The first day of E3 is behind us and we are left amazed and excited. Sony closed out the day with their press conference and quite frankly knocked it out of the park. We learned more about the PlayStation 4, what to look forward to for the PS3 and Vita, new game announcements, and more details about games we’ve been looking forward to.
The PlayStation 4
The PlayStation 4 will launch in holiday 2013 for $399, €399, and £349 and will come with a 500GB hard drive. Not only was the console design revealed, but many of our burning questions were answered.“PlayStation 4 won’t impose any new restrictions on your use of PS4 game discs,” Said Jack Tretton, CEO of SCEA. “When a gamer buys a PS4 disc, they have the rights to use that copy of the game. They can trade in the game at retail, sell it to another person, lend it to a friend, or keep it forever.” The console also requires no online connection to authenticate disc based games. “If you enjoy playing single player games offline, PS4 won’t require you to check online periodically,” Tretton said, and in direct response to Microsoft he continued, “and it won’t stop working if you haven’t authenticated within 24 hours.”
PlayStation’s premium online service, PlayStation Plus, will be required to play PS4 games online, and the price will remain the same at $49.99 per year. Using Gaikai’s cloud based technology, PlayStation’s cloud gaming service will be available in the US in 2014 for PS4 and PS3, with more regions and Vita support to come later.
The PlayStation 3 and Vita
A new Grand Theft Auto V bundle and Pulse headset were announced for the PS3, as well as new trailers for games like The Last of Us, Beyond Two Souls, Rain, and Puppeteer. The Vita is also getting new content, with a Walking Dead bundle bringing the original episodic adventure to the handheld in addition to the upcoming The Walking Dead: 400 Days.
With over 85 titles launching on Vita by the end of 2013, gamers can look forward to titles like Batman Arkham Origins, CounterSpy, Destiny of Spirits, Doki-Doki Universe, Killzone: Mercenary, and Tearaway. Sony is also remastering some classics for the Vita, such as God of War 1 and 2, Final Fantasy X and X-2, Flower, and Dead Nation.
Killzone: Shadow Fall, Knack, and DriveClub will all launch with the PlayStation 4 day one with Infamous: Second Son expecting a release in Q1 2014. DriveClub PlayStation Plus Edition is coming to the PS+ instant game collection on day one, but the details of what that includes are still a mystery.
The Order 1886
A reveal trailer for The Order 1886, a new IP from Sony Santa Monica and Ready At Dawn Studios, was shown. Additional info on the title is scarce, but it appears to take place in a steampunk setting, or “an age of scientific marvels” as the narrator described. From what we’ve seen, you play as someone who protects “the wall dividing life from death,” (taken from the words of the unnamed narrator.) No specific threat was revealed, but the dramatic setting has our interest.
In the gameplay demo for Watchdogs, the player controlled Aiden Pearce as he assisted a contact known as T-Bone escape from an unnamed facility. A large portion of the demo was Aiden manipulating the technology around him by hacking into security cameras, phone, cars, and other devices. Hacking seems to be very easy to control by highlighting a hackable item and pressing a button to initiate the action.
During the demo, someone (outside the game) used a tablet to get in on the action and manipulated the world around Aiden in real time, aiding in his escape from the police. The ability to interact with the game on a second screen adds another layer of immersion to the experience. The graphics looked beautiful, with realistic light and water reflections as the player navigated through the streets of Chicago. Watchdogs will have an hour of exclusive gameplay for the PS4 and launch later this year.
If you’re a JRPG fan left wondering about Final Fantasy Versus XIII, fear not. Square Enix showed us a new trailer with gameplay which revealed that Final Fantasy Versus XIII is now Final Fantasy XV. The trailer showcased new combat techniques, a possible cover system, and also some platforming sections. You can also look forward to Final Fantasy XIV coming to the PS4.
Also on the JRPG front is Kingdom Hearts III. The reveal trailer was fairly short, but Sora is back and we can’t wait to find out more.
With the ability to self-publish on the PlayStation 4, the barrier to entry is at an attractive all-time low for small studios. Sony showed a lot of love and commitment for indie developers during their press conference, showcasing numerous games on stage. “We are amazed and inspired by the passion of these small teams,” Shuhei Yoshida, President of Sony’s Worldwide Studios for SCEA said. Several indie games were promoted such as Don’t Starve, Mercenary Kings, Octodad: Dadliest Catch, Secret Ponchos, Ray’s The Dead, Outlast, Oddworld New ‘n’ Tasty, and Galak-Z, all of which are having exclusive console launches on the PlayStation 4.
We know Destiny is a multiplatform title, but Sony mentioned a “long-term exclusive partnership” with Bungie and Activision assuring us that the PS4 would be receiving exclusive content. In the live gameplay demo, two players fought their way through a large structure referred to as “The Wall.”
Destiny features weapon specific talent trees with unique abilities, such as Rolling Thunder, a skill for the Thunderlord machinegun which burns through enemies with rounds that penetrate and detonate. The players were able to easily meet up with friends without having to navigate through any lobby or menu selections. The players then joined an in game Public Event, teaming up with other gamers to fight AI enemies.