In the second of our big E3 2012 previews, we take a look at the upcoming Sony press conference and discuss the announcements we're looking forward too, along with some of our hopes for what we'd really like to be shown.
It almost feels too easy to say “CLOUD GAMING” at this point, but it certainly looks like that’s the direction Sony are heading in. Perhaps a mix with their PSN+ service will emerge, providing a chance to not only test out games in a streaming demo, but access to full games in a similar manner to OnLive’s Playback Pass subscription.
Other than that, I’m expecting gameplay reveals for The Last Of Us, and Ni No Kuni to grace us with more of its beauty and charm. Ideally I’d love to see Agent appear after years in the development wilderness, and hell, I’d be happy to Final Fantasy Vs XIII or The Last Guardian in some form. In fact, let’s go nuts; a Kingdom Hearts 3 announcement please. Let’s just hope they’ve brought some ammunition for the Vita too, which has been looking a little quiet as of late.
For me, Sony's press conference needs to be all about the Vita. Gamers are already questioning whether their pricey early purchase was a good decision, and Sony needs to ensure that the fanbase is properly excited about a huge number of new and exciting games to look forward to. Plus, games sell systems, and Sony are well aware of this simple fact. Properly announcing PSOne compatibility would help sweeten the deal.
In terms of PS3 games, a new inFamous title wouldn't go amiss, along with some major hype for LBP Karting and PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. Which needs a shorter name. Or an acronym. We might also expect a fairly dry presentation about PS Plus subscription tiers and an eBook initiative, which they've been rather hot about lately. And to top it all off, Quantic Dreams should be showing off their next project.
Will Sony decide to pip Microsoft to the post by announcing their next-gen console before their longtime rivals? They're certainly looking to release the PS4 first this time around, but I wouldn't hold your breath just yet.
David Cage has had a lot to say about next generation technology in recent weeks, not much of it favourable. Quantic Dream’s latest tech demo ‘Kara’ however, goes a long way toward justifying that particular stance. Running in real-time on a Playstation 3 (albeit in a controlled environment), the video is a masterclass in how to emotionally engage an audience and at the same time deliver something truly jaw-dropping on a technical level.
Heavy Rain used its ‘Casting’ trailer to demonstrate a number of tonal and technological elements that would make their way into the final product, and my hope is that ‘Kara’ is a similar letter of intent from Cage and co. Dyed in the wool Sony developers, Quantic Dream deserve a pedestal from which to preach their love of the current generation during Sony’s E3 conference, and the return of Kara might just be the way to hammer the message home.
Dust 514 should well be making an appearance, and it’ll be interesting to see how comprehensively the first person shooter has been integrated with its older brother EVE Online. The Last of Us is a shoo-in, but remains one of Sony’s most exciting exclusives regardless, and I fully expect Kratos to rear his ugly head and start kicking even uglier heads in an official God of War: Ascension reveal.
With Sony's rich stable of first and second party developers, there'll be lots here for the PS-fan to cheer about - particularly in the form of The Last of Us, Kratos' latest adventure, and whatever masterpiece David Cage and co. have brought along to the show. Oh, and Ni no Kuni...which is shaping up to be utterly fantastic.
I wouldn't expect news on a next-gen console, purely because Sony already have a new console that they must deliver some killer content for, and soon. This is the time for big Vita announcements (Bioshock?!!), a chance for Sony to reveal what's been happening to all of those stellar, rumoured "launch window" titles. A Western release date for Persona 4: The Golden would be lovely too.
But the big news, as Carl suggests, will surely be the final reveal of this hotly tipped cloud gaming partnership. What form will this take? Can we expect PS+ subscribers to greatly benefit? Will it just be demos or full games? Will I be able to play PS games on my android phone via a client? Expect big, gamechanging PSN news.
Also, if it's not too much trouble, could we please have some news on The Last Guardian.
I don't know why but for some reason I'm not that excited about Sony's presentations this year, then again there are one or two things that have grabbed my interest. Kratos' adventures have always looked spectacular and been a joy to be a part of, so it'd be a real treat to get even a tiny peek of God Of War: Ascension especially if it shows how the gameplay's been reworked. Being a big fan of both the Jet Set Radio and Bioshock series, I'm extremely curious to see whether or not their first outings on the PS Vita will be failures or successes.