Are you counting down to E3 2014? We are here at GameSided! Every day this week, we’ll take a look at one of the five companies that holds a Monday press briefing (or Tuesday, in Nintendo’s case) to help kick off the event in the same order that you’ll see them from Los Angeles. Today, we enter Day 4 with Sony.
Sony pretty much had their E3 2013 media briefing in the bag. Announcing a $399 console, no requirements for 24 hour check-ins, full rights to trade, give and sell video games; they pretty much revealed the exact opposite measures of Xbox One’s most-hated policies (at the time). Leaving last year’s conference, Sony had figuratively and literally dropped the mic, and the PS4 has enjoyed overwhelming success since launch.
Flash forward a year later, and things get a little murky. While it’s difficult to judge how well each company does at E3 2014 before it begins, there is a lot more cause for concern when it comes to Sony’s first-party showings for the rest of the year. Media Molecule and Guerilla Games seem like they will be skipping out on major reveals this time, leaving at least a tinge of doubt over whether Sony can perform a repeat tour de force.
With a great number of 2014 titles being pushed into 2015, including Sony’s The Order: 1886, E3 2014 may actually be a great time for Sony to reveal a great deal of unannounced products and new IP’s, in order to stack the deck for a prosperous second year of the PS4′s life cycle. Here are my thoughts on what to expect, prepare for and hope for when it comes to Sony at E3 2014.
Things I’m sure we’ll see at the Sony briefing
- New and improved Driveclub gameplay
If nothing else announced at Sony’s E3 media briefing is a 2014 PS4 exclusive, then Driveclub will be it for the rest of the year. What was once to be a launch title was delayed until 2014, then ultimately given an October 7th release date. I don’t expect Sony to lead off their media briefing with Driveclub, I do expect we’ll see that the extra development time will improve upon the framerate and screen tearing issues that was seen in previous previews.
- More information about The Last of Us Remastered, including a release date
The current rumor going around is that The Last of Us Remastered, the PS4 port that includes plenty of the game’s bonus DLC, is headed for a June 13th release date (one that has been quashed by Naughty Dog themself). With such a revered title, one that was provided with several Game of the Year awards last year, it’s more than likely that we’ll get at least a definitive release date during Sony’s media briefing, seeing how the game was initially given a “summer release” timeline when it was initially revealed.
- Uncharted 4
A teaser trailer for Uncharted 4 came out during Sony’s pre-PS4-launch party, but not much has been seen or heard from since. With Amy Hennig no longer in charge of the project, to be replaced by Druckmann and Straley as co-leads, what murmurs I’ve heard seem to be unanimous; the game will look absolutely stunning. While we hope the new game doesn’t go too grimdark, like The Last of Us, those concerns should be answered some time during Sony’s briefing. Nathan Drake looks to be back for at least one more adventure.
- A much more substantive gameplay demo of The Order: 1886
Sony had pushed a great deal of the “hype machine” towards their Twitch stream last month, as they were pushing the fact that they were going to show off The Order: 1886 gameplay. Unfortunately, it amounted to a short few minutes of cutscene, action, cutscene, finish. After roughly 3 minutes of play, it looped one more time before the stream was shut off. A bitter disappointment, even if it did show a visual fidelity that seems as perfect in gameplay as it is in a cutscene.
With little know exactly about the entire story of The Order: 1886, we can expect to see a great deal of stage time dedicated to showing just why people should pick up this game when it hits stores in 2015.
- A brand new IP from Sony’s newest studio, PixelOpus
What’s weird about this entry is that Sony Worldwide Studio’s mysterious new entrant, PixelOpus, will showcase what they’ve been working on, but to what scale yet is unknown. Hearing that those involved with the studio were making prototype PS Vita games as students, I would have to guess that Sony’s handheld device will host their premiere product.
- Updates on Sony Unlimited, PlayStation Now and other multimedia services
Not to say that Sony will be following Microsoft’s suit after they announced 45 new apps coming to Xbox One and Xbox 360 by the end of the year, but Sony always, always dedicates at least 5-10 minutes towards their own music and movie services. Plus, with PlayStation Now set to be released (hopefully) in full by the end of the year, I would be surprised if we didn’t see a non-cross-buy PS3 game in action on both the PS4 and the PS Vita in some sort of video or live demonstration. It’s also expected that someone from Sony will finally reveal the pricing model for PlayStation Now.
Things I think we’ll see at the Sony briefing
- Indie Gaming Slew 2: Electric Boogaloo
If there’s one thing that Sony is known for, when it comes to third-party relations, it is that indie gaming is loved to death by executives like Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida and VP of Developer and Publisher Relations Adam Boyes. With a central segment of Sony’s media briefing given to indie developers last year, I think we will see yet another mass collection of indie developers announce, in one way or another, that their titles will be coming to the PS4, PS3 and/or PS Vita. Seeing how certain PR reps for indie gaming studios are already asking about when Sony’s briefing will end this year, I believe we will see at least one indie game be completely revealed for the first time that comes to the PS4, with an expertly-timed press release, to boot.
- More Japanese RPG’s (imports and new announcements) coming to the PS Vita
Seeing how Square Enix doesn’t usually provide such a stage presence during E3, it’s expected that their JRPG offerings will make their way to the Sony stage this year. I mean, without them, what else would comprise the majority of the PS Vita’s games? Moe and otherwise, you can expect Sony to keep pretending like they will get the Vita department out of the deep red, even if only one drastic move could possibly pull it off. (more on that later)
- A further outlining of Project Morpheus
When Sony announced Project Morpheus earlier this year, their foray into virtual reality seemed to be of grand ideals with few concrete details. We know that companies like Crytek and Epic Games are onboard with creating content for Sony (and themselves, mind you), but showing off a polished demo onstage would do wonders to further illustrate exactly how it works. An absolute stunner would be Driveclub support, but that specific caveat would go more into the wish-casting category.
Things I hope we’ll see at the Sony briefing
- Project Beast
We know that Project Beast is as real as can be. The rumor is that it is being co-developed (or at least assisted) by SCE Japan Studio, headed up by From Software and is supposed to be exclusively released on the PS4. However, we don’t know exactly when it will be announced. It’s possible that a proper reveal could happen at this year’s Tokyo Game Show, or even at gamescom. If it were to be revealed early, my hope is that Sony delivers a grand finale right at the end of their briefing, complete with an official name.
- A PS4 + PS Vita super bundle
The Twitters were all aflutter about a possible PS4 + PS Vita bundle being listed on Amazon France. While, to me, the photoshop looks a bit dubious, such a bundle had been rumored for some time. Seeing how the PS4 is selling like a monster early on, the best way they can capitalize on the underused remote play capabilities of the PS Vita is to offer a relatively-affordable bundle to make sure as many people get their hands on a Vita as possible. It sounds like the perfect SKU idea, worthy of Sony president Andrew House making an onstage appearance near the back end to do what he does best; announce awesome PlayStation products.
UPDATE: Sony has confirmed that they are working on a PS4 + PS Vita bundle, saying, “The availability of the PS4 / PS Vita bundle will be determined and announced on a regional basis.” They have not confirmed an E3 announcement, but you can bump this section up to “Think” level.
- A new God of War title
Several months ago, our own Michael Straw (who now writes at FanSided) was tipped off to the possible announcement of a new God of War title at Sony’s All Access Event that preceded the launch of the PS4. Even though I think the series is a bit tired at this point, I’d like for Sony to at least get it out in the open as soon as possible so we can all move on to other titles. Just remove all doubt once and for all! Although, I can’t begin to imagine how visually stunning a new God of War game would look like on the PS4.
- The Last Guardian
It’s not going to happen, but a man can hope, can’t he?
Tags: Driveclub E3 2014 God Of War Hotline Miami 2 PixelOpus PlayStation 4 Playstation Now Project Beast Project Morpheus PS Vita PS3 PS4 Sony The Last Guardian The Last Of Us Remastered The Order: 1886 Video Games