Aside from Xbox, Sony’s PlayStation 3 is one of the oldest consoles on the market. But without any signs of a possible successor, will we see new hardware at this year’s E3 gaming conference?
That’s what everyone will be looking for at tonight’s Sony press event, which kicks off at 6 pm Pacific, along with new software titles for both PlayStation and the PlayStation Vita, Sony’s handheld gaming device.
If the Sony press conference mirrors today’s earlier announcements from Microsoft Xbox and Electronic Arts, we’ll likely see sequels of established software franchises as well as a focus on interconnectivity between devices — the console, the TV, your tablet and your phone.
We’ll also have our eye on SOEmote, Sony’s new facial animation technology for EverQuest II, to see how that works.
6:06 pm: Jack Tretton, President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment of America, is kicking off the event.
It’s a packed house here at Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena.
6:08 pm: Tretton says Sony is broadcasting the event tonight in four different languages.
Kaz Hirai — Sony’s President — is here too.
6:13 pm: Sony starts off with a brand-new game title: Beyond Two Souls, which features a protagonist named Jodie Holmes.
Jodie Holmes is the strong silent type, or so it seems from this game clip we’re seeing. She’s being interrogated by someone, not saying a word. But girl can make objects fly through the air.
She’s also the antithesis of Lara Croft, with cropped hair, a flannel shirt and dog-tags.
The team behind Play-Station’s All Stars: Battle Royale take the stage.
All-Stars will now be available for the PlayStation Vita, and will be compatible across PlayStation 3. In other words: More cross-play on multiple devices.
6:23 pm: Now the All Stars: Battle Royal team is demonstrating cross-play.
The clown character in this game is enough to keep a small child up at night.
And Fat Princess — that’s the character’s name — wins this round. Handshakes amongst the team; smattering of claps.
6:27 pm: As AllThingsD’s Tricia Duryee predicted earlier, we’re seeing more cross-platform playing options.
Later this year, Sony will introduce a cross-controller that allows players to play and share games using the PS3 and PS Vita together, Tretton says.
Eighty percent of PS3′s and PS Vitas are connected to the Internet now, Tretton says, with 1,500 downloadable titles available.
6:31 pm: Tretton says games like Journey, Papo & Yo and Unfinished Swan will now be available for download on the PlayStation Network, just a few of more than 200 digital downloadable titles that will come to the PlayStation Network this month.
Plus, freebies: Infamous 2, Saints Row 2 and Little Big Planet 2.
It’s not a new strategy, throwing in free software to drive hardware sales, but the crowd seems to like the idea.
6:32 pm: Long live the freebie: E3 attendees will also get PlayStation Plus access for free for a year.
6:35 pm: Turning now to focus on the video offerings in the PlayStation store, like Amazon’s video service, Hulu Plus, NHL Game Center.
Last week, YouTube came to Vita; Tretton says Hulu and Crackle Television are coming to Vita soon, too.
(How many Vita units have sold, Jack? We’re waiting…)
6:41 pm: They are now showing off Assassin’s Creed III for PS Vita, with a female leading role! (i.e. no more uncomfortable sex scenes for women players).