An armchair view of E3 2013: Sony

Sony Conference: June 11th 2:00am GMT

 sony logo

This is Sony’s big chance to do everything right. There are advantages to going last and it will be interesting to see where they go with this. That new Killzone game will probably be shown again and we already know Destiny will be, but anything else is a mystery.

  • The show opens slowly, seems to be taking longer to seat everyone than they originally planned. Must be nice to have too many people wanting to see your show rather than having room for people paid to clap.

  • Lots of blue and lots of big and small monitors to open and wow is that room is packed with people. Everything goes dark as the opening video plays to some bad music.

  • The music then becomes some kind of techno thing with people in coloured boxes matching the PS4 buttons playing around and look foolish.

  • Among the videos being shown I spotted a PC free to play game – Warframe.

  • Jack Tretton swaggers onto stage to rap music.

  • He’s still doing that weird gerbil hands thing when he talks.

  • Opening with thanking gamers is a clever way to start a presentation and yet Microsoft didn’t think to do it. Ironic.

  • Talks a little about Vita – turns out it isn’t dead yet.

  • More than 125 Vita games, but how many of them are actually good? I suppose it makes sense to get the ignored hand held out the way first.

  • Talks about Vita supporting indie devs then mentions Batman Arkham Origins for Vita, Counter Spy and Destiny of Spirits. Some fake sounding applause during that section.

  • The next Walking Dead game is coming later this year apparently. Or does he mean the existing one just on Vita? Not sure.

  • Now Jack is onto talking about the seventh holiday season with PS3.

  • They are showcasing The Last of Us now, makes sense I guess since it isn’t out everywhere yet.

  • Puppeteer is next, I vaguely remember this. Pretty brief trailer.

  • Not sure what this is now – some game involving ghosts? Oh, called Rain and is out this year.

  • Beyond: Two Souls is next with some new footage.

  • The game looks interesting and it’s nice to see a female protagonist even if it’s a current gen game not a next gen one.

  • Gran Turismo 6 is next, let’s move on swiftly.

  • Next is publishing partners for PS3 games. Looks like a new(ish) trailer for Batman Arkham Origins. Showing Bane and others wanting Batman dead as per usual. Bit disappointing they show that Joker is in it and obviously not voiced by Mark Hamil.

  • Released 25/10/2013.

  • Genuine applause at 1960s Batman skin exclusive to Playstation.

  • There’s a GTA5 themed PS3 bundle out later this year.

  • Now onto the important stuff – PS4.

  • Andrew House comes on stage to talk about the console specifically. I remember his weird voice and beard from last year.

  • Stop teasing it and just show what the black box looks like.

  • Oh, he did. It’s a black box. Albeit far more slick than the Xbox One’s VCR design. More compact too and surprisingly thin.

  • A shy designer comes on stage to take a nervous bow. This helps tell the difference between paid for claps and real ones.

  • We focus on our fans.”

  • Oh no he’s talking about TV stuff. Michael Lynton of their movie division is on stage to waste time instead of talking about games. We are gamers, not entertainment fans as a whole.

  • Sony Pictures Crackle, what?

  • Sounds like they are making some kind of unique-to-them Netflix or similar movie streaming program. Not particularly interesting and they are spending a little too much time on this.

  • Andrew is back on stage again.

  • PS3 is apparently the number one streaming device for Netflix, someone better tell Microsoft.

  • Of course, at its core, the PS4 is about breakthrough gaming experiences.”

  • New titles! This is more like it.

  • Shu Yoshida comes on stage and does pretty well despite being quite nervous.

  • Mentioning that they looked at what consumers want rather than just developers. Good, but prove it.

  • He’s joking about how much he uses Twitter to chat with fans answering questions, like it’s a second job.

  • 30 PS4 titles in development by Worldwide Studios.

  • 12 are brand new IPs.

  • They are starting with one exclusive to the PS4. It states as the trailer begins that it is made entirely by the in-game engine.

  • It looks like a medieval – no wait, that’s a gun. Old England? The rider bringing a carriage full of gun wielding people is killed by some mysterious thing. Looks like werewolves to me or something similar. It’s called The Order 1886.

  • Next is updates on the games revealed earlier in the year at the first PS4 show. A trailer showing off some new footage of Killzone Shadow Fall and the like begins.

  • InFamous Second Sun is looking interesting. Knack looks…yup.

  • All three are launch titles.

  • There’s a 12 minute tech demo from Quantic Dreams to show off real time PS4 graphics that make old men look pretty. Part of it is shown now but the rest is available after the show.

  • The old man from the other show is now a wizard of some kind! If this is really all in game then it’s pretty impressive. Dark Sorcerer. It’s revealed it’s as if he is an actor and flops a line. His motions and facial expressions are very realistic.

  • Tomorrow at 1pm the whole video will be shown.

  • It sounds like indie developers might be next to get the stage.

  • Adam Boyes comes on to talk about ‘third party relations’ which sounds more dirty than it actually is.

  • This guy is probably the most professionally dressed presenter out of all the conferences so far. Good for him.

  • Developers from Supergiant Games are on – most likely to talk about their follow up to Bastion’s success. Transistor is getting its début on PS4 early next year. A trailer plays.

  • Proper in game footage is shown, it plays in a very similar style to Bastion did with an interesting art style to it and plenty of sword fighting.

  • Sony points out that they allow indie developers to publish their own titles. First shots fired at Microsoft.

  • Another trailer begins showing that Don’t Starve is coming to Sony’s console.

  • Mercenary Kings, a hand drawn multiplayer shooter.

  • Octodad, one of the weirdest things I have ever seen.

  • Secret Ponchos – guns and more weird things.

  • A zombie stealth action puzzler is next.

  • Outlast – sinister looking camera based horror game it seems.

  • Odd World! A full remake of the original coming to PS4.

  • An impressive line-up of indie developers given a chance to show off. Every game shown is making their ‘exclusive’ début on PS4. Not surprising, really.

  • Diablo 3 will have Playstation exclusive equipment, not fussed about that really.

  • A video message from Square Enix – what? Couldn’t be bothered coming on stage?

  • He’s showing off a new trailer for something. Maybe that Final Fantasy game?

  • Noctis is mentioned, so this is FF13 Verses.

  • Epic music, new gameplay, people eating soup!

  • It was an impressive trailer, maybe it’s finally being released. Oh and it’s been renamed into Final Fantasy 15, I think? Or did they just hint that’s coming soon too? What just happened?

  • Another trailer from them next.

  • Disney and Square Enix? Yes! Kingdom Hearts.

  • Kingdom Hearts 3 is real and it has proper gameplay in the trailer. Very excited about this, as sad it is. However it is only ‘in development’ with no due date given.

  • FF14 is exclusive to PS3 and 4 I think he said.

  • Some Assassin’s Creed 4 stuff next, not terribly interesting. However a world premier of the game in action follows which is always (always!) better than a trailer.

  • A stereotypical Assassin’s Creed stalk and stealth kill section plays out on stage. The game has atmosphere, I’ll give it that. Some explosions later and a run sequence begins showing off the movement system.

  • The gameplay froze a bit at the end there, not sure if it cut off where it was supposed to or not but I think that was a little embarrassing.

  • The creative director on Watch Dogs is on next to talk a bit more about his game.

  • The scenario for the gameplay demo is evading police in order to rescue a friend. As he drives he is caught and a high speed chase ensues. The player guides his friend’s route through armed thugs using cameras and other tech.

  • Someone is playing on a tablet to help him – getting kind of sick of this ‘feature’ being shown in all these games.

  • Player is encouraged not to kill innocent police officers, ruins their adventuring career instead.

  • Playstation gets some bonus DLC for Watch Dogs.

  • Some sport stuff next, but it’s impressive showing the real player talking to his rendered computer equivalent.

  • The Elder Scrolls Online is next.

  • A mostly in game trailer for the game plays, but does reuse some previously revealed footage too. Hows the game can be played first person though which I think is newly shown. Coming Spring 2014.

  • The beta for ESO will be exclusive (timed, I assume) to PS4.

  • Something new playing now, a world exclusive apparently. A man in the desert approaching a corpse in the desert. Not sure what this is just yet. Mad Max? I was going to make a joke that it looked a lot like that, how strange.

  • Jack is back on stage.

  • Without imposing restrictions or devaluing purchases” what?

  • PS4 doesn’t restrict second hand gaming – they win.

  • Pretty much over now. They just win. Move along.

  • Trade ins fine, sell it is fine, lend it is fine. Real applause and cheering goes on for a long time.

  • No online DRM. Second biggest cheer from the real audience.

  • There is no online check at all very specifically giving the finger to Microsoft. Mentions the 24hr check and points out PS4 will not do that. Kick them while they are down, do it harder!

  • I wonder if this means they also embrace the You Tube generation given that they already fully support second hand gaming and Ustream.

  • Existing PSN+ memberships apply to PS4 and PSVita and still apply to your PS3.

  • Wait this sounds like that on PS4 PSN+ is required for online which is new. If that improves the stability and remains cheaper than Xbox Live that’s fine by me.

  • PSN+ members get free access to Driveclub at PS4 launch.

  • They also get a new title every month for free – mentions Don’t Starve and other indie games.

  • Something special is last. He mentions Bungie so this is obviously Destiny. He also mentions Activision.

  • Gameplay premier of Destiny. Shame about the Activision thing, but let’s see what this game is like.

  • Looks like the world is in ruins and there’s some kind of makeshift fort area. Pretty looking. Interesting way to do drop-in co-op they literally drop in via a jet. They are going painfully slow but I assure you it is on purpose to build to something.

  • I’m getting a Halo meets Borderlands vibe.

  • Some fairly generic gameplay later the demo opens up and is a little bit more impressive visually speaking. A third party member joins to the two on stage and they have some terrible fake team talk. A ship in the distance comes crashing down and thankfully shuts them up.

  • Something called a public event starts and another fire team appears. Looks like about six or seven of them now having a large brawl. They take out a boss enemy and then a pre-made trailer plays.

  • It’s due out in 2014.

  • Andrew is back to say that Sony has an exclusive deal with Bungie.

  • He’s now talking about Sony’s Gaikai cloud system. He wants to give context to it. Wonder what that means…

  • It’s available in 2014 starting in the US. PS3 and PS4, followed by Vita, access to a back catalogue of games which are streamed. Disappointing if you don’t have a decent broadband connection might I add.

  • PS4 is £349 – amazing price, surely selling at a loss like they did with the PS3 but clever too. Released ‘this holiday season’ so perhaps not as early as Xbox One.

  • True consumer ownership and true consumer trust” good things to hear. Hope they stick to their words.

Sony wins E3 2013. Really isn’t any question about that. They will also easily dominant the next generation of consoles unless Microsoft does something very quickly. See you next year, everyone!

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Written by Ian D

Misanthropic git. Dislikes: Most things. Likes: Obscure references.

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