With the exception of Nintendo who are doing a bit of a thing later today, Sony was the last of the big boys to get us excited at 2am – and they certainly managed that.
With all of the controversy, disappointment and wallet palpitations that are following Microsoft around at the moment, gamers were looking to Sony and the PlayStation 4 to lift their moods. Unfortunately, here in the UK, that meant waiting up until 2am (or 2.20am as Sony were running late) for the big announcements. But it was worth it.
Sony kicked things off by fairly comfortably revealing a strong line up of games that are still on the way for both the PS3 and the Vita – it can’t all be about the next gen, can it? For the Vita, there were a lot we already know about, such as the mighty Killzone: Mercenary and Tearaway. But there were also games such as Batman: Arkham Origins announced for the Vita, and the news that TellTale’s Walking Dead game will be coming to the Sony handheld was all good.
The PS3 showing was not less impressive, but lacked anything new to get excited about. We got to see some more of The Last of Us, which is out this Friday, Puppeteer, Rain, Beyond: Two Souls and Gran Turismo 6. We were then treated to the news that Batman: Arkham Origins will have exclusive content on the PlayStation consoles and we had a brief glimpse of GTA V.
Then we got onto the meat of the matter – the PlayStation 4. To counter the complaints from the reveal event, we finally had a chance to see the console itself and… it is underwhelming. The angular box really doesn’t look anything special, but then the looks don’t really matter, do they? At least we now have an image of the machine to year over.
To follow the actual machine reveal, Sony put on their entertainment hats and tried to tempt us with things like Video and Music Unlimited being available on PS4 at launch, a new live event viewer and a couple of new services offering yet more entertainment options. Thankfully, this section didn’t last too long (I assume Sony didn’t want to make the same mistake as Microsoft in that respect) and we got back onto the important business of games. There are 30 PS4 games in development at the moment with Sony, 20 of which will be released in the first year.
Which leads us neatly onto the reveal of a brand new game from Ready At Dawn Studios. The Order: 1886 looks to set players in a foggy London, around the year 1886 I assume, and arm them with steampunk-styled weaponry as they face down what appears to be supernatural enemies, in this case werewolves I think. Either way, the game looks incredible and certainly one worth getting excited about.
We have a few video problems as Sony follows by recapping some of the games announced at the reveal show, with the Killzone: Shadow Fall trailer struggling a bit. This was followed by Drive Club, Infamous: Second Son and Knack videos. This was followed by The Dark Sorcerer, a tech demo from Quantic Dream which promises to conclude later today, I think.
Sony were then keen to show their love for indie developers with a mass of rapid name checks and glimpses of games, including Transistor from Super Giant Games, Don’t Starve from Clay Entertainment and a new Oddworld game – Oddworld: New & Tasty. Sony are proud that they allow indie developers to self publish, which casts them as the more indie friendly of the next-gen consoles.
The announcement that Diablo III will have exclusive content on PS3 followed, before we were treated to an absolutely epic trailer for Final Fantasy Versus XIII – which has now become Final Fantasy XV. Other news from Square Enix included the teasing announcement that Kingdom Hearts III is on the way, and that Final Fantasy XIV will be coming to both PS3 and PS4.
Assassin’s Creed fans got excited to see Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag actually being played, then got worried as the game kept freezing and finally crashed all together. We then got to see yet more Watch_Dogs footage – bring the game out already!
By this point I was slipping into unconsciousness, but I held on for the best news, and it wasn’t the next to be announced NBA 2K14, the fact that The Elder Scrolls Online will be coming to PS4, or the announcement of a Mad Max game from Warner Bros., although they were all interesting announcements to various degrees. No, the big one was to follow.
Sony told us that there are 140 PS4 games in development, with 100 to be released in the first year. They then took a shot at Microsoft by announcing that there will be no restrictions on used PS4 games and there will be no authentication for disc-based game whatsoever. Gamers with PlayStation Plus accounts will be happy to hear that they carry over to the PS4, and that they will get Drive Club PS Plus Edition within the first year on PS4, along with some rather nice indie games.
The end is in sight! After an epic video for Bungie’s Destiny which gradually added more and more players, and the announcement that a cloud service will be coming in 2014, Sony put the final nail in Micorsoft’s coffin – the PlayStation 4 will cost £349, $399 or €399.
Well, that’s that then. We will have to see what Nintendo have to say, but I would think that is the excitement over. Sony clearly have the upperhand in the next-gen console war, but don’t count Microsoft out just yet – everything could change.