In my mind, I was readying a trend piece on how this year’s E3 was all about broad appeal from the big three console makers. That plan was scrapped after Sony’s press conference, which was tailor-made for the college male demographic.
This was no more evident than in Sony’s motion control demo. The unnamed project used a handheld device with buttons, like the Wii, but tracked it in 3D space with a camera, like Microsoft’s Project Natal.
But while Nintendo continues to push its family-friendly image, and Microsoft strives to prove that Natal will make the Xbox 360 accessible to all, Sony’s tech demo included first-person shooting and swordfighting. Movement on the screen synced perfectly with the demonstrator’s actions, even as he walked around with a virtual gun in hand. To be fair, Dr. Richard Marks, who presented the technology, said Sony’s tech will afford casual experiences as well, but he also dedicated a fair amount of time to what he called “gamers’ games.”
It was a rough demo — far less polished than what Microsoft showed yesterday — but Sony Computer Entertainment of America CEO Jack Tretton said it will launch in the Spring of 2010.
Sony also gave lots of screen time to shooters and action games, including Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Assassin’s Creed 2, God of War III and MAG, which boasts 256-person online multiplayer.
The company also thrilled the crowd by announcing Final Fantasy XIV (the 13th game is still in production) and showing a trailer for The Last Guardian, by the makers of the critically-acclaimed Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. Both will be PS3 exclusives.
For balance’s sake, Sony tried to fit in a couple of plugs for a Hannah Montana bundle with a pink PSP. It drew guffaws from the audience at every reference.