LOS ANGELES--At the company's E3 2012 press conference, Sony let a collection of exclusive software and features do all the talking. Spread across the PlayStation 3 and Vita platforms, there was certainly an impressive display of thrilling -- and most importantly exclusive games that are only available on Sony's machines.
Getting things started was David Cage, the head of developer Quantic Dream, the house behind the PS3 story-driven success, Heavy Rain. Cage announced Beyond: Two Souls, the next title in the genre-redefining resume of games his studio has produced. Adding some star power to Beyond is actress Ellen Page, who plays the lead character in the new title.
Ripping a page from the highly acclaimed Nintendo exclusive Super Smash Bros. comes PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale, a near carbon-copy in almost every way. Instead of a long list of playable characters from Nintendo franchises, Battle Royale lets players choose from Sony icons. Of course, not every character is exclusive to the Sony universe, as a teaser led us to believe a Big Daddy from the BioShock games will make an appearance as well.
Sony debuts PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale
God of War: Ascension made quite the impression at the Sony event, where Santa Monica Studios' Todd Pappy led a lengthy demo of the fourth home console game in the series. While most of the action here is more of the same, there doesn't seem to be another franchise out there that can capture the over-the-top brutal action present in God of War. Kratos wields a bevy of new capabilities -- including one that seems to enable him to rewind time -- against a imaginative collection of diverse enemies. Ascension is set to hit in March of 2013.
Finally, the crowd on hand was treated to a long look at The Last of Us, the latest creation from Uncharted developer Naughty Dog. It seems The Last of Us is Naughty Dog's chance to make an M-rated Uncharted game. Not only does it look and feel exactly like Uncharted, but the game's hero is Nathan Drake's identical twin. Amazingly enough, he too is played by the same voice actor, Nolan North. Judging from the demo, The Last of Us is the violent departure from the lighthearted Uncharted universe, complete with more blood and nasty language.
It's definitely worth noting that The Last Guardian was not mentioned in any capacity during the press conference, an unfortunate sign that the future of the highly anticipated game from the makers of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus is now officially in limbo.
Interestingly enough, Sony's premium online service PlayStation Plus got a shot in the arm. Later this week, members can download 12 free games as a move to regain momentum in what's been an otherwise lackluster component to the PlayStation Network. Speaking of the PS3's extra-curriculars, both Hulu Plus and Crackle will be joining the already packed roster of content providers.
On the Vita side of things, Sony made two significant announcements regarding the future of its games. The Vita will be getting its own Call of Duty game titled Black Ops: Declassified as well as an Assassin's Creed III spinoff called Liberation. The latter of the two will also be sold in a bundle on October 30 that will pack in the first availability of a white Vita.
Assassin's Creed III takes to the seas
The Vita will also welcome PSOne classics to the mobile platform like Tomb Raider, Jet Moto, and Final Fantasy VII. A generous amount of titles will also be getting cross-platform functionality including LittleBigPlanet 2 and the aforementioned PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale.
It seems Sony may have found a place to focus most of the energy behind PlayStation Move. Utilizing the unique camera-controller hybrid technology is Wonderbooks, an ambitious interactive storytelling initiative aimed at a younger audience. Highlighting the new direction is a new story from Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling entitled Book of Spells.
These Wonderbooks aren't necessarily games but instead superimposed dioramas and pop-up graphics that make use of the Move controller and allow the player to push the story along.
J.K. Rowling leads off Sony's Wonderbook series
Aside from PlayStation 3 and Vita news, Sony devoted some time to the new PlayStation Suite rebranding, now known as PlayStation Mobile. Bringing PlayStation Certified games to smartphones remains a priority to the company and the first non-Sony partner to help deliver that reality will be device manufacturer HTC.
All in all, Sony was able to deliver a convincing press conference that placed a lot of emphasis on the great exclusive experiences to be had with PlayStation 3 and Vita. The company's strong relationships with top-notch developers is really paying dividends late in the console's life cycle.