June 6, 2011 at 9:41 PM ET
During a press conference on Monday, Sony set out to prove to gamers and the entire game industry that it was back on sure footing after the massive hacking breach that took the PlayStation Network and other Sony services down and left the personal information of millions of gamers exposed.
The press conference, held in the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, started off with a glitzy 3D video extravaganza splashed across seven screens, highlighting titles like “Uncharted 3” as well as Sony's Move motion control device and the company’s forthcoming handheld game machine now officially called PlayStation Vita.
Then Jack Tretton, CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America, took to the stage to apologize to publishers, retailers and gamers and to thank them for their support.
“This is the first opportunity for me to personally address everybody and discuss it a little bit,” he said.
“To our third-party publishing partners, you have been with us for over 15 years and I know the outage was costly,” he said. “But what has been inspiring is your support and offers to help get things back up to speed.”
But it was gamers he said he most wanted to address.
“You are the lifeblood of the company. Without you there is no PlayStation,” he said. “I want to apologize both personally and on behalf of the company. I know we took you away from what you enjoy doing most…”
He acknowledged that Sony may have lost some longtime gamers because of the PlayStation Network breach and the controversy over how the company handled it.
“For those of you who left the PlayStation brand or have never been with us, we hope the next 90 minutes will convince you why the PlayStation brand is stronger than ever.”
With that, he called Naughty Dog executives to the stage. They gave a live demo of the highly anticipated “Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception” and also brought out a rollicking, action-and-emotion-packed 3D trailer for the game.
That was followed with a 3D live demo of the shooter “Resistance 3.”
Tretton spent a good bit of time talking up and showing off games that support 3D. But he acknowledged that price is still a problem. And so he announced two new peripherals — a 24-inch PlayStation branded HD 3D display as well as a set of active 3D glasses, both priced significantly lower than the usual 3D glasses and displays.
The glasses will run $70 alone. And gamers will be able to buy the monitor packaged with the glasses as well as "Resistance 3" for $499.
“They will lower the price barrier and drive 3D adoption," Tretton said of the forthcoming devices.
Beyond 3D, Sony spent a good bit of time showing support for their Move motion control gadget and showing off the games that will make use of it next.
They revealed action/adventure game "Medieval Moves: Deadmund’s Quest" which has players swinging a Move controller to fight off monsters with a virtual sword as well as bow and arrow. And Sony announced that the PlayStation 3 version of the forthcoming "Star Trek" game (set in the universe created by the J.J. Abrams film) will be fully Move compatible.
Meanwhile, in a surprise appearance, Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers arrived on stage to demonstrate how 2K Games is putting the PlayStation Move motion-control peripheral to use in the forthcoming "NBA 2K12" game.
With the device in hand, Bryant played some virtual hoops in front of the audience and exchanged competitive jabs with 2K representatives.
“All joking aside, this is so realistic it’s frightening,” he quipped.
In another surprise move, Ken Levine of Irrational Games arrived on stage to tell the audience that he and his fellow developers have decided to make the forthcoming "BioShock Infinite" game one that's PlayStation Move-enabled — this despite his initial aversion to the device. And Levine further threw support Sony's way by announcing his company will be bringing a game set in the BioShock universe to the PlayStation Vita.
(For more about Sony's PlayStation Vita revelations, check out my story here.)
If all of the game demos, trailers and Vita announcements were not enough to distract gamers and skeptics from the recent hacking news, Sony spent the later portion of its press event filling the sports arena with pumping music from DJ Mix Master Mike and three stages filled with break dancers and ballerinas. The dancers strutted their stuff as audience members made their way around to some 120 stations where they could actually get their hands on the games discussed earlier in the press conference.
Tretton returned to the stage a short time later to introduce surprise guest band Jane's Addiction. Yes, that Jane's Addiction. While even Perry Farrell belting out "Stop!" can't make gamers forget the PlayStation Network mess, the crowd seemed to enjoy watching him try.
For more E3 coverage, see: