As many games journalists like to say: day one (and as a result E3) is Sony’s to lose. Last year Sony took full advantage of that fact by putting a hard focus on games announcing that their next-gen console would launch a full $100 less than the competition (remember that Nintendo does not consider themselves to be in competition with either Sony or Microsoft). By putting a hard emphasis on what they knew the consumer wanted and taking advantage of several messaging missteps and quotes taken out of context from Microsoft and Don Mattrick to solidly win that year’s E3.
This year started with a third party title, Destiny. We got a deep dive into the background of the game before Andrew House (Pres. and Group CEO) took the stage. He dropped several news items including that beta access will open on July 17th, exclusive alpha will be available July 12th through the 15th, and a white PS4 bundled with Destiny launching on September 9th. Then he introduced footage for an exclusive IP, The Order: 1886.
The Order looks stunning, but all we got was a short gameplay snippet before the feed switched over to a trailer and gameplay footage for Entwined. After the quick demo for Entwined, Scott Rohde (Senior VP of Worldwide Studios) came out to announce that Entwined is cross-buy (available on multiple platforms for one price) and Infamous: First Light is coming in August as a stand-alone DLC. After the trailer for First Light, the crowd went crazy when the marquee read Little Big Planet 3.
The LBP team played through a beginning level to introduce us to three new companions for Sackboy. Oddsock, Toggle, and Swoop are all designed to fit together as cooperative teammates and each one does something the other can’t. Next came Shuhei Yoshida (President of Worldwide Studios) to tell us that all of the content created for LBP and LBP2 will be ported over to LBP3 in all its 1080p glory. After the LBP announcement, he showed a video for a new IP from From Software (a company with roots that go back to the first PlayStation console) called Bloodborne.
When the Bloodborne video had finished up Alex Hutchinson (Creative Director, Ubisoft) was already on stage and waiting to display PS4 gameplay footage for Far Cry 4. It’s no surprise that the game looks beautiful, but what was surprising is that the drop-in co-op online multiplayer does not require that both players own the game! Simply load up the game, invite your friend, and you’re off to the races. This is a feature exclusive to the PS4 and will be available at launch.
Adam Boyes came out to show a cinematic trailer for Dead Island 2, a gameplay sizzle reel for Battlefield Hardline, and exclusive Disney Infinity Avengers figures. He also announced a partnership with Paradox Interactive (showing a trailer for Magicka 2) and that Grim Fandango will be getting completely remastered and brought to the PS4 and PS Vita before finally showing a montage of games from Devolver coming exclusively to PlayStation consoles. Boyes’ massively packed stage time was rounded out with the introduction of Suda51’s PS4 exclusive Let It Die, Giant Squid’s Abzu, and the jaw dropping No Man’s Sky.
No Man’s Sky isn’t just graphically beautiful and seamless, it’s also unprecedented in it’s scope. Sean Murray (Founder, Hello Games) came out to explain that NMS is a procedurally generated universe. Every player will start on a new world that didn’t exist previously to that game session having loaded. It could be a barren ice planet, a lush jungle planet, or a bombed out wasteland of shattered cities, but it will be completely unique and new in every way.
With a tough act to follow, Andrew House teased at the buzz that Project Morpheus has created in the development community before handing it off to Shawn Layden (President and CEO, SCEA). Shawn revealed that 95% of the over 7 million PS4s sold to date are connected to PSN and announced that YouTube direct uploads will be available via the PS4 share button. Free DLC for Playroom will allow people that want to broadcast their own show to have a custom set layed over their feed. He also announced that PS Now will be available for open beta starting July 31st on PS4 and later to PS3, PS Vita, and certain Sony connected TVs.
Shawn also gave Vita some love, pointing out that it already has a great library of games and can utilize remote play to play your PS4 favorites while away from home, but when PS Now launches Vita will have the deepest library of any mobile console and the only one to feature PlayStation exclusives. He also said Minecraft will be coming to Vita. If you’re interested in playing some of the great games available on the Vita, but don’t own one then you’re in luck because PSTV is coming to North America!
Introduced last year at TGS, PlayStation TV will allow you to access video and music streaming services as well as PS Now in addition to playing most PS Vita games. PSTV will be launching at $99 as a stand alone unit or bundled with a DualShock 3, an 8GB memory card, an HDMI cable, and a voucher for a digital copy of The Lego Movie Video Game for $139. Whether or not you’ll be able to just move your Vita’s memory card to the PSTV, play those games, and move it back to the Vita when you leave home is unclear.
After the PSTV announcement we got to see premier gameplay footage for Mortal Kombat X, which features new characters. Brian Michael Bendis came out to announce that his show (adapted from his comic book), Powers, has been greenlit and Andrew House pointed out that it will be available on PS4 this December and will be free for PS Plus members. The Ratchet and Clank movie got a trailer, we learned that the original Ratchet and Clank will be remastered for PS4, and the Metal Gear 5: The Phantom Pain trailer that was leaked the night before got its official showing.
We learned that GTA5 will be getting the next-gen treatment and you’ll be able to port your online progress and characters from PS3 AND Xbox 360. Moving from Rockstar to Rocksteady, Andrew House got to show all of the naysayers swirling around the recent gameplay footage of Batman: Arkham Knight that the gameplay really is that amazing. He wasn’t done yet, though. Before he left he handed it off to the trailer that the world was waiting for, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. We didn’t see any actual gameplay, but that’s understandable for a game that’s shed as many of it’s major contributors and isn’t due out until next year (although it will probably be delayed).
All in all, the Sony presser was the longest of the show at nearly two hours and boy did they use every second! Sony managed to squeeze in a number of new IPs and hardware into an already jam packed list of known games.