Gamescom 2011: Sony cuts the consumer cost of its latest console, announces Infamous 2: Festival of Blood at trade show media briefing.
COLOGNE, Germany--Electronic Arts set the tone for Gamescom with a media briefing packed with news, including a new FIFA Street, a hard release date for the long-awaited Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, an April window for The Secret World, and the first glimpse of a new fantasy action free-to-play title, Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes. The publisher even capped it all off with a live demo of Battlefield 3's cooperative mode.
If Sony wants to top that, at least the PlayStation purveyor has plenty of options up its sleeve. The company is getting ready to launch the PlayStation Vita in Japan later this year (with European and North American releases to follow in 2012), but focusing on new hardware is just one way to make a splash. The company also has a big holiday lineup for the PlayStation 3 to show off, spearheaded by Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception and Resistance 3.
[10:04] The conference hasn't started just yet but should be under way shortly.
[10:05] Have you got your Sony conference bingo card to hand? We're looking for PS Vita release dates here, plus Move and 3D stuff for the win.
[10:07] John Riccitiello and Peter Moore sit to our left, in the second row.
[10:08] The executives are fresh from their own press conference, in which EA announced the return of FIFA Street, a release date for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, and more.
[10:24] He's touting the PlayStation's various online media services. Now: "We've continued to evolve the gaming experiences." Ah, there's 3D!
[10:25] Sony is "committed to giving consumers the ultimate in choice with the option of interoperability and individualisation."
[10:26] "As you know, I will be leaving for Tokyo," House says, of his upcoming new role. But here's the new Sony Computer Entertainment Europe bigwig (president and CEO), Jim Ryan. It's a passing of the baton.
[10:28] Ryan replaces House onstage. And he's straight into the PS Vita, talking up the analog sticks, OLED screen, multitouch screen and multitouch pad, Sixaxis motion sensing, and front and rear cameras for augmented-reality experiences.
[10:29] He wants to share some "social applications" with us. Like Near: "Find out what games friends are playing, based on your location." Party: enables voice chat and text chat with your friends. LiveArea: check the latest news, receive the latest gaming updates from your friends.
[10:30] Also, Social Essentials: Facebook, Skype, and Twitter on PS Vita, and also Foursquare integration.
[10:30] "Trophy wins are uploaded to PSN." "Send a message to users on PSN."
[10:31] And there's the Internet browser, too. "Stay constantly connected with your PlayStation life," says Ryan. "Let's take a look at this in action." Roll the trailer!
[10:32] It's one of those lifestyle-type trailers. Young people playing on Vitas, using all the utilities we've just been told about. "Join the Social Gaming Revolution," it says.
[10:36] The game "explores a new aspect of the Resistance story," says Denny, then ushers on the devs to talk about it.
[10:37] Ellis Island, 1951, says the Vita. Our hero is waking up in a makeshift morgue, where the army is researching Chimera technology. He's a firefighter, destined to become a hero of the resistance forces.
[10:38] He's slashing away with a fireaxe, controlled by tapping an icon on the touch screen. And now he's got a CFG (cluster fire gun), iron-sight-shooting some Chimera drones.
[10:38] The alternate fire modes are based on Vita's fancy bits--tap on the screen to tag up a bunch of targets, in the case of the CFG.
[10:39] Now he's got a carbine and is out in the city. There's the Statue of Liberty off in the distance.
[10:39] Use the Sixaxis control to take cover--tilt the Vita to duck and pop up.
[10:41] And here, the Chimera chaingun. Tearing up Chimera infantry with it, up on some rooftops. Our hero destroys a water tower, demo ends.
[10:42] Game two is Little Big Planet for the PS Vita, here in the shape of a trailer.
[10:42] "What will you create?" asks the trailer. Then: "Where will you create?"
[10:43] Because now you can make LBP stuff while hanging out in skate parks and cafes, like in the trailer.
[10:44] It emphasises using the Vita's camera to create in-game items. Trailer ends.
[10:44] Those cameras are also ripe for augmented reality applications, they say. "Imagine engaging with your real environment while immersed in your game environment."
[10:45] Game three is Reality Fighters. "Add yourself to the game, and create your own personal fighter." You can transform any real-world location into your in-game fighting environment, they say. Ready for a demo? Here's a demo.
[10:47] "You can play as anyone, anywhere." They've set up Jim Ryan and Andrew House avatars. Decent likenesses. House has a mallet.
[10:47] They're fighting in a circular arena projected via the Vita cameras onto the Sony press conference stage.
[11:03] DanceStar Party now, and it includes all the original songs' videos. It also has a dance creator mode, letting you "become the ultimate choreographer." The "perfect Saturday night entertainment," apparently.
[11:03] The trailer promises 40 tracks with videos, the ability to record performances, and a workout mode.
[11:03] Don't freak out, OK, but there's a dance troupe onstage now.
[11:05] It's Diversity. Jigging in black and red suits. The chief dude had Move controllers but has thrown them away now.
[11:21] Here's another peek at that small 3D Sony television we first saw at E3. SimulView (catchy) is the tech that lets you use a 3D screen to play two-player games on a full-sized display, with no need for split-screen.
[11:22] Closing the show with a PS3 price announcement with immediate effect. Global price drop: €249, $249, or ¥24,980.
[UPDATE]: A Sony representative has confirmed to GameSpot that the PS3 will be cut to £199 in the UK.
[11:24] So that's a cheaper PSP (€99) and a cheaper PS3 (€249). Have a great show and good-night, they say. Boom! Sony conference over. Stick with us on GameSpot for more from Gamescom and a closer look at what we've heard about here today.