Following what I considered a lackluster showing from Microsoft, Sony at least came to E3 a little more prepared. The company may not have shown off as much or as many different non-gaming ideas as Microsoft did, but what was shown was certainly more impressive.
Taking a bold risk that paid off, Sony opened the show with "Beyond: Two Souls," a new IP from the makers of "Heavy Rain." It looked awesome, and it was nice to see a brand new title open the proceedings. It was moody and dark, and the main character is played by Ellen Page, so throw in some celebrity cred for Sony there (no Usher appearances here, for better or for worse).
Next up was "PlayStation Battle All Stars Royal," which aside from having the longest title ever, I'm still a little torn about. It's a fighting game featuring the system's biggest and brightest stars. Bringing in PlayStation universe characters is good idea, and look how well "Smash Bros." did for Nintendo. But does Sony have the depth in its character roster to pull it off? I'm also curious to test how the charge-combo-based combat works, as I'm a little worried it may be even more unbalanced than super smashes were in "Smash Bros. Brawl." The game is also co-releasing on PS3 and Vita with cross-platform support, so mobile and console players can duke it out together.
Ubisoft came to show off some of its PS offering, including not one, but two "Assassin's Creed" titles. I've never been a huge fan of the series, but the boat-combat footage for "Assassin Creed III" was awesome. "Pirates of the Caribbean" mixed with assassinations? Count me in.
The real only "new" showing was the Wonderbook, an AR-based addition that is being pushed with a game worked on and written by JK Rowling. Big news right? One would think. The on-stage demo had to deal with some glitches, and as much as I love Harry Potter, I'm not sure if waving a wand and reading small poems will get me to buy something new. It looked still very much a concept, and perhaps Sony needs something more than a wand-waggling Potter game to pull it off. But if you want to push a new book format, props for getting Rowling behind it, even if she wasn't there to show her support personally.
Sony failed to mention anything on the PS4 front, but given that Microsoft didn't go into its next-gen system either, the company probably didn't feel the pressure. Sony and Microsoft don't want this generation to end and are extending it as long as possible, so seeing the Wonderbook and Microsoft Smart Glass as attempts to lengthen their console life cycles isn't that surprising. I'm also not sure when fighting over exclusive DLC became so normal, but that's another story.
Sony ended on a two-game strong note, "God of War: Ascension" and "The Last of Us," both of which are looking awesome. Bloody, but awesome. It was a strong note to end on, but just like Microsoft there were no real surprises on Sony's front, leaving the ball in Nintendo's court Tuesday morning. And then the floor opens and the playing of the games begins, so keep an eye for hands-on coverage here all week.
Music: Looking for a middle-of-the-week doctor? Thunder Body’s Medicine Wednesdays returns tonight, now being hosted at Skylark Lounge (270-8106, theskylarklounge.com), and will repeat every Wednesday night this month. Music starts at 9 p.m., costs $5, and is 21+.