E3 2011: Sony’s New 3D Monitor, $249 ‘Vita’ Handheld, ‘Uncharted 3′ Gameplay

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You’ve got to hand it to Sony. In the face of a humiliating security breach and three-week-long PlayStation Network outage, they didn’t go for the “these aren’t the hacks you’re looking for” Jedi mind trick. They addressed the issue straight on, acknowledging that the outage happened, admitting that they may have lost some of their customers and thanking the ones that stayed for their loyalty. SCEA CEO Jack Tretton said that PS Network activity is at 90% of what it was before the outage. Still, there was an air of finality about their infrastructure woes that’s probably a misnomer, as they’re apparently going to be dealing with threats across various corporate divisions for a while yet.

Nevertheless, it’s been an otherwise promising year for PlayStation and they unveiled the slate for the next year with a lot of enthusiasm.

First up was an Uncharted 3 live gameplay demo. Series hero Nathan Drake stands on the deck of a decrepit cruise ship, getting his sea legs. A Naughty Dog developer played the demo and initiated stealth attacks on some armed thugs in rapid succession. But, Drake wound up trapped by a merc captain in a dead end hold of the ship. He then grabs the grenade from the merc leader’s belt and blows a hole open in the wall. Water rushes in, creating wet chaos. A gunfight ensues, and we get to see one of the hero’s new melee moves, a painful disarm that leaves an enemy’s weapon in Drake’s hands.

The boat capsizes, and a few gorgeous swimming sequences later, Drake winds up on solid ground thinking he’s safe. Suddenly, a torrent of water crashes through a door behind him and throws him violently at the camera, with a fade to black ending the demo.

Uncharted 3 looks like it’s ramping up everything about the franchise to ridiculous degrees. Massive bodies of water, sand and fire, burlier combat and an added layer of narrative mystery should make Naughty Dog’s latest effort nearly impossible to wait for. For what it’s worth, it also looks great in 3D and Sony’s pushing their stereoscopic gaming agenda harder than ever.

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