Time to continue our predictions for E3 with Sony, whose press conference is Monday, June 6, at 5:00 PM Pacific time (8:00 PM Eastern time). Sony’s press conference is scheduled to last five hours, a record-breaking length. It seems fairly reasonable to expect that the conference itself will last two hours at most and the rest will consist of demos and such, and various sources have also mentioned a concert.
Sony’s conference last year was fairly uneventful. We got Move launch details, a new Twisted Metal game, a lot of talk about 3D, and various gameplay demos and trailers. The biggest announcement was the reveal of Portal 2 for PS3 along with Steam integration for the game. Kevin Butler gave an inspirational speech that has gone down in the annals of gaming history, and Sony introduced us to Marcus – the face of PSP who grated on everyone’s nerves from the beginning only to mysteriously vanish during the year. The conference was bogged down by a bit too much talking and too many sales figures, and a lackluster presentation, although that’s to be expected since, Kevin Butler excepted, Sony’s personalities are lacking compared to Nintendo and Microsoft’s.
Sony has had a rough last few months, with the PSN debacle, and they’ll need to do some damage control at their conference this year. With NGP on the horizon, however, Sony could be looking for brighter times for the rest of this year and next. So what might Sony be showing?
NGP Name, Launch Date, and Price – This has practically been confirmed, with the name PS Vita popping up all over the place. Expect a late 2011 or early 2012 launch in North America, with at least one model being in the $300-400 range. Chances of it happening: Practically guaranteed.
Price drop for PS3 – A ton of retailers have been offering gift card incentives on the PS3 lately, which is usually the harbinger of a price drop. Expect a $50 drop at least, bringing the base model down to $249. Chances of it happening: Likely.
Price drop for Move – Move is a bit pricey, costing $99 for the starter pack that includes a controller, PS Eye, and game. Sony could sell more units at a lower price and push Move a bit more, since it’s supposed to be the “continuation” of the PS3’s lifespan. Retailer Fry’s Electronics has been selling the starter kit for $50 this week – we probably shouldn’t expect a price drop that drastic, but $25-30 would help move more Moves. Chances of it happening: It needs to, if Sony wants Move to succeed.
Uncharted, Uncharted, and More Uncharted – Sony’s going to concentrate heavily on its biggest exclusive title for 2011 – Uncharted 3. In addition, you can guarantee there will be a push for Uncharted on NGP, since that’s the highest-profile game we’ve seen for the system. Chances of it happening: 100%
Apologies for PSN Debacle – This could actually only be a brief mention – those expecting a long diatribe about the hacking will likely be disappointed. Sony will likely concentrate more on the positive, claiming they now have the “most secure online system” and such nonsense. Chances of it happening: A few brief mentions, yes. A long, drawn-out focus, not likely.
3D – Sony spent a good portion of its press conference last year talking about its push for 3D. Expect a similar push this year, even though the majority of gamers don’t have 3D televisions and don’t really care to get them. Chances of it happening: You know it will.
PSP Remasters – These have already been announced in Japan. A PS3 remastering of Monster Hunter Portable 3 begins the lineup there – expect an announcement for North America but with a different game. Chances of it happening: Decent.
ICO/Shadow of the Colossus HD – It would always be nice to get dates and launch details of the HD remasterings of Team Ico’s revered duo, which just received a September release date for Japan. Chances of it happening: 50/50.
The Last Guardian Details – This is a lot more of a long shot than the remakes. At most, expect a trailer, but don’t look for a release date or gameplay footage. Chances of it happening: Unlikely – everything seems to be pointing more toward TGS as the time we get more info on this Team Ico project.
New God of War – The trilogy, and thus Kratos’ story, has been completed, but do you really think Sony’s going to let its most successful exclusive franchise to go into retirement? We could see a new game, either for PS3 or NGP, though the latter seems more likely. Chances of it happening: A definite maybe.
Move functionality in upcoming games – Games such as Ninja Gaiden 3 could see Move functionality implemented for a unique PS3 experience. Plenty of other games will likely see Move controls as an option. Chances of it happening: Pretty definite.
Xperia Play – Sony will likely spend some time promoting its new PlayStation-enabled smartphone, which just recently went on sale in North America. We may see some game announcements and updates to the system. We may also see expansion of the PlayStation Suite platform to other Android devices. Chances of it happening: Maybe, but don’t expect much.
Epic speech by Kevin Butler – Oh God, yes. Chances of it happening: It’s a matter of whether the dimensions of time and space can handle the sheer epic-ness.