Archive for the ‘Sony’ Category

Caffeinated Thoughts on Sony’s 2012 E3 Conference

June 13, 2012

Coffee Beans
     Sony’s 2012 E3 press conference was last Monday night, at 9:00PM EST. While I was able to watch the first 20 minutes or so, I didn’t watch much after that for the night. I was able to watch the entire conference last week though, on Thursday, thanks to the wonderful invention that is the internets and internet videos.
     What are my caffeinated thoughts about Sony’s E3 press conference, and what coffee roast grade do I give the conference? Keep on reading below!

The Brew
     The first game Sony showed in their conference was a brand new IP, titled BEYOND: Two Souls. The game is being produced by the same developer that developed Heavy Rain, Quantic Dream, and is running on an improved Heavy Rain game engine. The trailer they showed for the game was intriguing, and definitely made me wonder what type of game it will end up being. I have not played Heavy Rain, though I do know several people that have, and most enjoyed it from what I heard. I’ll be watching to see how BEYOND: Two Souls progresses in development until it releases.

     After BEYOND, Sony brought out some of the developers that are working on Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale, and demoed an entire 4-player match. It was pretty interesting, and apparently very Super Smash Bros-ish from what I have read, but I have never gotten into the Super Smash Bros. games, so I probably won’t be purchasing this either.
     Sony then mentioned several games in passing, but didn’t show any trailers for them unfortunately. These games included Journey, The Unfished Swan, and then Black Ops Declassified for the PS Vita.

     Sony then showed an Assassin’s Creed III trailer, and announced a new PS3 console bundle will be releasing this November with the game included. When I first saw the Assassin’s Creed III trailer being shown, I thought, “Is that a Pirates of the Caribbean game?”. I thought the graphics/style for the game looked really good, and an improvement over what I remember from the first game.
     Then Ubisoft revealed Far Cry 3’s cooperative mode for the first time, via a live stage demo with 4-players. It looked pretty good in action, with the level seeming pretty open, and the team had to complete at least one objective in the demo shown. They also confirmed the game will have a map editor, which I think is awesome.

Hot. Cold. Coffee is served both ways.

     After Ubisoft’s games were shown, Sony changed direction of the conference and started talking about the Sony Move controller and a new game, or software, that is being designed for it called Wonderbook.

     It’s being designed as an interactive storybook of sorts, allowing players to open a book and see items come to life on their television screens and then interact with the book and objects by using the Sony Move controller. One big announcement for Wonderbook was that Sony has teamed up with J.K. Rowling, the Harry Potter author, and will be creating a special Wonderbook title based on the Harry Potter world titled, “Book of Spells”.

Fire breathing dragons = ORIGINAL!

     After the wonderful Wonderbook presentation (SarcMark!), Sony showed off God of War: Ascension (that poor elephant creature!). It looks like it will keep the same God of War game-play mechanics as the past games, but to me it appeared that the graphics were a bit “brighter” than the past games from what I can recall? Perhaps I’m incorrect on that, as I haven’t really played any of the past games at any length.
     Sony closed out their presentation by showing The Last of Us. I have read many impressions about it, but after watching the full trailer again from their conference, I’m not really that impressed with it. While I was impressed with one thing in the trailer, it had nothing to do with the game-play mechanics, or necessarly the graphics. Kind of how I was very impressed with BEYOND: Two Souls.

     I can’t say there was much that actually surprised me in Sony’s conference, but I’m currently most interested in BEYOND: Two Souls and Far Cry 3, and even Assassin’s Creed III some (ship battles anybody?!).

Caffeinated Thoughts
     Overall, I give Sony’s conference a “Mild Roast” coffee grade. While they definitely had some great games to show, there was nothing that really surprised me in their conference. I do think Sony did a good job of sticking with the general rule of “Starting Strong, Ending Strong” when doing conferences, but the last game they showed just wasn’t something I was interested in, though that could always change, and there weren’t any games that really surprised me.
     Bitter – Not much PS Vita news for Vita owners.
     SweetBEYOND: Two Souls being announced and shown, and I believe actually being kept a secret up until the reveal. The Last of Us’ first room shown in the trailer, being a coffee shop.

Questions
     Agree, or disagree? Was Sony’s 2012 E3 press conference your favorite out of all of them? If so, what PS3 and/or PS Vita games are you looking forward to the most?

Great Game Advertising – Sony’s Example with Resistance 3

September 6, 2011



Coffee Beans
     If you are a PlayStation 3 owner and you are a FPS fan, today is the release of Resistance 3 for the system.  Sony appears to be going all out with support for Resistance 3, as I was just hopping over to my YouTube account to upload a video, when I noticed a massive Resistance 3 ad at the top of YouTube.
     I have no idea how much it costs to buy ad space on YouTube, but I can imagine Sony paid a pretty penny(or two) for the spot.
     What’s the Resistance 3 ad space look like, and what video is Sony using to advertise the game?  Take a look after the break!

Resistance 3 ad, as seen at the top of YouTube.

     Why do I think this is great game advertising?  Well, one reason is because YouTube.com is currently ranked as the third most visited site in the world, and currently the fourth most visited site in the United States.  While television advertising still reaches audiences, it’s usually a very specific audience that is targeted with it.  Advertising on YouTube is allowing Sony to get Resistance 3 in front of a very diverse audience, of all different ages.
     A second reason I think this is a great advertisement is that this advertisement is up the day/weekend the game is releasing, helping get word out about Resistance 3 hopefully before people go spend their paychecks on other things over the weekend.
     Not only does the advertisement help give Resistance 3 recognition, but it also helps bring awareness to the Sony Move and Navigation controllers, because the ad specifically mentions the Resistance 3 “Doomsday Bundle”.  You can see the video ad for yourself below:

     I think this YouTube ad purchase by Sony is a good example of great video game advertising, and I am glad to see video game publishers using new outlets such as YouTube to bring attention to their games.  This must be very encouraging for Insomniac Games, and hopefully the game turns out well for both Sony and Insomniac; and most importantly, for us gamers.
     While I have not reserved/purchased Resistance 3, I did play Resistance: Fall of Man and enjoyed my time with the game; and perhaps once I finish my backlog of games, I will give Resistance 3 a try.

Questions
     Have any of you already reserved/purchased Resistance 3?  If so, is this your first game in the Resistance series to purchase, or did you play the first two also?
     If you have already had a chance to play some of Resistance 3, what do you think of the game from what you have played so far?  Would you recommend it to other PlayStation 3 owners looking for a new FPS?

If any of you are interested in Resistance 3, you can see the Doomsday Bundle, the software only version, and the PS3 console on Amazon.com linked below:
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B0050SXWKW&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr  http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B003O6E67A&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr  http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B003VUO6H4&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

>Pre-Order/Reserve PlayStation Vita Online Now

June 7, 2011

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Coffee Beans:
     If you were watching Sony’s E3 press conference tonight, you may have been really surprised(as I was), about the price points for the PlayStation Vita(Click to pre-order now!).
     Sony announced the Vita will have two price points: one with WiFi only for $249.99, and one with WiFi an 3G service provided by AT&T for $299.99.

     If you’re ready to jump on the Vita bandwagon, you can click the images below to pre-order, or reserve, either(or both) versions of the handheld system on Amazon.com:
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B004L5MYJA&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr  http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=B003O6EATE

     The $299.99 3G and WiFi system is on the left, the $249.99 WiFi only Vita system is on the right.
Filtered Thoughts:
     I think the price points are very good for what Sony showed the Vita seems capable of tonight at E3.  If I were to get one, I would probably go with just the WiFi system being that I don’t travel a lot, and I would use it mainly around the house.
Questions:
     Were any of you surprised by the price points for the PlayStation Vita, and did the revealed prices make your more/less interested in the system, than you perhaps were before the prices were revealed?

>A PS3 FPS Release Date Confirmed – Move Support, 60+ Maps…

April 24, 2011

>Coffee Beans:
     I’m now pleased to say that PS3 owners will only have to wait a little while longer to play a new FPS that has Sony Move(and Navigation) support, 60+ maps, a map editor, online multi-player, as well as a solid single-player offering.
     What game am I talking about, and when will it release?

     Greg Hastings Paintball 2!  After hearing from Greg Hastings himself, I can now say Greg Hastings Paintball 2 will be releasing on May 10 through the PlayStation Network.  A price point has not been 100% confirmed yet, but Majesco should be releasing that information soon.

     If you want to hear more on the game, and the development process; make sure to read my interview portions with the developer of the game, Super X Studios.  You can find the interview split up, HERE and HERE.

     If you’re interested to know more about the game and the content it will be offering, the video below should give you a good idea of the content you can be expecting from the game when it releases on May 10.

Questions:
     Do any of you plan on picking this up day one?  Or, is it a game you’re interested in, but perhaps want some more coverage of the PS3 version when it releases?
     I’ll probably be picking it up day one, to help provide coverage for it.

     Wii and Xbox 360 owners can currently purchase the game via retail, as it was released for both of those systems last September.  You can see prices of the Wii and Xbox 360 versions of Greg Hastings Paintball 2 on Amazon.com linked below.
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B0038N9WWI&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr  http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B0038N9WPU&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

>Analysis: Killzone 3’s February 2011 Sales Ranks with Chart

March 10, 2011

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Coffee Beans:
     Killzone 3 was released on February 22, 2011 in North America on the PS3.  The game released with a “Standard” edition with a MSRP of $59.99, as well as a “Collector’s” edition with a MSRP of $129.99.
     Killzone 3 was developed by Guerrilla Games, and published by Sony.  The ESRB gave Killzone 3 a “M for Mature” rating, with “Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language” listed as content for buyers to be aware of.

     Killzone 3 was Sony’s biggest PS3 release in February, but how did that translate into online sales ranks?  Let’s take a look!

Click chart to enlarge

Chart Information:
     The chart above shows the sales ranks for Killzone 3’s Standard edition on the PS3, with ranks recorded from February 1 through February 28, 2011.  The sales ranks are reflective of pre-order sales ranks and release/post-release sales ranks for February.  All times shown on the chart were recorded as Pacific Standard Times.
     I recorded the date/time and sale rank of Killzone 3, as well as the price Amazon.com had listed, but the prices aren’t listed in the chart, though I will make a few notes regarding sales ranks and prices below.
     The chart above is not designed to replace the NPD sales numbers for February, but is designed to be a supplement for the NPD February 2011 numbers, and perhaps give us an idea of what affected sales for Killzone 3 during the month, such as reviews and prices.

Highs & Lows:
     The highest recorded sale rank for Killzone 3 was #1, on February 19, February 20, February 21, and February 22; around 4:30PM, 8:10PM, 9:30PM, 7:35PM and 10:50PM respectively.  Killzone 3 was selling for $59.99 with a $20 Amazon.com Credit and Pre-Order Bonus(image below) on February 19, February 20, and February 21.  On February 22 it was selling for $59.49 with the $20 Amazon.com Credit, both times I recorded the sale rank that day.

$20 Credit and Exclusive Killzone 3 Pre-Order Bonus as recorded on 2-19-11



     The lowest recorded sale rank for Killzone 3 was #18, on February 1 around 10:50PM, and it was selling for $57.99 when the sale rank was recorded.

Monthly Averages:
     Pre-Order Average – Killzone 3’s average sale rank before it released was #8, from February 1 through February 21.
     Release/Post-Release Average – Killzone 3’s average Amazon.com sale rank after it released was #4, from February 22 through February 28.
     Overall Monthly AverageKillzone 3 had an overall monthly sale rank of #7, when I averaged all the Amazon.com sales ranks from February 1 through February 28.


Critical Reception:
     Killzone 3’s first “professional” review scores started being published on the internet on February 3.  GameRankings.com had 13 reviews posted for Killzone 3 on February 3, and the average review score for just the internet reviews posted on February 3 for Killzone 3 was 87.91%.

     Killzone 3’s current “professional” review score average is 86.94%, based on 49 reviews on GameRankings.com.
     Killzone 3’s current customer review score average is 87.88%, based on 109 customer reviews on Amazon.com.
     (Current review scores recorded around 3:00PM on 3-10-11)

Agree, or disagree?

Filtered Thoughts:
     Killzone 3 saw the biggest jump in sale rank from February 2 to February 3, moving up eight spots and into Amazon.com’s “Top 10” in video games.  On February 2, Killzone 3’s sale rank was #14 around 9:10PM; on February 3 around 8:25PM, Killzone 3 had a sale rank of #6.
     The first reviews for Killzone 3 started being published on the internet in the 23 hours between sale rank recordings on February 2 and February 3.  I think it’s pretty evident that the reviews are what caused the increase in sale rank, because the listed price for Killzone 3 was $57.99 on both February 2 and February 3; so a change in price wouldn’t have been a contributing factor for either day.

     I didn’t record Killzone 3 at the #1 sale rank in February, until February 19, which was also the first day I recorded Amazon.com offering the $20 Credit and Pre-Order Bonus with the game.
     February 22 was the last day I recorded Amazon.com offering the $20 Credit with Killzone 3, and February 22 was also the last day in February that I recorded Killzone 3 with the #1 Amazon Bestsellers Rank in video games.
      I find it interesting that it seems like a $20 Credit is what it took to get Killzone 3 to the #1 spot on Amazon.com in February, and as soon as the $20 Credit was removed from the orders, the game’s sale rank decreased, and never reached the #1 spot again in February.
     Perhaps Killzone 3 commercials airing for the game also helped, though I don’t know how many commercials Sony had, or when they started airing them.  I know THIS commercial was uploaded February 18 to Kevin Butler’s YouTube account, so if it was airing on February 19, it probably helped the sale rank as well.

     While I haven’t purchased Killzone 3 myself, I know a few readers here have played the game, either through the Open Multi-Player Beta a few weeks back(like myself) or the retail version they purchased.  If you missed my FPS Friday post in February on Killzone 3, here’s the video I included with the post showing an online multi-player match:

Questions:
     Do you think the Amazon.com sales ranks for Killzone 3 will be reflective of the February NPD data, with Killzone 3 being in the “Top 10” of the NPD software sold, but perhaps not in the “Top 5” for the month?
     Also, if you purchased Killzone 3, how did you purchase it: online, or in a retail store?


If anybody is interested in Killzone 3, you can see prices for both the Standard and Collector’s versions on Amazon.com linked below:
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B002I0K6DG&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr  http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B0049LAVB4&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

Brewed Thoughts about E3

June 19, 2010

E3 2010 has now finished, and I watched Microsoft’s, Nintendo’s, and Sony’s E3 conferences.
After many pots of coffee and a few days to let my thoughts brew, here are what I thought of the conferences; with Light, Medium, and Dark Roast awards(dark roast being the best, imo).

Here are my brewed thoughts about E3’s big three’s conferences.

Microsoft:  Microsoft started the conference by showing Call of Duty: Black Ops, Halo: Reach, Fable III, Gears of War 3 and even a new game, Kingdoms; that is being developed by Crytek.
I think Kingdoms is the most interesting of those games, even though very little is known about it.  The remainder of Microsoft’s show seemed mainly focused on Kinect.  I was not impressed by anything that I saw with Kinect, as it still seems like an expensive version of the EyeToy.
I am a huge Star Wars fan, and even Microsoft’s Star Wars game for Kinect does not have me interested enough to purchase a Xbox 360/Kinect at this point to play it.
Microsoft ended their conference announcing the newly designed Xbox 360, that is now in stores.
Overall:  Light Roast
              Bitter:  Too much Kinect
              Sweet:  Crytek partnership may be interesting in the
long-run

Nintendo:  Nintendo’s show started with a trailer and game-play demo of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.  Miyamoto demoed the game live on stage, and while he had technical difficulties with part of the demo, I like how the enemies in the game change defensive positions, requiring players to pay attention to which way they swing the Wii Remote.  Other games shown during Nintendo’s E3 conference that stuck out to me were Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Disney Epic Mickey, and Goldeneye.
I think Kirby’s Epic Yarn appears to have some great ideas implemented into the 2D platforming genre, and I look forward to finding out more about the game.
Donkey Kong Country Returns has me really excited, as I was a huge fan of the original Donkey Kong Country back on the SNES and the game-play looks nice with some great attention to details in the levels.
Disney Epic Mickey looks like it is coming along nicely in production, and I think it will be interesting to see how well the use of “paint” and “paint thinner” is used in the game.
Last, but definitely not least, was the announcement/trailer of the new Goldeneye game being developed for the Wii.  I was/am a HUGE fan of the original Goldeneye on the N64, and I will be looking for more information on this Wii version in the next few months.
Nintendo ended their conference showing/talking about the Nintendo 3DS for about 25 minutes. What they showed and talked about with the 3DS, now has me more interested in it, than I thought I would be.
Overall:  Dark Roast
                Bitter:  No Conduit 2 trailer/game-play; not a lot of third party games demoed(Disney Epic Mickey was the only one?)
                Sweet:  Lots of new games(Goldeneye!?); little sales talk(only about 2 minutes worth this year!); 3DS looks solid, with great software support

Sony:  Ten minutes into Sony’s conference, the first game shown/demoed was Killzone 3; the game looks great graphically and I think the inclusion of the jet-packs will make for some interesting level designs and game-play. Before and after the Killzone 3 demo, there was a lot of talk about Sony’s support of 3D.
Then, a huge time slot was allowed to talk about and show the Sony Move controller.  My issue with what they showed, was that the “live” demos on stage did not really show anything that the current Wii Remote is not capable of already.
After about an hour of Move talk, they started rolling out the more “core” games and announcements for the PS3.  They showed/announced a lot of games in the last 50 minutes of their conference.  Dead Space 2 was shown, Medal of Honor was shown; Little Big Planet 2 was demoed, Gabe Newell announced Steam coming to the PS3 with Portal 2; they showed a trailer for inFAMOUS2.
Sony’s big exclusive at the end was announcing a new Twisted Metal game for the PS3.
Overall:  Medium Roast
                Bitter:  Long, with too much 3D talk, and too much Move talk; no games demoed for Move that showed why it’s really different from the Wii Remote
                Sweet:  Nearly the last hour of the conference was solid, with a lot of games being shown/demoed

Questions:
What did you think of E3 this year?  Do you agree or disagree with my thoughts on the conferences?

>Brewed Thoughts about E3

June 19, 2010

>

E3 2010 has now finished, and I watched Microsoft’s, Nintendo’s, and Sony’s E3 conferences.
After many pots of coffee and a few days to let my thoughts brew, here are what I thought of the conferences; with Light, Medium, and Dark Roast awards(dark roast being the best, imo).

Here are my brewed thoughts about E3’s big three’s conferences.

Microsoft:  Microsoft started the conference by showing Call of Duty: Black Ops, Halo: Reach, Fable III, Gears of War 3 and even a new game, Kingdoms; that is being developed by Crytek.
I think Kingdoms is the most interesting of those games, even though very little is known about it.  The remainder of Microsoft’s show seemed mainly focused on Kinect.  I was not impressed by anything that I saw with Kinect, as it still seems like an expensive version of the EyeToy.
I am a huge Star Wars fan, and even Microsoft’s Star Wars game for Kinect does not have me interested enough to purchase a Xbox 360/Kinect at this point to play it.
Microsoft ended their conference announcing the newly designed Xbox 360, that is now in stores.
Overall:  Light Roast
              Bitter:  Too much Kinect
              Sweet:  Crytek partnership may be interesting in the
long-run

Nintendo:  Nintendo’s show started with a trailer and game-play demo of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.  Miyamoto demoed the game live on stage, and while he had technical difficulties with part of the demo, I like how the enemies in the game change defensive positions, requiring players to pay attention to which way they swing the Wii Remote.  Other games shown during Nintendo’s E3 conference that stuck out to me were Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Disney Epic Mickey, and Goldeneye.
I think Kirby’s Epic Yarn appears to have some great ideas implemented into the 2D platforming genre, and I look forward to finding out more about the game.
Donkey Kong Country Returns has me really excited, as I was a huge fan of the original Donkey Kong Country back on the SNES and the game-play looks nice with some great attention to details in the levels.
Disney Epic Mickey looks like it is coming along nicely in production, and I think it will be interesting to see how well the use of “paint” and “paint thinner” is used in the game.
Last, but definitely not least, was the announcement/trailer of the new Goldeneye game being developed for the Wii.  I was/am a HUGE fan of the original Goldeneye on the N64, and I will be looking for more information on this Wii version in the next few months.
Nintendo ended their conference showing/talking about the Nintendo 3DS for about 25 minutes. What they showed and talked about with the 3DS, now has me more interested in it, than I thought I would be.
Overall:  Dark Roast
                Bitter:  No Conduit 2 trailer/game-play; not a lot of third party games demoed(Disney Epic Mickey was the only one?)
                Sweet:  Lots of new games(Goldeneye!?); little sales talk(only about 2 minutes worth this year!); 3DS looks solid, with great software support

Sony:  Ten minutes into Sony’s conference, the first game shown/demoed was Killzone 3; the game looks great graphically and I think the inclusion of the jet-packs will make for some interesting level designs and game-play. Before and after the Killzone 3 demo, there was a lot of talk about Sony’s support of 3D.
Then, a huge time slot was allowed to talk about and show the Sony Move controller.  My issue with what they showed, was that the “live” demos on stage did not really show anything that the current Wii Remote is not capable of already.
After about an hour of Move talk, they started rolling out the more “core” games and announcements for the PS3.  They showed/announced a lot of games in the last 50 minutes of their conference.  Dead Space 2 was shown, Medal of Honor was shown; Little Big Planet 2 was demoed, Gabe Newell announced Steam coming to the PS3 with Portal 2; they showed a trailer for inFAMOUS2.
Sony’s big exclusive at the end was announcing a new Twisted Metal game for the PS3.
Overall:  Medium Roast
                Bitter:  Long, with too much 3D talk, and too much Move talk; no games demoed for Move that showed why it’s really different from the Wii Remote
                Sweet:  Nearly the last hour of the conference was solid, with a lot of games being shown/demoed

Questions:
What did you think of E3 this year?  Do you agree or disagree with my thoughts on the conferences?