There has been a LOT of buzz this early morning about The Last Guardian, and it all spawns from a Sony-sourced rumor from IGN Russia, which was further substantiated with a report from IGN’s Editor-in-Chief Steve Butts, which was immediately repudiated by PlayStation Software Product Development Head for Sony Worldwide Studios America Scott Rohde on Twitter.
Who do we believe in this scenario? I have to go with Sony’s Scott Rohde, with a MAJOR caveat: if we see anything from The Last Guardian during Sony’s E3 2014, it will be another short teaser with no release date in sight. IF they show anything at all, which I’m more likely to believe. As in, more of the same that’s been going on for the past few years.
I know a lot of you reading this don’t like to hear any negativity so close to E3 2014, but hear out my reasoning. I fully believe that not only are the core staffers of Team Ico are working with Sony diligently on The Last Guardian, but that it is becoming one of their top priorities for 2015. Why I don’t believe we’ll see much, or anything at all, from Sony about the project at E3 is because of the need to make a public announcement.
If Sony were to show off Team Ico’s game during the stage, wouldn’t it make sense that Scott Rohde would have kept his mouth shut? As in, not make any comment about the story whatsoever? Think about it; the absolute most hype-inducing thing for Sony would be to let this cancellation rumor lie for the grand total of 40 hours, before miraculously re-announcing The Last Guardian live on stage during their E3 2014 media briefing. Not only would it prove IGN wrong, but way more importantly it would become the big talk of E3 for the entire week.
However, if Sony were to show off something about TLG during their media briefing, it will either be without a release date. One of the speculated reasons why The Last Guardian suffered several delays since its E3 2009 announcement (outside of Fumito Ueda suddenly stepping down from his director role and staying on as a consultant) is because the game will be shifting from a PS3 exclusive to a PS4 exclusive.
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The x86 architecture versus the Cell CPU and differences in API would require a great deal of changes towards the technological aspects of developing and designing a game with a giant beast named Trico in mind. Plus, the enhancements in the PS4’s GPU would allow for more individual particles, strands of hair and a bevy of other visual details in creating such a beast, as well as to allow a more vast and open level design as opposed to what was available on the PS3.
Sony wants to create a system seller; a killer app for the PS4. The 80+ million install base, however, is currently on the PS3. They can afford to take the time and get a bigger install base than the current 7+ million PS4 users by releasing The Last Guardian in late 2015 (perhaps even later), but what they cannot afford to do is announce a release date and push it back even further. Announcing a release date without absolute certainty would bring enough fear, uncertainty and doubt about the game to stave off the currently-at-peak interest in The Last Guardian, so that’s why I tend not to buy into the “comment = confirmation” narrative.
When it’s all said and done, we will all know for sure coming just tomorrow during an entire rollercoaster day of emotions that is E3 2014 Day 1. Sony, as per tradition, gets to finish the day off with their media briefing at 6PM PT / 9PM ET, in which we will know for sure whether or not The Last Guardian will make an appearance. I’m reluctant to believe that it will show up, however I would be more than happy to be proven wrong.
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