Last night I watched Sony’s Tokyo Game Show press event well into the AM. There were quite a few significant announcements made. Let’s start with some hardware news:
The hotly rumored slimmer Playstation 3 console was unveiled officially:
The new PS3 will be available in 250 and 500 gig versions later this year. Both are 20% smaller and 25% lighter than the current slim PS3, in case you’re one of those gamers who worry about their entertainment center collapsing.
Two new Vita colors were announced: Cosmic Red and Sapphire Blue. Both will be available in Japan this November. Naturally there was no word on when we can expect these in the West. I’d wager that we’ll see them both in the form of a bundle with games no one wants.
A PSP pricedrop was announced for Japan which was effective this morning. This is significant as portable consoles are serious business in Japan, and the PSP is still a very strong seller. The new price will be 13,800 yen for the vanilla version and 14,800 yen for a value pack including a memory card and screen cleaner.
At this point the focus of the event turned towards the Playstation Vita, perhaps attempting to make up for E3′s lack of Vita news. Cross Play was highlighted with upcoming LittleBigPlanet 2 DLC. It’s clear Sony has pulled out all the stops to show just what this feature is capable of. The main function of Cross Play is that it allows the Vita to be used as a controller with a screen. At the event, however, it was shown that a LittleBigPlanet 2 level can now be created with separate levels for those playing on the Vita which makes use of the Vita’s unique functionality (touch screen, gyro, rear touchpad,etc.). Quite an impressive way to show how the Vita can interact with the Playstation 3 in a meaningful way. I would say that the Wii U is looking less attractive but, uh, Monster Hunter.
Next up was Cross Buy. Why this system wasn’t in place day-one is a bit of bullshit, but let’s move merrily along. Minna No Golf 6 AKA Hot Shots Golf 6 will be among the first games in Japan to feature Cross Buy functionality. This means if you buy the game for one system, you get it for free on the other:
Just look at those arrows of savings! Don’t, however, look at Konami, who somehow managed to sell two versions of Metal Gear Solid HD, and will no doubt continue to do so.
Next, the direction of the event turned towards the games. Keiji Inafune showed up and gave us some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that Soul Sacrifice‘s Japanese release got pushed back slightly to Summer 2013. The good news is here’s a trailer:
Yeah, OK. I give the guy a lot of flack but this game looks awesome.
Hisashi Koinuma from Marvelous Entertainment then came on stage to announce three Vita titles the developer is currently working on. Those games were Valhalla Knights 3, Senran Kagura (aka Ninja Boobs), and Oboromuramasa (aka Muramasa: The Demon Blade). I’m most excited for the Muramasa port as I never finished the Wii version. I’m sure the game will look absolutely beautiful on the Vita and I’m interested to see how they implement touch-mechanics.
Next was God Eater 2, which will be playable both on the PSP and Vita. This is an incredibly wise decision as there are still a large number of PSP owners in Japan. There are also a large number of Vita owners dying for a Monster Hunter experience and God Eater may just be the closest thing they’ll get for a while.
The game will use Ad-Hoc Party to allow potential eaters of gods to join forces online (so long as the Ad-Hoc gods are appeased through the rite of sacrifice). God Eater Burst data can be imported for some yet-to-be-announced benefit.
That is the long and short of Sony’s press event. For more images check out the 4Gamer post covering the event. I’m happy to see some promising games and innovative implementation in the Vita’s future. It makes me feel better about having purchased the device, despite it gathering a bit of dust lately.
Tokyo Game Show is just getting started, so look forward to more coverage over the next few days!