Sony this evening held their annual Gamescon press conference. We all tuned in to see if we would get more details such as a release date for the PS4 but got a lot of other PS3 and Vita information as well.
So what did they announce?
Grand Tourismo 6 will be released worldwide on December the 6th. Sony is developing a full length feature film based on the franchise. They have already secured Michael de Luca and Donna Brunetti as producers.
LittleBigPlanet on the PS3 is going free to play and getting a new free hub allowing players to play share and create lots of items and ‘stuff’.
Grand Theft Auto 5 will be available this year on the PS3 and there will be a bundle which will include a custom headset.
The Vita also receives some new games. This includes three new PS Vita Mega Packs for the Europe market. They’re available as standalone software with an 8GB memory card or as part of a hardware bundle. There will also be new singleton titles like Arkham Origins Blackgate, Football Manager Classic 2014 and Borderlands 2. For the Indie fans there will be Starbound from Chucklefish, Fez from Phil Fish and Velocity X from Futurlab coming to the Vita and PS3
The Vita will have a price drop from tomorrow, 199 Euro, 199 US dollars (£170) and the memory packs will have a significant cost decrease.
A new F2P game called Big Fest was announced for the PS3 which has the player creating and managing a music festival. The preview looked a little like Tycoon – setting up stalls, micro-managing acts, then seeing people enjoy them and tending to their needs.
The PS4 was talked about by Mark Cerney. He spent some time talking about the technology that will be available to developers. He highlighted support for Unity, offering full self-publishing across all platforms, loaning dev kits and offering financial support with the Pub Fund.
More PS4 Indies were announced :
- Rogue Legacy on the PS4 and Vita in 2014
- The Binding of Isaac:Rebirth on PS4 and Vita spring 2013
- N++ on the PS4 winter 2013.
- The new game from Mike Bithell, Volume, will be a Sony exclusive in the Vita and PS4.
- Guns of Icarus Online will be ported from the PC to the PS4. Wasteland Kings will be console exclusive onthe the PS4 and the Vita.
The fourteen Sony Worldwide Studios showed off some of the titles that they are working on:
- The Chinese Room showed off Everyone’s Gone to the Rapture
- Tequilla Works showed off a game called Rime
- A game called Arrow Divers was shown from the team who did Magica. Its a Co-op squad-based multiplayer shooter for PS3, PS4 and Vita.
- Housemarque will release an arcade shooter called Resogun which is and update of Super Stardust HD
- Shadow of the Beast – an iconic Amiga game – will be remade for the PS4
The PS4 also showed some of the software that would be preinstalled on the console at launch. ‘The Playroom’ which is a graphical background designed to work and be interactive with the PS4 camera. Think lots of special effect graphics and punchable blocks.
Playstation Plus future direction was also made somewhat more clear. The price of €4 a month will remain constant. There’ll be a 14-day free trial for all PS4 owners, including Instant Game Collection access. You’ll be able to use the DriveClub PS Plus Edition and Resogun will be included. Early adapters will get a small reward as well – starting tomorrow and lasting a month, if you sign up to the PSN plus for a year you’ll get an extra 90 days free.
Finally Sony hit the big games. Assassin’s Creed 4 was shown off, making good use of the Vita’s Remote Play feature. Watch Dogs showed a trailer and announced that Sony and Ubisoft are to create a Watch Dogs film. Minecraft is to be on the PS4 at launch. A F2P strategy/action MMO game called War Thunder is was announced for the PS4, which looks to be Sony’s answer to Microsoft’s World of Tanks.
The PS3 is to be reduced in price somewhat – a 12GB PS3 is to be 199 Euros or $199 (about £170). In addition PS3 owners who purchase Call Of Duty:Ghost, Watch Dogs or Battlefield 4 on the PS3 will receive the PS4 versions for a large discount.
Finally Andrew House the CEO of Sony CE came on stage and announced what we had been waiting for. PlayStation 4 will launch in 32 countries in total during this holiday season, and will become available in North America on 15th November and in Europe on 29th November. The base price as already announced is price is £349, $399 and €399,
So what did we learn? Sony is clearly not planning to abandon the PS3 and with its and the Vita’s price cuts has ensured the older systems will remain relevant for at least a year or two to come. The PS4 release date is what we should have expected and fits with Microsoft Xbox One’s November release date. Sony has an impressive range of launch titles and tonights event further increased their lead as the premier next generation console.