Sony E3 2011 Conference Preview and Confirmed Announcements

E3 2011 is only one week away and fans are no doubt clambering for details on what to expect from their favorite developers and console manufacturers. We’ll be bringing our readers live coverage of all the high-profile E3 events and closed-door meetings – but, in the mean time, we thought we’d take a moment to summarize what we’re expecting to see at the upcoming keynote addresses – starting with Sony.

Buoyed by a batch of buzz-worthy first party titles, 2011 was supposed to be the year that Jack Tretton and Co finally gained serious traction with the PS3 – as well as put their ever-struggling PSP handheld behind them in favor of the Next Generation Portable (NGP). Unfortunately, the infamous PSN hack in late April stole a lot of Sony‘s momentum – leaving many industry vets wondering if the PS3 will ever be able to fully recover.

There’s no doubt that Sony has a lot of work to do at this year’s E3.

What can Sony do to make it up to fans (not to mention potential customers) who are now reluctant to trust Sony with, not just their personal information, but their hard earned money as well?

Sony will undoubtedly eat-crow on the hacking debacle but spend the majority of the PSN-related time touting the improvements they’ve made to the network as well as their exciting new infrastructure – that will, hopefully, allow them to not only do a better job of protecting consumers but also improve the user experience itself.

Showering consumers with new features and must-have games will ultimately be the focus of Sony’s conference, and on that note, we’re no doubt expecting to hear about a new PS3 firmware – hopefully with some long-awaited additions, such as cross-game chat as well as other community improvements (least of which will be some form of interconnectivity with the NGP’s LiveArea functionality).

While some fans might be hoping for a PS4 announcement, despite rumors to the contrary (i.e. of course they’re working on it), it’s very unlikely that we’ll be hearing an official announcement about the next generation console at this point – especially since we’ll hopefully be hearing a lot about the Next Generation Portable.

NGP Specs Launch Date

The NGP, rumored to be called the PS Vita, will undoubtedly be a major focus of the event – now that Sony has enjoyed another five months to firm-up some of the details (official name, form-factor, software, price, release window, etc). Tretton’s team will also unveil at least seven games for the portable – but expect the recently announced Nathan Drake prequel, rumored to be called Uncharted: Golden Abyss, to take the NGP software spotlight – with other Sony staples, such as a new WipEout game, filling-up the six remaining spots.

Plenty of PS3 games will get some form of attention at the conference – especially previously unveiled titles such as Infamous 2, Ratchet & Clank: All 4 OneResistance 3Twisted Metal, and of course Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. However, the rumor mill is definitely in full swing – with potential, surprise, appearances by titles such as God of War 4 (or franchise spin-off) as well as Syphon Filter 4.

Sony will undoubtedly have some killer third party exclusives again this year – Steam integration into the PS3 version of Portal 2 will be tough to beat but, and while Modern Warfare 3 map-packs will still be timed Xbox 360 exclusives, it’s certainly possible that Sony could snag some exclusive third-party DLC offerings – should a high-profile title like Grand Theft Auto 5 get announced.

Resistance 3 3D Move Support - Insomniac Posing

While we expect that PlayStation Move will make an appearance – specifically tied to a game like Resistance 3 or possibly Uncharted 3, unless Sony has managed to inject Kinect-like functionality into the PlayStation Eye, it’s unlikely that Move will see a lot of stand-alone time onstage. Additionally, it’d be a no-brainer to assume that Sony will detail the American release of their PSP remaster series PS3 ports – as well as new HD series collections.

Want to know what predictions we have for the remaining conferences? Check out our other previews below:

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick and let us know what you’re hoping to see Sony announce at E3 2011.

Stay tuned to Game Rant for our on-site coverage of E3 2011 starting early next week.

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