E3 2014: Sony Press Conference Review
Take a bow, Sony.
For the second consecutive year, you came out and proved why PlayStation is currently the best-selling system on the market. In a day where Microsoft tried to play nice and give their competitors credit, Sony didn’t pull any punches. From the outset they were out to prove why the PlayStation 4 is better than any other console. At the end of Sony’s conference that was proven absolutely true.
The presser was quite long and showed off dozens of new games that will be released over the course of the next few years. There was so much shown that it is hard to highlight every single thing that happened, but I will give you a broad overview.
Sony kicked things off with Destiny, the new game from Bungie. After a new trailer showing the game off, Andrew House came out and said, “Destiny isn’t just first on PS4; it’s better.” Whoa. Shots fired within five minutes of the conference starting. They then told the audience that the beta for the game will be arriving on July 17. Clearly, Sony is out to prove that Destiny is meant to be played on PS4 even though Bungie has long created games exclusively for the Xbox.
To take things a step further, House then announced a new white PS4 bundle that includes a copy of Destiny and will be available on the game’s launch day, September 9. This wasn’t the end of the announcements, though. Sony went on to say that this Thursday PS4 owners will be able to play an alpha version of the game through the weekend. If you weren’t taking Destiny for the PS4 seriously before, then you better start now.
I was surprised at the announcement for LittleBigPlanet 3. While it was easy to guess that we would see a new game in the series at some point, most didn’t expect that reveal to be today. The game showed off three new characters along with the ever-adorable Sackboy. Most surprising of all? The game ships this November.
Various Trailers- Bloodborne, Dead Island 2, Let It Die
Sony proceeded to show off a trio of games they claimed fans have been writing in and asking them for. The first of these games was Dead Island 2. The trailer featured a man running down a street as he slowly turned into a zombie. It was very reminiscent of the trailer that was shown for the original Dead Island. Hopefully the game turns out to be just as good as the trailer this time.
Next up was the new game from From Software. We had heard rumors in recent weeks about the new game from the developer with the codename ‘Project Beast’. After a 17-second clip of gameplay leaked online last week, it seemed to be certain that the game would arrive at E3. The game did appear and was revealed as Bloodborne. It seems like From Software may already have another winner on its hands.
Finally, a new game from the wacky mind of Suda 51 appeared. In what seems to be an extremely dark and violent game with some RPG mechanics, not much is currently known on the new title Let It Die. Here’s hoping we see more in the near future.
After showing off some upcoming Triple-A titles, Sony toned things down by revealing some upcoming indie games that are in the works. The highlight of the titles shown though was the new title Abzu. The game is from the creators of Journey, one of the best indie games of the PS3 era. The game takes place under the sea and looks just as beautiful and serene as Journey.
We also saw a slew of new games in a quick montage. These included Hotline Miami 2, BroForce, and the incredible looking No Man’s Sky. They proceeded to show off an extended demo of No Man’s Sky, which seemed to have limitless possibilities. Essentially, you travel across the universe exploring different planets in a spaceship.
Finally, Sony revealed that a new remastered version of the classic Grim Fandango will be released on the PS4 and Vita. Fans in the crowd shrieked with joy. Being someone who has never played the game, I can’t wait to get my hands on it.
PlayStation Now and More
Things finally slowed down after the initial barrage of games that had been featured early on. Sony went into detail about PlayStation Now, the new game streaming service coming soon to PS4. The beta will launch on July 31 and will contain around 100 titles.
They then revealed that the once Japan-exclusive device PS Vita TV will now be coming stateside. The device is being renamed the ‘PlayStation TV’ and will cost $99 at retail.
Grand Theft Auto V and The Last of Us
We all had the feeling that Grand Theft Auto V would be coming to the next generation of consoles when it launched. Well, our assumptions were correct. Sony showed off a trailer for last year’s mega hit revealing that it would be available this fall on the PS4. In addition, the game will also be coming to the Xbox One and PC.
Speaking of hit games from 2013, The Last of Us Remastered was once again shown off, but this time the release date was finally revealed. Luckily, we won’t have to wait too long to play the game once again since it launches on July 29.
Batman: Arkham Knight Gameplay
OK, let me preface what I’m about to say by telling you that I am a massive Batman fan. The comics, movies, cartoon, and past Arkham games. I love it all. That being said this was my first, “HOLY CRAP GIVE ME THIS GAME RIGHT NOW!!!!!!” moment of E3.
The demo started with Batman getting suited up before looking out over Gotham City. The scope of the game was mind-boggling and I wondered just how much of the city was actually accessible. After dive-bombing down to street level, Batman seamlessly calls the Batmobile and leaps into the cockpit. This is where the fun begins. With the player now controlling the Batmobile, everything in its path was eviscerated. It then went into what seemed to be a tank-like mode and a turret blasted enemy vehicles out of its way.
After blasting out of the cockpit and soaring into the night sky, Batman ended up in a hideout where the Penguin was stashed away. Batman attacked the Penguin before the demo was interrupted by the arrival of Scarecrow. After the demo had ended, I was left in awe. Batman fan or not, this game should be on everyone’s minds right now. It is currently the most impressive demo I’ve seen this week.
Uncharted 4 Trailer
Finally, all that remained was one last showing from the PlayStation’s flagship franchise. While many people were hoping to see The Last Guardian, what we ended up seeing was arguably just as good.
In a new teaser trailer, we got our first look at Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. While the game had been announced last year on the launch night of the PS4, we had yet to see any footage. In the quick look that we got, we saw a battered Nathan Drake along a riverbank waking up and heading into the jungle. The footage was overdubbed with a conversation between Drake and Sully as they discussed one last mission. Clearly, Naughty Dog is teasing the end of this beloved franchise. The trailer ended saying that the game would arrive in 2015. Let’s hope that despite the development hell this game has been in recently, we are able to play it on schedule without any delays. This is arguably now my most anticipated PS4-exclusive title.
The pacing of the conference was fantastic. Sony knew just how to keep reeling you back in every time the proceedings got a little too boring. While I personally wish they would’ve focused on the Vita a bit more, I loved all of the games that were shown off tonight. On a day where Sony came in on top in the current gen console wars, they gave us a lot to be excited for within the coming months and years. It’s rare to see Sony put together great press conferences at back-to-back E3s, but this year they pulled it off.