E3 2008: SCEA unveils $399 80GB PS3, God of War III

Sony's press conference sees SCEA president Jack Tretton reveal Resistance for PSP and MAG, an all-new massive action game from Zipper Interactive; PS3 video store launching tonight; full video inside.

Like a game of high-tech, multibillion-dollar poker, the big three console makers are all laying their hands on the table at this year's scaled-down E3 Media & Business Summit. First came Microsoft, which alternately shocked and baffled attendees at its press event by unveiling Final Fantasy XIII for the 360 and an avatar-based Xbox Live redesign. Next it was Nintendo's turn to show off its latest, which included Wii Music, a Wii Sports semisequel, and the first Grand Theft Auto title for the DS.

Last but not least comes Sony Computer Entertainment. In the famous downtown Shrine Auditorium, the maker of all things PlayStation gathered many already-weary reporters for its press event, which also has numerous executives and analysts in attendance. Suitably sated on the ample hors d'oeuvres and cocktails served outside the historic theater, the audience filed in in an orderly fashion, without any of the frenzied jostling that preceded Nintendo's event.

[11:34] The Shrine is filling up fast as seven large screens show off gameplay from SOCOM Confrontation, MGS4, Echochrome, and other PlayStation titles. The lights dim...

[11:35] A round platform sits in front of the stage, with several staffers sporting the SOCOM Bluetooth headsets.

[11:35] The lights dim a bit more, and it looks like it's actually starting now...

[11:36] Here comes the opening trailer, a black and white CG montage of the DualShock's triangle, circle, square, and X.

[11:38] Shots of Rainbow Six, MotorStorm Pacific Rim, Uncharted, BioShock, LittleBigPlanet, SOCOM, and...was that Heavy Rain?

[11:38] Pain, and....that looked a LOT like a God of War 3 concept shot.

[11:39] Enter SCEA President Jack Tretton.

[11:39] Again, playing off his notorious stiffness, Tretton jokes with the audience with some self-deprecating banter.

Tretton warms the crowd up with a little good-natured banter.

[11:41] He talks about the history of the Shrine, where Jack Palance did one-armed push-ups when he won the Oscar. He starts talking parallels between games and film "To the pantheon of Robert De Niro...we now add Solid Snake, Kratos, and [LittleBigPlanet] hero Sack Boy."

[11:44] After ad-libbing, Tretton gets on script, talking about the history of the 12-year-old PlayStation brand. He emphasizes how Sony always looks ahead, introducing "DVD to the masses with the PS2." He talks up how "it took some time" for mass migration from the PSone to the PS2, and how each PlayStation has a 10-year life cycle.

The PS2's legacy.

[11:45] He reminds the audience that Grand Theft Auto III, God of War, and Guitar Hero all came along late in the PS2's cycle--farther along than where the PS3 is now.

[11:47] Now he's talking up the Blu-ray format's victory over HD-DVD, but then quickly switches the subject to the "waterfall" of "kick-ass games" in 2008: Grand Theft Auto III, Metal Gear Solid 4, and Gran Turismo 5 Prologue.

[11:48] He emphasizes the importance of exclusives, claiming the PS3 has more exclusives than any other platform, "and that's just in North America."

[11:49] Claiming 2008 is the year of the PlayStation, Tretton cedes the stage to Insomniac Games' Ted Price, who demos Resistance 2.

[11:50] Price wastes no time, taking on a Chimera behemoth in downtown Chicago with a rocket launcher. The thing looks like a cross between Gears of War's Brumak and the Colossus from Shadow and the Colossus.

[11:51] Price tales on the behemoth from an unstable-looking scaffolding before hiding inside a study stone building...which the Chimera starts taking apart, Godzilla style.

[11:52] No, the City is San Francisco...an alternate-history 1953 San Francisco which is partially submerged and has a gigantic Chimera fortress in the middle. Sorry, the creature is actually called a Chimera Leviathan.

Resistance 2 delivers massive monsters.

[11:54] Price gives the backstory of Resistance 2, and touts its eight-player online co-op and 60-player multiplayer battles. "The thing we talk about at Insomniac is scale," he says, and the game does look truly massive.

[11:55] Now onto a new trailer for Resistance, set in the ruins of Twin Falls, Idaho. All the footage is in-engine. The small Northwestern town is overrun with Chimera tanks with a huge airship hovering overhead. The tone is truly spooky and dark.

[11:56] Huge shot of a Chimera airfleet bombarding San Francisco. R2 and PS3 logos come up, trailer ends.

[11:57] Tretton is back, now extolling the virtues of user-generated content. Unsurprisingly, the paradigm of this trend he holds up is LittleBigPlanet. "It isn't a new game, it's a whole new user experience which combines social gaming and creativity," he says.

Sony unveils a new Resistance 2 trailer.

[11:59] Oh, hilarious. They're using LittleBigPlanet instead of PowerPoint to present all the Sony earnings. Sack Boy comes out and dons a Boston Celtics jersey, in honor of Tretton's hometown.

[12:01] On a special level of LBP, Sack Boy dances from level to level, unleashing a series of Rube Goldberg machines listing sales stats. Five million PS3 units in North America alone so far this year. He talks up an expansion to Latin American by having Sack Boy visit a train yard loading PlayStations.

[12:03] Announces new Greatest Hits games: Warhawk, Oblivion, Ninja Gaiden Sigma, Need for Speed Carbon, Resistance: Fall of Man, and others. Sack Boy proves hilariously distracting as he intros each game on a cartoonish conveyor belt.

[12:03] The Media Molecule guys leave the stage, and Tretton moves on to the PS2.

LittleBigPlanet is coming in October.

[12:04] "The success of PS2 has allowed us to be more aggressive with the PS3, and we're seeing increasing up-conversion from PS2 owners to PS3," he says.

[12:05] Cue PS2 game montage. The console's graphics are starting to show their age, but don't look much worse than many Wii games.

More than 130 games will hit the PS2 in 2008.

[12:08] Tretton says that at $129.99, the PS2 is the "perfect introduction to social gaming" via Guitar Hero, Singstar, and the Buzz! games. He's touting it as the perfect entry-level console for families, and introduces a new autumn PS2 bundle which will include Lego Batman and a Justice League Heroes cartoon DVD.

[12:09] Saying "we live more and more of our lives online," Tretton introduces the PlayStation Network.

A PS2 bundle the whole family can love.

[12:10] Starting this fall, all PlayStation owners will be getting a single GamerCard-like identity, which will be accessible on PCs, PS3s, and PSPs.

[12:10] 180 million pieces of content downloaded from the PlayStation Store since November 2006.

[12:12] "What is an E3 press conference without a surprise?" Tretton intros an all-new downloadable game, Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty. Game will be shorter and cheaper that a regular game, and will being when the last R&C Future game left off. Sounds almost episodic.

[12:13] Developed by Insomniac, it's coming to the PS3 later this year as a $14.99 download.

Ratchet and Clank head out on a Quest for Booty.

[12:16] Montage of upcoming PlayStation Network games: Crash Commando, R&CF: Quest for Booty, Fat Princess, PixelJunk Eden, Pain Amusement Park, Flower, the Resident Evil-esque Siren Blood Curse, and Rag Doll Kung Fu: Fists of Plastic.

[12:20] Next up: Gran Turismo 5 Prologue and its television offshoot, Polyphony Digital's pay-per-view Gran Turismo TV. The channel offers hundreds of hours of high-definition video content from around the world, including races from the Nurburgring, Super GT racing, and a variety of other television shows, including the BBC's popular Top Gear. It will be available August 1 to GT5 Prologue owners.

[12:22] Now it's trophy time, which Tretton says players will be able to "call BS" on other gamers. Quickly, he shifts to PlayStation Home. "I promise you when PlayStation Home emerges from closed beta, your patience will be rewarded," he says. He reveals some new Home partners, including EA, Ubisoft, and Nike.

[12:23] Quick collection of clips of Home, including a bombed-out-looking Warhawk lounge.

Sony has lined up a number of third-parties for Home support.

[12:25] Without further adieu, it's on to the PlayStation Video Store. On day one, it will offer content from Lionsgate, Warner, Disney, Paramount, Turner Entertainment, MGM, and (of course) Sony Pictures Entertainment.

[12:26] Unlike Xbox Live marketplace, the PS Video Store will also offer movies for purchase for $9.99 to $14.99. Purchased videos will be portable, allowing players to download them onto their PSPs to view on the go. (Guess that's that for UMD...).

[12:29] PlayStation Network director Eric Lempel puts the PS Video store through its paces, showing how the store is divided by studio. He selects Walk Hard for rental. First, though, he selects an HD preview, which expands to full-screen with one click. He says it will take about an hour to download a two-hour HD movie, but a progressive downloading scheme should speed things up.

A look at Sony's PlayStation Video Store.

[12:32] There are two ways to download purchases to your PSP. The first is from the PS3's XrossMediaBar direct to a connected PSP, the other is from a PC to your PSP. If you buy a TV show or film on the PlayStation Store on your PS3, you can download it to your PSP via your PC at no extra charge, since the store will remember what content you purchase wherever you access it.

[12:32] The PS Video Store will be available tonight. Wow, they didn't waste any time.

[12:34] Next up, the PSP. Besides a new Ratchet & Clank Size Matters bundle for the fall, Sony is revealing: Resistance: Retribution for the handheld. The latter is developed by Sony Bend, an internal studio, and is a third-person shooter which looks like one of the more bloody and impressive shooters for the platform yet.

[12:35] More games: LocoRoco2, Patapon 2, and Midnight Club LA Remix. Cue the next montage!

[12:38] On display in this collection are the aforementioned games and Madden, MBA 09, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Lego Batman, Buzz!, and Valkyrie Chronicles.

[12:40] Tretton retakes the stage and returns the subject to the PlayStation 3. He speaks about Sony's partnership with Google and YouTube, which allows direct video uploads. Slides behind him talk up Life of PlayStation, which is Sony's collective name for these services. It will launch by the end of the month.

Resistance heads to the PSP with Retribution.

[12:42] Tretton formally welcomes Sony Online Entertainment to the SCEA family, and introduces Jim Lee, executive creative director of DC Universe Online.

[12:43] Lee gushes about his "dream project" before showing the first public viewing of the mystery-shrouded massively multiplayer project. He speaks about his twin love for comics and games.

Jim Lee talks DC Universe Online.

[12:45] "Imagine being able to create your own superhero and join Batman as he defends Gotham City...or being a villain and helping all the inmates escape from Arkham Asylum," he says. "That would've made my 12-year-old brain explode."

[12:47] First footage of DC Universe Online. Featuring character designs from Lee, the world is brightly colored, and shows Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, and Green Hornet, as well as a passel of user-generated heroes and villains. The PlayStation 3 logo comes up at the end.

Fight alongside DC heroes in the MMOG.

[12:49] And, out of nowhere, Tretton announces Sony will introduce a new 80GB PS3 in September for just $399.99. He says the console will "have the same functionality as the 40GB PS3," perhaps hinting it may not have backward compatibility. No word on what's happening to the 40GB model.

[UPDATE] After the conference, SCEA senior vice president of marketing Peter Dille confirmed the 40GB PS3 is being discontinued, and the new 80GB PS3 will not have backwards compatibility.

Now that's how you drop the price of a console.

[12:51] Onto a clip reel of developers gushing about the power of the PS3, including members of the Fallout 3 and Prince of Persia teams saying the cell processor's extra processing units allow for a lot more versatility in programming.

[12:56] Tretton is back to talk about what he says in SCEA's most valuable assets, its software lineup. Cue another montage of games, MotorStorm Pacific Rift, MGS4, Quantum of Solace, SOCOM: Confrontation, Ghostbusters, Force Unleashed, Soul Calibur, Resistance, Naruto, Mirror's Edge, Resident Evil 5, Singstar, Guitar Hero: World Tour, NBA 09: The Inside, Buzz! Quiz TV, Killzone 2, and Fallout 3.

[12:56] And it's official: God of War III is coming to PS3. Here's the first trailer.

[12:58] A dark CG movie shows flaming ruins of Olympus. Shot of an extremely detailed CG Kratos, looking straight out of <em>300</em>.

Kratos is back in God of War III.

[12:59] Next up, a trailer for infamous, which shows a city in ruins with a hero wielding what looks like Force powers--lightning, telekinesis--in a postapocalyptic landscape.

[1:01] Brand-new "massively action title" being revealed now, which "even gives the PS3 a workout. ... There's nothing on the market today," says Tretton. Enter Andey Beaudoin, lead designer at Zipper Interactive.

InFamous will be out in spring 2009.

[1:02] Called MAG (Massive Action Game), the title will allow for 256-player battles, with players divided into squads for a tactical feel. Players will have character growth, including experience and skill sets such as demolitions and medics.

[1:04] CG trailer shows a massive scrub desert battlefield with a whole army of seven-man squads advancing on a fortress. Their dress, weaponry, and technology is near-future, with advanced versions of many existing weapons.

MAG lives up to its name with 256-player battles.

[1:05] The attack on the fortress is repulsed, but then the place is attacked by a fuel-air bomb follows by a paratrooper attack. Correction: The game will actually feature eight-man squads.

[1:05] And that's it! The crowd files out, and the lights come up.

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Discussion

1023 comments
killkill3
killkill3

2009 is the year that the PS3 crushes the Xbox 360 completely 2008 was a tie but wow look at all the awesome games coming out for ps3 in 2009, killzone 2, GOW3 etc etc

azren89
azren89

what the hell are u guys babbling about... just buy all the systems and there will never be a fanboys anymore.coz acctuall I owns ps3, 360 and ps2.u guys should be ashame,im just only malaysian and I manage to have all 3 system. U guys an american,ur currency is way valueable than us. p.s,1USD=RM3.20.

azren89
azren89

what the hell are u guys babbling about... just buy all the systems and there will never be a fanboys anymore.coz acctuall I owns ps3, 360 and ps2.u guys should be ashame,im just only malaysian and I manage to have all 3 system. U guys an american,ur currency is way valueable than us. p.s,1USD=RM3.20.

Settings
Settings

why are they making a $399 80 GB ps3, why don' they cut the 80 GB price to $449.99, and the 40 GB to $349.99. instead they're making a 80 GB ps3 that has all the features of the 40 GB.

Baramos6
Baramos6

To be honest, i havent really touched my ps3 since i bought the 360, i was a little afraid of the Elite 360 when i bought it, cause well you know, RRoD. I don't hate Sony, no matter that they made promises they didn't keep, or had this over-zealous attitude, where "anyone would buy it," and i could see their still doing this judging by the announcement they just made... "[11:48] He emphasizes the importance of exclusives, claiming the PS3 has more exclusives than any other platform, "and that's just in North America." [11:49] Claiming 2008 is the year of the PlayStation, Tretton cedes the stage to Insomniac Games' Ted Price, who demos Resistance 2." Ugh... You know what, I used to not hate them, but their attitude is sickening....

jlong342
jlong342

"The thing looks like a cross between... ...and the Colossus from Shadow and the Colossus" 'THE' Colossus? I wonder if that guy even ever played Shadow OF the Colossus =P

billyjunxix
billyjunxix

condemned100, do you even know what the things you are saying? GOD OF WAR 3 on 360? Hahahahahahaha! What the f@#k are you talking about? God Of War is made by SONY or SCEA. Dont tell me that Drakes Fortune will also come-out on 360 because that beautiful game is also made by sony. maddaddy8, you know that microsoft has long been forgotten about their original xbox console..right? for so long they already stopped making games for their 1st xbox while PS2 on the other hand has until now have thousands of games to come..now thats what you call "BACKIN UP". A$$#*!e

vboydjr
vboydjr

I can't believe someone actually wrote that Microsoft and Nintendo back their products. They only back them when that product is on the market. Sony backs all their products. That same person also said there is no backwards compatibility with the PS3, guess he doesn't read anything. Only the 40gb PS3 is not backwards compatible.

robjand
robjand

I don't get u 360fb u sey "oooh I'll buy a 360 because the ps3 doesn't have any bakwards compatability" but; ur not going to get any more bakward comp. With a 360 and the ps3 can play most nearly all of my ps2 games. So what's the point madaddy

hidden_ninja4
hidden_ninja4

Uh... Condemned, you know that God of War is an SCEA game right?

darkride66
darkride66

condemned100 said "It won't be a shocker though if god of war III is also released on xbox 360 since most Exclusive Playstation titles are also being released on Xbox 360." I had to mull this one over a bit. "Most exclusive playstation titles are also being released on the 360." If you think about it, this is far from accurate. Devil May Cry had been ported over to the PC before, so that doesn't really count as exclusive. Grand Theft Auto had long ago made the leap to the Xbox and PC, so that was never really exclusive. Even the much hyped Final Fantasy move to the 360 - This isn't the first time Final Fantasy appeared on the 360 either. What gives? I'd have to say most PS3 exclusives are still just that, exclusive to the PS3. Gran Turismo, God of War, LBP, War Devil, Folklore, Heavenly Sword, Uncharted, Heavy Rain, Warhawk, Killzone, LA Noire, MLB, Motorstorm, Ratchet and Clank, Tekken, Twisted Metal, Socom, RFOM, etc..etc. So what exclusives did Sony really lose? Virtual Fighter. That's all I can think of. Oh, and Katamari. That's hardly "most" exclusives going to the 360.

maddaddy8
maddaddy8

Wow 80gig ps3 only $400 but I dont care if they put out a 120tb system IF THERE IS NO BACKWARDS COMPATIBILITY ITS STILL GARBAGE TO ME AND EVERYONE ELSE WHO HAS A TON OF PS2 GAMES. This is why I will be sticking with my xbox360 and wii because atleast back their products.

DA_SHREDDER
DA_SHREDDER

Wow, I never realized how many xbox fanboys their were in this website. So you guys don't think the 80 gig is worth $400? You cant even get a blueray of the ps3's caliber for $400. Seems like you little boys dont realize what kinda bargain this actually is. You fanboys could buy a ps3 with all the money you guys spend on live for the next 3 years if you had the 360 since '06,, yet you think the ps3 is not worth buying? hahahahaha,, what a joke.

rbrwebber
rbrwebber

I want a PS3 but can't buy one because it is still more than the 360 and has no backwards compatibility. No thank you. Microsoft has me reeled in.

Futil1ty
Futil1ty

Wow. What fail. $400 still does not convince me to buy a PS3, especially when I have a PS2 and the 80GB model won't have BC. The only game I've seen that I would want on PS3 is LittleBigPlanet. For the 7th generation of consoles, I think I'll stick with the 360.

StopH8tn
StopH8tn

To be honest when I get a PS3, I'm not gonna want to play old PS2 games...Hell I don't want to play them now...

condemned100
condemned100

when it comes down to exclusive titles at the moment xbox 360 is the winner for now. Since it has more exclusive titles then PS3 right now. It's not exciting when every game that was Exclusive to one system goes Multiplatform. Because it brings more value to a game that is exclusive to one system that's how it was in PS2 vs Xbox era and that's the way it should be now in the PS3 vs Xbox 360 era. Take god of war for example it's a Playstation game exclusive to PS2 and PS3. It would seem dirty for God of war III to also come out on Xbox 360. It won't be a shocker though if god of war III is also released on xbox 360 since most Exclusive Playstation titles are also being released on Xbox 360.

Ryan-06
Ryan-06

Ahh a price drop for a 80GB PS3! it was overdue, but I'm real happy about getting one now!

juan5547
juan5547

I disagree with the opinion that anyone who buys a PS3 already has a PS2. I bought a PS3 back in march and I wanted backwards comp so I got a used 60 gig model. I didnt have a PS2 because I traded mine in for a 360 last year.

Unholy_Terror
Unholy_Terror

Um I have a PS2, but it was one of the first ones so it's laser got destroyed by the DVDs so I can't play about half of my ps2 games and none of my ps1 games on it, so backwards compatibility would be a great thing for me...

Ultima-Chocochu
Ultima-Chocochu

Sony had the best show out of the three, but I think people should stop complaining bout 80GB's going to no longer have Backwards-Compatibility. The 80 gigs are the new core console, and then they'll release another with backwards compatibility, cause the cheaper one is for someone who just wants to play PS3 games. Although I think all consoles should have backwards compatibility, it just kind of doesn't matter cause most of everyone who will buy a PS3 has a PS2 anyways.

Sontanon
Sontanon

I have a wii and i am bored with it, i had decided to buy a 360 or a ps3 i´m a great mgs fan but i only have the first one. i was excited with the $399 80gb ps3 but i am sooooooooo disapointed because of the non-backwards compatibility, i wanted to play mgs2 and mgs3 on my future ps3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DAMN IT SONY! YOU SURE SCREWED UP THIS TIME

sludge12345
sludge12345

Ah man i want resistance 2, MAG, god of war 2, mgs4. eh i need a job i like all these games. luckily sony is bringing back the greatest hits.

Eyal8
Eyal8

I have written comment number 1000 !

ahmedbilal1993
ahmedbilal1993

In the end there will only be chaos ....lolz......wanted to see more...

zfiftyfives
zfiftyfives

Sony had the best showing; because they gave us timeline for home, implement the video store on the same day, showed us the 256 player mag which looks cool, and god of war 3, but could of showed more. The 360 ( and i have BOTH) just had gears of war 2, and the avater mii thing that i really dont want, and a bunch of casual games for casual gamers. Come on MS throw some more titles out for the more hardcore gamers.

Ozzie234
Ozzie234

No Riiiiiiidge Racer or giant enemy crabs???

Princecake
Princecake

now that AUD = 97 US cents, we have to pay 750AUD for that "new" 80GB PS3 which makes it much cheaper just to import straight from the US :P a saving of about 300USD

clawboy
clawboy

Does anybody know if the new 80GB will have the new 65nm graphics chip?

OO7OO7
OO7OO7

Wish they showed more of God of War III than just a CGI trailer, still a great trailer though.

Mystoksor
Mystoksor

I am defeated. I think I need to buy a PS3 this Christmas

Alf
Alf

Jankka said: "And when is this.. 399 USD ( = 251,655 EUR, yay! ) PS3 coming to Europe?" yes, when? :P i hope they don't screw us with 399 Euros >.

Bboyjhin
Bboyjhin

oh yes god of war 3 coming out niceeeeeee

Red_26
Red_26

mrjack3690 Why would you want to buy a PS3 system if you want to play PS2 games? If you have Ps2 games then i suppose you have a PS2 console, right? TVs this generation have MULTIPLE ports for cables so is it that much of a hassle to have both your PS2 and PS3 connected to your television.

V-Nine
V-Nine

...the highlight of this has got to be Sack Boy, lol.......

jackrocks123
jackrocks123

MAG 256 mutiplayer nice. no games err yeah... read the facts

rgc
rgc

For me PS3 still is "the future game console". After the release of God of War III I can seriously think of buying it.

juggleJUGGLER
juggleJUGGLER

i would buy one if they had any games i wanted to play that aren't on the 360.

sanim02
sanim02

sonys conference was good but long >.>.. but yeah i really wanna get a ps3 cuz most games that i want arent going on the Wii soo yeah..

MrJack3690
MrJack3690

This is CRAP!! is Sony seriously that stupid? I don't care about the HD space on the damn console, I just want all the features (especially included MUST HAVE features like backwards compatibility) They would make so much more money if they made a damn ps3 that was a REASONABLE price and could do something as simple as play older games. I'm not gonna blow 400 dollars of my money just so i can play a few ps3 games, and no ps2 games. Seriously why wouldn't they just make even a 20gb ps3 (again i don't care so much about the hard drive space) as long as it has the backwards compatibility, and the other nice features like all the usb ports, the sd card ports. sorry for the rant, haha, i just wanna play god of war 3 and actually get my moneys worth with this thing.

-Jankka-
-Jankka-

And when is this.. 399 USD ( = 251,655 EUR, yay! ) PS3 coming to Europe?