If you go strictly by the numbers, Sony is pretty much winning the console war at this oh-so-early stage. So how did its E3 2014 press conference go? Pretty good...but maybe not as phenomenal as last year's Microsoft shame-fest. Still, the PS4 game line-up with games like Destiny, The Order: 1886, and LittleBigPlanet 3--along with announcements like PlayStation Now and PlayStation TV--are making Sony look pretty damn strong.
Did you miss any part of the two-hour presser? No problem, because we took the liberty of condensing it into all into one easy-to-read recap. So what are you waiting for? Let's relive Sony's press conference from E3 2014 together.
Destiny goes into beta on PS4 this July
Sony's press conference started with a new trailer for Destiny that began with a trio of explorers on present-day Mars, before expanding to showcase the terror that has overtaken the universe. Fortunately, your soldier (and your Guilty Spark-like companion) are there to fight against the glowing aliens and giant warships laying waste to humanity's empire.
In addition to the sci-fi CG intro, we got to see plenty of gameplay focused on combat encounters small and large, from skirmishes with Grunt-like enemies to giant robot behemoths that will likely require a pretty big party. Destiny's beta will begin on July 17, but the alpha will start this weekend, both exclusive to PlayStation. In addition to the pre-release opportunities, Destiny will also come alongside a slick new model...
...and Destiny will be bundled with a new White PS4 model
Capping off the new look at Destiny during Sony's conference was a surprise announcement that Sony will be releasing a white PS4 console as a bundle with Destiny on September 9. Beyond the initial excitement of "Dude! White PS4!", this was a pretty no-frills announcement, with Sony even skimping on one important detail: The price.
As it stands, the bundle includes the following: one (1) white Playstation 4 with a 500gb hard drive, one (1) white DualShock 4, and one (1) copy of Destiny. Because this is presumably a limited-edition bundle with more than what's included in the base PS4 package, you can probably expect to pay a bit of a premium for it.
The Order: 1886 finally debuts its supernatural enemies
Just after the reveal of the shiny white PS4, Sony showed off new gameplay of The Order: 1886, dropping players into the darkness under the city streets and giving us our first look at the werewolf-like monsters the heroes will have to face. The game plays with a mix of cinematic elements, quick-time events, and fully controlled gunplay.
Our protagonist Galahad was shown running away from a monster, through narrow underground corridors, as he fired at the beast to no avail (he probably didn't have any silver bullets on hand). The gruesome encounter seemed to alternate between the impressive, cinematic scenes and taking direct control over the third-person shooting. Hopefully we'll get to see more on the E3 show floor.
Entwined is a new IP available now on PS4
Coming from a new development team is Entwined, an artsy indie game where flying orange and blue dragons (which look like origami cranes) create patterns in the dark black sky as they race against each other and attempt to become one.
While the concept may be a bit confusing, we won't have to wait long to become Entwined ourselves. This new indie game is available now on PlayStation 4 for $10, with PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita cross-buy versions due later on.
Infamous: Second Son gets First Light DLC
Sony revealed a new title from Sly Cooper developer Sucker Punch in Infamous: First Light. The newly announced game is a standalone expansion for Infamous: Second Son, much like Festival of Blood for Infamous 2. All we got was a brief CG trailer, but it did confirm a few details. For one, it looks to be straying a bit from the urban environments of the previous three games in the series, with a snowy, mountainous landscape being the initial focus of the trailer.
Also, in a first for the franchise, First Light appears to have a female protagonist: Fetch, who supplied Delsin Rowe's neon powers in Infamous: Second Son. Our guess is that this expansion will delve into the prelude to the events of Second Son. Lastly, the game will be out very soon: Sony pegged it for an August release.
LittleBigPlanet 3 brings whimsical creation to PS4
LittleBigPlanet 3 returns with new features, allowing players to jump into the background environments, use a pump gadget to manipulate objects, and partner up with tons of new characters. In this sequel, you won't only be required to play as Sackboy--you'll also be able to play characters such as the dog-like Oddsock, size-altering Toggle and the flying Swoop.
The focus of LBP3 is on using the different character's abilities to work cooperatively and solve puzzles. Oddsock allows you to wall-jump to reach new heights, Toggle can shrink down his size to fit into any space, and Swoop can fly up into the air and pick up other characters and objects. We can't wait to see how this new dynamic with the characters changes the series' level-building editor.
Bloodborne is the official name for FromSoftware's Project Beast
Hidetaka Miyazaki (the mind behind Demon's Souls and Dark Souls) sat out Dark Souls II for a reason. That reason is the PlayStation-exclusive horror-adventure Bloodborne, where an armor-clad soldier explored frightening environments like caves and desolate streets, discovering weird sights like a bloodied and bandaged warrior and a creepy misshapen skull amongst what seemed to be a batch of unlit candles.
How closely will this hew to Miyazaki and FromSoftware's previous adventures? How exclusive will the game remain? If the info about Bloodborne were a person, it'd only be a newborne (sorry), so the coming months will shed new light as the game slowly moves in the dark towards a 2015 release. Prepare to die again...again.
Far Cry 4 gameplay demo has grappling hooks, wingsuits, and intense car chases
Complementing Ubisoft's cinematic Far Cry 4 presentation was a full-on gameplay demo at Sony's conference. As expected, it looks similar to Far Cry 3, but the differences in the environment--namely the more vertical nature of the Himalayan setting--made for some interesting gameplay changes. The first, and perhaps most significant, is a new grappling hook, which allows players to scale walls and swing across gaps.
Well, there's also a freaking wingsuit, which is obviously more awesome than a grappling hook. But after all the new traversal goodies were shown, the demo made a move surprising move into some co-op, which seems to be integrated into the main campaign this time around. Lastly, Sony's Adam Boyes took the stage to tease that on PS4, there'll be a way to play the game in multiplayer with friends who don't even own the game.
Dead Island 2 zombifies another tropical paradise
It seems zombies still have their teeth sunk into gamers. A new trailer featuring the walking undead revealed that developer Deep Silver is working on Dead Island 2 for new-gen consoles. The trailer showed a jogger that got been bitten by a zombie, running as the people around him get eaten by zombies, helicopters crash into buildings, and cars careen into buildings.
The PS4 will be getting an exclusive PS4 beta for Dead Island 2 that will last for a 30-day time period. Expect more crazy dismemberment, outlandish characters, and tons of loot upgrades.
Disney Infinity's Avengers are exclusive to Sony systems
If you're hoping for Hulk to crash your adventures in Disney Infinity, it's looking like Sony consoles will be your home for Marvel's first additions to the the action-figure-driven adventures. The big green dude and his Avenger friends will be exclusive to the PS3 and PS4.
That's pretty rad, but will it mean future Marvel content won't be Xbox- or Wii U-bound? Will Microsoft strike back with exclusive Skylanders figurines? Will we even care when Nintendo rolls out their figure-infused games? So many questions...
Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition will have an exclusive dungeon
Who's up for some cross-genre synergy? For some reason, the worlds of The Last of Us and Diablo are mixing on the PlayStation 4. The infected creatures that haunted Ellie and Joel over the course of Naughty Dog's award-winning adventure will be coming to Blizzard's action RPG.
The Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition on PS4, which includes the Reaper of Souls expansion with the fight against Malthael, will also pit you against the flower-faced undead of The Last of Us. A strange crossover, to be sure--but darn it if we aren't intrigued by this exclusive dungeon.
Magicka sequel coming to PS4
It was revealed through a clever live-action trailer that Magicka 2 is in development, and it will be a PS4 exclusive. After the comical intro, some brief gameplay footage was shown. Very little is known about the new title, but in brief: Dude, it looks like Magicka. Not a bad thing.
All that was really shown in the trailer was a bit of co-op action, but, to be honest, you could have fooled us if you said it was footage from the first game. But it looks like it'll earn its tagline of "Learn to spell. Again." We're in.
Grim Fandango to be reborn on PS4
While reading its fanmail, Sony brought up one special letter that was written by young Sally. She asked that Sony make some of the classic games playable on current systems, specifically asking for some of Tim Schafer's old games. Turns out it was Schafer all along, posing as a 10-year-old girl. Classic Tim.
Well, one good thing came out of this strange announcement: the PS4 will be getting Grim Fandango on PSN in the near future. If you haven't played that classic Day of the Dead-inspired adventure, this is your chance.
Devolver Digital injects even more indies into PlayStation's bloodstream
Is there such a thing as a big-name indie publisher? Because Devolver Digital may just be that company, as it revealed a batch of PlayStation 4-bound downloads. Bro Force and Not A Hero will deliver 2D action on par with the Xbox's Super Time Force. Titan Souls promises epic-yet-retro-feeling battles. Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number should allow for even more top-down 1980s-style murder.
If you're looking for something a bit more modern-looking, there's The Talos Principle, an adventure-puzzle game that looks like a modern-day Myst or Riven. Who knows when each of these games will make their debuts (and if any will buck the trend started by the original Hotline Miami and have a multiconsole release), but Devolver has quite the quintet.
Let It Die is the next twisted journey from Suda51
Brutally violent, crazy dark, grimy If not for the numbers popping off of dudes being horrifically injured, you might mistake the trailer for Let it Die, Suda51's new game, for some kind of a Saw revival. This is another reveal that got very little stage time at Sony's conference, so precious little is known about it--but we can definitively say it'll be fairly disturbing.
Beyond that, the trailer took place in a dank sewer tunnel with a lot of shadowy corners. Oh, and an extremely unsettling dude with a nail-filled baseball bat. If this game doesn't end up being rated M for violence (and possibly partial nudity), we'll eat our hats. Violently.
Abzu is a dreamlike exploration game
The trailer opens in the ocean showing schools of fish and a lone diver that seems to be able to walk on the ocean floor, swim with whales, and explore the depths as he (or she) sees fit. The game, called Abzu, is being made by developer Giant Squid...and that's about everything we know about it so far.
Despite having very little information, the environments, creatures, and character designs already have us intrigued. Your character seems to be able to interact with all of the creatures you encounter on the ocean floor, like sharks and other not-so-dangerous wildlife--but exploring the fascinating environment looks to be the game's main focus. We're eager to see more.
No Man's Sky looks astoundingly good
The new trailer for No Man's Sky, which has been radio silent since December, essentially looked like a gussied-up version of the first trailer we got all those months ago. But we're not complaining: The new title from Hello Games shows as much promise as ever, with the potential we saw in that initial reveal being complemented with greater visual fidelity and more gameplay complexity than was hinted at before.
Adding to that complexity is the space combat, which was shown in greater detail than we've seen. On top of that, we saw quite a bit more of the immense scale and environmental variety that the game promises. Snowy environments, jungles inhabited by dinosaurs, gaseous atmospheres the possibilities seem truly endless in No Man's Sky.
Morpheus will be on the E3 2014 show floor
Andrew House took the stage to detail new changes coming to the PlayStation 4 hardware. The PlayStation Camera, previously available separately since launch, will work in conjunction with the recently revealed Project Morpheus. Also, a trio of VR demos (EVE: Valkyrie, Street Luge, and Jurassic Encounter) will be showcased on Sony's section of the floor during the conference proper.
How, exactly? Sony didn't say! But we'll find out once we get our heads-on demos.
A buttload of free-to-play games are also PS4-bound
Sony showed more than 25 games coming to PSN in the near future. Those games will include: Planetside 2, Kingdom Under Fire, Fat Princess, My Singing Monsters, War Thunder, Loadout, and more. So, if you're looking for a new game to play while you wait for the release of your most anticipated title, you'll have plenty of games to take up your time (and possibly some microtransaction money).
If F2P games don't excite you, well--no need to download them.
More details surface on PlayStation Now
In a resoundingly dull period of Sony's presser, it did manage to squeeze in an exciting announcement: Playstation Now will be available as an open beta starting July 31st for PS4. Shortly after that, it will become available for PS Vita and PS3 as well. The open beta will start with PS3 titles, and Sony claims it will have over 100 games available to start.
Another surprise about the new service: It will be available on some Sony TVs. Not hugely surprising, but it makes perfect sense. Unfortunately, Sony skimped on details about this service. All they confirmed was that it would be on select models in select areas, and unfortunately there was no release window.
PlayStation TV coming to our shores for $99
It's been available in Japan for quite awhile, but PlayStation TV will finally release stateside, bringing the expansive PS3, Vita, PSP, and PlayStation Originals library to audiences at a very low price. For $99, you'll be able to pick up the standalone device (provided you have a DualShock 3 and HDMI cable).
Dishing out $140 will net you the PSTV, a DualShock 3, an HDMI cable, an 8 GB memory card, and a digital download for the Lego Movie Videogame. Everything is awesome... about PlayStation TV!
Mortal Kombat X gameplay, new characters, and grisly Fatalities finally shown
At the Sony presentation, the first gameplay trailer of Mortal Kombat X was shown--and we got to see more than just Sub-Zero and Scorpion duke it out. In addition to the iconic ninjas fighting to the death, we also got a glimpse of a few new characters.
The new combatants shown were a female fighter that looked like a mix between a wasp and Killer Instinct's Orchid. The other headlining newcomer was actually two fighters in one: a giant, ogreish brute, and a small child-like creature-from-hell riding his shoulders. The X-ray special moves introduced in MK 9 are returning, with MKX also incorporating the interactive environment feature from Injustice: Gods Among Us. And, of course, the trailer closed out with a display of gruesome Fatalities that had Scorpion shooting a fireball through Sub Zero's chest, leaving his heart dangling by the aorta.
Powers (written by Brian Michael Bendis) to become a TV show
Next, Sony announced that original video content will be produced for Playstation (for some reason). Apparently geared towards gamers specifically, their first stab at it will be a superhero series dubbed Powers, based on the comic of the same name.
Sony didn't give us any footage of the show, but they did spend quite a bit talking about the narrative conceits and the creative forces behind it. From the sound of things, Powers be a Watchmen-style, gritty, realistic look at the kind of impact superheroes would have on our world. Sony claims the show will roll out in December, with the additional perk of being free for all Playstation Plus subscribers.
Ratchet & Clank movie slated for 2015
PlayStation Plus will be expanded beyond its traditional value with added original video content. Plus subscribers will get to watch the entire run of Powers. Sony also showed off the CG film Ratchet and Clank: The Movie (which Insomniac will be making alongside Xbox-exclusive Sunset Overdrive scandalous!).
The original Ratchet and Clank will also be reimagined for the PS4 by a non-Insomniac developer, with both film and revisited original due in early 2015. Here's hoping Plus subscribers get the movie gratis after it finishes its run in theaters.
The Last of Us on PS4 looks predictably pretty
Sony introduced our first look at the upcoming PS4 version of The Last of Us by way of a brief gameplay trailer. There's not much to say about the remastered version, but the trailer did indeed make it look quite pretty.
It's out July 29th. Moving on!
Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain looks suitably grim
We got another close look at Hideo Kojima's upcoming Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain in a brand new trailer. The emotional scenes showed Snake doing all sorts of epic things, like standing in front of the burning pyres of dead soldiers, rubbing their ashes on his face as he looks at the open ocean, getting stabbed, and subsequently stabbing a soldier to death. You definitely can't say that Snake isn't a badass.
The trailer also gave us a closer look at a young Ocelot, tank battles in the desert, and lots of soldier fight clubs. Some of the series staples seem to be returning as well; we also got to see an interrogation take place with Ocelot. The Phantom Pain definitely looks like it will stand up to the pedigree of the series.
Grand Theft Auto 5 coming to PS4 this fall
We've been awaiting a next-gen GTA for actually even before GTA5 released on previous-gen consoles. Luckily, Rockstar is finally delivering the award-winning, open-world crime-sim to PlayStation 4 this Fall (along with Xbox One and PC). In addition to the new details and effects the upgraded hardware will bring, you'll be able to port over your previous-gen GTA Online progress onto the PS4, regardless of what console you played on. That's right--your Xbox 360 online data will play nice with the PlayStation 4.
Of course, all of this begs an important question: Will the online save data be equally-fluid (meaning PS3-to-Xbox One data jumps)? Hopefully the traditionally coy Rockstar Games will be open with answers sooner rather than later.
Scarecrow rears his ugly head in Batman: Arkham Knight
With one of the most visually impressive gameplay demos of the show, Sony trotted out a lengthy presentation of Batman: Arkham Knight. It started off looking like a way prettier version of what we already expect from the Arkham games, but quickly showed off some of the new advances--namely, the Batmobile, which is apparently more versatile than we're used to. For example: It can strafe and has impressive firepower.
The trailer concluded with a chilling speech from the Scarecrow, who looks even freakier than he did before. There's not much else to say about this one other than the fact that damn does it looks good.
Uncharted 4: A Thief's End teased
Sony's press conference closed with the best-possible non-Last Guardian game. Naughty Dog's next-gen debut for Uncharted started with Nathan Drake passed out in a pool of his own blood as he heard ethereal words of inspiration in his head previously uttered by his pal Sully.
Summoning the courage to get to his feet, Drake set off on an all-new adventure. That adventure, titled Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, will start in 2015. Sounds pretty final, no?
The end of the line
That was Sony's showing at E3 2014. What did you think? Did you have to stop yourself from falling asleep during the statistics bit? Then you thanked God that you awoke to see Batman: Arkham Knight gameplay? Tell us about it in the comments below.