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TGS ’06: PS3Blog’s Verdict

Now that TGS ’06 is done and consigned to history I thought it would be a good idea for us all on PS3Blog to give our verdicts on the show and what was great, good, poor and downright rubbish about everything PS3 related that happened before (Ken’s keynote) & during the event:

What was the best thing about TGS ’06:

Gary: For me the quality of games left me very impressed. MGS4 looked amazing made up of in-game footage. FI: Championship Edition looked incredible especially the rains soaked section in the video. Afrika has got me very intrigued and looks almost real although nothing is known as to what type of game it will be. DMC4 has got me way too excited for obvious reasons & White Knight looks very impressive for a game in such an early stage of development. The PS3 produced the goods gaming wise for me when it needed to the most.

Tom: I found that the standard of the games was excellent in most cases. Based on what was said it appears PS3 launch games are much further along than xbox360 launch games were last year. Particularly impressive was Formula 1, I’m so glad that this game really does look the business, but I was also impressed by Ridge Racer 7 and Resistance again. Sony finally delivered what they needed to the most- quality titles available around launch.

Henning: The best thing about TGS was that we’re finally seeing some PS3 games in action. TGS attendees could actually play some of those PS3 games we’ve been hearing about for months! After endless teasing screenshots and little video clips, it’s nice to get some solid game info. Ridge Racer 7 impressed me a lot. I’m a racing fan, but hadn’t really put this game on my audition list. Now I have to change my mind.

Darrin: The best thing was to see such a strong PS3 showing. The PS3 hardware looked solid, lots of games had effects and graphics that exceeded my expectations, and they had a great overall game lineup. It wasn’t just one or two games that looked good, they had lots of games of different genres that looked very polished and playable.

What could have been better but still left you impressed?

Gary: Sony reducing the price of the 20GB PS3 and adding HDMI to it was a good move but apparantley the price is just reduced in Japan and not the other territories. If the price reduction does happen elsewhere (especially Europe) then my interest would switch from the 60GB model to the 20GB PS3.

Tom: For me it was the news at the conference. It may have been delivered very cryptically but Sony’s decision to lower the price of the 20GB machine (one I still feel may be replicated internationally) and include a HDMI output. Suddenly the pack which looked lacking now appears to be the pack of choice and it brings the PS3 and its full experience into the reach of more people. I was disappointed though that for now the price change is restricted to Japan. Hopefully we’ll hear some more soon!

Henning: You guys are stealing all my answers! HDMI output across the board is a very good thing. Price drop? How can that be bad? (Even though some are spinning it as such.)

Darrin: GT:HD. I was impressed that they are planning to ship GT this year with full online play plus some significant improvements but it still could have been better. Honestly, I’m skeptical about them following through with so many odd ideas: an interim release in between GT4 and GT5 that has both a cleaned up GT4 with online + bikes plus a completely separate preview of single player GT5? And then the crazy micro-payment stuff on top of all of that? I don’t think the micro-payment stuff is worth worrying about yet, but the whole project sounds like it’s still in the early brainstorming stage.

Which game either present or a no show at TGS, left you dissapointed?

Gary: The lack of any Resident Evil 5 info, not even a teaser trailer. It was never announced to appear at the show but it would’ve been nice for it to be present in some form.

I was also very dissapointed with the announcement of GT HD coming in two forms & practically empty of any meaningful content, which you then have to purchase separately via micro-transactions. In a way it means you can control how many cars & tracks you purchase but it still leaves you with a lack of choice out of the box and what happens if you don’t like the cars & tracks you have purchased?

Tom: GTHD. The game looks and sounds superb and would have (and will still) been a definite purchase, but as I referred to in my post on it the micro-transaction stuff needs to be extremely carefully planned so as not to become a total rip-off to us. Hopefully Sony and Polyphony take in this feedback carefully, as I have no doubt that the game will otherwise blow me away.

Henning: Killzone 2? Hello? Where are you? I know that Sony wants to focus on Resistance, but would it have killed them to show us a little something about Killzone?

Darrin: I was disappointed that we didn’t get any significant new info on GTA4, Mercenaries 2, Assassin’s Creed, Resident Evil 5, or Heavenly Sword.

What was the biggest letdown at TGS?

Gary: Definitely Sony’s lack of announcements regarding their online plans. This doesn’t bode well for the first batch of PS3 games with regards to online plans, with THP8 already suffering as a result. Will October be the month when their plans are revealed? I wouldn’t bet on it.

Tom: No full online plans. Again. Sony really needs to get its act together and it is looking more and more like the online services will be struggling to make it to launch. I sincerely hope I’m wrong but a number of developers have expressed concerns over problems with Sony’s service (despite an overall positive impression of their plans).

Henning: I agree with Gary and Tom, of course. We were promised a lot of info at TGS, and we didn’t get it. Quite disappointing. I was reading the updates from TGS about Ken’s keynote, and when it was over, I was amazed that he basically said nothing. (Except for HDMI.)

Darrin: I was slightly disappointed by the lack of excitement and surprise. The PS3 hardware and software looked excellent, so the important stuff was there, but the event lacked any drama or flare. Ultimately I don’t care about flashy trade shows and marketing events but I can’t help but feel that the event was somewhat anti-climatic

What was your verdict about Sony’s showing at TGS ’06? Feel free to have your say here.