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October 11 2005

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NUMBER ONE ONLINE PLAYSTATION®2 FRANCHISE, SOCOM 3: U.S. NAVY SEALs RELEASES OCTOBER 11 TO STORES NATIONWIDE

PlayStation.com
 

Oct. 11, 2005

NUMBER ONE ONLINE PLAYSTATION®2 FRANCHISE, SOCOM 3: U.S. NAVY SEALs RELEASES OCTOBER 11 TO STORES NATIONWIDE

Multimillion Unit Selling Military Shooter Innovates With 32-Player Online Gameplay, Interactive Vehicles, Customizable Weapons, and Interoperability With Upcoming PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) System Release SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo

FOSTER CITY, Calif. October 11, 2005 - Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. announced today the launch of the blockbuster title, SOCOM 3: U.S. Navy SEALs, exclusively for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. Developed by Zipper Interactive, Inc. and produced by Sony Computer Entertainment America’s Foster City Studio in association with the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command, SOCOM 3: U.S. Navy SEALs offers the most realistic SEAL gameplay and mission designs of any military shooter.

With combined worldwide franchise sales totaling more than 6 million units, SOCOM 3: U.S. Navy SEALs builds on the success of its predecessor offering new single-player and multiplayer game experiences, including 32-player supported online gameplay, player-controlled interactive vehicles, more than 900 different weapon combinations and mission maps five to six times larger than in previous SOCOM titles.

“The franchise has evolved tremendously f rom taking PlayStation 2 consumers online for the first time with SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs in 2002 to achieving more than 30,000 simultaneous online players on SOCOM II. For SOCOM 3, we have doubled the number of players within each map from 16 to 32, incorporated interactive vehicles, weapon customization and cross talk objectives with SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo for PSP™,” said Seth Luisi, senior producer, Sony Computer Entertainment America. “W e are cementing the SOCOM franchise’s position as a key technology driver in interactive entertainment history .”

For the first time in the SOCOM series, land and water vehicles play a central role in the gameplay experience, both on- and off-line. The use of interactive vehicles enable players to control a range of military vehicles including tactical turret-equipped pickups, the SEAL-team configured military M1025 HMMWV and SOC-R Assault Boat. Players will explore three new international Areas of Operation (AO) – Morocco, Poland, and South Asia with multiple save points, allowing for seamless progression through the plotline. A new weapon customization system allows players to use more than 30 different weapons and 20 attachments, resulting in more than 900 different combinations.

SOCOM 3 will support double the amount of players in SOCOM II online maps. Up to 32 players can compete and team together in a single round, with two new online game types, Convoy, a mode that takes advantage of vehicle combat, and Control Point, where gamers battle for control of the map. Extended community features include improved friends list and chat functionality, in-game email, a detailed ranking structure, expanded stat tracking and leader boards, message boards, clan challenges, clan ladders and more.

SOCOM 3 “cross talk” mission critical data can be synced through a USB connection with SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo, launching exclusively on November 8 for the PSP™ (PlayStation® Portable) system. Once a cross talk goal is completed, such as eliminating an enemy communication device in Morocco, the player will be notified and able to transfer the data to PSP™ system. In this scenario, the enemies would be unable to radio for assistance on SOCOM Fireteam Bravo in the same Area of Operation. Gamers can also affect mission structure in SOCOM 3 by completing a cross talk objective on SOCOM Fireteam Bravo.

Also new for SOCOM 3: U.S. Navy SEALs is the ability to swim and attack nemies on land or in the water from specially equipped boats. Players can swim and dive under water to sneak up on terrorists and the player-controlled waterborne vehicles provide quick access points to areas in the large maps.

SOCOM 3: U.S. Navy SEALs presents a fully immersive and more intense tactical experience than ever before, further solidifying its key position in the military strategy genre.

Marketing Campaign Details
The tagline, “Wherever Freedom Is Threatened, The SEALs Are There,” will be highlighted in national television advertising, alongside a dedicated national print, viral and online media campaign with a strategy guide, promotional and retail support.

“Backed by widespread marketing support across broadcast, print, online, viral, Web sites, major retailers and the e-SEALs team, SOCOM 3: U.S. Navy SEALs builds on the strengths of the multimillion-selling franchise to deliver true-to-life gameplay experiences,” said John Koller, senior marketing manager, Sony Computer Entertainment America. “This campaign will give consumers the feeling of what it is like to be immersed in the life of a Navy SEAL.”

National Broadcast/Cable Advertising Campaign
Targeting the 18 and older male audience, the national television campaign is comprised of two distinct themes. The first television spot focuses on SEALs in combat and is called “Sunday Drive.” This spot utilizes the juxtaposition of “Route 66” playing in the background to the SEALs idea of a “Sunday Drive” including intense conflict at an enemy safe house and a hostage rescue situation.

Another television ad, which launched on October 3, focuses on the complete SEAL experience. Broken into sea, air and land title cards, the ad utilizes footage from these segments in the game as rock music builds to a crescendo and the Navy SEAL cry “HOOYAH!” emerges at the end. Executions will air on a variety of network, cable and syndicated programming.

National Print Advertising Campaign
To support SOCOM 3: U.S. Navy SEALs, the print advertising campaign utilizes the theme of SEAL stealth and showcases them in theatre, ready to take down terrorists in both warehouse and jungle environments.

The campaign will reach millions of readers nationwide through placements in a wide variety of national consumer, gaming, men’s lifestyle, and military-themed publications. The print campaign will begin in October and continue through December 2005. Print ads will run in publications such as Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine, Game Informer, Electronic Gaming Monthly, Playboy, Maxim, Complex, Giant, Navy Times and Soldier of Fortune and many more.

Viral and Online Advertising
Online and viral advertising will consist of an online reality show airing weekly starting in mid-October on www.SOCOMHellWeek.com. The focus will be on a hosted SEAL bootcamp where 16 lucky SOCOM fans train for three full days at BUDs camp with real SEAL instructors.

Those still standing at the end of the weekend will earn a PSP™ and a copy of SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo. These reality show “Webisodes” will also include smaller video “pods” that fans can send to friends, including individual showcases of various gamers at bootcamp, SEAL instructor “encouragement,” and much more. In addition, there is a pre-launch campaign called “SOCOM 3 Tactics” which focuses on SEAL training techniques utilizing in-game footage and hosted by Chief Roy. This can be found on http://www.socom3tactics.com/ and will eventually roll into the full Hell Week URL.

National Retail Support and Viral Promotions
Massive retail support, including pre-sells at major accounts utilizing demo discs, and store manager incentive programs that reward store managers who pre-sell the most copies of SOCOM 3 are underway. Major retailers will be supporting these programs with Point-of-Purchase displays and advertising.

The viral promotion component will target the e-SEALs team, composed of a fan base with more than 100,000 members, with missions and newsletters, including a new website.

Individual missions provide the opportunity to win SOCOM-themed prizes as well as clan tournaments. Members have the opportunity to participate in exclusive promotions, sweepstakes and other SOCOM events; joining is free and fans can sign up at www.socomeseals.com.

In addition, “SOCOM Study Break!” sessions commence this fall at college campuses across the country, offering several incentives to get college students kids out of dorms and into SOCOM 3: U.S. Navy SEALs online tournaments and parties on campus.

VH1 shot its Top 20 on location at the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan in San Diego and feature a SOCOM gameplay footage focus, complete with a game showcase, and Navy SEALs’ interviews. This episode will air the week of launch on VH1.

“The Ultimate Gamer” on Spike TV brought a lucky fan to Zipper’s offices in Seattle to play SOCOM 3 before anyone else, while his home was completely outfitted in SOCOM gear. This episode also airs the week of SOCOM 3’s launch on Spike TV.

Gameplay authenticity through the association with the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command is vital to the SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs franchise. To learn more about the Navy SEALs, visit www.seal.navy.mil.

The independent Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) has rated SOCOM 3: U.S. Navy SEALs “M” for “Mature . ” For more information about the ESRB visit www.esrb.org.

About Sony Computer Entertainment America
Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. continues to redefine the entertainment lifestyle with its PlayStation® and PS one™ game console, the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and the PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable). The PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system is set to revolutionize the home entertainment market, offering the most compelling interactive content and the capability to be used as a network terminal in the coming broadband era. PSP™ system is a new portable entertainment system that allows users to enjoy 3D games, with high-quality full-motion video, and high-fidelity stereo audio.

Recognized as the undisputed industry leader, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. markets the PlayStation family of products and develops, publishes, markets and distributes software for the PS one game console, the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system and the PSP™ system for the North American market. Based in Foster City, Calif. Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. serves as headquarters for all North American operations and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

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