Thursday, 13 June 2013

E3 2013 Sony

We have finally arrived at what was considered the most anticipated event of E3 2013. Showing off their haul last gave Sony a massive advantage to trump Microsoft and set the pace for next generation gaming. By far the longest of the conferences, read below to find out what went down.

The Conference in short: 
Sony began their event with emphasis on the PlayStation Vita – a host of big titles including Batman: Arkham Origins and Killzone Mercenary are some of the games we will be expecting this year. The Vita clearly has an important role to play in Sony’s plans for the PlayStation 4, so it’s very cool to see the console itself put to the forefront of their conference. Fans of The Walking Dead by TellTale Games will be happy to know that the next episode is coming this Summer and to the PlayStation Vita as well. 

Next it was the PlayStation 3’s turn. Continued developer support for the console showed that just like the PlayStation 2, its older brother is planning to stick around for a while yet. Blockbuster exclusives like The Last of Us, Rain, Puppeteer and Beyond Two Souls will all be making their way exclusively to the PlayStation 3.

The moment everyone was waiting for was upon us. Sony unveiled a sleek looking new console that wowed the audience. The PlayStation 4 will be using various Media Entertainment Platforms to ensure that the media section of current games consoles will be met. 

Now onto the good stuff: the games. Sony’s Worldwide Studio Network encompassing over 12 studios have a variety of different projects in development with a few glimpses revealed at the event. Santa Monica Studios The Order 1886 depicted an old Victorian England setting as a group of guards found themselves surrounding by what looked like Werewolves – the trailer left the crowd wanting more.

A PlayStation 4 game montage was up next after the exclusive reveal of The Order 1886 and this showed off Killzone: Shadow Fall, Drive Club, inFAMOUS: Second Son and Knack – all titles we have seen before but nevertheless was still very thrilling. Quantic Dream followed by revealing an amusing tech demo titled The Dark Sorcerer. The purpose was merely to show off the incredible graphical power of the PlayStation 4 and boy did they succeed in that department. 

It’s hard to believe that despite the unveiling of the PlayStation 4, my favourite part of the whole conference actually followed the reveal. Starting with Supergiant Games announcing a new title called Transistor that looked like a turn-based RPG like Final Fantasy Tactics, Sony highlighted all of their impressive partnerships with indie game developers. It’s these guys that truly create genius game ideas and with titles like a re-mastered Oddworld, Ray’s and Outlast all coming to Sony’s console, it’s clear how much these developers mean to them. 

A surprise gem of the conference was Square Enix who via video message announced that the eagerly anticipated Final Fantasy versus XIII is in development and has a new title, Final Fantasy XV. Then out of nowhere Square Enix also revealed that Kingdom Hearts III was also in development (it’s about bloody time). To finish their little presentation, Square Enix also announced that Final Fantasy XIV would be coming to both PlayStation 3 and 4.

The conference continued with huge titles including comprehensive gameplay of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Watch Dogs. Then trailers for NBA2k14, The Elder Scrolls Online and Mad Max were revealed but little detail was given about those games. 

A bit of administration followed, or should I say direct body blows to Microsoft. Sony confirmed there will be no used-game policies on the PlayStation 4, it will not need any form of always-online Internet verification, the console is region free, will cost £349.99/$399/€399 and gamers will now need to be PlayStation Plus subscribers to play online multiplayer. Sony’s acquisition of Gaikai clearly suggests the importance of creating an online infrastructure to rival Xbox Live and they’re certainly heading in the right direction.

To conclude Sony revealed for the first time, gameplay footage from Bungie’s highly anticipated Destiny … it looked like Halo.

The Verdict:
Sony had a few jobs to do at this conference. They needed to come out with plenty of games, confirm that they won’t be carrying out the nonsense Microsoft have pushed forward with DRM technology and emphasize that the core gamer is the priority. It’s safe to say that they accomplished these goals with flying colours. The game reveals were remarkable, the new console is gorgeous, the price point is reasonable and ultimately it’s no nonsense gaming. Well done Sony and enjoy winning this generation’s console war. 

Igor Kharin.

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