Hey folks! With this year’s annual avalanche of gaming related goodness that is E3 2015 set to kick off in just under two weeks, we thought it would be a grand idea to take a peek at what all the big platform holders and publishers have up their sleeves for the show.
As is the case in this great industry of ours, the landscape has changed a great deal. Since last year Microsoft’s Xbox One has been catching up to Sony’s PlayStation 4 on the sales front and has gotten bold with their first-party offerings all the while relaxing the terms of their [email protected] development deals for indies.
In short, things are a now a lot more competitive than they were twelve months ago and really, good competition is good for everybody.
So let’s get to it eh?
- The Obvious Stuff –
With Naughty Dog delaying the fourth uncharted game to sometime in 2016, it figures that we’ll probably get a right eyefull of the latest adventures of Nathan Drake at this year’s E3. Fans of the game should therefore expect a nice long gameplay demo from Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End that not only demonstrates significant technical improvements over the game’s reveal late last year, but also a few new gameplay elements as well. Quite honestly, folks shouldn’t be at all surprised to find that Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is the centerpiece of Sony’s presser.
Should your unconditional love for all things Nathan Drake not be satiated by Uncharted 4‘s likely literal fifteen minutes of fame, then you can take solace in the fact that Sony will be showing off Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, too. Announced just a few days ago, the triple pack of Naughty Dog’s action adventure franchise will no doubt look stunning in its 1080p/60fps drapes – especially as the remaster work is being carried out by Bluepoint Games, the shit-hot outfit who did the excellent ICO/Shadow of the Colossus and Metal Gear Solid HD Collection conversions.
Away from the dulcet tones of Nolan North and his loot-stealing shenanigans, PlayStation loving folks can expect Sony to give their VR headset, Project Morpheus, a fair whack of attention as well. Aside from providing further release details and a possible price, E3 2015 should also herald a deluge of sorts in terms showing off a range of the actual games that are in production for the bloody thing, so if you’ve got a rager for all that VR stuff, than Sony’s presser should see you quite nicely catered for.
Elsewhere, we can expect to see Sony firing on all cylinders once again with their robust support for the indie scene with standout space exploration thing No Man’s Sky being shown off along with confirmation of the release date for the long-gestating project. No doubt Devolver Digital (a staunch supporter of Sony’s indie efforts in the past), will also get a fair few games into the now ineviatble sizzle-reel that will be shown during the presser as well, with the promising Enter the Gungeon, Hatoful Boyfriend and many others all getting their time in the spotlight. Slightly further afield, we should probably see more of RIME, Tequlia Works ambitious looking cross between ICO and The Wind Waker, while getting a peek at conversions of Kickstarter funded PC RPG’s such as Wasteland 2: Game of the Year edition and Divinity: Original Sin.
Naturally, Sony will also be up to their old tricks with the third party publishers too. In particular, the rumour-mill has shot into overdrive recently with the suggestion that Activision will take first dibs on all new Call of Duty content to Sony’s platform and that it’ll all kick off this year with the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops III. Naturally if this does occur, expect it to be a centerpiece of Sony’s presser because darn it, Call of Duty needs that E3 exposure. Furthermore, we should also expect further third-party humping with Capcom‘s PS4 console exclusive Street Fighter V getting a look in with some new footage, not to mention Sony bigging up the fact that the next lot of Destiny’s content will be PlayStation bound first before hits anything else.
New IP will clearly be a factor at Sony’s presser too, though given the admission by PlayStation president Andrew House that first-party support for the console is”a little sparse” this year, we can expect that most of it won’t see the light of day until sometime next year.
And finally, its basically a lock at this point that Sony will unveil a new, non-slim version of the PS4 that comes with 1TB of storage. Not exactly thrilling I know, but look for the Japanese manufacturer to smartly tie in the new hardware SKU with a forthcoming first-party title (Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection appears to be a sound bet in this regard).
- The Likely Stuff -
If there’s one traditional PlayStation-thing that’s been missing from Sony’s fourth home console so far, then it has to be Gran Turismo. While earlier statements have made it known that Gran Turismo 7 would be PS4-bound (Polyphony head cheese Kazunori Yamauchi said that “We are working on the title” a year ago), I honestly wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if a 1080p/60fps remaster of Gran Turismo 6 appeared, complete with Project Morpheus support. By doing this, Sony not only give folks a Gran Turismo game for the PS4, but they also make Project Morpheus a point of interest with longtime fans of the franchise as well.
Away from the tarmac screeching fetishes of the Gran Turismo series, we come to Killzone developer Guerilla Games and whatever it is that they are working on next. Codenamed ‘Horizon‘, Guerilla Games‘ next PS4 title has supposedly been in the works since before the console hit store shelves. With Sony admittedly struggling on the first-party front, it would be surprising to not see the next effort from the House That Killzone Built – especially considering how long that particular bun has been in the oven.
We should also expect to see Sony’s PS4-centric remake of Ratchet and Clank make an appearance at the show, especially as the CG animated movie based on the license is also right around the corner, so expect plenty of cross-media opportunties for both and all that *retch*.
Something else that is quite likely is that Sony will debut a brand new title for release by the holiday season, much like they did at last year’s event with Little Big Planet 3 being announced and then released before the year’s end. As to what the identity of that game could be, I’d
like love to say OutRun 3 but really, it’ll probably just end up being this.
Look also for Sony to possibly speak about the expansion of their PlayStation TV show offering too, since their first show Powers was recently signed to a second season, such success inevitably paves the way for the company to wade further in those waters, as well.
Oh and Final Fantasy VII PC Edition might also make another appearance on PS4, but honestly, the less time spent talking about that, the better.
- What Won’t Be There -
It wouldn’t be a Sony E3 presser without The Last Guardian not making an appearance, so, in grand PlayStation tradition, expect the game to no-show while post-presser translators fumble over the language of a statement that basically reads “The Last Guardian basically doesn’t exist, so please stop hassling us you rank gaijin bastards.”
Something else that won’t be there in any real capacity will be the PlayStation Vita. After Sony’s own management recently admitted that the handheld has basically been a failure outside of Japan, any announcements regarding the platform will be on the ass-end of cross-buy incentives linked to PS4 games, rather than exclusive titles for the platform itself. Sorry folks, Vita is dead and buried when it comes to bespoke content for the machine.
- Possible Surprises -
Possible remastering paint-job of Beyond: Two Souls aside, now seems like a decent time for QTE narrative specialists Quantic Dream to show off what they’ve had bubbling on the stove for PS4. Of course, the last thing that we saw from them was the Dark Sorcerer tech demo that graced our screens back at E3 2013, but since then, they’ve been pretty quiet. There’s a good chance that this will change at this year’s E3 where, at last, they’ll finally show us what they’ve spent the last two years or more working on.
Please don’t be Beyond: Two Souls PS4 Edition. Please.
Another surprise that Sony could well pull the trigger on is showing us whatever Sony Santa Monica has been working on for the last few years. After God of War II game director and Sony Santa Monica creative director Cory Balrog let slip back in December that a new God of War title is in development, and that we would hear more on it in “the next year or two”, E3 2015 seems like a perfect place to reintroduce the franchise (and hopefully ditching the now stale greek mythological setting in the process), to the masses.
Could this be the year when Sony *finally* bring Gabe Logan diving and shooting onto PlayStation 4 with a new Syphon Filter title? We can only hope. Now’s a good a time as any but really, we’ve been saying the same thing about The Last Guardian and, well, look how that turned out.
It’s not unreasonable to expect that Sony’s third-party production division will come up trumps with a bunch of new announcements too; cribbed from ‘the list’ that division head honco Gio Corsi frequently references. At last year’s PlayStation Experience, that list brought us Yakuza 5, Day of the Tentacle and Grim Fandango Remastered among many others. As an on-going effort then, it’s quite likely that we’ll see some more surprises from the list.
It’s also possible that this year sees Shenmue HD finally make an appearance, too… Wait, hang on a minute! Don’t go! You see, back in December, Gio Corsi said that a high-definition version of the Dreamcast classic was the “number one most requested game” from PlayStation owners, but that issues regarding the licensing of the game engine and Sega’s concern over potential sales was holding it back. With that in mind however, Corsi was keen to stress that it took Sony over a year to nail down the localisation for Yakuza 5, indiciating that there is still some hope at least.
What do you lot think? Does all that waffle above align with your own expectations for Sony’s presser? Fire away in the comments below!