Sony at E3: can it dominate?

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E3 is just a few weeks away, taking place in sunny Los Angeles, California and holding three days’ worth of gaming geekiness for everyone who attends.  Taking front and center at the event this year is Sony Computer Entertainment of America, who, despite coming off a big loss from the previous year of game sales, isn’t going down anytime soon.  In fact, the company has a surprisingly large push heading into the next few months, between third-party titles that have a great deal of strength behind them and first-party releases that should be instant sellers as well.  So can they dominate E3?

So far, the answer is a resounding yes.  The competition has a few troubles that they need to overcome right off the bat.  Nintendo, despite introducing alluring new technology with the Wii U system, doesn’t have a price point or release date for it, putting some questionable doubt into the faith the company has for it… though it will reveal plenty of new games.  Meanwhile, Microsoft, considered to be Sony’s biggest competitor, is taking more of an “entertainment” approach at its press conference, sure to introduce new services for its Xbox 360 console and putting games in the back seat… save for a little sequel called Halo 4.

That gives Sony the room it needs to truly dominate on the software front, and something tells me that it will.  Last year seemed to be about focusing on the gimmicky PlayStation Move support, and while several games this year will still feature that, it’ll be more about the “hardcore” gaming experience from the company’s standpoint.

Let’s take a look at some of the games.  The Last of Us, the latest game from Naughty Dog, is already highly anticipated, thanks to that development team’s well-earned stature with the Uncharted games.  The recently announced God of War: Ascension also looks fantastic, and players everywhere will be able to try out the multiplayer for the first time, seeing what it’s all about (or at least getting a better description).  Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time is looking like a quality sequel.  Ratchet and Clank HD Collection should get a huge push as well, especially with the recently announced Ratchet Deadlocked HD port that’s coming with it as a download.  PlayStation All Stars Battle Royale, which was recently announced at a press event, should also get huge attention, as players everywhere get together and beat each other senseless.  LittleBigPlanet Karting should get some players, too, as well as a release date.

And that’s not all.  The Last Guardian, the highly anticipated next project from Team Ico, will finally get a release date (we’re guessing), as well as a great new trailer that shows the game is still headed somewhere spectacular.  You can also expect plenty of exclusive PSN announcements at the show, including The Binding of Isaac, a game that Sony has been pushing hardcore for over the past few days, and independent darlings like The Unfinished Swan and Dyad.  Don’t be surprised if they introduce a new development challenge as well, along with a possible giveaway and maybe even a channel.

But that’s not all.  Look for the company to make a huge push on the portable front, as well. It’ll reveal its new compact PSP system — one that’s sure to be a hit with the budget gamers.  For those who own a PS Vita (or are picking one up), you can expect several game announcements with that, including Killzone, Call of Duty and several other franchises.  Don’t be surprised if new HD collections are announced as well, including both God of War games.

It seems to be more of a software push, and you probably won’t see an announcement of PlayStation 4 anywhere at all.  Regardless, this is a damn impressive line-up of games and features, and it should help Sony push gamer frenzy into overdrive with an abundance of attention.  And if they can bring back Kevin Butler, you can consider it a landslide victory.  (Even if he brings out a Coke with him.)

Sony could easily win E3 simply by pushing its software, and not so much the “entertainment” side or unnecessary new hardware.  It’s going to be a great show with them, and we can’t wait to see what new stuff is up their sleeves.

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Robert Workman
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Games: God of War: Ascension

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