire. Now MS are bringing it back, with the number three conspicuous by its absence and complete with the original voiceover announcer.

Destruction made up a big part of the game’s reveal, suggesting it could be a big part of the game, which could make reaching the highest buildings tricky, knowing how trigger happy the title makes you – here’s hoping the buildings respawn, or at least there’s something to bring them back, perhaps a weapon in the vein of Red Faction‘s nanoforge…

Lots and lots of Halo

Halo 5: GuardiansOver 100 maps. One hundred. That’s how many multiplayer battlegrounds are included with Halo: The Master Chief Collection.

It seems ungrateful to complain, but we’ve never been much of a fan of re-releases. The plus side is that not only is this a re-release done well, the first to make us sit up and take notice since the Gamecube remake of Resident Evil.

All multiplayer modes, vehicles and quirks of each iteration are included, with both Halo 1 and 2 benefiting from a visual clean-up, but the Halo series isn’t just about multiplayer, unlike other shooters we could mention.

The clever way in which 343 have pulled this together is impressive. The release not only includes a Halo 5: Guardians Beta (and a TV series produced by Alien king Ridley Scott), but serves to tool up the protagonist of the new game as they begin their quest to find Master Chief following the convoluted events of Halo 4.

It is your Destiny

DestinyThough Bungie, developers of Destiny, may always be remembered as the team who originally gave the world Halo, they are going to great lengths to set themselves apart from their past with this new title.

There might be a few visual and gameplay similarities, but the ambition drives the genre forward into new territory. There’s a strong emphasis on coop play, though it isn’t essential for most of the modes, as well large, expansive worlds and exploration.

It might not be far-flung from the heights reached by games in other genres (Skyrim is no doubt a frequent reference point), but this is the first time on console where an MMO – or Massively Multiplayer Online – title has really captured people’s imagination.

Defiance caused a stir with its own route into the world in 2013, but failed to have the staying power demanded by a lot of players. Destiny has got an awful lot packed in, and though we haven’t had our hands on it yet, everyone who has agrees it’s an experience difficult to put across in words.

WiiU may have been down, but it’s not out

Super Smash Brothers WiiUNintendo has had a rough time the past few years, and with the release of the WiiU failing to reach the benchmark set by the Wii they were left feeling like Metallica after their unfortunate 2003 album St. Anger, treading water with a sad look on their faces.

Unlike Metallica (who, coincidentally, took five years to hit back with another, better album), Nintendo didn’t let the bad publicity around the WiiU stop them from doing what they are good at – making games.

So finally this year we are seeing the fruits of those efforts with more Super Smash Brothers, more Zelda and the already very tempting Mario Kart 8.

Thanks to this strong first party showing, something Nintendo can be relied on when they get their act together and focus on their core franchises, they have shown that they aren’t worth forgetting about just yet.

Colour comes to next gen

Sunset OverdriveLet’s face it, there’s a trend in media these days across the board to be gritty, realistic, dark and suspenseful. Don’t we all miss how it used to be? A giant ‘pow’ for every Batman villain foiled? (scroll down for more of that)

Apparently, we do, and our prayers have been answered in the form of another Xbox exclusive (or Xclusive…) – Sunset Overdrive. The beginnings of this game last year were just as colourful sure, but now we’ve seen some actual gameplay, and it’s looking even more fun.

The E3 reveal trailer began by a nice bit of fun poking at the FPS genre in general, and the fourth wall-breaking protagonist is a refreshing change of tact from some of the other new protagonists shown off through the week.

Focusing on momentum, there’s wall running, rail grinding, and a crazy array of weapons to take down mutants in a game which, clearly, doesn’t take itself too seriously, and, in an industry which is supposed to be about entertainment, all too often that gets lost in translation.

The Dark Knight rises (sorry…)

Batman: Arkham KnightWe all knew Batman was back, and in fact it almost looked like a misfire out of the gate when it was revealed the game had slipped from the end of this year to next almost immediately.

Luckily, we have nothing to worry about with series heavyweights Rocksteady back at the helm for their conclusion to the series Arkham Knight.

Despite showing up in the Sony press conference, the game is also making its way to Xbox One (as is GTAV, not that Sony would appreciate me pointing that out), and is looking very very good.

The Batmobile sounded like a bit of a gimmick when it was first announced, but the gameplay videos shown off for the game show how slickly it compliments the gameplay (and, as if on purpose or something, here’s some gameplay).

So, there you have it, some stuff like what you should get excited about. Sadly it won’t all be with us in 2014, but there’s a fair chunk of good stuff on the way. Expect more game reviews and stories going forward (for Xbox One at least) and possibly some video reviews too, once we’ve worked out how to bully the computer into editing.

For now, run along and play.

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Gaming | E3 2012 Debriefing – What does it mean for Xbox 360? | This Is Entertainment

Oooo greenGoing into this years Electronic Entertainment Expo (that’s E3, technophobes), there were no illusions that the current console generation is approaching its end.

Nintendo is on the eve of announcing a release date for its new WiiU, revealed last year, and the speculation about the PS4 or Xbox 720 has reached boiling point. Luckily the signs that this generation wasn’t just a giant waste of time are there in the form of Nintendo‘s ‘Pro Controller’, which looks suspiciously like an Xbox 360 pad. Before all that excitement of shiny new things though, we need to be entertained in the meantime – so what’s left for 360 players?

A cynic would say we are at the bottom of the barrel, scraping together sequels to drag out the life of a console which is past its sell-by date. Ever the optimist however (hmm…) I thought I would take some time to contemplate before dismissing this year’s E3 offering as disappointing and think about what it means as we creep ever closer to the next generation.

Microsoft‘s conference this year wasn’t surprising, it wasn’t unexpected, what it was was logical. What makes the Xbox an effective games console is that it’s no longer just a games console, it has diversified into the multi-media hub which MS always envisioned.

The harsh reaction to the latest changes to the dashboard earlier this year gave a pretty clear message from those who would happily call themselves ‘gamers’ however, so it remains a fine line MS must tread to keep everyone happy – from the hardcore Halo fans who dress up as John 117 on the weekends to the working mums who just jump onto Your Shape for 15 minutes every Tuesday morning after Loose Women.

Get your Spartan onTo address these concerns, MS‘s E3 conference began by taking things back to the console’s roots, with a new instalment in their flagship franchise. In the hands of a new developer, 343 Industries, the game offers a fresh breath of life into a series which began at the original Xbox‘s inception back in 2001. There are new enemies, new weapons, new locations, but still the familiar touches which make the series what it is, including its protagonist Master Chief (who is John 117, if you were scratching your head earlier).

Next to be flaunted were (among others) a new Splinter Cell title subbed ‘Blacklist’, which seemed to throw away even more stealth than its predecessor, Tomb Raider, which still featured Lara Croft making odd sexual noises and a new Gears of War (Judgment – missing an ‘e’), this time with Damon Baird in the spotlight. Plus there were three blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Xbox exclusives, but very little was revealed about them other than the names: Ascend: New Gods, LocoCycle and Matter.

In terms of numbers of games at least, things were going well, and the 360 has always been at home with action-heavy gun-dominated titles like Gears and Halo. “…but what about innovation?!” I hear you cry.

Can you watch two screens at once?Xbox Smartglass, technology which allows you to use the smartphones and tablets you already own to control your 360, was undoubtedly the biggest innovation. While convergence of technology is nothing new, utilising products consumers already own is a masterstroke. The only problem is what about the people without these add-ons, are they going to get left behind as a brave new world comes along to slide its shimmering glass surface across their face?

With another console not a million miles away, this is software which will make the jump, and in many ways ease the transition between today’s gaming world and tomorrow’s. There are undoubtedly tons of things which can be done with touchscreens, but like the possibilities presented by Kinect, it will take a long time for them to be used effectively, and most importantly to enhance the experience rather than intrude on it.

After a few more services, including the shrug-worthy Xbox Music and marginally more interesting film and TV deals, featuring copious amounts of American sports which all have their own acronyms, it was time for more games.

Resident Evil 6 looked the part, albeit with plenty of potential to stray down the path away from its roots, something so commonly picked up on these days that it practically becomes a given. There was also a good show from South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, who notably mocked Smartglass‘ drive for interconnectivity, and surprisingly the pair proved to be the more civilised and fitting ‘celebrity’ guest appearances compared to the shocking performance from Usher in conjunction with the inevitable Just Dance 3. Jaws across the auditorium must have been on the floor for all the wrong reasons.

The grand finale was Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, which was the least surprising sequel of the day, but the footage shown was undeniably impressive, causing those who had sworn of ‘COD’ for life to sheepishly reconsider.

Here boy, walkies!The surprise of the week really came from Ubisoft‘s conference in the form of the gritty criminal underworld of the Watch Dogs, an original IP which nods to both Deus Ex and Grand Theft Auto IV. Grand masters of GTA themselves, Rockstar Games, were dutifully absent as usual, and no more was heard about the upcoming GTAV.

In all it was a business-sound case from MS, with enough games in the mix (predictable but present) to keep gamers occupied which they put the final touches on their new platform, sure to be revealed this time next year. The amount of services may seem dizzying, but with so many new partnerships and deals announced, it’s a safe bet the 360 will be around for a few years yet, even after its successor is released.

Now all we have to do is wait…in the meantime, have a listen to what industry veteran and passing colleague of This Is Entertainment Jon Hicks (@MrJonty) from Official Xbox Magazine, has to say about it all – and happy gaming.

James Michael Parry

pictures courtesy: gotgame.com, archetypegamer.com, openthefridge.net, monstervine.com

Xbox LIVE Update: Social gaming revolution or shameless franchise spamming?

The modern world is all about sharing. Whether it’s your best friend uploading those potentially career-damaging drunken photos of you to Facebook or your brother ranting about the state of the economy on Twitter, everything has something they want to say.

Microsoft’s latest addition to the already jam-packed NXE (New Xbox Experience) will bring these household names direct to your Xbox, along with the likes of Zune, a video downloading service, and Last.fm, the sophisticated Spotify, which lets you stream music direct from the internet.

The icing on the cake for sports fans is the Sky player, which will allow you to subscribe to Sky packages through your Xbox and enjoy the latest football match with all your friends’ avatars from around the world.

While it may all sound exciting in theory – in fact the round of applause from E3 has only just died down – it only goes further to hammer home the stereotype of the near-institutionalised computer games fan, hiding away from the world in a dark room out of touch with the real world.

Of course this is nonsense in this day and age. Gaming is more diverse than ever before, with the average UK gamer aged around 28 years old and over 59% (26.5m) of all 6-65 year-olds playing computer games, in no small part due to the user-friendly nature of the Wii.

Microsoft’s vision is to fight back by turning the Xbox 360 into a multimedia super entertainment centre. The vision falls short in reality though as the update itself (after a lengthy download) doesn’t ‘wow’ right away, just causes Facebook and the like to feature in the dashboard menus, prompting another download each time one of the applications is selected.

Sadly the lack of integration doesn’t end there, with each application being treated almost as a separate game rather than part of the dashboard, meaning you can’t have any part of Facebook or Twitter running in the background, so if you wanted to share with the world that you’d just nailed the ‘Seriously 2.0’ achievement on Gears of War 2 you’d have to exit out of the game.

Teaming up your happy-go-lucky avatar with your real self is a little unnerving at first as well, but once the update is released worldwide you’ll be able to add friends to Facebook from Xbox LIVE and vice versa, as well as all the usual Facebook features such as viewing photos and spying on your enemies from your primary school days.

Being keyboard-less on the 360 is one major drawback for the text-heavy knitting circle Twitter and though you can splash out on a ‘Messenger Kit’, you might find it easier to dig out the laptop to tweet away than navigate through the swarm of menus to share your thoughts through Xbox LIVE.

For music fans Last.fm offers a colossal range of music from almost any artist imaginable, though you need to pay to sign up to the premium version of the service to unlock the most useful content, such as the ability to play just your ‘loved’ tracks, making endless CD burning for summer BBQs a thing of the past.

Zune, the least well known of the new additions, jazzes up the already popular Video Marketplace to offer a wider choice of films, though the choice is currently fairly limited. As well as feature films, Zune also highlights the best bits and bobs from the web to keep you entertained when you fancy a break from failing to beat ‘Scatterbrain’ on Expert for the 18th time.

Sky Player is the most illusive inclusion to date, with Xbox LIVE’s message stating it will be rolled out on October 27 and that users won’t need a Sky dish to access content. What it does reveal is that there will be plenty of on-demand movies available, possibly creating a bit of competition between Sky and Zune to control the download rental market.

The features are determined to show of their usefulness to gamers but for those without a lightning-fast internet connection even updating Twitter can be a strain, making the prospect of downloading a feature length full 1080p HD film a daunting prospect, though luckily you don’t need to wait for the download to finish before you start watching.

There’s masses of potential here, and now Microsoft has these big companies on board things will only become more refined and sleek but at the moment all the new features seem very tacked-on, giving more of a sense of bewilderment than appreciation of a revolutionised multimedia interface.

James Michael Parry

This Is Entertainment’s comprehensive E3 Summary: Part 3 – Microsoft

Here it is then, the one you’ve all been waiting for, at least I hope so! After watching Microsoft’s mammoth E3 press conference in full I’m going to digest that down as much as I can to get you all clued up on the latest and greatest information.

You may have heard a few things blowing around on the internet, so first let’s answer a few quick questions:

– What do you mean there’s going to be Metal Gear Solid on Xbox 360?!
– Well the creator of MGS announced the next title: Metal Gear Solid – Rising, will be coming to 360, but there’s little chance MGS4 will make it over as well, sorry about that! Don’t rule out MGS1 on Xbox Live Arcade though…

– I hear Microsoft is partnering up with enough different companies to be declared serial bigamist of the year?
– That’s right, well, the partnering part at least, not sure what you’re going on about…MS announced partnerships with Facebook, Twitter, Sky, Last.fm AND Netflix. (more on some of these later on)

– So Xbox is trying to be some sort of all-in-one box of entertainment then really?
– That’s the idea. They’re pushing all possible avenues to bring gamers full 1080p HD video with instant streaming, music, social networks, everything you could possibly want bar going and getting you another beer from the fridge basically.

– Halo Reach? ODST? WHAT IS GOING ON?!
– Calm down! Yes there are now officially two Halo games in the works over at Bungie. Halo 3: ODST (Orbital Drop Shock Trooper) is an add-on to Halo 3 which will include 3 Halo 3 multiplayer maps and a 10+ hours campaign focusing on the ODST troops around New Mombasa, set between Halo 2 and Halo 3. Halo Reach is a “top” secret Halo project Bungie have been working on. My reliable sources tell me that from the name it would suggest it has something to do with the first Halo ring over Reach, which was destroyed in the first game and was a pivotal moment in the war. Not much official info on it exists just yet, but it’s due out late 2010, for now, just check out the teaser trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqIEvH7sGQ0

– What on EARTH is this Project Natal thing?
– That’s a very interesting question. In a nutshell it’s some fancy new technology which lets YOU be the controller, including facial and voice recognition and full motion capture without the need for any strange suits or anything. It’s essentially MS’ answer to the Wii’s motion capture, but done in true MS style…they had to go one better. If it really works like it claims to then it genuinely a big step forward in potential for MS, but the videos seem a little contrived to be convincing, take a look for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oACt9R9z37U

Also, you can check out a blog post on Natal from a good friend of mine, Andy Hemphill: http://tinyurl.com/ndz9m7

Now, I think it’s time we had a look at what’s the most important thing about a games console, aside from the fancy deals and new technology, which is its games.

The first game to take the floor was Tony Hawk Ride, which uses a skateboard controller to track the gamers motion and movements on the skateboard, and let them have more control than the plethora of Tony Hawk titles of years gone by. The man himself was there to show it off, just the first of MS’ star guests of E3, but despite the ‘bigging up’ it still could be an excellent and innovative game.

Next up was a biggie: Modern Warfare 2. So major it made the cover of the latest OXM, the game is the sequel to the phenomenally successful Game of the Year that was Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. The trailer, which you really should have seen by now (but here it is if not), was impressive enough, but the gameplay shown was the most interesting element. It sees a new recruit, codename ‘Roach’, following COD4 hero ‘Soap’ McTavish in a snowy blizzard through which the player must claim an icy rock face to the next encounter. The weather plays a massive part, marking the shift between stealth, as you sneak around stealthily before the blizzard clears and colossal frantic fire-fight takes place. The game looks outstanding and the single player was a personal high point so it’s good to see that Infinity Ward haven’t relied on the predecessors ridiculous success on Live.

Joyride, a FREE XBLA game, will be the first racing title to use your avatars for some funky Mario Kart-esque action. The game certainly gives a decent platform for UGC, and while you do have to pay to get the best tracks and cars, only one of you’re friends has to have bought them to play them with you, which is a neat idea.

Teaser trailers for Crackdown 2, Left 4 Dead 2 and Splinter Cell: Conviction mark the emphasis of MS’ focus on ‘Only on Xbox’ titles this E3, and admittedly come of impressively for it. Conviction in particular looks to break free a little from the traditional Splinter Cell format, as Fischer takes off his tri-goggles and dons a distinctly Bruce-Willis-in-Die-Hard attitude as he tries to find out who killed his daughter. A couple of slick design features make this release stand out, namely super-imposing credits and objectives on the landscape of the levels, immersing you in the world while keeping the real-time narrative going, and a refreshingly tasteful use of slow-mo.

Not to be left out, Epic Games, the kings of Gears of War, demoed their old-school 2.5D side-scrolling platformer, which showed a nice level of depth, ironically, for the genre through Xbox Live Arcade.

Halo was always going to get some hype, and the play-through of ODST delivered everything fans of the series have been waiting for, complete with ill-fated TV show Firefly voice actors, which is always a plus.

Natal proved to top off what was near to being a continuous round of applause for most of the press briefing, but where can I hear all this news for myself I hear you ask? Just head over to Gamespot to check out their full press conference video, but be sure you have two hours to kill!

The year looks set to be a good one, and if MS delivers on what it has promised then it will certainly give Nintendo some sales figures to contend with by the time the Christmas spending spree begins.

This Is Entertainment’s comprehensive E3 Summary: Part 2 – Nintendo

Nintendo is a name which has been synonymous with video gaming for the past 30 years. Now in its 120th year, having spent it’s early years making cards and dominoes, the company is beginning to feel the pressures of the ever-increasing competition in the sector.

This year’s E3 was a mixture of the company’s “Everyone is a gamer” philosophy and it’s traditional strong points, namely that over-enthusiastic, red-hatted plumber Mario.

While it’s important to put effort into franchises which consumers associate with the brand, Nintendo’s press conference, which lasted just over an hour (nearly an hour shorter than the other two big names), spent around five minutes showcasing only three third party Wii titles: The Conduit, Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles and Dead Space: Extraction.

While all three games look interesting and offer a “harder edge”, according to Reggie Fils-Aime, President and CEO of Nintendo of America, only The Conduit is an entirely original IP (Intellectual Property).

It certainly looks like Sega have done a good job with it, and it will give people a reason to think again before dismissing Wii as a “kiddie console”, but all signs point to it going against the grain of the norm on Nintendo platforms.

Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles is the natural sequel to The Umbrella Chronicles, an on-the-rails shooter which made the most of the Wii Zapper, and follows Leon S Kennedy and Claire Redfield as they play through the events of Resident Evil 2, offering a new perspective for the player. If it’s predecessor is anything to go by this will be an excellent and addictive title.

Dead Space: Extraction is a prequel of the edgy psycological horror which impressed critics across the world last year when it was released on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. It’s obvious that this will be a different type of game in the same universe, but should still offer an exciting gaming experience for Wii players.

With the non-Nintendo developed announcements hidden away at the end of the conference, it was difficult to ignore the BIG announcements:

Wii

  • Super Mario Galaxy 2 announced
  • Wii Fit Plus announced
  • New Super Mario Brothers Wii announced
  • Wii Vitality Sensor announced
  • Metroid: Other M announced
  • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers
  • Wii Sports Resort re-announced
  • Wii Motion Plus re-announced

DS/DSi

  • Mario and Luigi: Bowsers Inside Story announced
  • Golden Sun DS announced
  • The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks announced
  • Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box announced
  • Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Prisoners of the Sky announced
  • Facebook photo sharing announced

Chances are if you just skimmed that you’re thinking something along the lines of “same old, same old” or possibly “what on EARTH is a ‘Vitality Sensor’ when it’s at home?!”.

Allow me to explain. The Vitality Sensor works in a similar way to the thing you wear on your finger when you’re in hospital, and it does the same thing: measures your pulse. According to Nintendo the sensor will ” initially sense the user’s pulse and a number of other signals being transmitted by their bodies, and will then provide information to the users about the body’s inner world. “

Concrete details about how exactly it will be used in games are scarce, but essentially the plan is to detect stress levels and other things from your pulsebeat. I’d really like to see it used in a psychological horror, upping the weirdness as your pulse increases perhaps?

The big game releases come as no surprise, with Mario abound, but the prospect of a straight sequel in Super Mario Galaxy 2 seems like a lazy cash-in and risks cheapening the frankly astounding brilliance of the original. Then again, riding Yoshi should be good fun.

As for the DS release, the name Bowser’s Inside Story sounded exciting and original, a chance to find a little more about the growling nemesis of that plucky plumber and unleash some of his power, but sadly that potential is denied when the name is taken literally and the Mario brothers go on a journey through Bowser’s insides instead.

The latest Samus project, Project M, sounds more promising, if mysterious, but the focus on back story to add depth to the character is undoubtedly a positive step. Making the character progressively more than just a super suit.

Embracing social media, albeit in a small way, with the integration of Facebook photo sharing on the DSi, is definitely another step in the right direction, but a far cry from the bold partnerships Microsoft have announced (full MS round up coming soon).

In the end Nintendo seem to have taken their “Games are for everyone and everyone’s a gamer” ethos a little to far and a little too literally. It’s all well and good making games which appeal to the masses, and work as tools rather than games in the case of things like the blatantly obvious Wii Fit Plus, but it has to remember that games for everyone aren’t really for everyone.

Sometimes people want something a bit more specific, tailored for people like them. Nintendo may argue that it fulfils this by letting players tailor games to suit their own tastes, but sometimes it’s nice to have things done for you. Rather than being able to adapt games to your needs, it’s a nice feeling when you switch on a title and think “This game was made for me”.

This Is Entertainment’s comprehensive E3 Summary: Part 1 – Sony

So it’s that time of year again, when the best gaming minds from around the world descend on Los Angeles for the Electronic Entertainment Expo (that’s E3 to sophisticated people like you and me), the event which in the past has given such shock announcements as the undercover launch of the Sega Saturn back in 1995, the first trials of Sony’s current gaming monster, the Playstation 3, and the debut of the Wii‘s patented motion-sensing technology (not to mention motion plus).

It will come as no surprise then that I, and countless gamers around the world, were excited about this year’s event, and with good reason. All three consoles are in their stride now, with competition hotting up in the too-oft-mentioned recession.

So, without further preamble, allow me to present This Is Entertainment‘s quintessential guide to the comings and goings of E3 2009:

Sony (watch the full conference on Gamespot HERE)

The PS3 failed to light a fire of enthusiasm at last year’s E3, so what did the Blu-ray kings offer this year?

President and CEO Jack Tretton opened Sony’s press conference with a plathora of impressive sounding numbers, boasting there would be an admittedly impressive 364 games released on Playstation platforms in 2009 (you feel as though they could have found one more to make it a year’s worth).

Sony reports it made over 30% of 2008’s industry sales over it’s three platforms: PS3, PS2 and PSP. The problem is, PS2 and PS3 are competing for the same market, so the only reason people would go for a PS2 over a PS3 is price. Hence the latest announcement of cutting the PS2 RRP to $99.

If they would cut the price of the PS3, then it may encourage gamers to opt for the clearly superior console straight away, and save people the money and hassle of swapping over 6 months down the line when developers stop releasing titles on Ps2…hmm…

Despite the questionable marketing strategy, Sony still shifted 22million PS3s in 2008, no doubt helped by titles like the much-hyped Killzone 2.

Other than a handful of PS3-exclusives like Killzone, last year gave the platform little to distinguish it from Microsoft’s Xbox 360, with few developers willing to put in the time to stretch the graphics power of the PS3 beyond that of the Xbox 360, one of its key advantages.

Undoubtedly Playstation Network will be a big area for growth in the next year (particularly if the competitions’ plans are anything to go by – check back in a few days for details), due to it being free.

The main thing that people need to know about though, is the games, and the PS3 lineup with its plethora of new games was impressive but only 35 of them will be exclusive to Playstation platforms.


The closing of the feature-length press conference was a demonstration of the excitingly shiny-looking God of War 3 – a PS3 exclusive – which saw a hunter-type character take on mythical beasts while a hell-fire demon writhed around in the background. Certainly looking promising on the action stakes, something between the blockbuster feel of Lord of the Rings and the rich imagery of the original Greek stories themselves.

All in all this year should be better for Sony, and since, by their own admission, they didn’t do too badly in 2008, it should mean they sail through the economic troubles without a second thought.