E3 Sony PS3

Sony Sens Sabres

With my convenient setup, I was able to watch both game two of the Senators and Sabres series and Sony’s E3 press-conference at GameSpot’s E3 Live site. When one got dull and boring, I’d focus on the other. I didn’t miss much of the hockey game.

Perhaps I’m becoming increasingly jaded and I need to lighten up, but the majority of the content that Sony was peddling looked uninspired and dull. After talking sales, Sony showed a number of PSP trailers. Apart from Loco Roco, most were boring. Then came the PS3… and footage of a PS2 (Gran Turismo 4) game with higher resolution. Then a historic action game with real historic battles from Japan’s past–a past which apparently involved giant crab creatures. I don’t remember that from the history books. Then a God of War clone; then a Karaoke game; then an eye-toy powered physical card game, which was cool tech but seemed completely impractical. Then a whole bunch of short trailers that showed nothing. Even Metal Gear Solid 4 felt tired.

After a couple of disconnections of the stream, Sony was gearing up its big guns. The first? A motion sensor in the controller (where have I seen that before.) Innovative. It’s not surprising, really, but they referred to the addition as “innovative” at least a half dozen times. Really now. While the tech is similar to Nintendo’s controller, there is a strong difference in philosophy.

Nintendo used the motion sensor as a means to simplify the interface. Sony just tacked it onto an already busy Dual Shock controller. The new DualShock now has 12 buttons, 2 analog sticks, 1 d-pad, bluetooth wireless, 6-directional motion sensing, and vibration feedback (do they still have this, considering that lawsuit?). Whereas Nintendo removed, Sony added. The differences in philosophy are obvious. For Nintendo, less is more; for Sony, more more more.

Then they showed off Warhawk, a title that uses the motion sensor for control. Warhawk is the one game in the presentation (apart from Loco Roco) that I’m interested in. I very much enjoyed the original Playstation game and I welcome a sequel, especially since it’s just the first sequel since the Playstation’s launch. It hasn’t been overdone and oversold yet. However, watching the guy (lead designer?) play the game didn’t fill me with confidence. Maybe it’s just him and maybe he was being overly exaggerated just to show it off, but with the motion sensor control Warhawk was flopping and twisting around like a plastic bag in the wind. It didn’t strike me as nearly as smooth as the original pre-analog game’s tight controls, which made the game what it was.

After all that came the price. Almost. First came the revelation that the system will launch in two tiers (where have I seen that before) — a 20GB version and a 60GB version (there are likely many more changes beyond that but they’re obviously hushed a bit to make the system seem like more of a “deal” — CONFIRMED). The loser version will cost $499 USD. The real system will be $599 USD (a $100 difference does not cover a 40GB difference — I’m sure there are other handicaps: CONFIRMED).

Sony, you might try to disguise it with a “budget” version of your console, but that doesn’t change the fact that you are trying to sell a console with very similar games to what I can get now for 600 dollars. To that, I say “fuck that.” By the time you launch, I’ll likely be able to get an XBox 360 and a Rev Wii (we’ll see about that during tomorrow’s press-conference) for the same price.

The only good news from all of this? The Ottawa Sentators lost.

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