TSA Debate – Can Sony Beat Microsoft?

E3 is in full swing. News is coming in faster than the votes on Britain’s Got Talent and yesterday, bombs were dropped. What better way to digest the competition than with a good old bit of TSA Debate.  Microsoft have shown their hand. The conference had quite the mixture of stuff in there. Big exclusives, another exclusive steal (MGS) and some rather promising new tech.

The question is, who thinks Sony will top that? Can Sony beat Microsoft?

Alex: I don’t know. There’s no way anyone was expecting the motion camera stuff, and unless Sony have been working hard on EyePet they won’t have a similar thing to go against that. Apart from that there wasn’t much that couldn’t be topped by Sony. MGS Whatever will be on PS3 too, I’m sure, and the rest of the exclusives have PS3 ‘alternatives’ that Sony need to push. I doubt they’ll reference the MS event at all.

Davs: I’d heard rumours of the motion sensor stuff so I wasn’t overly surprised that it was there, but I was surprised by the Milo thing. It did seem odd that they targeted the casual market with the first half and then had the awesome technical part at the end.

Chris: I think Sony will actually top that, but what I’m worried about is if they turn it into a slide show, and talk about sales figures and all that crap. Will there be anything we don’t know about though?

Alex: There has to be. If it’s just sales chat and then trailers of games we already know about I’ll be devastated after Microsoft’s.

Peter: Even if they only show all the things they’ve told us about before it will be a bigger show than MS. Sony already demoed the camera tech two years ago (or at least something very similar which could easily evolve) and just never bothered developing the idea. Milo was interesting but very early tech demo that nobody would want in its current state. If I want a needy kid back-talking me I’ll have a kid and bring it up to be a cheeky little bastard. Or just go for a walk in the park at 8pm on a Friday.

Nick: I think that if Sony come out with all the known factors there will be several areas where Microsoft will come out in front. Continuation of the software integration throughout system is still a big plus for Microsoft. They seem to be building positively on that and with third party support too. Sony could lean a thing or two in this respect.

Peter: The social networking thing will play big over the next couple of days unless someone somewhere mentions that the PS3 has a web browser you can use facebook and twitter through. That takes the sting out of it a bit (although the integration is a very good idea we’ve been suggesting on TSA for at least a year now). Sony can counteract the Sky stuff (which will most likely be prohibitively expensive anyway) by putting in a phone call to the iPlayer team at the BBC and sending a fruit-basket to the Hulu offices. No big deal.

Greg: The 360 doesn’t have a web browser, so they get Twitter, Facebook and last.fm apps. Alan Wake looks like a fairly standard survival horror game. Thought it was funny that the early start for the big surprise turned out to be that there’s an exclusive Beatles Rockband track on the 360, with Ringo and Paul shuffling onto stage to ad-lib a bit (at least I hope that wasn’t scripted) before shuffling off after a couple of seconds of air guitar. They both looked uncomfortable being there and when Paul called Microsoft’s pre-E3 keynote a “game show,” that certainly fitted with the canned clapping that went on throughout.

Liam: I believe Sony will top that too.  Microsoft seem to be running out of ideas, and appear to be milking established brands like Halo and Forza to make up for the lack of new and interesting titles. That is not a bad thing if the games are fresh, but I fear they won’t be anything new and it will just be a case of adding a handful of new features and a bit more gloss. As per usual they have gone for exclusive DLC, this time with Modern Warfare 2, but GTA4 showed that this doesn’t guarantee they will sell more copies on the 360. A Metal Gear Solid without Snake as the lead character? Fail. I am excited about the new ODST and Halo: Reach, but I was hoping for much more “freshness” and plenty of new titles.

Peter: What bugs me is how well MS put their side of the competition across. Actually, what bugs me is how poorly Sony normally put theirs across. I just switched my 360 on to find all the trailers from the show available to download in HD. And everyone thinks that the Lips stuff and the camera stuff is all magic and new. It isn’t.

Davs: Agreed. I think it’s hard to say how ‘good’ MS conference was until we have another to compare, but I will now be disappointed if it’s not as good now.

Chris: We’ve obviously got the whole PSP Go! charade to sit through, I think there is another Metal Gear announcement to come, and we’ve obviously got the known big hitters of GoWIII, Heavy Rain, Uncharted 2, MAG etc. I also hope the EyePet has progressed and that will blow the whole Natal/Milo thing out of the water.

Davs: I would love to see some EyePet stuff and I suspect a lot of Heavy Rain, Uncharted II, MAG and GoW3. I expect some GT5 stuff, and obviously the PSP stuff as well as two new titles as well.

Liam: I really hope Sony and Nintendo have much more to show and blow MS away. Otherwise this year will see a pretty dull E3.

Greg: Sony still say they’ve got some surprises for tomorrow. I really hope that’s more than just hyperbole. I wouldn’t even mind seeing some sales figures and projections from them if they avoid PowerPoint and use LBP like last time. Being Sony though, I’ll prepare myself for disappointment though. Then I can be pleasantly surprised if they do have some cool new stuff.

Nick: One thing that struck me about the Microsoft show was the mentioned that Natal will allow them to update the console without the need for new hardware (other than the camera/mic thingy). This is a bold strategy but it’s also a long term one. Sony will be showing a lot of stuff in full that’s surfaced over the past few years. I think it’s up to them to show a similar kind of foresight. That will make or break their event for me.

So, after Microsoft’s promises of the evolution of the Xbox, does Sony have the Show to steal their thunder? Tell us what you think in the comments.

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