What’s New with PlayStation? Lots.
This is a very in-depth look at everything Sony revealed during their conference. If you’d prefer to listen to the article, we’re included a narrated version as well.
Over the past few years, Sony has made a concerted effort to trim the fat from their E3 media briefings and showcase as much content as possible. This year was certainly no different, and the company pulled out all the stops to show gamers how much content the PlayStation ecosystem will receive over the next twelve months. For nearly two hours straight, they delivered a non-stop barrage of news, information, and game reveals in what was easily the best E3 show so far. The conference opened in dramatic fashion with an expansive and elaborate trailer for Destiny, reminding gamers that, as the Guardian, they will be the last hope for the survival of everything humanity has achieved. Andrew House then took the stage to announce a slew of Destiny-related information to the world. For starters, the Destiny demo will be arriving on PlayStation platforms first on July 17th. Starting this Thursday, PS4 players will get to play the Destiny First-Look Alpha and see what the game is like before anyone else. Also announced was a white PS4 Destiny bundle that will be available when the game launches on September 9th.
Moving right along, House quickly brought more exclusive IPs to the forefront, and the first order of business was The Order: 1886. Its gameplay demo featured a chilling walk through a dark basement and a painful fight with a mutated beast that heavily emphasized the graphical power of the console. Entwined, a colorful new game made entirely by recent college graduates, was also revealed to the world. The game features complex gameplay that requires you to control two separate characters at once, and each of them is tied to their own control stick. Much to the surprise of the audience, Sony announced that the game is available on the PS4’s PlayStation Store right now for $9.99; the game will arrive on PS3 and PS Vita later this year.
The company continued to waste no time by announcing new downloadable content for InFamous: Second Son called InFamous: First Light that will launch in August. Immediately afterwards, the crowd erupted when LittleBigPlanet 3 was announced by way of a live demo that introduced new playable characters and deep cooperative gameplay mechanics. Although the presenters struggled a bit, the audience seemed captivated by the game’s adorable aesthetic, and the presentation seemed incredibly natural and enjoyable. According to the development team, almost 9 million levels have been created by players of the first two games in the series, and gamers will be able to play all of them with updated graphics in LBP3. LittleBigPlanet 3 will launch in November.
From there, another brand-new IP was announced from developer From Software, creators of the Dark Souls series. The game, called Bloodborne, debuted via a very creepy pre-rendered trailer that announced a release date of 2015. Ubisoft then took the stage to showcase some gameplay of Far Cry 4. The extensive demo featured lots of dynamic gameplay, including stealth, bombastic action, driving, flying via the Wingsuit, and a cooperative mode that allowed player 2 to fly around in a helicopter and support player 1 in the air. These cooperative modes will be extended even to players that do not own the game, and this functionality will be exclusive to PlayStation platforms.
The show quickly transitioned into even more game announcements through a humorous pre-rendered trailer for Dead Island 2 from Deep Silver that showed the franchise turning to a sunny, Los Angeles-esque environment. The game will enjoy a 30-day beta that will be exclusive to the PS4 platform. Additionally, Blizzard will be integrating enemies from The Last of Us into a special dungeon created specifically for the PlayStation versions of Diablo III. Also mentioned was the console-exclusive Battlefield Hardline demo that you can enjoy on PS4, and Sony debuted a new trailer for the game during the show. If that wasn’t enough, Disney announced that they will be bringing the Hulk exclusively to PS3 and PS4 in Disney Infinity 2.0. Finally, Sony announced a wealth of exclusive Destiny content for the PlayStation platforms.
The announcements kept coming. Sony revealed an exclusive partnership with Paradox Interactive via a trailer for Magika 2 that featured a depressed and very unemployed wizard finding something new to do. Much to the crowd’s delight, it was announced that the classic game Grim Fandango will be remastered for PS4 and PS Vita. A slew of smaller games that will be coming exclusively to PlayStation platforms were also announced; this includes Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, Not a Hero, and The Talos Principle. Famed game creator Suda51 is also working on an exclusive PS4 title in the form of the very violent Let It Die. Additionally, the makers of the popular PS3 game Journey debuted a Ps4-exclusive ocean-themed game called Abzu. Also announced was an amazingly beautiful and truly epic game, No Man’s Sky, that seamlessly blended planetary adventures with deep space exploration. The small indie team working on the game promises to deliver an infinite game that starts each player on an entirely different planet so no two experiences are ever the same. Just when you thought that was the end, Sony kept going. In terms of hardware, the company gave further information about how they plan to expand the PlayStation Camera via the Project Morpheus VR headset that will be present on the show floor this week.
Then, Sony Computer Entertainment America’s new CEO stepped onstage to introduce himself and talk about the future of PlayStation services. He revealed that nearly 95% of all PS4’s in the world are connected to online features, and more than one billion online matches have been played. In an exciting moment, it was announced that YouTube sharing is coming to PS4 later this year. More than 150 million spectating sessions have occurred on PS4, and the company plans to further refine that experience. Now, spectators will be able to interact with someone’s gaming session in positive and negative ways. The PS4’s Playroom will also get updated with additional content later this year. Additionally, Sony reaffirmed their commitment to free-to-play games by announcing over twenty new games that will arrive within a year.
The presentation then turned to Sony’s newer online features. The game streaming service PlayStation Now will be available as an open beta on July 31st, and later this year, the service will also arrive on select Sony televisions. The open beta will feature over 100 games from the PS3’s library, including bonafide hits such as Dead Space 3 and God of War: Ascension. The super-convenient PlayStation TV is also getting a big boost by allowing for access to Remote Play and a host of other music and video content in addition to PS Vita games and PS1 classics all on your big-screen TV. PlayStation TV will be available in the US and Europe this fall for $99 by itself, but Sony is also offering a $139 bundle that includes a DualShock 3, an 8GB memory card, and a digital download for The Lego Movie Videogame. To cap this portion off, intense and absurdly violent gameplay footage premiered for Mortal Kombat X.
Before fully turning their attention back to software, Sony briefly discussed the future of the PlayStation media landscape by showcasing the company’s first original programming creation, Powers. It is based on the graphic novel series by Brian Michael Bendis, has been officially greenlit, and will be available in December; the first episode of the show will be available to every user for free. The entirely of the Powers series will also be included for free with an active PlayStation Plus membership. A teaser trailer was also shown for Ratchet & Clank: The Movie, which will premiere in theaters in 2015. Another noteworthy announcement came with the announcement that the original Ratchet & Clank is being remastered for PS4 and will be available in the first half of 2015. We were also reminded that a remastered version of The Last of Us is also coming to the PS4 on July 29th. Also debuting was a new trailer for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain as well as the announcement of Grand Theft Auto V coming to the PS4 this fall. Note that PS3 and 360 players will be able to import their GTA Online progress and characters to the PS4 version as well. An explosive gameplay demo of Batman: Arkham Knight was also shown. Flying around Gotham and laying the smack down on bad guys looks more gorgeous then ever, and now the Batmobile and its unique abilities appear to be joining the action as well. The game will feature Scarecrow Nightmare missions that will be available exclusively on the PS4. As icing on the cake, the incredible presentation wrapped up with the world premiere of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End via an in-engine trailer with absolutely stunning graphical fidelity. The game will arrive in 2015.
With so many game reveals and service improvements, Sony definitely brought their A-game to E3 this year. Were you impressed by the company’s showcase, or did their presentation leave you wanting more? We invite you to let us know and discuss all of the night’s announcements in the comments section below.