Vita, Move and inFamous Vampires
Sony is making a big show at GamesCom this year, throwing a lavish press conference earlier today full of big announcements and lofty promises. Playstation Vita was their main focus, with release date looming and the pressure on for Sony's latest portable. Playstation Move wasn't forgotten either, with a wealth of new games announced, and some tasty news for their old-timer, the Playstation 3, delighted the assembled audience.
First off, Sony announced they'd done enough talking about the power of the Playstation brand; it was time to prove it. Playstation Network, they promise, will offer a wealth of new content and partnerships, although no mention was made of the service's stability in the wake of the controversial crash.
Next up, Sony turned their attentions to Playstation Vita. Games are at its heart, and Sony promises "extraordinary experiences" are in store. Vita comes in two flavors; a Wi-Fi only model and a 3G-enabled version. Sony bigged up Near, Party and We Area as key social networking features Vita fans are going to love.
Furthermore, you can access Facebook, Twitter and 4Square on the Vita, as well as surfing the web or checking out your and your friend's trophy progress. Staying Connected is Sony's mantra, adding a "social dimension to portable gaming" we've never seen before.
"At it's core, PS Vita is a gaming machine," Sony declared, with the "richest, deepest experiences on any portable". Vita will launch a new line-up of original IPs as well as iterating on existing franchises. They announced Resistance: Burning Skies from developers Nihilistic Studios, and Brendan will have a hands-on preview for that very soon.
The new Little Big Planet made an appearance, too, with a quirky trailer showing off how you can take pictures of real-world objects and import them into the game for use as objects or set decorations. It really was very impressive. Play. Create. Share. Anywhere. Apparently.
Reality Fighters, a new augment reality brawler from the creators of Invizimals was shown off, which allows you to import yourself into the game and make the world "your arena". Two Sony execs duked it out on stage with hilarious results, not least the over-enthusiastic announcer.
A charming platformer, Escape Plan, was then debuted, tasking you with steering soon to be fan-favorites Laarg and Lill from their monochrome prison. The duo can suck up air to inflate themselves up to previously inaccessible perches, although the environment is crawling with death-traps.
And it's not just first-party stuff we'll be seeing on Vita. "Almost every major publisher is on-board and developing for the platform," Sony promise. The likes of Ubisoft and EA are working on exclusive Assassin's Creed and FIFA projects for release early next year, which is a major coup, make no mistake.
Sony then remembered they had another portable, the venerable PSP, which is soon to receive an entry level value model for the cut-price of 99€. Along with their line of value priced games, "portable gaming has never been so accessible".
And if you thought Sony had forgotten all about their home console, the Playstation 3, well relax; they haven't. Sony revealed next year's FIFA entry would feature full-on Move support, whilst they finally announced a Wii Sports ripoff, Move Fitness, with 25 calorie-crunching exercises included, such as basketball, boxing and window-smashing, which is sure to delight tabloids writing up London Riots reaction pieces. It's "your own little personal trainer", apparently.
Dance Star Party was revealed, too, and despite the title and developers at hand, "it's not just another dance game". Sure it's not. It does, though, feature 40 songs and original artist videos to learn routines from, with more to download on the PS Store. So; a dance game, then? Britain's Got Talent dance crew Diversity then turned up to show off... something, dancing for a while with Move remotes for the sake of it before shifting into a completely unrelated choreography.
Sony took the time to mention the PS3's European user-base has grown to a whopping 22 million strong, before unveiling upcoming inFamous 2 add-on, Festival of Blood, which brings vampires to New Marais.
A cracking Uncharted 3 demo was shown off, which had Nathan Drake attempt to board a plane culminating in a spectacular flight on the cargo bay door, extended perilously over a sheer drop to the desert below. It was quintessential Uncharted, and the ensuing applause was deafening.
Sony capped their conference off with the jaw-dropping announcement of a PS3 price cut, effective immediately, dropping the price to £199.99 in the UK and 249€ in Europe. Cracking stuff, all round.