E3 Journal: Day 2 – Shuttles, lovely shuttles.

Most of my visit to L.A., the weather was uncharacteristically cloudy and cooler than it normally would be in June. Tuesday though, around noontime when the Nintendo conference let out, it started heating up. In a move that could be thought considerate from one angle and piracy from another, Sony had shuttle buses waiting outside the Nokia center to take everyone straight from the Nintendo conference to the Sony conference.

None of the journalists had any problem with that since the Sony conference was at a theater located a couple of miles away. The air-conditioned bus was heaven but by the time we got to the venue, I was dizzy from hunger. Luckily Sony didn’t cheap out on us like some OTHER publishers I could mention (Nintendo! Ubisoft! EA!) and had a fairly nice spread set out in the courtyard in front of the theater. I didn’t have long to eat so I horked down a few appetizers, guzzled a fancy herbal tea and headed inside.

Sony’s new tagline for the coming year’s development is “One Vision”. Sort of corny but anyone who uses a Queen song as their overture is OK by me. Sony says they’re bringing 364 titles out this year–I wonder what percentage of them will be worthwhile? Anyway, there were a few exciting showings, starting with Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, which is the perhaps the most successful example I’ve seen of using a cinematic-style camera for third-person gameplay. Other interesting titles on the way soon are Metal Gear Solid: Peacewalker, Assassin’s Creed II, God of War III, Final Fantasy XIV and The Last Guardian.

Without a doubt, the most ridiculous announcement of the conference was that of the new Hannah Montana bundle which comes with a lilac PSP. If only I could figure some way to get the PSP without being seen buying a Hannah Montana game. Hrm…

After spending half the show talking about software, Sony launched into a hardware discussion by introducing the new “PSP Go”, a smaller PSP designed for people who live an entirely digital lifestyle. I was sincerely hoping they would have designed it to be more comfortable to use but even though it’s smaller, it still looks awkward if not downright painful to hold. Oh well, guess that’s $250 I can spend on something else.

In addition to talking about the Go, Sony engineers (one of them was named Richard Marx. Wouldn’t it be funny if he was the cheesy 80′s pop star who sang that godawful “Right Here Waiting For You” song?) came out to present their new motion-sensor technology which is as yet still in the prototype stages. Obviously, Sony’s worried about the Wii grabbing too much market share and this is their response.

After watching a guy try and fail several times to hit virtual balls with virtual baseball bats, swords and mallets, I wasn’t overly impressed and ended up daydreaming instead about the air-conditioned bus ride waiting for me after the show.

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