While Microsoft seemed focused on pushing the Kinect yesterday at its press conference, Sony took a bit more of a well-rounded approach to its announcements today.
Of course the major announcement was that the Move controllers are finally on their way and will hit store shelves on Sept. 19th. This gives them a little over seven week jump on the release of the Kinect, but now that we have seen the two systems in action, they are very different beasts. The Move will be available for purchase in four different ways:
- PS3 console + Move + camera + Sports Champions – $399.99
- Move + Sports Champions + camera – $99.99
- Standalone Move controller – $49.99
- Navigation Controller – $29.99
Unlike the Kinect, it appears that the Move will be integrating with more traditional games such as Killzone 3, Time Crisis, Dead Space 2 and so on. What isn't clear if these games are using the Move as an addition to the traditional controls, or if there may actually be parts that are geared towards the motion sensitive controls. There were also two Move-specific games announced: Sorcery which will let you use the controller as a wand in a game filled with fantasy and Heroes on the Move which will feature numerous Playstation characters from over the years such as Jak.
In other major Sony announcements, it seems that the Playstation Network is finally getting a pay component that will launch this month named Playstation Plus. (Apparently the marketing team stayed up for weeks to come up with that name …) Users that stay on the free plan won't lose any of their current features, but those that choose to pony up $49 a year will get extra perks such as:
- Exclusive in-game DLC
- Free full games that will change each month
- Priority access to demos and betas
- An auto-patching feature that will take care of software updates for you
Those that sign up immediately will receive:
- Wipeout HD
- inFamous demo
- Age of Zombies
- Exclusive themes and avatars
Of course some of the biggest news is the addition of 3D to the system. Sony is promising that there will be 20 natively 3D games to be released by March 2011 with some of the titles being Motorstorm: San Francisco, Killzone 3, Gran Turismo 5, NBA 2K11, Sly Cooper Collection, Mortal Kombat, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, EyePet and Tron.
While most of the game demos at these conferences are nowhere as interesting as the hardware and other assorted announcements, one big surprise was saved for the end today: the return of vehicular combat game Twisted Metal. The crazy vehicles and drivers are back in 2011, and they are bringing helicopters with them this time. The series was a mainstay on the PlayStation and Playstation 2, but after being batted around to different developers it definitely lost its way and had not yet appeared on the PS3. It will finally make its way to the console some time in 2011.
Not quite as breathtaking as the Microsoft conference yesterday, but it still appears to be a solid year for Sony.