E3 2011: Sony Press Conference Report Card

How did Sony do at its pre-E3 press conference? Find out in our Sony Report Card.

If there's anything that particularly stuck out about Sony's E3 2011 press conference, it's that the company has an absolutely staggering amount of content; and if you're a current PlayStation 3 owner or if a PlayStation Vita--the official name of Sony's new handheld--is in your future, then you have plenty of reasons to be excited. But because of all the content, Sony's conference lacked focus, which not only resulted in covering as much ground as possible, but it also left little opportunity for some key games to stand out from the rest of the pack. Even time spent on Sony's diehard support of 3D could've been appropriated better as a Twisted Metal demo or at least a few seconds of Last Guardian footage inserted in one of the many sizzle reels.

At any rate, too much content is a good problem to have, but Sony Computer Entertainment of America CEO Jack Tretton chose to kicks things off on a somewhat serious note, addressing the PlayStation Network outage by thanking fans for sticking with the company and apologizing to retailers and its development partners. Oddly enough, this apology was followed by some bragging and then the conference's first PlayStation 3 demo of the impressive Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception. The demonstration was followed by a 3D trailer of the game, signaling that Sony isn't going to let go of 3D despite recent troubles at the box office involving 3D films.

In fact, Sony's dedication to 3D technology was one of the most surprising aspects of the conference. Sony revealed that it's not only prepping God of War Origins Collection (PS3 remakes of the PSP games) and the Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collection for 3D, but it's also releasing a special PlayStation-branded, 24-inch 3D-capable TV set. This TV also has a special viewing mode that removes traditional split-screen viewing and replaces it with a mode that lets individual players view the game as if they were looking at it in full-screen mode. On top of all that, Sony's releasing the whole thing in a package--along with a copy of Resistance 3, new (and cheaper) PlayStation-branded 3D glasses, and an HDMI cable--that will cost $499.99.

Given Sony's love affair with just about everything in its portfolio, it's not surprising that the PlayStation Move got quite a bit of attention. The conference highlighted what Sony's been doing with the platform all along: mixing core game support in with games that have a casual leaning but would still appeal to the core audience. NBA 2K12 was a big game in this portion of the conference (even if the Move support seems suspect). The Medieval Moves: Deadmund's Quest demo had the core game aesthetic mixed with the casual single Move wand controls.

A few trailers for Starhawk, a new Sly Cooper game, and a new shooter from CCP called Dust 514 seemed out of place, but they illustrated Sony's stacked lineup. This became clear with a quick transition to a presentation of BioShock: Infinite, which (in keeping with the theme of this particular portion of the conference) will also feature Move support. Additionally, Irrational Games' Ken Levine surprised the audience with an announcement that a BioShock game would be coming to the PlayStation Vita.

While this would've been a perfect opportunity to transition into PlayStation Vita demos and details, Sony (to its detriment) kept trucking with brief looks at the Star Trek shooter featuring the recent incarnations of Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock. This was then followed by an announcement that some key Electronic Arts games, including the upcoming SSX, will feature PlayStation-exclusive content--a big aspect of Sony's recent third-party strategy. Sony Corporation president Kaz Hirai then took to the stage with a bit more filler content on the PlayStation Suite that was probably best left out of its already packed E3 presentation.

But Hirai eventually moved onto the expected star of the show, the PlayStation Vita, announcing the official name of the device and that it would come in two flavors: Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi and 3G equipped. Not surprisingly, Hirai received some moans and boos from the press conference audience when he revealed that Sony's 3G partner will be AT&T, a company notorious for its 3G-congestion problems with iPhone users. From there, the audience was treated to impressive demos of Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Ruin (a social action role-playing game available for both the Vita and the PS3), ModNation Racers, Little Big Planet, and Street Fighter X Tekken. A stellar lineup was followed by an equally stellar price announcement--the Wi-Fi-only version of the Vita will retail for $249 while the 3G-equipped version will set you back $299. Unfortunately, no specific time frame was nailed down for release outside of the holiday season.

With that, the press conference concluded, and we all stopped for a moment to take a massive breath. Sony had a lot of content on display, and much of it was quite good, but again, we couldn't help but think that the time could've been used more effectively for certain projects and themes as opposed to covering such a broad swath of games. Some games on display should've received more attention, and there were quite a few high-profile games that were conspicuously absent. Namely, those games were The Last Guardian and key PlayStation Network games like Journey--granted, Sony probably thinks those are too old hat for a show like E3, at this point. Ultimately, this much is clear: Sony wants to put the PlayStation Network debacle behind and look toward its long-term future.

Watch Sony's E3 2011 Press Conference

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Discussion

185 comments
gashoe13
gashoe13

@ClaudiusCaesar Didn't microsoft get a C from Gamespot?

ClaudiusCaesar
ClaudiusCaesar

@Gelugon_baat On the top of this page, you can find a link to each console. It's a pop down menu with a console home link. This console home page has the top 5 articles for that console. The Report Cards for PS3 and Nintendo are right there, easy to see it. M$'s one is easy to find. Because that I'm saying they are hiding it. Not first time a see GS favor M$. So, my conclusion is that M$ has some kind of deal with GS. It's a big deal, but common thing between big corporations and the press. Or do you believe there is not such things. :-)

Anubistraveler
Anubistraveler

Nintendo 3DS lineup has me very excited for the holiday season, I hope we get more titles announced over the summer that will keep me excited into next year. Wii U looks interesting but I want to see more before it becomes a must own. Sony's conference was very good. I am not too into Vita but I hope it does well. The lineup proves once again that they have one of the best exclusive library's in gaming. I would have liked to see more new game announcements but they had to spend time talking about Vita so I am going to give them a pass. As for Microsoft.....well let me just say I am biased because I do hate the system but come on it was just bad....the same exclusives again this year as last.....halo, gears, fonza.....yay!!! I am so excited. Not to mention they opened the show with a multiplatform game....lame. The whole idea of TV service was cool but they really did not give specifics, and I really could care if I can sit on my couch and talk to my gaming system. Bing is a joke and I had Youtube on my phone 2 years ago so whatever. Lastly, the kinect lineup was a joke.....it seems they want to tap into the Wii's core family gaming community but as a result they are going to put out the same kinds of shovel ware as the Wii currently does. Fable looked bad and Star Wars looked worse. I was watching G4 and Sessler was playing and it seemed to me that he was trying very hard to smile after playing that game.

superxtreme101
superxtreme101

The only reason some people preferred 360 and PS3 was because of the HD graphics and incredible hardcore titles, but now Nintendo has HD graphics and stellar hardcore titles which would look great with there new controller, uTAB that's what I call it, since you would be looking at multiple camera angles which will make shooter games and platformers alike sick. In other words if you think about it 360 and PS3 were better than the Wii because of their graphics, titles and connectivity and now since Wii U has all of this with innovation ..... Nintendo have really outdone themselves .... Believe it

ClaudiusCaesar
ClaudiusCaesar

@Gelugon_baat @Ground_Zero So, they have a Report Card, but we can't find it. Sony's and Nintendo's are on their home pages, Microsoft's one, someone need to pass the link. Do something but no put out there is the same as do NOT do it.

King-gamer
King-gamer

Sony had everything to make their conference the best of the big 3, but they executed poorly, besides Uncharted, there really wasn't any high profile games that were shown and it ended up kinda boring. Plus they spent way too much time on the move, most of its functionality we already saw LAST YEAR. If they cut out all the Move, show a bit more hardcore games they easily could have gotten A.

kozakon
kozakon

as usual Sony's press conference was one of the best in E3 still last year conference was a lot better. i did enjoy it but it seems like they ware in a rush to finish it. but it was a great conference and i cant wait for next year.

goodemon
goodemon

No info on Last Guardian. Sony is just reveling in the core gamers agony of having to wait for this highly anticipated entry into the Ico universe. Hell, they know that all the fans are dying to buy it. I really hope it doesn't get pushed into 2012.

Ground_Zero
Ground_Zero

@ClaudiusCaesar there is one and it got the worst of the three, got given a C

ClaudiusCaesar
ClaudiusCaesar

Why there is no Report Card for M$? I believe, because GameSpot is not allowed to give bad reviews to M$.

nickery123
nickery123

@y2kern all nintendo almost talked about the Wii u the whole press conference. How are they any better even if your statment was completely true? I thought it was a nice balance, we saw most of the big titles at the EA and Ubisoft with Sony focusing on their PS3 exclusives then moving to the NGP and all the games theyre making for it. What needs to be mentioned about 3D? Ok, they're big supporters of 3D we all know that as almost all the PS3 exclusives released these two quarters have had 3D and plenty of the big 3rd party games. Duh we don't need to be told about it again with all those 3D tv commercials we see when we can get more info on the new Vita. You cant justify nintendo's A- rating, I don't think I saw one serious game that actually ran on the U besides Zelda which at this point we dont even know if it actually did.

dirty_bird18
dirty_bird18

@Shafe-man Watch the presser again, there was specifcally mentioned that one Diablo looking game, where you can play on PS3, save and pick up where you left off on the Vita or vice versa. Also I am not suggesting that this can work for all games, just that what Nintendo is purposing with the WII-U can be done this year and better with what Sony is releasing. The questions remains, will they do it? Also, in case you missed it, your tablet needs to be within a certain distance of your console to use that shut your TV off feature. Where as the Vita is it's own gaming device.

et89
et89

I wouldn't really call The Last Guardian and Journey high-profile...yes they're good games but I wouldn't list them as high profile because they don't appeal to as many people.

shafe-man
shafe-man

@dirty_bird18 The PS3 can't physically stream games. It has to be built in. There goes your argument. Maybe the "PS4" will, but so far your argument falls apart due to a physical impossibility. But I think it's clear at this point Microsoft needs a new console. Once consumers realize there are more exclusives coming out for the Wii (seriously) than the 360 then they're screwed. Not to mention the 360 has a meager line-up of first-party anyway. If it weren't for CoD I doubt the 360 would be doing so well.

tframp420
tframp420

@dirty_bird18 Yes, but you'll never get to play Mario, Zelda, or Metroid on Vita. Nintendo has always relied on their IPs and charm which Sony does not quite have.

CrystalEdgen
CrystalEdgen

I agree with dirty_bird18 and sincerely hope it happens, cuz I need a better excuse to pick up Vita.

y2kern
y2kern

sony main focus was on the vita, and not the ps3 i would give their conference a C because not everyone plays portable gaming systems

NoShenanigans
NoShenanigans

I just looked at the Sony grade and Nintendo grade...I can see why Nintendo would get an A-, and I can see why Sony would get a B but only because of the new console. Also, the orchestra for Nintendo was pretty awesome, but it showed fans a big difference in the two. Now after each of the conferences, I have to say I am more excited for Sony and the Vita than Nintendo's focus on the 3DS. The next year will be slim pickings for Wii owers, as I can only see Zelda as a must have, and I find that surprising in the grades. Nintendo's new console won't be out until (I'm guessing) Holiday 2012...but little is in line for the console. 3DS wise, great games, but they gotta get people to get out and buy the console first. Give me Vita, cause MGS on a portable is going to be awesome.

dirty_bird18
dirty_bird18

Personally I think Nintendo is boned. With the Vita, whos to say that Sony will not make the Vita work as a new controller for the PS3? If done right(which shouldn't be too hard) you can have all the functionality of the Wii-U, with the added bonus that you actually unplug your controller and take the game with you(specific games only). This based on the rumor that the Wii-U will be on par graphically PS3/360, Sony can take all the advantage away from nintendo with a firmware update. Also, since 3rd party developers will be working on additional content to support the wii-u controller. Shouldn't take much for Sony to pull that right over to the PS3/Vita setup. Not only that, but the Vita also give "rear-touching" as well as front, giving them a bit of a bonus if used. So not only do we get the 3rd party games at least a half year early, but you would also still have the ability to revist those games using the added features the Vita controller can bring, effectively making the Wii-U obsolete. Edit: Apparently they are already working on the idea, here's the link: http://www.next-gen.biz/news/sony-considering-vita-control-ps3

XanderZane
XanderZane

Sony did beat Microsoft this year, but Nintendo won again this year with their Wii U and great 3DS games. Microsoft didn't impress me. i didn't care for the presentation at all. It just wasn't exciting and having kiddies bouncing around playing Disney kinect games just left me rolling my eyes. They got a C- from me. Microsoft better get their act together or start thinking about launch a new system. I'll say it again, bring back Ed Fries. ********************************************************************* @EPaul Vita has me so hyped ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Yeah, I'd like to have one, but I'm going to wait a year probably. Hopefully by then there will be another carrier besides AT&T for the 3G. That's the one I want. In the meantime, I'll continue to play my PSP, DS Lite and 3DS.

theJBlounge
theJBlounge

I think a problem with the MS and Sony conferences are that they were trying to generate interest in something we may not want. I think the issue is that there isn't one specific game that screams 'I want Kinect/Move/3DTV'. So they have to show demo after demo in hopes of drawing interest. I think if you're not on board with it, it probably gets to be fatiguing. But what ultimately matters is what makes it to the store shelves, not the focus of an E3 press conference.

chyng85
chyng85

Grade B is not satisfying~

superxtreme101
superxtreme101

Sony definitely beat Microsoft there's no doubt about it and it was pretty good but I would have preferred that they did no spend a lot of there time babbling about 3D and Move. Microsoft showed a lot, and I mean a LOT, of Kinect which was very predictable. Nintendo, on the other hand, was the best of all three because of Wii U and the great 3DS titles but everything else was just plain.

the_requiem
the_requiem

roxomega: Errmm... Uncharted3 counts as flagship, I'd say. They showed some new IP too. What was new IP shown by MS? Or Nintendo for that matter? I can see why most are saying Nintendo won, but for someone who isn't into motion controls or 3DS, Nintendo was... meh. I found Vita [PS3 on the go] to be more interesting proposition than Wii U and 3DS combined, more so when you factor in the price. I can fully understand why Halo fans can consider MS being biggest winner... coz MS gave them one thing they wanted most.

eliedaakour
eliedaakour

Sony is really kicking ass year after year. all those who critized the console when it first came out are starting to praise it the last 3 years! their exclusives keeps getting bigger and better! i mean what MS has to offer other than halo each year? i love the franchise but its getting tiring and running out of steam. its the console of choice for all you hardcore gamers out there...if u wanna have fun and play something different go for nintendo i say

roxomega
roxomega

Sorry as a fan of all three sony had nothing that made me sit on the edge of my seat.. the Wii U and Ubisofts kinect features both got me excited.. some grade should be in the actual stage presentation witch was horrid without Butler IMO... the drums and DJ should of knocked it down a grade too. How does one get a B with high profile games missing.. at least Nin MS came with there flagship.

D3dr0_0
D3dr0_0

Nintendo won imo and Sony was really good too, but we can all agree that Microsoft was crappy this year.

FoxDie85
FoxDie85

It is not about which consul is your favorite! It is about which device gave more facilities to the video games companies. Sony did well more than Microsoft. And Nintendo overcame the two of them, but in general, the three did not add something that huge to the market. We will use what they added for two months and wait 10 months for the next E3. Building consuls without good games is no longer useful. These companies needs to start building games from scratch to their consuls. If they didn't, I think I'll quit video games forever. AND PLEASE, STOP BUILDING FPS GAMES and do something different.

Slieststeven1
Slieststeven1

Sony had the best conference imo but it was certainly an overly packed show for them very unorganised

sul6an-g
sul6an-g

Sony wins microsoft such a stupid company !

cayne_phoenix
cayne_phoenix

its only fair that WiiU has HD now, if u consider that a copy from PS3 or Xbox, fine. wat ever makes you happy. Even though they were the ones who did steal the idea for the Motion. psp may have had the idea for AR but they didnt use it, so its not worth complaining that nintendo stole it, since they took the initiative to use it.

BILLNYE6983
BILLNYE6983

@rain_ishigawa Nintendo didn't invent AR. The original PSP had AR. I am sick and tired of Nintendo getting credit for every single thing. Wii has HD now. Is it just a PS3 and Xbox copy?

Kenrocc
Kenrocc

@rain_ishigawa AR AR hmm... where have I heard that before? Oh yea! the original PSP! :-/ Come on son..

rain_ishigawa
rain_ishigawa

sony was 3d here 3d that ... looks like someone is compensating for lack of glasses free 3d ... dont get me wrong im excited for vita aka DS HD ... it was funny though when Kaz Hirai said he was very excited about the dual cams on the Vita rendering a AR world ... hmm AR, AR where have i heard that before? oh yeah its on my 3DS ... with 3 cams ... but im still getting a vita im just mocking it out of spite of sony not innovating ...

Superzone
Superzone

My grades: Nintendo: A - Brought the big guns: Killer 3DS games, a new console that is both awesome and mysterious, and some awesome surprises like a new Smash Bros. game coming out and some sweet releases for Zelda's 25th anniversary. A great show with nothing to complain about. I'm stoked. Sony: B - Awesome preview of Uncharted 3 (which I think is my early pick for Game of the Year) and a nice showing of the Vita including the announcement of a really nice price for the system. Other than these though, nothing too surprising. Good stuff overall. Microsoft: C- - Just... not good. Some nice showings of games like Gears 3, but that's about it. The Kinect announcements were nothing special, minus maybe Star Wars. If it wasn't for the huge Halo 4 reveal at the end, this score would probably be a D.

MrGreenBeanz
MrGreenBeanz

Nintendo definitely won the show. Sony's was better than Microsoft's, but not by much.

CHAMPANERIA
CHAMPANERIA

Halo 4 is how you close a show...imagine sony and nintendo fans if at the end they show another metal gear solid/god of war or mario/zelda game closed the show. That breif 30seconds of halo 4 teaser had me going MS won the show damn! then I looked forward to sony and nintendo there endings were weak in comparison.

constantterror
constantterror

Sony wins in my book I can care less what some kids grade it. I mean come on how can that ugly wii evan be considered a console and nintendo didn't talk much about anything and gs acting like they did alot did they evan watch it

Oldboy08
Oldboy08

Can't wait for the PSV...and about the 3D, does gamespot not realize that Japan is in a huge 3D obsession right now? Japan loves 3D at the moment. And that TV looks amazing.

hybrid7seven7
hybrid7seven7

no disrespect to sony, but i think both it and microsoft were outdone by nintendo yet again

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

@hallgren They never mentioned the Last Guardian or Dark Souls which are two of the games I really wanted to hear about.

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

@wwervin Halo 4 is no surprise. Just as Gears 3 is no surprise. Uncharted also not much of a surprise. Last year announcing Twisted Metal was a good surprise. Most of Nintendo's show was also a good surprise. If everyone already knows or expects it then it isn't much news, especially when Halo 4 trailer was a couple seconds of nothing informative other than having he words Halo 4.

wwervin
wwervin

lol @ "who writes this junk" It's the same people who wrote the MS report card. They posted the Halo 4 announcement under the good category while at the same time blasting MS for not having any surprises. Isn't that a bit hypocritical?

hallgren
hallgren

and then you get on sony for not showing demo's and then in your next paragraph you talk about all the demo's they did show off, are you upset cause they didn't show the demo's when you wanted them too????

hallgren
hallgren

How do you say a con is "lack of focus on key games" Who writes this junk, they opened with two of their biggest games and discussed every game except twisted metal through out the entire press conference, get your act together folks!

haskell420
haskell420

I really like their show, but I wish they did more like everyone. I think they should have spoken MORE about the Sec. breach. Not a lot, but more then 1 sentance....2...I agree they are going overboard with 3D. Yes make it, but w/ the technology only getting better, less mention of it woulda been nice.... Cons.. Is it me, or did anyone else feel, odd/wierd etc, NOT hearing the word, "ROCKSTAR" at all..... where was the PS HOME info? Always have something to say or let out......but missing in action were so many games it was unreal. I assumed to hear somthing about GTA5..(ok can live w/ it, but see comment above).........the VITA IS GORGEOUS.. BUT.. AND IT'S A HUUUUUUUUUGE BUT...... CAN YOU, GAMESPOT, PLEASE FIND OUT, WHY THE "VITA" HAS CROSS GAME CHAT, AND HOW THE PS3 STILL DOESN NOT????. That's thee only news many of us cared about..and to give it to VITA, and no hint it was coming SOON to the PS3...how friken sad..

EPaul
EPaul

Vita has me so hyped

Oni
Oni

I was really hoping to see some new Franchises ... but there really wasn't anything like that. Sequels are great and all but I'd love to see something brand new. I miss the old E3's with the huge WOW! moments. The biggest reaction I saw from the crowed was the AT&T announcement, and it wasn't the positive kind.