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E3: Dtoid Discusses: The Sony press conference

8:15 AM on 06.08.2011 // Geoff Henao

The Sony Press Conference came and went on Monday. We've had a solid day to digest everything and discuss our reactions to the PS Vita, 3D TV bundles, and the plethora of other Sony-related announcements.

Click ahead to read what we thought, but more importantly, let us know what you thought about Sony's big E3 conference by leaving a comment or writing a cBlog.

Matthew Razak

As much as I try not to be excited for Vita I can't help it. I don't have the cash, but man that price point is only 50 bucks above where I wanted it to be in my head and is totally acceptable. 3D bundle is awesome too. I still can't get behind Move though even though Sony really, really wants us to. The only thing that tempted me was the Bioshock Infinite having it.

Hmmm what am I forgetting. There was something... hmmm oh yea.

OH MY GOD SLY 4!!!!!!

Jordan Devore

Right there with you. I have to admit, the games looked good, the price is right, and the Vita will be a perfect compliment to what the 3DS offers. It'll be difficult to find legitimate reasons not to want one as we move closer to launch.

I just hope Sony and all of the third-party developers don't get too caught up on bringing direct PS3 experiences to Vita. Many of us want wacky shit, or even just games that can be realistically played in small chunks of time. Or, you know, new stuff entirely.

Maurice Tan

I'm not in the market for a handheld. I never play my DS Lite, only play my iPod Touch to really keep up with current affairs, and I don't travel enough to need one. Having said that, the Vita looks like a great handheld at a fantastic price. I did almost fall for the 3DS hype and bought one when seemingly everyone I knew was buying one, but with the European prices I'm glad I didn't.

Sony did a good job positioning Vita. It offers exactly the great cross-platform and online functionality that people who already use a PSP/PS3 all the time will eat up. People who only have a PS3 will have more reason to buy a Vita than a 3DS because of all the cross-platform stuff -- although they also get mostly the same kind of games as well. And handheld fans who never touch their PS3 will have more reason to do so in the future. It's not for me, but I still want one.

Other than Vita, the Move showings were underwhelming but they went through it fast enough to communicate to us: "Yeah we know, this is not for you and you don't really care, let's move on." The 3D was ok, nothing too overblown and they offer a pretty competitively priced PlayStation branded 3DTV with two-player 3D co-op sans split-screen. For those games that support it, at least. As for the games themselves, it was a solid showing with enough exclusives to keep the fanboys happy and an apology for the PSN debacle. Personally, all I want is Uncharted 3 and the God of War PSP  and ICO/Shadow of the Colossus HD packs to be honest.

Tyler Jones

Sly 4 is the answer to my prayers.

I have previously remarked that my ideal handheld would be just like a PSP without the analog nub and would only play 2D games. That being said, the PSV is really, really impressive technically. It's coming closer to directly mimicking current console tech than any handheld before it, whereas the strength of handhelds used to be in differentiating themselves from the home experience. I predict it will do well, especially if the option to move your save between PS3 and PSV is widely implemented. But like Jordan Devore says, wacky stuff is really going to sell it for me.

Maurice Tan

Ugh, let's not call it the PSV please. That's also the name of one of Europe's better soccer teams ;(

Geoff Henao

Like Matt, I don't wanna be excited for PS Vita, but it has so much potential. Sony made a great move by shooting video from behind the shoulder to show how the game actually looks on the screen - there was little to no glare, resolution was amazing, and there was no lag. At the same time, I wished they had backed off from this angle a bit to show live feed from the full screen. The price range ($250 Wi-Fi/$300 3G) is more than reasonable. I found it funny that the AT&T exclusivity was met with mixed reactions; being an iPhone owner, I can understand the concern.

Despite how excited I am for the PS Vita, the PS3 section of the conference didn't have that "WOW" moment I was hoping for. Uncharted 3 looks AMAZING, but that was to be expected. I read a comment somewhere about how they were surprised no new IPs were announced, and I have to agree. However, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time came out of nowhere and it was so stylistic and gorgeous. It's definitely the best cel-shaded game I've seen for this generation.

Bob Muir

Forget all the shiny, HD games, that PS Vita price tag was the real star of this conference. I only wonder why they hesitated to divulge this price several months ago, because as Penny Arcade put it, if I were Sony, I'd be rubbing that $249 (or $299) price point all up in Nintendo's face. It doesn't hurt that the games actually look to be worthwhile, unlike so much of the PSP's library. And a touch screen on the back -- that's so superfluous I can't help but love it. Here's hoping everything pans out. Well, and here's also hoping that AT&T announcement was a bad dream.

All that 3D stuff though? I don't know who's going to actually buy such an expensive set-up. You have to be a hardcore Sony devotee to subscribe to the lifestyle they're selling.

Geoff Henao

I almost forgot: The PS3 exclusive stuff (Battlefield 1942, Bioshock 1 on disc) is amazing. BD-rom has so much extra space, it's great to see developers actually take advantage of that and not charge the consumer extra for it.

Maurice Tan

You do have to be hardcore for ALL the stuff, but the individual offerings are good enough for consumers, I think. I don't need a Vita or a 3DTV, but I can probably afford to save up for Vita if I felt I needed one at the end of 2011. Besides, it doesn't hurt to get into 3D gaming now and then have a big library by the time the public at large picks up on 3DTVs. Whether they ever will with this generation of 3D though, that is another matter entirely.

But ehm, what are we going to do with our UMD library?

Geoff Henao

Maybe Sony will implement a digital download code for the UMD games you bought. You know, like the same process they did with the PSP Go. ;)

Bob Muir

I remember Sony hinting at some way to turn your UMDs into digital games for PSP Go, but they never got around to actually implementing it, so people who switched were shit out of luck.

Samit Sarkar

Like Microsoft's press conference, I think Sony suffered from a lack of any true "megaton" announcements. (Perhaps the biggest surprises were a new Sly Cooper game, and that Irrational is working on a PS Vita title.) But as an avowed NGP/Vita skeptic, I must say that I think Sony hit it out of the park with the stuff they showed off for the new handheld -- especially the price. I didn't think there was any way that it would sell for less than $299, so to see them firing a clear shot across the bow at the 3DS with the low-end Vita model is spectacular. The Vita/PS3 interoperability looks like the kind of functionality that gamers have been dreaming about for years: the moment when the guy paused Ruin on his Vita and then picked up right where he left off on the PS3 got loud cheers from the audience. The name... well, it is what it is; I'm sure we'll just get used to it at some point, like we did with "Wii." But assuming that most of the software we saw actually launches with the handheld, Sony is likely to see more success -- at least initially -- than Nintendo has seen with the 3DS thus far.

I was disappointed by the lack of non-Move or -Vita new IP, though. Sony's PS3 software lineup for 2011 was already a known quantity, so it would've been nice to see something new, even if it wouldn't be launching until next year. All things considered, I feel like Sony did what they had to do: namely, address the PSN outage, and then have a good enough press conference to make people forget about it.


Good enough. In Jack Tretton's speech he said that the company was "humbled" by the hack, but I don't feel they've had any real humble words to share thought their battle with hackers. The company just continues to make reassurances instead of apologies, and today's was a half-one at best -- and it came from the American president. It at least felt like he was speaking to consumers. Kaz Hirai's video statement felt like he was addressing a board room of investors. They were slow to get their blog going and they're going to be slow in learning how to have more transparency with their customers. They're doing damage control with the finesse of the Reagan administration.

Josh Tolentino

Like most everyone else here, that Vita price tag was whatnot my loins stirred up, ironically because despite Sony, Hollywood, and Nintendo's best efforts, I'm not into 3D at all. Which puts the Vita, a platform that practically trashes the 3DS, specs-wise, at the advantage, since I dont' care about the 3DS' prime gimmick. Add to that the fact that the 3DS' early lineup hasn't proven spectacular... yet.

Plus, being one of the few non-Japanese that gives a crap about the PSP's software lineup, reports that the Vita will be backwards compatible is icing on the cake.

All they need to do now is announce a new Monster Hunter.

Samit Sarkar

I don't know, I feel like what we got out of Sony regarding the PSN outage was as good as we could have hoped for. Tretton addressed it in the proper fashion, I think: mentioning it and thanking customers for their patience and support, but not dwelling on it. I mean, I don't think we were going to get a straight-up "we're sorry" out of them -- the Welcome Back program is basically their mea culpa here. Clearly, nobody is ecstatic that this happened in the first place, but at this point, I don't think Sony would've won anybody over (or regained lost customers) with a flowering, on-their-knees-begging-for-forgiveness apology on the stage.

Bob Muir

I was still rooting for an awkward, hour-long Japanese bow.


Why shouldn't we have expected a straight-up answer? It does only everything, right?

Fuck that, it was just above a canned response and everyone knows it. Full transparency and frankness is what responsible companies and people do. If you ever accidentally poison and kill your girlfriend's poodle don't tell her you were humbled by it. The difference is the line between good and great. From Sony, I expect great. It wasn't.
The welcome back program? Good enough as well. What they should have done is given people store credits, not a canned set of games they already have.

Two missed opportunities to undo brand damage wasted. Nobody went above and beyond here, and that makes it forgettable. It could have been a golden moment.

Max Scoville

Got to play the Vita. Pretty sure I'm gonna buy one, and that's saying something since I am one broke motherfucker. Didn't think the games they showed off were incredible, but the price point is pretty reasonable for what it is. I think the double-sided touch pad opens more new doors for gameplay than anything I've seen in a while. It's innovative than 3D, and a lot less gimmicky than motion controls. 

Also, I think I'll save the fifty bucks and pass on the AT&T 3G version. Seriously. Sony must have their fingers in their ears AND their heads up their asses to go with that. 

As for Sony's actual press conference, I face-palmed less than a minute in. Sony actually manages to make me less excited about their products with how they present them. The presser could've easily conveyed the same amount of information in half an hour less. Also Jack Tretton looks a bewildered Jack Nicholson with seafood allergies.

Geoff Henao,
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