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Sony's E3 2008 Conference Highlights

Sony's E3 2008 press conference President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment of America, Jack Tretton, spoke today at the Sony E3 press conference in Los Angeles. The focus of his presentation was less on game announcements and more focused on the new features of the PS3 and PSP. With 2008 being hailed as the year of the PS3, lets take a closer look at the information given at this event. Starting with video games, most of the games shown where in the form of a brief montage grouped off by console. Here's what was shown:

Resistance 2 (PS3): hailed as the biggest FPS of this year, the demo for Resistance 2 was all about scale. 8 player online co-op, 40 player multiplayer, massive levels, massive bosses, you get the idea.

Little Big Planet (PS3): an interesting and well executed showing of LBP had one of the game’s characters, Sack Boy, running through a custom-made level while highlighting the speaking points that Jack Tretton was discussing at the same time. October 2008 set as the release date.

Buzz: Quiz Show (PS3): more of the same, slated for a September 2008 release.

DC Universe Online (PS3): an MMORPG for the PS3 and PC, very little actual information was given, save for the fact that you can be either a hero or villain. No release information given.

God of War III (PS3): a brief trailer was shown, no gameplay footage however. Release date set for sometime next year.

Infamous (PS3): this dark superhero title is set for a Spring 2009 release date.

MAG (Massive Action Game) (PS3): the last game shown at the Sony event, MAG is an online FPS which supports a whopping 256 players divided up into 8 teams. Skill trees for individual characters were mentioned, as well as a progressive campaign mode. Release information was missing.

PS3 Game Montage: Quantum of Solace, MGS4, Socom: Confrontation, Ghostbusters, SCIV, The Agency, Naruto: Storm, Mirror’s Edge, Resident Evil 5, SingStar, Guitar Hero: World Tour, NBA08: The Inside, Killzone 2. These titles are all said to be coming later this year.

Resistance Retribution (PSP): a brief trailer was shown which had you controlling your hero in a third-person perspective. The game was dated for Spring 2009.

PSP Game Montage: Patapon 2, LocoRoco 2, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Madden 09, NBA09: The Inside, Super Stardust Portable, Lego Batman, Buzz: Master Quiz, and Valkaria Chronicles. These titles are coming between this and next year.

Ratchet and Clank Future: Quest for Booty (PSN): this expansion for the original R&C Future will be available for download from the PSN store this summer for $14.99.

PSN Game Montage: Crash Commandos, Fat Princess, Pixeljunk: Eden, Pain: Amusement Park, Flower, Siren: Blood Curse, Ragdoll Kung Fu: Fists of Plastic. No general release information given.

PS2 Game Montage: Madden 09, Tiger Woods 09, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Warriors Orochi, SingStar: Pop Star 2, Yakuza 2, Madden XX, Mercenaries 2. These games, Tretton said 130 PS2 games total, will be release in 2008.

Also announced during the conference was the formation of the PS3 Greatest Hits series. Greatest Hits titles will retail for $29.99.

Tretton also spoke at length about the streamlining process Sony has been doing with their PSN network. Now you will have only a single PSN log-in account to take you anywhere in the service whether you’re on your PC, PS3, or PSP.

Also unveiled for the PSN was a new video distribution service. This service will allow PS3 owners to rent or buy movies or TV shows on their PS3 in either HD or stand definition. Content that you’ve purchased can also be viewed on the PSP. (Ed: America's largest anime distributor, FUNimation, is listed as one of the partners bringing videos to the service)

A new pay-per-view automotive enthusiast channel was also announced as part of Gran Turismo V: Prologue. The service starts August 1st and will available within PSN, presumably, for the owners of GTV: Prologue.

The $399.99 80GB PS3 was also officially announced and is coming later this year.

Phew, that was a lot to cover, but now the big three are finished. It’s been an interesting E3 to follow thus far, with more to come both today and tomorrow. Personally, I’m going to go enjoy a little break from all the news and go play some games!

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