By Ryan Nakashima
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (AP) – Sony Corp. has breathed new life into its handheld Vita and announced a tie-up with author J.K. Rowling that could cause Harry Potter fans to fly on broomsticks into the world of games.
The Japanese console maker indicated it could be years before it comes up with new version of its PlayStation. But at the world’s biggest video game expo, E3, it announced plenty to keep gamers busy this coming holiday season.
Sony unveiled plans for a second-screen function for the Vita that keeps it in step with Nintendo’s new tabletcontroller-equipped console, Wii U. It also presented a Harry Potter-inspired book game called “Wonderbook: Book of Spells” that turns the Move motion controller into a magic wand.
Jack Tretton, the president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America, suggested it may be a few more years before a new PlayStation console is due. He told a packed Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena that Sony’s 6-year-old machine “continues to shatter expectations” and called it “the industry’s most powerful palate” for game-makers.
“Back to the original PlayStation we always thought in 10-year product life cycles,” he said in an interview with The Associated Press after Sony’s E3 news conference. “I think you’re seeing those generations be longer and longer because the technology is so great, it’s difficult to surpass it.”
A few games did appear to defy expectations even on the aging console.
“Beyond,” which Sony showcased to kick off its 75-minute presentation, depicts “Juno” star Ellen Page in much more authentic animated acting scenes than were seen in its 2010 predecessor, “Heavy Rain,” which was also from game studio Quantic Dream.
Sony also demonstrated a raft of “first-person shooter” games that were shockingly violent but could please hard-core gamers, including “The Last of Us” by studio Naughty Dog.
“Technically, there’s some really impressive stuff,” said John Davison, vice president of programming for GameSpot.com. “We’re seeing all publishers really stretching out this generation of hardware.”
The video-game industry is seeking to reverse a five-month slump in U.S. sales dragged down mainly by a lack of new hardware.
Nintendo Co. Ltd.’s Wii is 5 years old. Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360 is 6. Only Nintendo is coming out with a new console this year.1 2 next >>