Sony's E3 Press Conference: It's For Gamers

Sony's E3 Press Conference: It's For Gamers

Sony was keen to impress on us that the PS4 was "for gamers" - here's the lowdown on what Microsoft's biggest rival had to show us.

Sony's was the last press conference of Monday at E3, and all eyes were on Microsoft's biggest rival. After the Xbox reveal and subsequent messaging went so badly, it was up to Sony to seize the day and capture some much-needed momentum.

Did they manage it? Here's a rundown of everything shown at its press conference; judge for yourself!

The PlayStation Vita

Sony didn't announce a new model Vita as some people expected, but was keen to remind people that it existed. The PS4 has apparently been built from the ground-up to support Vita, with Remote Play compatibility being a big feature of the new system.

There will, apparently, be 83 new Vita titles by the end of the year, including big-name titles like Batman: Arkham Origins along with remastered classics such as Flower, Final Fantasy X and X-2, Dead Nation and God of War 1 and 2 HD on the off-chance you haven't already played them several times.

Bigger news for Vita, though, is that the new season of Telltale's The Walking Dead is coming to Vita, and in August, you'll be able to pick up a bundle of the complete first season for Vita plus the first episode of the second season, titled 400 Days.

The PlayStation 3

Sony was keen to highlight the upcoming "big games" for PS3, which include The Last of Us, Puppeteer, Rain, Gran Turismo 6 and Beyond: Two Souls. All of them were looking pretty great.

Sony has also entered into a partnership with several publishers to provide exclusive PS3 content for their games. In Batman: Arkham Origins, for example, you'll be able to get some exclusive DLC and a 1960s Batman costume.

We also caught a tantalizing glimpse of Grand Theft Auto V. Apparently there will be a Grand Theft Auto V PS3 bundle available on September 17 for $299. There will also be a Grand Theft Auto V-branded headset available.

The PlayStation 4

This is what everyone was really interested in, for a variety of reasons, not least of which was what the damn thing looked like.

As it turns out, the PlayStation 4 looks... a lot like an Xbox One. Huh.

Disappointment over the looks aside, Sony was very keen to push the "for gamers" angle, even when talking about entertainment and media services. It was keen to stress the fact that the entertainment content available online had bee curated to reflect "what gamers want."

In terms of upcoming entertainment services, Redbox Instant and Flixster will be coming soon to the PlayStation Network, and a new Live Events Viewer app will allow for streaming of pay-per-view or on-demand content.

What you really want to know about is the games, though, right? Of course.

There are apparently over 30 games in development for PS4 at present, 20 of which will be available in the system's first year. Killzone: Shadow Fall and Driveclub will be available on launch, and both are looking great.

Of interest in the other titles shown was a game called The Order. This made use of an interesting-looking steampunk/Victorian London setting, but I'll be honest - it got a lot less interesting as soon as they pulled out some rather anachronistic weaponry and started shooting everything.

One pattern that's been evident in next-gen games is that the modelling of things like facial experessions is a lot better than it used to be. Titles such as Infamous: Second Son showed this off nicely on PS4, but it was Quantic Dream's tech demo The Dark Sorcerer that really highlighted this, with an all-but perfect digital model of actor David Gant.

Indies and Smaller Developers

Sony has been saying for a while that it wants to focus on independent and smaller developers, and today it gave some examples of the titles we can expect to see with these partnerships. It also confirmed that independent developers will be able to self-publish on PlayStation 4. The aim is to make the PS4 one of the most open platforms possible for developers, which in turn will lead to a wider selection of interesting stuff to play for consumers.

Developers who are on board with Sony include Klei Entertainment, Tribute Games, Young Horses, Switchblade Monkeys, Ragtag Studios, Outlast, Oddworld Inhabitants, 17-Bit Games and Supergiant Games.

The Big Ones

First up, Sony confirmed that Diablo III is indeed coming to both PS3 and PS4. Not only that, but the PlayStation versions will include special loot themed after PlayStation franchises.

Next up, Square came along and provided a few teases of things that we kind of expected: firstly, Final Fantasy Versus XIII has become Final Fantasy XV, and secondly, Kingdom Hearts III is on the way. Both are headed to the PS4, and both are looking seriously impressive in the visual stakes.

Ubisoft finally showed some Assassin's Creed IV gameplay, including the modern-day encyclopedia-like interface. We saw a nice combination of gameplay elements, including interacting with people, sneaking through a forest and some naval combat. If you've been tired of the endless CG trailers for ACIV, fear not; the game itself is looking really good.

We also saw some Watch Dogs footage, including driving around, hacking, causing blackouts and combat. The seamless nature of the game world was very impressive, and it looks like there's a lot of ways to deal with each situation. The PlayStation 4 version of the game will apparently include an extra hour of gameplay over and above its rival incarnations.

Bethesda also showed a brief Elder Scrolls Online trailer, and announced that the game will be available in spring of next year. The beta for TES Online will appear first on PS4.

Finally, Just Cause 2 developer Avalanche confirmed that it's working on a Mad Max game, that is already looking suitably... Mad Max-ish. The teaser unfortunately doesn't tell us all that much, but the atmosphere is just as it should be.

The Bombshells

This is an official video from Sony. Well done.

You've probably already read this in The Feed, but Sony confirmed two important things that we really wanted to know: firstly, that PS4 supports used games, and secondly, that PS4 does not feature any sort of always-online authentication. There were cheers of joy from the audience when this was announced.

Sony also confirmed that PlayStation Plus will continue onto PS4. Upcoming PS4 titles available under the program will include Driveclub and Don't Starve.

Oh, also, PS4 will cost $399 - that's a full $100 cheaper than Xbox One, and without any of the restrictions of Microsoft's platform.

Destiny

Sony closed its presentation with Destiny's world gameplay premiere. It's recognizably Bungie-ish - specifically, it looks quite a lot like Halo, albeit with rather more in the way of dynamic foliage and flocks of birds that flutter away when you get near.

The demo showed an interesting array of environments, ranging from sprawling outdoor landscapes to pitch-black interiors that required careful exploration and use of lighting. The latter portion of the demo showed how the "Public Events" work, with large numbers of players working together to take down significant challenges.

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