Get all the news live from Cologne with Neon and James.
Neon and James team up to bring you all the announcements from Sony's gamescom 2011 press conference. Expect big things from the PS3 and PlayStation Vita.
Sony is expected to reveal details on the Vita's European launch, including price and release date. There's also a suggestion that the company will announce a price cut to the PS3. Hear all the news here, live.
Okay, here we go:ten minutes till Sony kicks off its gamescom conference for 2011. I'm here with James "The Hitman" Orry, and boy are we excited.
Are you excited, James? "I'm very excited, yeah. It's my first platform-holder conference." Oooh, you never forget the first time, do you?
This year Sony has decided to hold its conference within the ancient ruins of a Knights Templar cathedral- a location that strongly points to collusion with The Illuminati.
Okay, so I might be a bit paranoid after a week or so playing Deus Ex, and that last description wasn't 100% accurate, but this place is dead swanky I tell thee.
And no, to answer FantasyMeister's question: I don't think everyone in the audience is going to get a free Vita. Sadly. Although they did give beer and water, which will arguably do a similar job in winning over the assembled members of the gaming press.
We should be starting in a minute, thankfully. There's only so much uplifting house an audience can take, even here in Germany. Seriously, they love it...
At this point i'd usually muse about what we want from the show, but history has shown that i'm invariably wrong. Ah well. What would you guys like Sony to announce?
Memo to self: if we do get given a free Vita,remember to "lose" it on the way back to the UK.
Mind you, i'd probably lose the damn thing for real. I have a track record for similar calamity.
I agree with Dudester. Something - anything at all - from Quantic Dream would be amazing. We know David Cage is working on something. Can't we have a little snifter of something? A vague hint, even?
It's not out of the realms of possibility. Resistance 3 was announced at this show last year. Still, there seems to be a prevailing attitude here that Sony won't be making any big announcements. Let's hope we're proved wrong.
@FantasyMeister: I reckon Wip3out is likely to get shown, Gran Turismo less so. Not sure about the others though. Uncharted 3 seems a shoe-in. @Tom Don't be scared. It'll be okay.
Was that Margaret Thatcher that just did the announcement?! Apparently we're to be delayed by 10 minutes. No surprise there. The crowd groaned, if it's any consol(e)ation.
Greetings to anyone who's come here via hotukdeals. Not exactly sure who linked you here. We can't offer you any cheap TVs or discount DVDs, but we can deliver incisive, witty commentary on Sony's announcements. Or crap jokes, typed badly in the dark. One or the other.
There's Thatcher again, telling us all to take our seats. WE'RE ALREADY SITTING, MAGGIE!
Apologies to whoever it is who's actually doing the announcements. I'd hate to be compared to Thatcher, and i'm sure you don't deserve that.
Random information: at a guess roughly 20 percent of the audience is wearing a check shirt. They're massive among gaming hacks, for some reason.
Right, we're off. Finally.
Trailer: montage of lots of stuff, including Uncharted, AssCreed and Flower. Also, resistance 3 and arkham city. Not much to report on yet, it's just a build-up trailer.
Vita is going to feature heavily, from the looks of things. No surprise ther.
Here comes Andrew House, CEO of SCEE...
'What's now, what's new, and what's next'. Hint at new annoucnents?
COnnected devices are the key to our future, says house. Given PSN-gate earlier in the year, I hope that key comes with a lock.
House is still doing the "we're awesome, and our plans are awesome" bit of the conference. He's emphasising consumer choice right now.
House is talking shifts within Sony... he's about to announce comes the new President and CEO of SCEE, Jim Ryan.
Jim Ryan has a deeper voice than Andrew House. Sounds more serious! He's talking Vita now, says the screen looks "stunning". Going through the feature set of the Vita, and it has to be said that it's very impressive.
He's explaining the 3G / WiFi SKU differences. "near" is a function that tells you what friends nearby are playing. "party" lets you chat and txtfriewnds. "livearea" provides news and lets youcomment on stories, and on friends' stories.You can also use Facebook,Skype and Twitter. Nice!
Also allows you to track and compare Vita and PS3 trophy wins.
Can also message users on PSN,and acess the PSN store, and browse the web. Very impressive indeed.
Will there be a monthly fee for all this? That's the question, surely.
It's a constantly connected experience,says Ryan. Certainly could out-trump the connectivity options on the 3DS, from the sounds of things. Co-op play in real time and buy gamesfrom the PS Store wherever you are.
On to games now. Here comes SCEE senior vice president Michael Denny.
Is it me, or does Michael Denny look a bit like a corporate version of The Fonz from Happy Days?
Four games to be shown today...
Resistance: Burning Skies,by nihilistic. New timeline for the series.Will show off the importance of dual sticks for portable games. Exciting.
Nihilistic has worked with Insomniac and author William C Deets. Story set before the first game. Hero wakesup on Ellis Island, but not the Ellis Island we know. People experiementing on Chimera tech.
Hero Tom Riley uses a fire axe, as he's a fireman. Looks like you can trigger this by hitting the touchscreen.
Touchscreen can also be used for altternate fire modes and for selecting weapon. The game also has an automated cover system that kicsks in when you crouch near an object. Can use sixaxis controls to lean around cover and shoot. SOunds interesting.
It's hard to guage the graphics, as we're watching a camera feed shot over someone's shoulder. They look decent, though the framerate looks to be less than 30 FPS.
The game will be playable later tonight, so we'll check it out for sure.
Next game uses touch functionality, apparently.
LittleBigPlanet. Video shows off the ability to take pictures using the vita's camera and to import objects (well, 2d versions at least) and textures into the game.
Play, create, share - anywhere. That's the message. Should go down well with people who regularly make LBP stuff.
Next game is Reality Fighters - a title that uses front and rear cameras to provide gameplay elements. Made by the creators of Invisimals on PSP.
Augmented reality lets you fight as anyone, anywhere. SOunds gimmicky to me, but we're about to see Jim Ryan take on Andrew House.
Camera is at a weird elevated angle, looking down on the action - presumeably so that you can see the background. In this case, the backdrop is the audience in here.
Well, that's over. The room seems thoroughly unimpressed, despite the best efforts taken to make the fight seem like a big deal. Andrew House won, if you're bothered...
Next game looks far better. Escape Plan. Strange black-and-white figures with skull-like faces. laarg and lil - the former is big hulking hting, the latter is tiny.
This looks really good - a puzzle platformer with a dark sense of humour and a Tim Burton art style. Recalls Limbo, but far less shadowy, and with a sense of humour.
Annoucnement from Ubi: six titles to come from them, including a brand new Assassin's Creed game;it's not a port.
FIFA will also be coming in early 2012.
The PSP is also on the rebound, says Ryan. A NEW MODEL?!
That surprised the crowd. A new PSP for 99 euros! An unexpected move, that.
Confusion on whether the new model will have wifi.I thought he said "with Wifi", James thought he said "without"
Apparently it's without wifi.
Not sure what to make of that, tbh. No time to think, though, as we're looking at Move stuff now. Apparently FIFA 13 will feature full Move functionality. Muttering from the crowd, like a bunch of old people.
Oh lordy, now it seems we're going to see a fitness game. "Move Fitness" Why didn't they just call it "Move Your Lazy Arse" ?
Jump up and down with a Move controllerin either hand, and watch the pounds fall off.
Alternatively, stop eating pies.
After UFC Trainer, i'm only interested in fitness titles that have fighting in them. This has over 25 exercises on offer, though.
Now we're talking PS3 and Move. Resistance 3 will support Move, and little big planet is getting a move pack too.
One last move title... DanceStar Party. Wait, don't leave yet! This is made by the folks who did Singstar.
40 songs and artist videos (the original videos) plus the ability to make your own dances in some kind of studio mode.
Presumeably your new dances must involve hand movements. No Riverdance style prancing now...
We're getting a live demo now. The dancers are wearing uniforms that suggest ninja turtles mixed with security guards via Dead Space's skeletal suit thing.
I'd quite like to see a core title now, please. How about you?
"GAME OVER!" says the music sample, and it is. Thankfully. Huge cheers from the crowd, because the dancers were kids. Aw, bless.
I feel bad for being mean to the kids now. Their dancing wasquite good, you know.
Here comes Resistance 3... Denny is talking about Oli Moss,who did the rather snazzy cover art.
New trailer is inspired by that pack art. Very coolit is too, stylish red, black and white animation, typified by propaganda-style sihilouettes.
Cool little atmosphere-builder, though it doesn't really tell us much about the game. Three weeks till release now.
One new addition to the PS3 lineup...
It's from Sucker Punch.
Infamous 2: Festival of Blood. COming October 2011. Curiously muted response from the crowd. It'sa brand new download game in which vampires attack New Marais. Cole gets bitten, and has one night to track down and kill the head vampire. Weird. No doubt inspired by Red Dead's spinoff.
Uncharted 3 no (finally!). Let's hope we get a nice long demo...
Nate and Elena infiltrating an airstrip somewhere.
Emotional scene between thw two lovers as they part ways. Uncharted's digital storytelling as cinematic and impressive as ever.
Just as nare is about to sneak aboard aplane, a gate comes crashing down in front of hin. He's been spotted. Flying takedown shown as Nate runs and jumps onto a foe...
He's running after the plane now... never going to catch it! But here comes elena in a jeep... looks like the player remains in controlat this point, which is cool. Nate calls instructions to elena, helping her line the car up with the front wheels of the plane.
He's aboard now, climbing through a vent in the hold of the plane. A massive bloke spots him, grabs him and hauls him out of the hole.They start grappling, the thug beating nate against a wall.
The fight moves onto the cargo ramp of the plane, which was opened by the thug.
Full player control at all times, as nate batters the thug and then scampers up the ramp as cargo objects come sliding towards him. Awesome stuff.
Looks like the setpiece ends with a big nod to bond film The Living Daylights. All very appetising, very slick indeed.It's coming November 2,dontcha know.
Sony is now showing off its 3d display, built with 3d gaming in mind. Comes with 2 pairs of specs and costs 499 euros. crowd gasps at the price.
And here comes the expected PS3 price cut. 249 euros from today, 249 dollars, 24,980 yen. No word on UK price.
And that's a wrap. No massive surprises, bar the new budget PSP. And given everything Sony has just shown of the Vita, I'm not sure that'll be a big deal for most of us.
Still, the Vita looks good, doesn't it? None of the games really grab me yet, though Escape Plan looks like it could be pretty cool. I'm seeing it this week, so we'll get impressions up.
What did james think? "nothing spectacular. A price cut everyone expected".
That's it from us, then. Goodnight, thanks for joining us, and stay tuned for our impressions of SOny's games - and of everyone else's - throughout the week.