E3 2015: What Surprises Are In Store at Sony’s Press Conference
After a day full of big announcements and exciting reveals, it all comes to an end with Sony’s big annual press event. We’re used to Sony having something big up their sleeve to excite gamers but no one’s positive what that might be. Unlike what I expected from the Microsoft press conference, could third-party titles and exclusives be Sony’s big coup this year?
Much like Microsoft will prominently feature Halo as their big system seller, Sony is likely to promote Uncharter 4: A Thief’s End in the system-seller slot. Unlike Halo, Uncharted 4 won’t be out in time for the holiday shopping season.
We’ve seen some gameplay demos already but I would expect to see some more great visuals along with some more story details. We know that Drake’s brother (played by Troy Baker) is in the game but we don’t really know his part in the plot or Drake’s past. We also haven’t seen either Victor Sullivan or Elena Fisher make an appearance in any of the game’s marketing materials. An appearance from either or a confirmation that they’ll be in the game would be a nice nod to the series’ long-time fans.
Also to be revealed on the big stage is the release of the Uncharted HD collection. In a title eerily similar to Halo’s HD remakes for Xbox One, the PS4 will get Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection this fall ahead of spring’s release of Uncharted 4. This will have the three PS3 games (Drake’s Fortune, Among Thieves and Drake’s Deception) but not the PS Vita launch title Golden Abyss. Granted, that last part isn’t a loss because it was more a tech demo for the Vita’s functions than a proper Uncharted title.
The Nathan Drake Collection will also grant access to the A Thief’s End multiplayer beta. I wouldn’t be too surprised to see either a brief demonstration of a new multiplayer mode or a target date for the multiplayer beta announced on stage.
When I mentioned third-party announcements, I’m not sure if Street Fighter V counts as one since Sony is funding it like Microsoft is funding Rise of the Tomb Raider. The difference is that Capcom says that Street Fighter V and all Super or Ultra variants won’t be making their way to Xbox. Granted, I’m still skeptical about Capcom saying that this game wouldn’t have been made without Sony’s aid so I’m taking everything regarding exclusivity with a grain of salt until it’s proven. A proof is a proof, after all.
A little trailer and a live gameplay demonstration, either between some pro Street Fighter IV players or a couple of execs who laugh at how bad they are, are what I’m expecting to see of SF5.
Given Sony’s relationship with From Software, Dark Souls 3 will likely make its E3 debut as part of Sony’s press conference. The game has gone from cult hit to mainstream success and game of the year contender and most of those sales have been on Sony platforms. Given Bloodborne was a PS4 exclusive, I would expect Sony to get first dibs on the Dark Souls 3 reveal.
Also, a Bloodborne expansion is expected to be released sometime soon. A first reveal alongside From’s DS3 announcement seems likely.
Every year at E3, people mention The Last Guardian. While it’s been in development since 2007, we have seen or heard too much about it beyond “it’s not dead.” The Guardian newspaper is reporting that The Last Guardian will make a triumphant return to life this year with a featured spot in this year’s E3 presentation. At this point, I’ll chalk this up under I’ll believe it when I see it.
Sony is expected to continue to promote its indie friendliness this year. No Man’s Sky is expected to get some prominent time as a timed-exclusive. The rest of the indies will get their annual little showcase within a showcase. These titles are expected to include The Witness, Rime and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture.
There are a few unannounced or unrevealed titles that are expected to get officially announced at E3. Gran Turismo 7, a new Ratchet and Clank and a new God of War are all expected to be announced or revealed tonight.
Some new games from popular Sony development studios are also in the cards. Media Molecule is working on something for the PlayStation 4 having finished up work on Tearaway and not being the lead devs on LittleBigPlanet 3. They’ve always been top-notch at their work so what ever they produce for E3 will be among the more hyped games coming out of Sony’s keynote.
Quantic Dream, Guerilla Games and Bend Studio are all working on new PS4 titles. Bend, the creators of Syphon Filter, is believed to be working on a game called Kill Strain but that’s the extent of info there. Guerilla is said to be working on an open-world action RPG called Horizon and have been poaching a number of senior personnel from CD Projekt Red who worked on The Witcher 3. And Quantic Dream is working on David Cage things.
In terms of hardware, Sony is expected to be showing off their plans for the Project Morpheus VR headset which is due for release in the first half of 2016. Ahead of E3, though, the plans for the second-generation PlayStation Move (called the Move 2) were leaked. It looks to be a companion controller to the Morpheus so we’ll see if Morpheus and the Move 2 will be available for play on the floor at E3. I would certainly expect to see a demo on-stage at the very least.
Much like Microsoft were expected to introduce a 1 TB version of their console today (I’m writing this ahead of E3 so I assume that between writing and posting, Microsoft unveiled the 1 TB Xbox One), Sony is expected to unveil a 1 TB PS4. Considering the emphasis on digital sales in the current generation of consoles, the bigger hard drive is a necessity.
And don’t expect to hear too much about the PS Vita. The handheld was recently referred to as a “legacy platform” by Sony which puts it in the same group as the PS3 despite how much Sony initially pushed its ability to be a companion device to the PS4. A rumoured price drop to about $99 USD is expected to be announced. We might be expecting a small PS4 price adjustment to get it more competitive with the Xbox One’s pricing. Probably a small drop in the 500 GB model’s price.