E3 2011: Sony Press Conference, Live

Considering we haven’t had many blockbuster announcements today, Sony’s E3 2011 press conference has the potential to steal all the headlines. There’s the new handheld – will it be called the Vita? Will they have big surprise game reveals? Will they spend the entire show talking 3D and Move? Will it be damage control for the recent PSN downtime? Will the entire thing get hacked in the first five minutes? It’s time to find out.

5:05: Things are running late – the conference was supposed to start at 5PM, so hopefully we get started soon. Sort of a metaphor for how things have gone for Sony lately?

5:17: Off we go, finally. They’re already doing the 3D thing, and I’m curious how long they’ll ask everyone to keep the glasses on.

5:21: The initial montage is over, and now Jack Tretton is on stage.

5:22: Jack’s wasting no time, immediately tackling the PSN downtime and controversy. I think it’s smart — just get it out of the way and then move on to the big announcements.

5:27: After a smooth segue from the PSN stuff into partner support, it’s time for Uncharted 3.

5:33: Drake is on a boat. Lots of swimming. The water effects look pretty nice. I’m still not sure I’m interested in playing this, tho.

5:35: What the hell? They have a partnership where you can get access to the full mutliplayer before anyone else by … going to Subway?

5:37: Trailer is finished. Releases 11.1.11.

5:38: Up next, Insomniac demos Resistance 3.

5:42: For whatever reason, I have no interest in any of the PS3 shooters like Resistance or Killzone. I consistently feel that if they were released on the PC, they’d be roundly ignored.

5:43: HD collections look like a big deal with Sony this year. In addition to the MGS and Zone of the Enders collections Konami announced last week, we’ll also be getting God of War and Ico/Shadow of the Collossus collections this September.

5:44: Whoa. Sony is revealing a 24” special display set up specifically for 3D, and with special features for two people playing co-op on the same screen. They’re going to offer a bundle of the monitor, glasses and Resistance 3 for $500. I’m sure someone at Sony thinks that’s a steal, and maybe it is, but it’s still FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS. The audience reaction is unsure at best.

5:47: NBA 2K12 is up next. Looks great, but a basketball game feels feels like a pretty serious falloff after Uncharted and Resistance.

5:49: Oh, THAT’s why NBA 2K12 is getting such high billing: Kobe Bryant is here. There’s some awkward/funny back and forth as the demo guy plays the Heat, and Kobe (who I can’t stand, normally) is actually kinda funny asking the crowd for some respect.

5:52: OK, here comes the Move stuff, with Medieval Moves. I really hope Sony doesn’t beat us over the head with motion gaming the way Microsoft did earlier.

5:57: I am officially bored. We still have an hour to go? Man, I hope they have some huge announcements coming quickly.

5:59: Infamous 2. I always confuse this with Prototype. Another exclusive I’m not interested in.

6:01: Just the mention of LittleBigPlanet elicits cheers from the audience. Sadly, there’s nothing more about it for now.

6:02: OMG, a new game, Starhawk. The trailer reminds me of Rage a little, with biggies racing around and shooting each other, but there’s not else much to go on.

6:04: Could this be the return of Sly Cooper? It’s got a stylized animated trailer, and the reveal says .. yes. Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, coming 2012.

6:06: Whoa, Eve Online creator CCP is onhand? What’s this about? He’s announced a game, although I’ll be damned if I can figure out what it’s called, due to his accent.

6:07: OK, let me see if I have this right: It’s called Dust 514, and it shares the same universe as Eve Online? Whatever this is, it’s a shooter and the graphics are pretty slick. I need to know more.

6:10: Dust 514 will be coming exclusively to PSN via beta this year, and releasing next year. There’s going to be a lot of buzz on this quickly.

6:11: BioShock Infinite can’t get here soon enough. Sadly, it’s 2012.

6:13: Ken Levine is so awesome. I have no interest in playing BioShock Infinite with Move, but when you hear him talk about it, you almost believe it could work.

6:16: Star Trek co-op game? Special phaser Move controller? This will get a few people excited.

6:18: Three announcements related to EA. The first is SSX, which we saw earlier, including a PS3-exclusive Mount Fuji level. Next is Need For Speed: The Run, where PS3 will get a special disk with 7 exclusive supercars. Last is Battlefield 3, and PS3 owners will also get a copy of Battlefield 1943 with it.

6:21: OK, it’s time to talk portable stuff. Let’s see if Sony has any surprises here.

6:23: Sony’s new next-generation portable is officially called: Playstation Vita. (PSV?) It’ll have dual analog sticks, a 5” OLED screen and dual cameras, front and back. And now we’ll get a bunch of hooey about how “vita” means “life,” which no one cares about.

6:26: Whoaaaaa. Kaz just announced that the PSV will partner exclusively with AT&T for carriage. There’s a lot of questionable reactions from the audience.

6:28: I’m dying to know what the PSV will cost. If it’s more expensive than an iPhone, it’s going to get crucified.

6:30: First Vita demo: a new, portable Uncharted. It certainly looks slick.

6:35: The Uncharted demo is finished, and now they’re talking about a “social action RPG.” That phrase terrifies me.

6:36: Said RPG is is Ruin. Why is this speaker out of breath? Also, I just noticed that the actual console branding calls it the PSVita, which is probably interesting to no one but me.

6:39: Next up for the Vita: Mod Nation Racers. It’s a brand new game, not a port of previous games.

6:42: The way this guy is rubbing the screen with his finger to alter the tracks is disturbing to me.

6:44: The Bruins just took a 4-0 lead on the Canucks in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals. That’s how bored I am right now.

6:46: LittleBigPlanet for the Vita. I imagine this will get a lot of people excited. This is probably the most interesting Vita title they’ll show all week.

6:48: Ooooh, this was unexpected, at least by me. Capcom showing Street Fighter x Tekken. Dear Konami: THAT’S how do you do Japanese translation.

6:51: OK, I give up. Cole from Infamous will be a playable character in SfxTK, which is fine. But when you’re demoing it for the first time, can we see a Street Fighter character fight a Tekken character? Do we need to see Cole right off the bat? Yes, we know the game is out tomorrow, you already told us. Let it go.

6:54: Time for a Vita montage. I’ll say this: I almost always dig the music Sony uses for its presentations.

6:57: OK, Kaz, what’s the price? It’s coming this year in two models: Wi-fi and 3G. Wi-fi is $250: this is the most applause I’ve heard all day. 3G model: $300: more applause. That’s not nearly as bad as I feared.

6:59: Jack is back, presumably to wrap this up. He’s a little sensitive about his bright blue tie.

7PM: That’s it! They’re doing a continued event where people will get to play demos and enjoy some live performances, but the presentation portion is wrapped up.