Sony didn’t pull any punches at their Monday press conference. They went straight for the face.
They quelled any fears about DRM and online connectivity and had a solid showing of exclusives for all of their platforms.
To start the show, Jack Tretton Pres and CEO came out and thanked gamers for their support. He then talked about the planned titles for the Vita.
“Vita is just beginning its life-cycle,” said Tretton. “People love vita when they get their hands on it.” He then went on to say that more than 85 titles will launch by the end of the year. Titles like Killzone Mercenary, Tearaway, and Doki Doki Universe. The God of War HD Collection is coming to Vita, as well as Final Fantasy X HD and X-2 HD. “It’s the ultimate companion device for PS4,” Said Tretton.
Moving on to the PS3. “Our commitment is stronger than ever,” Tretton went on to say. Titles like The Last of Us, Puppeteer, Rain, Beyond: Two Souls, and Gran Turismo 6 were all shown off.
Batman: Arkham Origins was shown off as well. Apprently Black Mask wants the Bat dead. And Bane, Deathstroke, and The Joker (sans Mark Hamill) are lining up to take a shot. It will have exclusive DLC as well. Knightfall, and Classic TV Batman skins will be out at the October launch for PS3.
Now for the important part of the presentation.
PS4 will offer “new experiences, greater connectivity, cloud tech,” said Andrew House, President and group CEO for Sony Entertainment. The system was finally shown off with a display. Sporting an angular design. It looks… Like a box for games. “Resonates with gamers of all types,” House said. “We will focus on our fans and curate content they will love.”
Shu Yoshida, President Worldwide Studios showed off a new Santa Monica studios, makers of God Of War, game Taking place in Victorian era London. This steam punk inspired shooter seemed to involve shadowy beings and snappily dressed soldiers. It’s called The Order: 1886 and it’s only on PS4.
We also saw The Dark Sorcerer by Quantic Dream. Super fantasy setting. Real-time gameplay. Ridiculously good facial animations… And it’s all a green screen production. Kind of funny. It really was an elaborate tech demo, but the facial and motion capture were very realistic.
Tons of new Indie developed games will be coming to the PS4 as console exclusives.
Tetsuya Nomura of Square Enix had a few huge announcements as well. Anybody remember Final Fantasy Versus XIII? After a new trailer showcasing the gameplay and cinematics, the game is finally coming out… As Final Fantasy XV. The ol’ switcheroo got us again!
He also announced Kingdom Hearts III is officially in development, and that FFXIV: A Realm Reborn is going to be on both on PS3 and PS4.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag was shown again today, but this time we finally got live gameplay! Sneaky jungles. Stabby pirates. and some ship to ship action! Sure the demo froze once, but it at least showed more than the Ubisoft conference.
Watch Dogs also got a gameplay demo. Showcasing some serious visuals. The gameplay was a mix of stealth and evasion. Aiden Pierce , the protagonist, showed some crazy hacking skills as he caused blackouts and used cameras to complete his objectives. PS owners will get exclusive DLC at launch.
Elder Scrolls Online is coming to PS4 thanks to a new partnership with Bethesda Softworks. It will be on PS4 in spring 2014. Beta exclusively first on PS4.
World premiere of the Mad Max game! No gameplay yet. Exclusive content, to be announced, on PS4.
Then Jack Tretton came on stage again and fired the shot heard around the world. The Playstation 4 will not limit used games in any way. To further twist the knife, Tretton said the PS4 will not require an online connection. The only downside is that Playstation Plus will now be required in order to play games online.
On the bright side: Drive Club, a previously announced exclusive racer will get a free PS Plus edition immediately at launch, in addition to a bunch of indies for free too.
To follow that bombshell was the live world gameplay premiere of Bungie’s Destiny.It featured aliens, a war ravaged Earth, a destroyed, but beautiful landscape, and Martin O’Donnell’s stunning musical score. The gameplay wasn’t incredibly unique, but the makers of Halo know how to put together a game.
The conference closed out with another bombshell. The PS4 will launch at $400 USD this holiday. Andrew House closed with: “Consumer trust is central to what we do.”