As a lead in, we decided that one writer would each take one of the big three keynotes and try their best to make a case for their selection as the “winner” of E3. We may or may not feel that they won on all levels, however it is our job to convince you that they won based on the foundation of our piece.
I’m here to convince you that Sony won the E3 2010 battle by entertaining the hell out of the keynote crowd, maximizing the amount of press on hand, and combining entertainment with more than a few surprises and some big title announcements that made fans (and one VP in particular) very happy.
Now, Sony didn’t give away a redesigned console to the press, but what they did do was leave practically no man (or woman) behind. There were more than a few people in line for the Sony conference that didn’t have pre-approved access, and a few minutes before the show began, Sony made the call to let them all in. Bravo. I can’t speak for everyone, but it’s my opinion that most press outlets would rather be at the show then left in the cold so a few select outlets could be greased up with a limited supply of shiny free gifts. Didn’t Microsoft ever hear of that saying “if you don’t have enough for everyone…” Well if they did, I’m going to guess that their version ends with “give what you do have to those you think matter most.”
You want laughs? Sony’s press conference had you covered there too. With everything from Jack Trenton taking shots at the Project Natal Experience, to Kevin Butler bashing the device itself, Sony certainly didn’t pull any punches when it came to talking about their next gen competition.
Comedic highlights included Trenton’s opening statement which warned the press nearest the stage that, outside of some potential dribble from he and the others set to speak, everyone should remain fairly dry and wouldn’t be needing protection from a poncho. The poncho remark was of course directed at Microsoft’s Natal event. As funny as that was, it didn’t hold a candle to the one liners delivered by Sony’s hilarious pitchman Kevin Butler.
Kevin preceded Trenton’s entrance in video format, as a short clip featured his first dig on the newly coined “Kinect” Microsoft product formerly known as Natal. “Who wants to shoot with their hand? What are we three?” said Butler before pulling out his very own hand gun and making the “Pew! Pew! Pew!” noise. During another clip addressing the benefits of Sony Move, Butler once again took a jab at Kinect, saying that “we here in the future call these buttons. They come in handy for millions that like to play platformers and shooters, or any game that doesn’t involve catching a big red ball.”
Once Kevin Butler hit the stage for real though, his kid gloves came completely off, and the crowd erupted as if Sony announced free consoles for everyone … wait, you can get that effect without giving away free shit? Amazing.
Kevin led in with “Am I crazy, or did I just see a hundred French acrobats prancing around an arena the other night?” and it went on and on and on from there. Nintendo wasn’t safe either, as KB made the comment that boxing with Move meant that on-screen characters would benefit from having important features like “arms … and necks.” After he got his fill, a big screen image of Kevin using the PlayStation Move device prompted a few more laughs as well.
A new ad campaign for the Sony PlayStation Portable brought even more funny, as it paired Kevin Butler with Marcus Rivers (played by actor Bobbe J. Thompson) to tell the story of a young gamer and his quest to become the face of Sony’s portable gaming division. All in all, I’d be shocked to hear that someone left the Sony keynote without letting out at least one chuckle. If you did, shame on you.
You want games? No problem. Sony announced a pant-load. They showcased titles like EA’s new Tiger Woods PGA 11, with an on-stage demonstration designed to show off the “one-to-one” swing ratio capable via the PlayStation Move. I laughed as the first few shots got hit into the sand, and thought to myself “Tiger’s got a new woman in his life, and her name is Sandy.” Hey, I’m no Kevin Butler, but I thought it was pretty funny.
Another Move specific title announced was “Heroes on the Move” featuring several Sony fan-favorites like Jax, Daxter, Sly, Ratchet and Clank. The long awaited release of GT5 was teased as well, saying that we’ll finally be able to get our hand on the full 3D capable release Nov 2 2010. This prompted Epic VP, Mark Rein, who was sitting directly behind me, to say aloud “really?” As in I’ll believe it when I see it.
Gamers also got a look at Crysis 2, God of War: Ghost of Sparta, Infamous 2, LittleBigPlanet 2, Killzone 3 in 3D, plus a slew of other games shown off at the end in a giant gaming montage, with many of them playable on the show floor.
Sony had something for the crowd expecting surprises and exclusive announcements too, as titles such as Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, Medal of Honor, and Dead Space 2 are all lined up to deliver various exclusives on the PS3 console.
Valve’s Gabe Newell hit the stage mid way through to announce Portal 2 coming to the PlayStation 3. Considering all the negative comments Gabe has made about Sony in the past, his presence was likely very humbling and motivated by spite. Many believe that his decision to finally support Sony was fueled by a Steam rejection by Microsoft. Regardless of the reason, Gabe surely ate every last piece of humble pie available when he issued the promise that the Sony PlayStation version of Portal 2 would be the best version available. He also joked a bit, attributing his on-stage jitters to the fact that Kevin Butler introduced himself back stage as the “VP of Sharpening Things.” Yet another point for Kevin and Sony in the laugh column. A clip of GLaDOS wraps up Kevin’s appearance saying “let’s put our differences behind us … you big monster.” How fitting.
The last surprise was of course the “Come E3 I’ll be sitting rite here at my mac” because “I WISH we were making a new Twisted Metal” announcement of Twisted Metal for the PlayStation 3 by David Jaffe, who from this point forward shall be referred to as “the big fat liar who likes to Tweet too much” until he gives me good reason otherwise.
So there you have it. It is my opinion, that although Sony did not end up introducing any new hardware (unless of course you consider a more detailed look at Move a new hardware announcement), they still won E3 2010 through sheer entertainment value, and as Kevin Butler so eloquently put it at the end of his on-stage appearance, by serving “one master … one king … and his name is GAMING!! FOREVER MAY HE REIGN!!!”