Whereas Microsoft started out this year’s E3 Expo with an “all games” narrative, for Sony, it was all about showing the complete package of what their new PlayStation 4, and also their PlayStation 3 and PS Vita, could do.
To be sure, there were games a plenty from Sony, though most of the AAA titles that were demoed were multiplatform titles that will eventually be available on other platforms. Even Destiny, which Sony choose to start out their conference with, is a multiplatform title, though it will be available on the PlayStation platform as a beta first. Presenters stressed that most of the multiplatform titles would be optimized for the PS4 hardware, and would include exclusive content as well.
The first exclusive game demoed for the PlayStation 4 was Little Big Planet 3, which is being given a graphical upgrade, new levels and new characters. Debuting at the show was Oddsock, a character who can change his weight and size in order to push buttons or to slip into small spaces. There was also Swoop, who can fly and even pick up other sock puppets to help them get to high places. The audience seemed to be having a lot of fun watching the new gameplay. As a bonus, the full back catalog of user-created content from the PlayStation 3 will be available on the PS4, and all levels will automatically gain a graphical upgrade.
Another exclusive title that was only briefly shown was called BloodBorne, which was incredibly creepy looking. Formerly known as Project Beast, BloodBorne is directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki, the creative director of Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls. Not a lot of the From Software title was shown other than a trailer, though it looked to be an RPG in the same vein as Dark Souls, but with an even darker, more depressing type of world.
The Far Cry 4 demo really rocked the house, showing the next open-world country that players will visit, the fictitious Kyrat, which looks a bit like Tibet, though with lots of gun toting bad guys and weaponized animals. Although the game is multiplatform, there is an exclusive feature on the PlayStation 4 where gamers can invite their PS Network friends to play with them on cooperative missions, even if their friends don’t own copies of the game. Somehow, those friends will be able to jump in and play missions, again, even if they don’t have a copy of the game.
Another exclusive title, if one counts remakes, is Grim Fandango, a classic point and click adventure originally released through LucasArts on the PC. It’s being redone in HD and released exclusively for the PlayStation.
Indie games have really found a home on the PlayStation platform, and Sony again gave them a spotlight. Giant Squid Studios, packed with people who have worked on games like Journey, showed off ABZU, which is an adventure game that takes place underwater.
But the indie game with the biggest bang was easily No Man’s Sky. Sean Murray from Hello Games described the incredible feat that the game presents. The universe is huge, bigger than anything ever created. It’s so vast that Murray and his team don’t even know what is out there waiting for players. Every single person who plays the game will start on a different planet, their own planet inside the vast universe. Players will be tasked with discovering new species of animals, even fierce dinosaurs. And there is also space ship combat, though that part wasn’t explained in the limited time that was available. But with such a huge open universe, dinosaurs and space ships, it looks to really steal the thunder of a lot AAA games, and may give Sony more buzz than what is probably expected.
There were some new items not directly related to a specific game. YouTube is coming to the PlayStation Network with one button streaming. And a Sony TV device will be sold soon for $99 which will allow users to play about 1,000 PlayStation 3 games through a streaming service. And a TV show based on the Powers Supergroup comics will be free to watch for all PlayStation Plus members. Sony also announced that they would be showing playable demos of their upcoming VR headset Project Morpheus at their booth this year, showing that it was getting closer to completion.
Sony closed out their portion of the E3 conference with the announcement that Grand Theft Auto V would be coming to the PlayStation 4 in HD, with online characters transferring over. It was later confirmed by Rockstar that GTAV would also be making the jump to the Xbox One and the PC.
Finally, Sony showed a brief trailer for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, which presumably means the end of the character Drake, or at least a conclusion to the current story arc.
GiN’s Lisa Campos will be covering the show this week, and bringing us news about games from all platforms as E3 kicks into high gear.