Today has been a very eventful day for gaming. As many of you out there in the interwebs may know this week witnessed the unveiling of Sony’s new next generation console, the Playstation 4 or PS4 as we all call it. Sony brought with it a slew of new franchises, new games in popular franchises, and introduced services to their consumers. PS4 let the X-Bone (X-Box One) know who’s boss. I’ll try to cover all the bases for the new console in this article for you!
There are some important parts that need to be said right away. The selling price is at $399, which is $100 less than the X-Bone (X-Box One). Needless to say, this was very well received by fans all over the spectrum. Sony announced that it is not charging any fees for used games. Essentially, you will be able to do whatever you wish with your games: sell them to a retailer, sell them to a friend, give it to a friend, use it as a paper weight, whatever you want. This of course was a HUGE blow to some Microsoft fans, while people who were on the fence felt it was a deciding factor when trying to determine which console they would be getting. I was one of those on the fence; of course if both consoles decided that you would have to pay a fee for used games, then the decision would lie on what consoles my friends were getting and what games I really want to play and keep forever and ever and ever.
As far as games, Sony started off talking about re-makes for their handheld console, the Playstation Vita, such as the God of War franchise. Following that was the much anticipated addition to the Batman franchise, Batman: Arkham Origins. Despite the lack of Kevin Conroy who has been voicing Batman since the 92’ animated series, the game shows promise and looks pretty spectacular. It’s set to drop October 25. After Origins, Ready at Dawn studios (who previously worked on the God of War portable games) presented their new title, The Order: 1886, which looks like some sort of 17th century Victorian era steam punk FPS. I initially joked at it being Dishonored 2 for its similar steam punk style but I was wrong.
We got a look at some great new games from some of our favorite franchises, such as Killzone: Shadow Fall and Infamous: Second Son. There was also a new trailer for Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. A trailer for a new game titled Mad Max was revealed – yes, it is based on the cult classic movie, and it is quite mind blowing so I’m definitely looking forward to further updates. Quantic Dreams showed up to present their visually stunning new graphic engine for the PS4, showcasing a recreation of the creepy old dude from the last Sony conference. At points looked like it was just an actor and not a CGI render. Creepy, indeed.
Sony brought out Adam Boyes and announced a partnership with several indie game developers to bring some flair to the new console. Among the games announced were Transistor from Supergiant Games, which you may recognize as the company responsible for Bastion; Klei Entertainment’s Don’t Starve; Mercenary Kings from Tribute Games, whom you may remember from the Scott Pilgrim vs The World game; and last but not least, a remake of the Odd World series, which looks amazeballs. The main idea here is that indie game developers will be allowed to self-publish their games, which is a huge step forward for these great up and coming companies.
The biggest surprises came from Square Enix, revealing that Final Fantasy Versus XIII was in fact still in development, but will be relabeled as Final Fantasy XV (which some of us had already seen coming from a mile away.) Despite sort of knowing about FFXV fans were still excited to see the actual gameplay, which left me in awe. The next big reveal from Square Enix was a trailer for Kingdom Hearts 3; most of my friends were my friend’s squee’ing in excitement. Although the game has no release date, the announcement was enough to spark cries of joy.
The conference wound down with some gameplay from one of the most anticipated games of this generation, Bungie’s new sci-fi first person shooter, Destiny. The gameplay shown was in co-op mode, showing us that Bungie is not all about shooting noobs on the online campaign. The game looks fluid and frankly it made me want to pick up a controller and jump right into it. That’s saying a lot for me: I’m not a fan of the FPS, unless we’re talking about Goldeneye 007 on the N64. I will play that game any time, any place!
All in all, it was an exciting conference, and Sony came out swinging! Once again Sony has demonstrated why it is a giant in the gaming industry and gave us – the consumers – some of the answers we were looking for. I’ll be back with more E3 coverage, so stay tuned!