Trying to describe exactly what Dust 514 is to a modern shooter audience isn't easy, especially if you're not familiar with CCP's giant persistent MMO EVE Online. It's part shooter, part MMO, part role playing game, and -in what may be the largest leap - is directly connected to its PC counterpart. Dust 514 is much more than a shooter, its battles for territorial control, shooting aesthetic and general scale is much more akin to PlanetSide than any of the shooters gracing consoles today. To explain that, the developers describe the characterists of Dust 514 as fundamentally outward, where the goal is really to fight as a larger community and take or defend territory which will effect larger games on a universal scale, to something like COD which they describe as a fundamentally 'inward' game, whose main focus is to gain ranks and rise on the leaderboards.
There wasn't much gameplay shown at the behind closed doors briefing, but the explanations of what CCP is trying to achieve is impressive on its own right. To create a persistent shooter on a console, which is directly connected to a PC MMO, is something that has never been done before. Especially when you keep in mind that everyone, both players on the PS3 and on the PC, will be populating the same server. That's thousands of players, on both the PC and PS3, playing two distinctly different games types, in one persistent world, on one server. That alone should make anyone take notice.
Of course, latency issues are surely going to be of a concern and CCP thinks they have most of the issue resolved through the use of Battle Servers which have been setup in all 6 of CCP's offices across the world. Still, however, they admit that people playing in certain parts of the world may have an advantage, latency wise, over others but they stress that the more tactical aspect of Dust 514 will be particularly forgiving to any latency problems. I do fear, though, that players used to the latency free experience of modern shooters may be initially turned off by this and never give the more meta aspects of Dust 514 a chance.
Dust 514 is an exclusive title for the PS3 (The developers were a little shady about a possible PC release) and CCP has also announced that their agreement with Sony opens allows the option for CCP to offer the free, and frequent, updates that EVE Online players have been enjoying. Currently, free updates and expansions to the title are slated to be available every three months after release.
Dust 514 will be available download only on the PSN. Unfortunately, no pricing or release date as been announced at this time.