Confirmed: PSP Go, Final Fantasy XIV, Motion-Control Wand

Of the three shows, I'd mark Microsoft's and Sony's down for "tied," with Nintendo's a respectable (if not as intrepid) second.

Leave it to Sony to prove that sometimes the best really does come last. Striding onstage only to be dwarfed by a titanic 40-by-80-foot screen, Sony President Jack Tretton wasted no time kidding about preshow press leaks. "We consider ourselves to be industry leaders, and Sony leads the world in press leaks," quipped Tretton, who set the tone for the presentation--"Only possible on PlayStation 3"--by stating that only the PS3 was capable of outputting visuals to the towering screen behind him.

After commenting on the strength of the unflappable PlayStation 2 (nearly ten years old), Tretton ran through the usual sales figures, spun, like everyone else's, to highlight the PlayStation brand in the kindest possible light.

And then he rolled out The Games.

The Game I'm Most Excited For: Uncharted 2--Among Thieves

Naughty Dog took the stage to demo live gameplay of the sequel to one of the best action-adventure games on the PS3. Hoofing it along the highest points of a lively, sprawling city, returning protagonist Nate showed off some of the most impressively detailed environs I've seen. As a helicopter spit gatling fire, he dangled from the lips of crumbling ledges, hurling himself across gaps between bursts of bullets. He scurried between rooftop protrusions, ducking for cover, and then leaping over debris with ease. Curiously, the sequence was almost entirely shooter-oriented (a possible turn away from the meditative puzzle-climbing of the original?), as the helicopter raked the building, ripping it to pieces. Look for this one fall 2009.

The Insanely Populous Game: MAG

Zipper Interactive unveiled the first bits of live play, giving us a peek at the first-person shooter that pits 256 players against one another in massive, war-torn battle-scapes. Did I say 256 players? Sony claimed as many were actually live for the show, as several squads of eight were revealed to be subsets of even larger platoons, in turn parts of entire companies assaulting a vast base. The appeal of MAG? Serious battle simulation with sophisticated chain-of-command and delegate battle ops. It's definitely not a game where, as in the Battlefield series, you can run off and fool around willy-nilly. Also available this fall.

Leak Confirmed: Sony's PSP Go

Kaz Hirai, president of Sony's Networked Products and Services Group, was up next to describe the design process for the new PSP Go. Hirai said they had a couple of names for the system, including "The worst kept secret of E3."

In case you missed our coverage, the PSP Go is essentially a smaller, lighter, Mylo-inspired PSP without the UMD drive and with everything running off internal storage or supplementary memory cards. It has the same operating system as the PSP and integrated Wi-Fi, and it plays all the same games. Hirai said that Sony is targeting the "digital consumer," and that it's more than 50 percent smaller and 40 percent lighter than the original PSP-1000. As expected, it'll have 16GB of internal flash memory, a slide-out control pad, integrated Bluetooth, and the ability to download games and movies from the PlayStation Network over the built-in Wi-Fi. The new memory stick tech? We called it here first: Think 16GB SanDisk Memory Stick Micro, aka M2.

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Matt Peckham

PC World (US online)
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