The PlayStation Media Briefing is infinitely more than a mere press conference. Part massive party, part corporate boondoggle, this epic conflagration of fans, hacks and suits never fails to impress... despite plenty of embarrassing moments over the years.
The free beers help. They always help.
I wouldn't have minded one to tide me through the massive self-congratulatory opening montage, but we're in Sony's house now. It's their show. Tretton started the proceedings with a huge nod to the fans and comparing the presser to the Superbowl; every namedrop accompanied by a whoop and cheer from the breathless crowd. There's nothing like the Sony presser, and whether or not you're a fan, you can't help but appreciate a bit of pomp and circumstance.
Wow. First game, big guns, both barrels. Quantic Dream's David Cage sauntered out to reveal Beyond: Two Souls, a true epic that promises to guide us through 15 years of a character's life, free to live through the eyes of Jodie Holmes. Or is that Ellen Paige? Either way, while Quantic has swapped Kara's futuristic trappings for paranormal drama, Beyond is going to become a staple of our news coverage over the coming months. We can't wait to find out 'what lies beyond.'
How excited are we about Battle Royale? Myself, I'm champing at the bit, now that Vita cross-compatibility, Nathan Drake and Big Daddy have been confirmed. It looks... super. Level 3 super, to be exact. Gawd, but they love their supers.
Is anyone else getting sick of executives saying "always on?" Just me, then. Still, the LittleBigPlanet cross controller initiative looks like fun, and free stuff for PS Plus subs can't be a bad thing. Or a free year for us attendees, thank you kindly. The bung was unnecessary, though, because you had me at "indie," Sony. Tretton was keen to flaunt their independent credentials, and it's about time that a major publisher stood up and gave indie games some serious E3 loving.
PSOne classics on the Vita? We called it, but we're not going to rub it in. Hurry up and let me download FF7 already... before Call Of Duty: Black Ops Declassified and Assassin's Creed: Liberation comes out. Sony needed to deploy some major Vita announcements, and they've done just that.
Assassins Of The Carribean? Far Cry 3 co-op campaign? Go on then.
So, Wonderbook. I'm not sure that Sony can necessarily keep up the amount of compatible content necessary to give the AR service serious longevity, but the Rowling connection is intriguing to say the least. A genuine surprise is also a welcome, erm, surprise. If they make a Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy Wonderbook spinoff, however, I'll buy it day one.
God Of War: Ascension looks like more God Of War, only this time, it's exactly the same (save for 100% more Elephant hybrids). I do mean that as a compliment, actually.
Conversely, Naughty Dog appear to be onto something new - and truly sensational - with The Last Of Us. Brutal, unflinching and breathtaking... and another exclusive to boot.
Did Sony win E3? Probably. We've yet to truly see Nintendo strut their stuff, but so far, only one publisher has balanced massive exclusives with serious innovation and proper, insane surprises.
Or maybe that's just the free beers talking?