E3 2014: Sony E3 Round-Up
If there ever was a prize for the most games squeezed into an hour's presentation Sony would have won it hands down and possibly set the world record into the bargain. In fact, there's so many games that we've included the whole press conference in the video above.
Sony has maintained their balance from last year with as much emphasis to small indie studios and their games as they have for the big triple-A blockbusters. It is a bit of a case of 'blink and you'll miss something' but it's done in a way that demontrates Sony's commitment to getting good games on their platforms.
They opened with a new cinematic trailer for Destiny which reveals the back story of the far-future Earth that you will explore in the game. But Sony also had a big surprise announcement straight off the bat with the news that they have a first-look alpha of Destiny coming exclusively to the PS4 tomorrow (Thursday 12th of June). Andrew House also gave the launch date for the PS4 and PS3 beta phase. This kicks off on July the 19th.
Next up was The Order: 1886. This has been confirmed for release in February of next year and Sony showed off lots of dark brooding gameplay footage that seems to flow seemlessly into cut-scenes and without a change in the high quality of the visuals.
Next they began their focus on indie gaming with Entwined. This charming and beautiful game is the product of two academic programmes that Sony is co-operative with and offers unique twin-stick gameplay as players control two spirits who are in love but can never be together as they dance through Rez-style environments. In another surprise move Sony revealed that Entwined is out now on PS4 with the PS Vita and PS3 versions soon to follow.
Following that Scott Rohde introduced the upcoming standalone expansion for inFamous: Second Son called inFamous: First Light which tells a new side-story in the inFamous universe and is due out in August on PS4.
Next came another massive reveal from Sony – LittleBigPlanet 3. Carrying on in the spirit of the series Sackboy is joined by new friends for co-op play and it will also be completely backwards-compatible with all of user-generated content created for the previous games in the series right back to LittleBigPlanet.
Shuhei Yoshida came on stage to introduce the game that was leaked as Project Beast, Bloodborne. Hidetaka Miyazaki's new game is another dark and violent adventure that sees players hacking their way through a host of decaying undead monsters and despite it's similarity to Dark and Demon's Souls it still presents a mouthwatering prospect for fans of From Software. It's due out on PS4 in 2015
Far Cry 4 made an appearance on the stage with a live gameplay playthrough. It look beautiful and dynamic, everything Far Cry 3 was and more. It introduced the new grappling hook tool which is extremely useful for navigating in the mountainous terraing of the Himalayas where the game is set. The player also has access to a wingsuit and weaponised elephants which are equally cool. What is even cooler is that PlayStation gamers will get and exclusive feature that will allow them to invite friends who don't own the game to join in and play online.
Sony's publisher relations man Adam Boyes popped next to reveal a host of titles that they've received whihc led him to announce titles like the Yager-developed Dead Island 2 which is set in a quarantined California, a remastered version of the Tim Schafer classic Grim Fandango fo PS4 and PS Vita, special The Last Of Us content for the PS4 and PS3 versions of Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition, Battlefield: Hardline gameplay, Paradox Interactive's first PlayStation-exclusive title Magicka 2 and exclusive items, a multiplayer map and co-op strike for Destiny as well as a slate of exclusive indie titles from Devolver Digital that includes Broforce and Hotline Miami 2.
This led to the reveal of Suda51's PS4-exclusive free-to-play game Let it Die, which rose from the ashes of Lily Bergamo. Journey art director Matt Nava's new game ABZU also got a reveal. Set in the ocean it looks like a truly beautiful exploration experience.
Honorable mention goes to Hello Games' No Man's Sky which promises to be an amazing experience. Sean Murray appeared quickly to promise that this wonderful procedurally-generated sci-fi exploration game will offer a unique experience to each and every person that plays it and a truly infinite universe's worth of exploration.
Andrew House came back to evangelise about Sony's additional hardware like the PlayStation Camera and Project Morpheus. Sean Laydon, Jack Tretton's replacement at SCEA, followed to announce US open beta dates for PlayStation Now as well as announcing that it well be extending to PS3, PS Vita and even Sony Bravia Bluetooth Smart TVs provided you have a DualShock 3 controller. He also promised that YouTube uploading is coming to the PS4 later this year. He also revealed that the PS4's Share button has been pressed over 220 million times.
This was followed by what all of the free-to-play titles that Sony has coming across PS4, PS3 and PS Vita. Then there was a PS Vita segment promising over 100 games in development on the handheld from Minecraft to Tales for The Borderlands to Child Of Light. PlayStation Vita TV was revealed for the West as PlayStation TV for just 99 USD on its own or 139 USD with a DualShock 3, 8GB memory card, HDMI cable and a digital copy of LEGO: The Movie – The Video Game.
Towards the end The Last Of Us Remastered was shown and, oh my, does it look special on the PS4. It was also revealed that the game will be out on July the 29th. Filling in the difficult job of following The Last Of Us was Kojima Productions' latest cinematic trailer for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain which also looks truly spectacular. Just don't expect to play it any time soon.
Of course, there was the huge announcement that GTA V is coming to the PS4. The gameplay footage from the trailer looks like the game is truly most at home on next-generation hardware. It will be out in the autumn. PS3 and Xbox 360 players will be able to transfer their GTA Online saves and characters to the PS4 version.
There was a quick gameplay video of Rocksteady's final Batman game, Batman: Arkham Knight which also looks stunning and huge and awesome fun when zooming around Gotham in the new Batmobile.
The final shot from the press conference was a trailer for Uncharted 4: A Thief's End recorded entirely from in-game footage. Naughty Dog has been at the cutting edge of PlayStation visuals since Uncharted 2 mapped out the true potential of the PS3 and it looks like Uncharted 4 will do the same when it drops in 2015.
This was a dense gamer's experience packed with exciting new titles for all types of gamers and Sony certainly wins a lot of points for cramming so much into the conference. One thin is sure. The next 18 months will be exciting for PlayStation gamers.