Sony E3 2010: Move and 3D gaming

Hardware giant lays its (virtual) cards on the table

Sony E3 show serves up its own slice of motion control and 3d future gaming

The PR battle that is E3 2010 rages on this week, with Sony the last of the three main hardware giants to pop its (virtual, 3D) cards on the table. And while Nintendo wowed the crowds with its new 3DS handheld and Microsoft pleasured us with Kinect-controlled fluffy tiger pets, Sony decided to play it pretty straight down the line at this year’s event, with the focus squarely on big-name games, the new PlayStation Move controller and the latest 3D tech for your PS3.

The PlayStation company also announced its plans for a paid-for game download service via the PlayStation Network (PSN) called PlayStation Plus - via which subscribers get premium PSN games and other new content every month for a one year membership cost of £39.99 or a 90 day membership cost of £11.99.

Related Links:
- PlayStation Move hands-on video review
- Sony PlayStation Move release set for September 15th at E3
- Games console concepts we wish were real

Sony Computer Entertainment America boss Jack Tretton was keen to stress that PlayStation gamers can still play online for free (unlike, say, on Xbox Live) but that they now also have the option of signing up to PlayStation Plus, should they want to play the new monthly releases on the service. It’s a very nice touch, although the real value is going to be in the games that are released via the service. If the monthly full PSN game and couple of PS Minis (and other stuff such as discounts on the PlayStation Store promotions and access to beta tests and the like) are worth shelling out a few quid each month for, then we will happily part with the cash.

The service launches later this June, with an initial three-month free taster option and the extra carrot of Sony ‘giving’ you WipEout HD plus two PlayStation Minis. If you want to start paying after three months, then you can. If you don’t, then you won’t be able to keep playing your ‘free’ games that Sony is offering as a subscriber tease. Such is life.

No PSP 2 on show

Back to what WASN’T said or shown at the Sony E3 2010 show-and-tell, there was notably no mentions of the much-rumoured PSP 2 handheld. Should such a thing exist outside of the fevered imaginations of games journalists, we expect that it will be rolled out at the European games convention in Germany later in August.

This E3 conference was all about the PlayStation 3. With the forthcoming PS3 exclusive Killzone 3 from Guerrilla Games looking immense and immediately winning over the hardcore elements in the hard-to-please crowd of games hacks in attendance. Guerrilla reps promised the E3 crowd that the game has been specifically designed ‘from the ground up’ (that favoured developer term!) to work with 3D TVs and the PS3.

PlayStation Move, Sony’s own answer to the Wii Remote motion controller, was also heavily pimped at the event, with Sony boss Kaz Hirai telling us that the combination of PS Move and 3D gaming will finally put us “physically in the game.” A nice soundbite, for sure, but we’ll reserve judgement on that until we’ve got hold of PlayStation Move kit, which releases in Europe on the 15 September. UK pricing is due to be announced shortly. New Move-compatible games announcements were a bit thin on the ground, however. So we can only hope that we get lots more of those over the coming months prior to launch.

The one new PlayStation Move game shown off by Sony's Jack Tretton at E3 was a generic-looking adventure hack-and-slash type affair called Sorcery. Tretton was also keen to point out the buttons on the Move controller, in order to differentiate it from Microsoft’s glorified webcam that is Kinect (formerly known as Project Natal). The inveterate womanising golfer Tiger Woods was also then chosen as the character to show off how Move will work in the next instalment of EA’s big-money golf franchise. If anything, it looked pretty hard to play. Much as in real life.

Whatever, enough already with the Tiger Woods, Sony… We want more ‘proper’ Move games. And we want them soon!
In terms of other things to start looking-forward to for PlayStation owners, Sony has finally put a release date of November 2 out for the forthcoming car-porn epic that is Gran Turismo 5, which seems to have been lost in development hell approximately for ever. GT5 is also going to be a major title used by Sony to push 3D in the home. Not a bad thing at all, going from what we’ve seen of the title to date. But whether or not that and Killzone 3 (due Feb 2011) will persuade us to shell out for a new 3D TV this Christmas is another thing altogether…

All-in, Sony put on a good, solid show at E3 2010. With no major new tech or hardware announcements to make, the focus was a little bit more on the here-and-now and what is due out this coming Christmas (or ‘holiday’ as the Yanks now love to call it) as opposed to what is due at some unspecified point in the far-off future. A good thing, no doubt, although we had all better start saving for that costly 3D TV, if Killzone 3 and GT5 are anything to go by.