1.) Sony unveiled their own new motion tracking system, aptly titled the PlayStation Motion Controller
Sony were up front about the rampant leaks in recent weeks, saying up front “we consider ourselves to be industry leaders, and press leaks are no exception,” but it still had a few surprises up its sleeve.
Primarily, the PlayStation Motion Controller, a ‘magic wand’ type add-on that utilizes the PlayStation 3’s camera to track 3D movement across one or two hands. Sony went through a bevy of demonstrated uses, making the controller act as first person shooter aiming device, writing utensil, two handed archery simulator, and real-time strategy unit selector, all with a legitimately impressive amount of finesse.
The company said it would be releasing more information about the device soon, in anticipation of an early 2010 launch.
2.) Sony are circling the wagons and re-emphasizing a lineup of third party exclusives
After losing Grand Theft Auto to competing consoles, first and foremost Sony announced that Rockstar North, the studio behind the GTA series, would be creating Agent, a story of global espionage and assassins set in the late 1970s that will be exclusive to PS3.
Sony also showed the first footage of Final Fantasy 14, a new online version in the series (the first since FF 11) that was announced as a game that would “launch exclusively” for the PS3.
Also shown: the first official trailer for The Last Guardian, the third game from Ico and Shadow of the Colossus creator Fumito Ueda that leaked recently as Project Trico — the updated trailer showed a fantastic deal more detail than that early target video.
For the PSP, Hideo Kojima came on stage to reveal Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, a game he said was set, too, in the late 70s, and would serve as the official sequel to Metal Gear Solid 3, and would take full advantage of the PSP’s capabilities. Kojima promised he was heavily involved in the game both as script writer and as executive producer, with much of the same original team as MGS4, and would not be a simple spinoff project.
Other PSP titles in its lineup coming in the near future: a new exclusive Resident Evil, LittleBigPlanet, SOCOM, Monster Hunter Freedom Unlimited, Motorstorm, Hannah Montana, Harry Potter and the exclusive Gran Turismo mentioned in the Qore leak.
3. Sony is placing greater emphasis on the PSP as a media device
Sony’s already widely leaked PSP Go will be launching on October 1st in America and Europe at a 249 dollar/euro price point, and alongside it will come a new PC media manager app called Media Go, meant to better sync photos, music and video between your PC and the PSP.
Also added to the new PSP model firmware this fall (as well as the PS3) will be an on-device port of its proprietary musical application SensMe, that, like iTunes’ ‘Genius’ functionality, will analyze your music with ’12 tone recognition’ and create new playlists based on your mood.
Adding to the PS3’s already sizable video library — which will now include new content partners Showtime, G4, E, HDNet, Starz, TNA, Magnolia Films, and new anime and sports channels — Sony announced that content delivery will be coming natively to the PSP this fall, as well.
4. Sony still strongly believes in the ‘play, create, share’ theme
To that end, they not only announced new partners for LittleBigPlanet like Disney — who will be adding Jack Sparrow, Cinderella and The Incredibles costumes — but they announced a new PlayStation 3 exclusive game from its internal San Diego studio and Vancouver’s United Front called ModNation Racers.
At heart a kart racing game along the lines of Mario’s own, the twist is — like LittleBigPlanet near-infinite customizability in both characters, cars, and tracks. United Front demonstrated the track building feature, which was as easy as painting tracks, terrain types, scenery like trees, mountains and villages, and powerups with a virtual PhotoShop brush applicator, and then instantly tested out the track with no loading or delay.
The game featured a superdeformed character design style similar to LittleBigPlanet‘s Sackboy, which the developer said was inspired by vinyl toy scene artists like Kidrobot and Tokidoki, and are therefore completely after my one true heart.
5. As I suspected, Sony are actively chasing more independent developers for PSP
How? By announcing a price drop for its PSP developer kits by some 80 percent to $1,500 in North America, and 1200 euros across Europe and PAL territories.
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