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Sony E3 Press Conference 2008

This year’s series of press conferences ended on Tuesday, July 15, 2008 with Sony’s presentation starting at 11:30 a.m. directly after Nintendo. The annual E3 press conferences headline the week with major announcements ranging from new hardware, price cuts and games. Jack Tretton, the CEO of SCEA, takes the stage and will play as the host of the entire press conference. He touts the success of the Blu-Ray format over HD DVD and says that 2008 is the “year of the PS3”.

Like Microsoft and Nintendo before it, Sony’s conference is all about games. With Gran Turismo 5, Grand Theft Auto IV and Metal Gear Solid 4 all launching before E3, Tretton points to the strong release of games in the first half of 2008. The first major game to be shown off is Resistance 2 which takes place in 1953. The Chimera have invaded the United States. The video that they play involves a giant Chimeran Leviathan who is wrecking through the streets of Chicago. Playing as Nathan Hale and his squad, you need to take out the threat.

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Next up is Little Big Planet. Instead of the boring old slideshows and graphs, Sony uses Little Big Planet’s level creator to display sales of their systems. Sony says that the PS2 is on its way to selling 9 million in its ninth year on the market, PS3 will sell 10 million and PSP 14 million. A new list of Greatest Hits titles is announced for PS3 at $29.99. Resistance, MotorStorm, Warhawk, Call of Duty 3, Fight Night Round 3, Need for Speed Carbon, Rainbow Six Vegas, Assassin’s Creed, Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion, and Ninja Gaiden Sigma. Many of these are already $30 or less, but now all stores will carry that price tag.

Attention turns to PlayStation Network where Ratchet and Clank: Quest for Booty is announced with a trailer of the action. It is a direct follow-up to last year’s Ratchet and Clank Future. The difference? It’s only going to be $15, will be available exclusively through the PS Store and obviously will be much shorter. “We’re not interested in filling our stores with games that no one wants or needs just to say we have the most games,” Tretton says. PixelJunk Eden, Fat Princess, Pain Amusement Park, Flower and Siren: Blood Curse are all shown off as PSN titles.

Yesterday’s Netflix announcement from Microsoft wasn’t unexpected, but it gives them a big boost for their online service. Sony needed a response and they have one. Tretton announced partnerships with Sony Pictures (who would have guessed?), Lionsgate, Fox, Warner Bros., Disney, Turner, Paramount, and Funimation who will deliver video content. Both rental and electronic sell-through will be available starting tonight. Sony promises that both movies and television shows will be made available with prices for rentals starting at $2-$5 and $10-$15 for purchase. All of your content can migrate between PS3 and PSP.

The Jak bundle for PSP was a huge success last year. Sony is following up this year with a Madden 09 bundle. The more exciting bundle is the one that will include Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters, a gig memory stick, National Treasures 2 UMD and a free download of Echochrome for $199. New titles coming to PSP include Resistance: Retribution, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, LocoRoco 2, Super Stardust Portable, LEGO Batman, Patapon 2, Buzz, and Valkyria Chronicles.

Going back to PS3, Tretton announces that the PS3 will see a price reduction of $100 for its 80GB unit. The 40GB PS3 will be replaced at $399 by the 80GB system in September. And you’ll need one to play games coming out this fall like Call of Duty: World at War, Far Cry 2, BioShock, Fallout 3, Prince of Persia, MotorStorm: Pacific Rift, Little Big Planet, SOCOM Confrontation, Guitar Hero: World Tour, Soulcalibur IV and Ghostbusters. Resident Evil 4 and Killzone 2 were also shown, but won’t come out until 2009. Last but certainly not least, a short teaser was shown of God of War 3 coming to PS3 at an unknown date.

That’s all for Sony. For complete coverage of E3 2008, visit our E3 blog at blog.gamefreaks365.com