E3 2004 Coverage
To save me time, I am using a "newspaper" format again this year (i.e. most of the articles on one page). This section will be updated every hour, so be sure to hit your browser refresh button to get the latest serving of PlayStation 2 E3 goodness.
Friday May 14, 2004 (Day 3)
Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal E3 Movie (4:45 P.M.)
Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal gameplay movie straight from Sony. Left click on the link to download.
Killzone E3 Movie (4:37 P.M.)
Killzone gameplay movie straight from Sony. Left click on the link to download.
Gran Turismo 4 E3 Movie (4:25 P.M.)
Gameplay movie that Sony released 2 days ago. Left click on the link to download.
The Getaway: Black Monday E3 Movie (4:16 P.M.)
Nice gameplay movie from Sony's Getaway sequel. Left click on the link to download.
New Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow Screenshots (3:50 P.M.)
The PS2 version of Pandora Tomorrow is still on track for a July release date and it will still have online multiplayer. And for you Splinter Cell newbies, the black and white images are night vision shots.
Headhunter Redemption E3 Trailer (3:31 P.M.)
Brief trailer from Headhunter Redemption. Sorry about the QuickTime format. That's the way Sega created it. Left click on the link to download.
New X-Men Legends Screenshots (3:00 P.M.)
New images from Activision's upcoming action RPG.
Thursday May 13, 2004 (Day 2)
New Gran Turismo 4 Screenshots (5:28 P.M.)
Over a dozen new GT4 images. Expect an updated preview of this game soon.
New The Getaway: Black Monday Screenshots (4:50 P.M.)
Four new images. Expect a preview of this game soon.
New Ace Combat 5 Screenshots (3:54 P.M.)
Even more images have been added to our Ace Combat 5 gallery.
New Xenosaga: Episode II Screenshots (3:25 P.M.)
New Burnout 3 Screenshots (1:32 P.M.)
Couple new images from the latest Burnout game.
New Prince of Persia 2 Screenshots (12:50 P.M.)
Ubisoft released new Prince of Persia 2 screenshots yesterday. The game should be out in time for Christmas 2004.
Wednesday May 12, 2004 (Day 1)
New Dead to Rights II Screenshots (4:40 P.M.)
Dead to Rights II is coming late 2004.
New Tekken 5 Screenshots (4:06 P.M.)
Tekken 5 is on the way. Ten new screenshots.
New ATV Offroad Fury 3 Screenshots (3:40 P.M.)
Five new images. For complete gameplay information on ATV Offroad Fury 3, please check out yesterday's coverage by scrolling down the page:
New Kingdom Hearts II Screenshots (3:30 P.M.)
Sora and the gang are back.
New Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater Screenshots (3:00 P.M.)
A batch of new images from the show have been posted. Expect an updated preview soon.
New Jak 3 Screenshots (2:30 P.M.)
A couple new Jak 3 images:
Related Media: Jak 3 Intro Movie
New Time Crisis: Crisis Zone Screenshots (9:45 A.M.)
Coming Fall 2004. We'll have more info for Time Crisis: Crisis Zone either today or tomorrow.
First Look: Devil May Cry 3 Screenshots (9:20 A.M.)
Devil May Cry 3 is coming late 2004. No info yet.
EA to provide several PSP launch titles (8:40 A.M.)
Electronic Arts announced yesterday that it will provide four of the PSP's launch titles. Those four games are NBA Street, NFL Street, Need for Speed Underground and Tiger Woods PGA TOUR Golf. Each game will be customized and optimized for Sony's handheld device. EA also plans to release an additional 10 to 12 titles for the PSP within the first year of launch.
"Four years ago, when Sony launched the PlayStation 2, EA was there at the forefront of the software world, delivering state-of-the-art games right out of the gate. We plan to do the same with the PSP," said Don Mattrick, President of EA Worldwide Studios. "The last hardware cycle taught us how crucial it is that the software line-up at launch be outstanding and how deep an impact the games have on the entire lifespan of the system. We plan to kick off the PSP launch with a bang!"
Sega confirms content for PSP (8:00 A.M.)
SEGA Corporation confirmed its plans yesterday to develop for the PlayStation Portable (PSP). Sega titles currently under-development for Sony's handheld are Puyo Pop Fever and a completely new game called Project S (working title).
"I am excited to announce SEGA’s initial software plans for the new PSP platform which offers truly high performance and efficient graphics display and incredible sound quality," said Yuji Naka, SEGA's executive managing director and general manager of Development Head Office. "Given its technical strengths, SEGA regards PSP as a handheld video game system with great potential. We are presently developing Puyo Pop Fever and Project S (temporary title), and we will propose a new style of gaming and entertainment that maximizes the features unique to PSP, such as network communication battle via wireless LAN and the 'face-to-face' system that utilizes the 16:9 widescreen TFT LCD. Please look forward to future SEGA's titles."
Solid Snake to appear on PSP (7:40 A.M.)
Konami revealed a new Metal Gear game for the PSP yesterday, dubbed Metal Gear Acid. Aside for a couple of impressive screenshots, no specific gameplay or story info were mentioned.
Rockstar releases first official Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Screenshots (6:45 A.M.)
Rockstar Games sent us some Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Screenshots:
PSP finds strong developer support (6:30 A.M.)
Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. announced yesterday that nearly a hundred third party game developers and publishers from around the world have expressed their support for the Sony PSP. According to the company, 34 Japanese software developers and publishers, such as Konami, Namco, Square Enix, and Sega, have shown interest in the PSP. Europe comes in second with 31 companies joining the PSP bandwagon, along with 24 in North America and 10 in South Korea. American publishers include Sony Computer Entertainment America and EA Games.
Companies in the music and movie industries are also considering publishing content on Sony's upcoming handheld device. The PSP is scheduled to be launched in Japan in the end of 2004, followed by a North American and European release in spring 2005.
Sony reveals official PSP design and specs (5:30 A.M.)
Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. announced the official specifications for the PlayStation Portable (PSP) yesterday. The PSP's primary color will be black (additional colors will eventually be available) and its dimensions are 170mm x 74mm x 23mm, which allows the device to offer a 4.3 inch 16:9 widescreen TFT LCD. This screen is capable of displaying 16.77 million colors and a high-resolution of 480 x 272 pixels.
As for the audio, there will also be built-in stereo speakers and a headphone/microphone jack. Other basic features include volume and brightness controls, sound mode selection, parental controls, an analog pad, and a built-in lithium-ion battery that can provide more power than standard AA batteries.
The PSP will support USB 2.0, which, for example, enables users to attach a USB camera or USB keyboard, or connect it to the users' PC or PlayStation 2. In addition, the device will make use of 802.11b (Wi-Fi) wireless LAN so that people can connect to his or her own home network, or to networks at airports, internet cafes, restaurants, malls, and more.
Once connected to a network, you can play an online game of Gran Turismo 4 (assuming the PSP version of GT4 can go online) with a friend on the other side of the country or on the same network as you -- or download data or software to a Sony Memory Stick PRO Duo. To help conserve battery energy, a Wireless LAN On/Off switch will be available.
PSP games and movies will ship to stores on small but high-capacity Universal Media Discs (UMD) that can hold 1.8GB of data. Much like DVDs, these dics will have regional coding, so you can't play them from other territories.
The Sony PSP is scheduled to be launched in Japan in the end of 2004, followed by a North American and European release in spring 2005.
We got official PSP screenshots from Sony yesterday. Click on the images for a closer look.
Tuesday May 11, 2004 (Pre-E3 News)
SCEA announces The Getaway: Black Monday (10:15 P.M.)
Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. announced today the winter 2004 release of The Getaway: Black Monday , the highly anticipated sequel to the worldwide best seller and “Greatest Hits” title, The Getaway. Developed by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe’s Team Soho, The Getaway: Black Monday fuses gaming and cinematic storytelling into one medium, providing players with a one-of-a-kind interactive entertainment experience. Team Soho used more than 25 square miles of London with 17 new locations for the sequel, including portions of the “Underground” subway to give The Getaway: Black Monday a truly authentic look at the London gangs and crime scene in an engrossing gangland thriller.
Giving gamers a refined and enriched gameplay experience for the sequel, The Getaway: Black Monday offers more responsive driving and on-foot controls, huge variety in mission types with free roaming gameplay, and three new playable characters, Eddie, Mitch and Sam, with their own skills, attitude and motivations. The Getaway: Black Monday is a single story with two halves, shown from three unique perspectives, interwoven by a chain of events and twists that culminate in an explosive showdown with London’s new gangland boss . Gamers will piece together parts of the story from these different perspectives while making critical decisions that influence the final outcome of the game.
“Team Soho has reached new heights in The Getaway: Black Monday with its unique cinematic narrative and realistic portrayal of London ,” said Ami Blaire, director, product marketing, Sony Computer Entertainment America . “Building on the success of the critically acclaimed original, The Getaway: Black Monday gives players the ambiance and realism of film combined with the excitement of action and driving gameplay that plunges deeper into the seedy back alleys and crime circles of London.”
The Getaway: Black Monday boasts a cast of more than 20 actors who were motion-captured as they acted out scenes that delve into organized crime rings in London. Those scenes were then transferred into dramatic digital cinematic cut-scenes and interspersed throughout the gameplay for an authentic movie feel.
“With The Getaway: Black Monday, we are pushing the concept of cinematic gameplay to new heights through blending a compelling sophisticated narrative with an unprecedented depth and quality of gameplay into a single, consistent piece of entertainment,” said Naresh Hirani, game director, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. “The Getaway: Black Monday represents a significant milestone in the path toward a fully dynamic game experience by offering the ability for players to shape and control their destiny. Players will no longer be a slave to the narrative.”
The Getaway: Black Monday leaves it up to the player to decide how to play and how the story ends, from choosing how to complete missions, to deciding whether to drive or run to the next real London location. Three playable characters provide a variety of gameplay options and scenarios where interior, exterior and narrative sequences blend together seamlessly in one continuous experience. While watching the events unfold and intertwine, players experience versatility in missions, as each character has his or her own agenda, strengths, and resources. The Getaway: Black Monday further blurs the line between movies and videogames, with its thrilling storyline, intriguing characters, cinematic cut-scenes and intense orchestral score.
SCEA announces ATV Offroad Fury 3 (10:05 P.M.)
Sony Computer Entertainment America announced today the November release of ATV Offroad Fury 3 available exclusively for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system. Developed by Climax Group Inc., ATV Offroad Fury 3 is the third installment in the multi-million selling racing franchise that provides intense, free-roaming offroad racing gameplay, packed with additional courses, larger environments, extra modes, mini-games, more ATVs, online gameplay via the Network Adaptor (Ethernet/Modem) (for PlayStation® 2), and future support for the internal Hard Disk Drive (40GB)(for PlayStation 2).
Through both on and offline gameplay, players will be able to tear it up anywhere and blaze their own trail, choosing from more than 24 highly detailed ATVs – including six competing ATVs in all single player and multi-player modes that offer varied gameplay.
With visually stunning backgrounds featuring water and mud effects and fully interactive objects and instances such as ramps, tires, cones and trees, ATV Offroad Fury 3 will include a new short track, one-day events and Olympic championships.
“In ATV Offroad Fury 3, we take advantage of the highly successful gameplay of the franchise to present an even more, in-depth racing experience with all new features and enhancements that will whet every racing fan’s appetite,” said Ami Blaire, director, product marketing, Sony Computer Entertainment America. “From online racing to new tracks, ATVs and mini-games mixed with the ability to pull off crazy stunts and tricks in stunning environments, what other alternative is there to the real thing?!”
Playable from both first- and third-person perspectives, ATV Offroad Fury 3 features two main modes of play containing race, freestyle, career, mini-games and multi-player games. Other modes will include a training course and waypoint editor. In ATV Offroad Fury 3, players will have the ability to race in more than 30 unique environments with six distinct terrain types including snow, dirt, mud, ice, water and grass, as well as compete in eight exciting mini-games including King of the Hill, Treasure Hunt, Tag, Hockey, Soccer, Basketball and Pre-load – to play in all multi-player modes.
Supporting up to six players online with voice-chat capabilities via the USB headset (for PlayStation 2) , ATV Offroad Fury 3, includes a new comprehensive online scoreboard system that records event data for players and clans within all race types.
ATV Offroad Fury 3 will include a new Garage mode that will store the player’s complete progression and unlocked data, including vehicles, component parts and rider liveries. Players will also be able to utilize 20 customizable component parts for both the rider and the bike, along with color designs and logos to place on panels and rider liveries – showing rider experience in events. In addition, the new vehicle tuning system will allow players to change tire types and gear ratios
SCEA press conference details (9:50 P.M.)
Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. announced today details from the presentation given this morning by Kaz Hirai, president and chief executive officer, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc., at the 2004 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles. The presentation highlighted the announcements being made by the company and focused in particular on new dimensions of the PlayStation business. Hirai provided a glimpse into the past and future evolution of the business while also providing details about the company’s long-term online gaming plans and the newest member of the PlayStation family of products, PlayStation Portable (PSP).
“It’s hard to believe 10 years have gone by since the first E3; our history as a company parallels the first show in 1995, as it was there that the original PlayStation debuted,” Hirai said. “Since then, Sony Computer Entertainment America has led the industry in all aspects of interactive entertainment, and our continued innovation — evolving our business through new dimensions — will drive this industry forward for many years to come.”
Hirai discussed the importance of sustaining platforms lifecycles, showing how the 10-year plan for PlayStation has forever altered expectations for platform longevity, and outlining the company’s plans to make that lifecycle a reality for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. The company’s smart platform management has furthered the financial health and stability of the interactive entertainment business. In fact, the PlayStation 2 adoption rate in just its third year is already 38 percent ahead of the original PlayStation for the same time period. Additionally, the company anticipates more than 60 percent of PlayStation 2 software sales are still to come, which provides a healthy outlook for all its business partners.
The company’s successful creation of the casual gamer market — while still cultivating the core user base — will additionally fuel the success of the company’s 10-year plan as it delivers innovation to match consumer trends and expand the audience base, Hirai said. The new PlayStation 2 price of just $149 along with the bevy of new content also announced at E3 will entice new and existing consumers. Additionally, the company’s continuing focus on investing in future technologies and new franchise development has been and will be critical to success.
Sony Computer Entertainment America is also extending its reach online, games without boundaries. Online gaming, Hirai said, is the new reality TV; both genres are top draws for the 18-34 year-old demographic and both provide what today’s consumers seek, in particular competition, camaraderie and unscripted experiences where participants control their own destinies and ultimately, the outcome. In both genres, persistent worlds continue even when the camera or action stops, success is sometimes based on alliances with other players, participants’ true personas come front and center, and the end result is based on the defeat of the enemy.
The company also outlined plans for a business model for online gaming with a focus on a mini-transactions system that gives consumers the right to decide what they want to pay for and how much they want to spend — a model similar to that which has proven profitable for online music distribution.
At E3, the company also announced and showcased its new lineup of online titles, including Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal; the new titles bring the number of online offerings available for PlayStation 2 by the end of the year to 100, continuing to build on the company’s leadership in its vast library of software offerings.
Further enhancing the company’s strong platform strategies, Hirai said, is Sony Computer Entertainment’s official worldwide debut of its new handheld videogame system, scheduled to launch in Japan at the end of 2004 with North American and European launches following in the spring of 2005. PSP features 3-D CG games incorporating high-quality, full-motion video giving consumers an experience similar to PlayStation 2 – anytime, anywhere.
SCEA announces PlayStation 2 price drop (9:45 P.M.)
Sony Computer Entertainment America announced today that effective immediately, the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system and the PlayStation 2 Combo Pack are now being sold for a suggested retail price of $149. The PlayStation 2 Combo Pack includes a Sony Network Adaptor (Ethernet/modem) (for PlayStation 2) and a copy of ATV Offroad Fury 2, which is an online enabled game. Both items are sold seperately for $40 each.
"The new $149 price point is part of our long-term vision for the PlayStation 2 platform. The consumer appetite for our system has been staggering - over 90% of our original PlayStation sales came at $149 or less, and given our current 25 million installed base, the potential growth for PlayStation 2 is promising," said Jack Tretton, executive vice president, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "As market leader, we remain focused on making the PlayStation 2 experience the best entertainment value in the gaming category, and we will continue to break all industry expectations by providing solutions that expand our consumer base and grow the category as a whole."
© Copyright 2004 PlayStation Pro 2.0