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Sony Press Conference Highlights

Sony Press Conference Highlights

Platform: PS3
Category: General Information

Sony continued the festivities at E3, 2012 with its attempt to outshine Microsoft with a new lineup of amazing titles and innovations. Microsoft was a tough act to follow, but Sony’s response to gamers’ pleas for something spectacular was undeniable.

Sony began by showcasing its newest, and most graphically-pristine, title, Beyond: Two Souls. This title, starring the award-winning actress, Ellen Page, is the baby of Quantic Dream, the creators of Heavy Rain. Heavy Rain was a story-driven title that treated gamers to impressive graphics and manipulative characters. Beyond: Two Souls looks no different, aside from the fact that it looks even more astounding.

Actual gameplay contained within Beyond: Two Souls was withheld from the audience, but what was shown seemed to hint at a similar style. There was a lot of action, a lot of angst, and a lot of emotion thrown around within the preview. The current enigma surrounding Beyond: Two Souls makes it difficult to nail down an exact theme. However, it appears as though Ellen Page’s character in Beyond: Two Souls maintains some ability, whether intentional or not, to communicate with the paranormal. This ability makes for some resounding action, including an explosion, a telekinetic phenomenon, and one harried chase from beginning to end.

I look forward to hearing more from Beyond: Two Souls as additional details are released. For now, gamers must be content to simply draw from the marrow of information, slight as it may be, revealed about Beyond: Two Souls. In my opinion, the short preview of Beyond: Two Souls was more than enough to get gamers excited about what Quantic Dream is planning.

Sony’s press conference continued with an innovative way to read books. Because E3 is primarily a video game conference, this seemed like an odd move on Sony’s part. Nonetheless, it was the combination the creative team behind Playstation Move and the impeccable mind of author, J.K. Rowling that made this innovation truly unique. The innovation in question is Sony’s new project, The Book of Spells.

The Book of Spells utilizes the movement mechanics of Playstation Move alongside a camera and tablet-like book to deliver its experience. As I watched, a woman sat Indian-style on the ground, placed the book on her lap, and picked up the Playstation Move controller with her free hand. As the camera zoomed in on her, the picture I got was completely different than what I witnessed on stage. Three dimensional graphics suddenly sprang from the book and her controller was magically transformed into a wand reminiscent of the Harry Potter universe.

As the presentation continued, I was delighted to see that the woman’s actions propelled the story and changed the outcome of The Book of Spells. She gracefully swept her wand around the book and was rewarded with fire erupting from the tip of her wand, igniting the pages of her book and opening the path to the next chapter/scene.

This is obviously the next step in storytelling. Children, or parents for that matter, who want to forgo the traditional book to experience something more visually astounding will not have to wait long. Storytelling and books have officially entered the digital age, and Sony and J.K. Rowling are leading the charge.

These were the highlights of Sony’s press conference, at least for me. There were several other new additions to the Playstation and Playstation Vita shown, including the new God of War installment, but none that matched the creativity of the two aforementioned titles. There was no Playstation 4 reveal, but Sony is not in a hurry to rush the new generation console for which gamers are so impatient. It may surface during next year’s E3, or perhaps the E3 after that. For now, gamers should be content with experiencing the entire scope of what Sony is bringing to the year 2012.


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