E3 08: Sony roundup

Ben Parfitt
It’s fair to say that most people weren’t really too sure what to expect from Sony this E3. The heavily rumoured, and indeed more-or-less-already confirmed God of War III was a given, but still succeeded in raising the pulse upon its unveiling at Sony’s conference.

Arguably more exciting was the new IP from SOCOM developer Zipper, named MAG – or Massive Action Game. And massive it is, promising an unspeakably huge 256 players simultaneously online. Also on the online theme, SOE’s console MMO DC Universe Online was finally aired, and looked impressive – as did the new trailer for Insomniac’s Resistance 2.

Sony was clearly a confident company this year. It’s not alone in thinking that PS3 stands a good chance of catching the opposition in the months ahead. And, as it has done with PSP, Sony continues to change its offering according to what it perceives to be the current public need – this time with news that the 80GB machine will be its primary focus going forward.

PSN announcements were also free flowing. A standalone Ratchet & Clank title, Quest for Booty, will be released later this year. Also touted was flOwer, from the creators of the hugely likeable flOw, Rag Doll Kung Fu: Fists of Plastic and the intriguing PixelJunk Eden.

Surprising perhaps was the weight lent to PSP. Whilst some might even have been expecting an announcement of a new machine, Sony continues to expand the handheld’s offering – it’s hard to deny that the PSP has perhaps evolved more successfully than any other device the market has ever seen.

Whilst the new movie and TV rental and purchase service is of course big news for PS3, it’s the PSP functionality that really catches the imagination and sets Sony’s service apart from its competitors – the machine is a huge success story, despite what many seem to think.

Game-wise the PSP also had some treats, chief of which was Insomniac’s FPS Resistance Retribution, along with the likes of a PSP version of Super Stardust.

Then, of course, there’s Home. Still without a release date and with no new significant functionality announced, an otherwise chirpy and likeable Jack Tretton was almost apologetic in his insistence that Home will be worth the wait.

Some have also pointed to the complete omission of any mention of Final Fantasy XIII. Despite Square Enix’s decision to release the game on Xbox 360 alongside PS3 next year, the RPG will surely still be one of PS3’s biggest sellers – not that Square Enix will mind what platform it sells on. Still, the possible implications may just have upset one or two at Sony. Still, at least companion title Final Fantasy Versus XIII remains a PS3 exclusive.

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Tags: Sony , PlayStation , ps3 , psn , psp , iii , god of war , downloads , movie , ps2 , mag , 3

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