Sony’s focus on E3 has been the integration of the PS Vita experience with the PS3, as well as the continuation of some of their more popular lines and the expansion of their multimedia offerings. The entire Sony hardware and software lineup—Move, PS3, PS Vita, PSN—was touched on.
On the software side, the God of War series was announced to have sold over 21 million units to date. The seven-year-old franchise began back in 2005 with God of War on the PS2, and has since expanded to the PSP and PS3. The biggest seller has been God of War III, with over 5.1 million units sold worldwide, followed by the first God of War at 4.6 million. The list could shift a bit next year when the latest installment, God of War: Ascension, hits store shelves for the PS3.
The PS Vita launched last February and has hit something of a lull after a busy launch window. Things look like they will be picking up, though, with a slew of upcoming games announced: LittleBigPlanet, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, PulzAR, Sound Shapes, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, Smart As, Soul Sacrifice, and Table Top Tanks. There was also an increased focus on the interconnectivity between the PS Vita and PS3, with Sly Cooper supporting Cross-Save functionality, a feature that allows saved games to be swapped and continued between both home and portable versions. Cross-Play functionality will go beyond allowing players to continue their games on the go and instead allow the different versions to be compatible with one another, so PS3 gamers can take on PS Vita owners in games like PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. Something gamers have been itching for is the chance to play their PSOne Classics on the Vita, and that looks as if it will happening be shortly via a software update scheduled to launch this summer.
A new bundle was also announced for the upcoming Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation (for more info, see our Ubisoft coverage). The package includes a crystal white system, 4 GB memory card, and copy of Liberation, and is set to launch alongside the standard version of the game on October 30.
The six-year-old PS3 will be hosting a new batch of stereoscopic 3D-supported titles in the near future, such as God of War: Ascension and Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time. Others titles on display included Beyond: Two Souls from Heavy Rain developer Quantic Dream, LittleBigPlanet Karting, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, and post-apocalyptic survival title The Last of Us. An update will also introduce Cross-Control functionality for the first time, with players able to control LittleBigPlanet 2 using the PS Vita. And as with the PS Vita, the PS3 will have its own Assassin’s Creed III bundle, which looks to be a standard PS3 with the game as a pack-in.
Cross-Play, Cross-Control, and Cross-Save are only some of the PS3-PS Vita features. Cross-Goods and Remote Play will also be making their way into games. At present, Cross-Play is supported by Hustle Kings, MotorStorm RC, and WipEout HD/WipEout 2048; future supported titles are slated to include PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale and Street Fighter X Tekken. As of now, only Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 supports Cross-Control, but as mentioned, LittleBigPlanet 2 will be utilizing it shortly as well. Cross-Save support is a bit healthier, with the current crop of supported titles consisting of BlazBlue Continuum Shift Extend, MLB ’12: The Show, and MotorStorm RC; upcoming titles include PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, and Sound Shapes.
Cross-Goods will allow PS3 and PS Vita owners to transfer and/or share DLC and user-created content between both home and portable versions. Currently, Hustle Kings, MLB ’12: The Show, ModNation Racers/ModNation Racers: Road Trip, MotorStorm RC, and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom feature Cross-Goods support. Future titles to support it include Assassin’s Creed III/Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation, LittleBigPlanet 2/LittleBigPlanet PlayStation Vita, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, Sound Shapes, and Street Fighter X Tekken.
Remote Play isn’t in the ‘cross’ family, but it is a feature that was touted back during the PS Vita’s launch. Instead of using the portable as a supplement to the standard controller, it hosts the game itself, remotely controlling the system and acting as a sort of portable PS3. At the moment, only BlazBlue and BlazBlue: Continuum Shift support it, but soon, so will (well, they are “expected” to support it soon) God of War, God of War II, ICO, and Shadow of the Colossus.
Speaking of controllers, the PS Move will be an integral part in Sony’s upcoming Wonderbook line. The first title scheduled for release, Wonderbook: Book of Spells, set to launch in December, will feature new material from J.K. Rowling and utilize the Move and PS Eye camera to incorporate augmented reality features into a traditionally told tale. Players will use the Motion Controller as a wand to cast spells as they learn the tricks of sorcery from notes and signs left by previous Hogwarts students. The PS Move will also be receiving a Racing Wheel peripheral, which is set to be released this fall for $39.99; supported titles at this time include Burnout Paradise, Gran Turismo 5, LittleBigPlanet Karting, MotorStorm Apocalypse, and Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. And finally, Sports Championship 2 was announced, which will include five new games in addition to an updated version of archery.
The PlayStation Network will also be providing a few download-only titles of its own with Journey Collection, Sound Shapes, The Unfinished Swan, and When Vikings Attack. The premium PlayStation Plus service continues to pick up pace, hosting everything from full versions of Infamous 2 and soon Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown for members paying the $49.99 one-year membership fee or $17.99 for a three-month membership.
And finally, the PlayStation Suite has been renamed PlayStation Mobile. In addition, HTC Corporation has joined the PlayStation Certified license program, expanding the number of devices certified for connecting with the Sony store as well as offering content compatible with the PS Vita.
Official Site: US.PlayStation.com