Home Editorial The End of the Tunnel: Sony’s E3 press conference

Jack Tretton

Jack Tretton can't wait to hold your money in his hands.

E3 has been over for several weeks now, but I am still here, in the room. I haven’t written about the Sony press conference yet because in the time since my last article I have been digging. I somehow deluded myself into believing that WiNGSPANTT wouldn’t notice if I dug a tunnel to the surface, and he let me believe it. I was almost done, almost free, but he had been watching, and he came to stop me just before I finally got out. He chuckled when I pleaded with him that everyone had already seen or read about the press conference elsewhere by now. It didn’t matter to him.

“They want to read what you have to say,” is what he said. It was mockery, though.

I sometimes doubt if there is even a real blog that my writings are being posted on. Maybe it’s all just a trick, maybe even my indirect contact with the outside world is an illusion.He tells me that I’ll learn to love all of the terrible things he shows me, the endless games deriving one another’s worst features. I don’t know whether or not he really believes it or if it’s just some cruel joke.

But maybe he can be kind. He did let me believe that I was escaping. Before and after the dig, I was in the same despair. But during the dig, I had hope. Even a false hope is better than inexorable despair. I am going to write about the press conference now…

Uncharted lands of boredom

  • Dubstep plays while no one in the audience is awestruck by close-up shots of the PS3, PS Vita and PS Move devices. There are swooshy sounds and blue swoopy things.
  • The beat picks up and footage from all my least favorite games plays in montage form.
  • Now it’s the Vita again, with more swooshy sounds and swoopy things. It’s going to be a long rest of my life.
  • A shot of the audience- they are all wearing 3D glasses. God.
  • The montage ends four and a half minutes into the YouTube video.
  • Jack Tretton, Big Important Guy, comes on stage and compliments the crowd on its size. He also welcomes those watching at home. This is when it hits me: this place is my home now.
  • He addresses the PSN outage by thanking everyone. You’re welcome, Jack.
  • “I know we took you away from what you enjoy most (…) gaming.” Heh heh.
  • I skip the rest of Jack’s speech. He’s talking about media partners. I look over my shoulder. I think this is okay.
  • The co-presidents of Naughty Dog to talk about Uncharted. He talks about how great he is. Gameplay footage!
  • Drake is on a ship, and it’s stormy. Is control actually seizing up so that Drake can make these “woah the boat sure is rocky” animations, or is the player just stopping moving to make it look like that’s happening? Why would Naughty Dog want to make it look like that’s happening? What the fuck– okay, yeah, now he’s sneaked up on the guard who is clearly just there to get sneaked up on.
  • Every guard in this room was facing away from the main entrance. When does the player get to have some input into the videogame?
  • It is definitely freezing the controls periodically for the balancing animations. Jesus shit.
  • Some platforming occurs. I will spare you the details, just like the game spares you the effort of doing much of anything.
  • Drake does cool stuff! …In a cutscene. Then it goes back to gameplay and the fire button is tapped several times while an enemy is pointed at.
  • This game has a ‘leap over cover’ move, except it seems to actually plant your feet on top of wider cover so that you can run off of it in a half-aborted animation. Cool stuff.
  • I am done writing about Uncharted now! I refuse to address the cutscenes or the escape sequence of ilusionary pressure. I refuse.
  • Wow, this is going pretty quick!
  • Jack comes back on stage and says these exact words: “Pretty amazing guys, we are going to sell a few copies of that bad boy.” Did I ever mention how much I hate game industry executives who clearly have never played a videogame in their lives? They make their careers out of creating products that people will want to buy, but they can’t really do that since they have no idea what a good game is, so it seems like the succesful ones get along by brainwashing the masses until they buy into this movie-theater-reject schlock and these endless sequels for completely uninspired franchises– speaking of, Resistance 3.

Resistance is futile – don’t even try to Move

  • I paused the video for a little bit, and when I unpaused it, the Insomniac Games developer said “Everything is looking pretty bleak.” This makes for the first time I’ve ever agreed with a videogame spokesperson.
  • “I’m going to shut up now, and play the game. Put on your glasses.
  • This isn’t the third game in the Resistance series. This is the thousandth game in the Shooting and Running Plus Lots Of Pretend Danger series.
  • And the twentieth game in the New York City Is Under Attack series.
  • Good news, Stuff Is Happening On The Screen And You Happen To Be Holding A Controller MMLXI will be compatible with Playstation Move!
  • They are giving the old God of War games a graphical makeover and designing them for 3D. What-fucking-ever.
  • They are also making a TV set designed for the Playstation. It will let two people look at it and see different images, using the 3D glasses. An excellent alternative to splitscreen gaming, for the ultra-rich.
  • He said Playstation Move and I skipped a few seconds.
  • NBA 2K12.
  • “Last year we did the unthinkable, and put the greatest NBA player ever on the cover- Michael Jordan.” That’s unthinkable?
  • He’s playing it with the Move. I am listening, but not watching, as I type this. Would anyone really want to read what I have to say about NBA 2K12?
  • A famous basketball guy is on stage now. He sucks at the game, even though he has clearly rehearsed this. It’s scary real, he says.
  • This next thing is called Medieval Moves. You use the motion controls to perform in retarded combat and solve puzzles that are insulting to your intelligence!
  • Game developers seem to get into the business for one of two reasons: either they tried and failed to get into movies, or they want to make good games that people will like. Do you think anyone working on Medieval Moves is happy to be there?
  • Infamous 2: another game that has some cutscenes in it.
  • Looks like it also has giant monster bullet sponges, I mean bosses.
  • The people behind the pretty-solid-but-why-play-it-instead-of-Battlefield game Warhawk have a new game called Starhawk, this time in space. Curiously, this isn’t the first space sequel with ‘war’ substituted by ‘star.’
  • That is the only thing I have to say about Starhawk.
  • Good news, they are making a new Sly Cooper. From the look of things, it has cutscenes as well. Cutscenes that are not funny!

Dust off your PS3 for infinite disappointment

  • Urgh, CCP are here to talk about the FPS EVE Online spinoff. It’ll have Move support and a dedicated space in PS Home and you will be able to buy better equipment for real money and the assholes playing EVE will be able to orbital strike your entire battle if they feel like it, if the non-gameplay trailers are to be believed. What can I say about CCP? They are so much more depressing than funny. They have an impressive commitment to developing good ideas to a point where they are no fun at all.
  • “Everything is looking pretty bleak.” This is all I can think.
  • Bioshock is a series that many claim brings artistic legitimacy to the medium. Bioshock Infinite features an anime-eyed girl with water balloon cleavage. Do I hate art, or is it possible that something is wrong with the game?
  • It’s going to be a game where you put your center-screen crosshair over the bad guys and then click the mouse button.
  • Now Ken Levine comes onstage to backpedal on his negative opinion of Playstation Move so that someone in a suit will give him more money. Guess what, Bioshock Infinite is compatible with Playstation Move!
  • There will also be a Bioshock game for the– the what? The NGP? Oh, right, when this was being broadcast they hadn’t announced the Vita’s name yet.
  • How long did I spend digging that tunnel? I look at my hands. They are still so dirty. Soon, that dirt will ruin this keyboard. When that happens, he will make me hand-write my articles with a set of crayons and construction paper he will steal from some innocent child.
  • Jack Tretton dispassionately names some games that will have Move support. Saint’s Row 3. That Star Trek thing. A trailer for the latter plays. I’ll just say “pew pew pew” and think you can guess what the trailer shows.
  • Time to skip the rest of Tretton’s words.
  • That was a mistake. Kazou Hirai just came on stage.
  • Android phones will get some Playstation games so that Sony can expand their consumer base beyond dedicated gamers. The gamers at E3 to whom this announcement was made have no reaction.

Real life consequences

  • BREAKING NEWS: NGP is officially to be called the Playstation Vita!
  • It resembles a PSP but with a really rushed touchscreen menu Photoshopped onto the screen.
  • “Vita means life, and we are confident that Playstation Vita will be the first product that truly blurs those lines between entertainment and your real life.” Holy shit?
  • When he announces that AT&T will be the Vita’s 3G carrier, the crowd actually laughs.
  • The Vita will have some social networking bullshit I guess. I am not in a position to care.
  • Another guy comes on stage and promises that I will be blown away by the Vita gameplay demos I am about to see.
  • No, please, not more Uncharted.
  • Oh, wow. Well, I’m actually impressed that those graphics are running on a handheld.
  • The visuals are on par with the early days of the PS3. This is actually pretty cool. I don’t know how to deal with this feeling. I hate this feeling. Get this feeling out of me.
  • Ahh, that’s more like it. The melee combat is a touchscreen quick-time event every single time. Exactly the kind of awful I was hoping for.
  • Just in case anyone was still deluded into thinking that Uncharted’s platforming sections contain any gameplay, Vita has successfully reduced them into touching the place you want Drake to go, and then watching him go there.
  • What the hell though, even the shadows are anti-aliased. And there’s a second touchscreen on the back? So you don’t have to obscure the screen to use touch controls? Am I dreaming, or is that actually clever?
  • “While tapping edges to climb is fun, tapping an enemy to perform a stealth take-down is more fun.” I need the fun-formula to be spelled out for me, I think.
  • Those dual analog sticks look so comfy and familiar…
  • No. No, Hamlet. Focus on the boring shooting and the anemic cover mechanics.

Apparently, not all is ruined

  • Now for a game called Ruin.
  • “Our goal with Ruin was to provide Playstation Vita players with everything they would expect from an action role-playing game.” I expect to see boring damage-sponge combat and completely atrophied numbers stamped on top of everything.
  • Oh, it’s a Diablo clone. Have I ever told you guys about how the Diablo formula has been crap since the very first–
  • With real combos?
  • He’s doing real dodge moves and everything. The controls look responsive and precise.
  • Seems like it ties into social media in a non-superfluous way, too. And you can play games you saved on the Vita and pick them up on the PS3. That is… neat!?
  • Something very strange is happening to me. I’m scared.
  • Modnation Racers also seems to have found a very smooth interface taking advantage of all the touch and tilt interfacing.
  • It’s like something I would have come up with. It’s that good.
  • Crossplatform functionality with the PS3! Players of Wipeout 2048 will be able to play the game online with PS3 owners of Wipeout HD, itself a very solid game. Get hyped!
  • Oh my god, what did I just say!?
  • No. Don’t show me any LittleBigPlanet. My one weakness…
  • LBP is using all of the Vita’s features and making them available in the level editor, as well as making it possible to design levels intended for ‘pass’n’play,’ where two players simply hand the device to one another between turns. This is brilliant.
  • Look how cute he is. Look how cute Sackboy is.
  • Aaa. What’s the next game? I can’t take much more of this… good stuff.
  • It’s Street Fighter X Tekken.
  • Okay, it’s a non-gameplay trailer. That’s stupid. Nice and stupid.
  • It has Cole from Infamous in it. That’s stupid too!
  • Oh, they’re playing it now.
  • Yeah, it looks like Street Fighter. Say what you will about Street Fighter, it doesn’t look compromised for the Vita.
  • Now they are showing another montage with the swooshes and swoops. But this time it seems so… believable. I believe I am feeling… enthusiasm.
  • Holiday season this year, Wi-Fi only model for $249 dollars, 3G+Wi-Fi for $299 dollars. The audience launches into sincere applause. This is what real hype feels like. I didn’t think it was real.
  • Hirai is gone. Come back, Kaz. Tell me about more cool things. Please?
  • I also have to hand it to Tretton. I may hate him, but he does stand head and shoulders above every other E3 spokesperson. He feels like a human being who actually believes that the games he’s promoting are probably very good by any gamer’s standards. He’s wrong, but at least he’s not a robot.
  • I can see the light. It’s coming. I’m getting closer to the end.  I feel so new.

6 replies to this post
  1. I’m Rooting for you hamlet. BELIEEEVE.
    And I’m really waiting for new sly Cooper. I plan on buying a PS3 later in July.
    Just love that raccoon guy.

      • I legitimately burst out laughing at that reply WiNG. Shortly afterwords I fell out of my chair, curled up in a ball, and cried on the inside for Space Hamlet. I cried on the inside because on the outside i was still laughing at Space Hamlet’s misfortune. Oh God, am I that evil?

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