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Sony's "Michael" PS3 ad celebrates gamers

An advert for the PlayStation 3 celebrates gaming by bringing together characters from some the console's best-loved titles.

It starts in a dark forest, with two soldiers making their way towards a stone building. They enter, pay the woman behind the counter, and hang up their weapons, before going into the main bar.

Propping up the bar are a host of much-loved characters from PlayStation games, swapping stories of their scrapes and battles won and lost. Soon it becomes clear they're all talking about the same person, someone who's helped them countless times over the years. But just who is this mysterious Michael?

Well it's you. Even if your name's not Michael. The advert is part of Sony's 'Long Live Play' campaign, and though it only went live yesterday, it's already garnering plaudits from the gaming world.

"The best PlayStation 3 ad we've ever seen will give you chills," said Kotaku, while TechCrunch went with, "Good job, Sony. You won the internet today."

It's a two-minute long ad, with the usual high production values. But it's more a celebration of gaming than a promotion for PlayStation, which may help explain its success. Among the characters making an appearance are Unchartered's Nathan Drake, Infamous' Cole MacGrath, some Chimera aliens from Insomniac's Resistance games, and even Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid. And they all gather to celebrate the player, this 'Michael', who enabled them to go on their adventures.

Sony has a history of high concept PlayStation adverts. For the original PlayStation it ran its 'Double Life' ad, and even brought whackjob movie director David Lynch on board to take the helm for some suitably bizarre outings.

What do you think of the new PlayStation ad? And how many characters can you spot in there? Let us know on our Facebook page.