E3 2014: Sony Conference

Date Posted Author
19th June 2014 Richard Pilot

Sony had a great E3 last year. Playing off the decisions of some of the other platforms that year, they rode the moral high ground and by doing so, won the hearts of many gamers. However, now that the next generation is actually here, Sony is back on a level playing ground and once again needs to justify why gamers should pick their console over others.

The conference started off with a look at Destiny. The game continues to look fantastic and you can definitely see the Bungie magic at work once more. The PS4 was touted as being the place to play it first and did so by revealing not only the date for the game's beta (available to those pre-order) but also an early alpha (which went on over the weekend). They wrapped up this initial segment by announcing an exclusive 'glacier white' PS4 and Destiny bundle to coincide with the game's release.

The glacier white PS4

The glacier white PS4

Next up, Sony showed some gameplay footage of The Order 1886, which combines cinematics and gameplay seamlessly; it's certainly one of the nicest looking PS4 exclusive games, but sadly won't be hiding stores until next year. Another big exclusive was announced soon after, a new addition to a popular franchise, LittleBigPlanet 3. Despite a few hiccups on stage, the game features familiar gameplay mechanics to previous editions, however this time Sackboy has a few friends in the form of Oddsock, who can wall jump, Swoop, who can fly and Toggle, who can switch between size as well as weight. As a final bonus, the game will also be able to play all previous user generated content from the first two games and will be out in November.

Other exclusives cropped up over the course of the show. We saw a CGI trailer for Bloodborne, a new title from Hidetaka Miyazaki, creator of Dark Souls. Infamous: Second Son will be getting some standalone DLC in August called Infamous: First Light which looks to be focussed on the neon-powered Fetch.

LittleBigPlanet 3

LittleBigPlanet 3

There were third parties and multiplatform games too. FarCry 4 made its second appearance of the day, this time showing some gameplay footage. We saw the player scale around a mountain tasked with taking out a convoy, which was done by driving the main truck off a cliff and then skydiving in a wingsuit down to the bottom. There was rampaging elephants and ultralight helicopters, gun and explosions. In an interesting move, owners of the game will be able their friends to play in co-op missions even if their friends don't own the game. There were plenty of other new games and trailers from third parties such as Dead Island 2 from Deep Silver, a new Battlefield: Hardline trailer from DICE, and Magika 2 from Paradox Interactive who, Sony told us, have PS4 exclusive games coming from all of their studios.

Indies also had their spotlight. Right at the start of the show, Sony announced Entwined, a game from new studio Pixelopus which is a beautiful alternative on the twin stick which was immediately made available on the PlayStation store. Later on we saw a sizzle reel of games from publisher Devolver Digital as well as new titles from known quantities like the hauntingly beautiful game Abzu from Giant Squid and Journey alumni, Matt Nava and Austin Wintory, as well as Tim Schafer who is bringing his classic adventure game Grim Fandango to PS4. Finally, there was more footage from No Man's Sky, an ambitious title from Hello Games which features randomly generated planets, creatures, spaceships and everything in between. It continues to look amazing and was revealed as a PS4 console exclusive. It was a great way to end the segment.

It wouldn't be a Sony conference with a business and services section, and this year was no different, although we did hear some interesting numbers like 95% of PS4 consoles are connected to the internet and that there have been over 220 million share captures. This sharing capacity would be extended when the PS4 rolls out YouTube support later this year. Previously announced hardware, the PlayStation Vita TV, was rebranded to just PlayStation TV and is being brought to the western market by announcing a US date and price ($99 on its own or $139 with a controller and game bundle). Europe will also get the device "this year" for 99 Euros, or £85 here in the UK. Other services got a mention including streaming service PlayStation Now which will move into open beta in the US in July. Finally, Sony are moving into the digital television streaming market and are producing original content. They start with comic book adaption Powers, which was recently greenlit to a full series and will be available completely free to PlayStation Plus owners (although only confirmed in the US, unfortunately).

Nathan Drake is looking a bit older in Uncharted 4

Nathan Drake is looking a bit older in Uncharted 4

The show was wrapped up with a bunch more AAA games, including the announcement of GTA V for PS4, which will allow players to import their online characters from their Xbox 360 or PS3 profiles. We saw the first public footage from Rocksteady's new Batman game, Arkham Knight, which looked fantastic and showed the familiar gliding mechanics from the previous games as well as look at the Batmobile in action (which could turn into a tank?!). We also got a new trailer for The Last of Us: Remastered, which looked stunning and speaking of the Naughty Dog, the show ended with a trailer for Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. All of these games looked stunning on the PS4 and we can wait to play them all when they hit consoles.

Sony didn't make headlines in the same big way this year, but that's mainly because they weren't following on from negative reactions from other companies. That said, Sony had a great showing, offering tangible reasons that gamers should pick their console, and ensured that all tastes were catered for from AAA games to smaller indie titles.

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