Sony’s Gamescom conference, news and thoughts

gamescom-2014

Ah Gamescom, the second biggest gaming show of the year! It’s opening it’s doors in the traditional way, press conferences from the usual suspects – we’re are going to be focusing on the two biggest presser’s Sony and Microsoft. We expect shots to be fired and they should be great shows that are hopefully full of gameplay videos and surprises. However the reality is usually very different from expectation – no doubt Sony and Microsoft will find news ways to disappoint…we will cast out these negative feelings and remain optimistic. Sony; it’s over to you.

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Sony Conference (12/08/2014 6pm GMT)

In the aftermath of the Microsoft conference and the BIG news that Tomb Raider is now an Xbox exclusive (read as Xbox NOT Xbox One), Sony now knew what they needed to do to ‘win’ Gamescom…big question was, would Sony come out guns blazing or rest on their laurels knowing that Microsoft actually offered very little to get excited about.

The BIG news.

The biggest news was the Playstation had sold (not shipped) 10,000,000 units worldwide, it is the first home console to sell 10 million in a year (they did it in 9 months); no matter how you cut it – that is impressive!

During their opening ‘AAA’ vignette The Order got a release date; 20/02/2015. I feel that this game could be something special; unfortunately I do not think that Sony has showcased it particularly well, still a lot of questions to be answered here…at the minute it still feels like a tech demo rather than a game. There are however a lot of people looking forward to this, so I am willing to be proven wrong.

Sony still love indies – they announced an absolute mountain of indie titles that are either console exclusive or ‘first on playstation’ the biggest coup is undoubtedly the announcement that Playstation 4 will be the home of DayZ on consoles for a time period – that’s right streamers DayZ: Playstation edition is a thing!

Other indies included:

The Tomorrow children – an interesting building sim (?) still a lot of question marks about this, it is very interesting looking with a Russian motif.

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, Volume (Mike Bithell’s follow up game to ‘Thomas was alone’), Hollowpoint (2D shooter with 4 player co-op), Rune Master, Hellblade, Rime, Papers Please and more!

Destiny announced Playstation timed-exclusive content; all DLC will be ‘first on playstation’ the first release is scheduled for December and include PVP maps called ‘Dust Palace’ and ‘Exodus Blue’. Also Destiny is the most pre-oredered new I.P in history.

Share-play – Far Cry 4 will allow you to give keys to your friends; this gives them the ability to play the title for two hours absolutely free of charge. Each copy has 10 keys.

Tearaway is coming to PS4; but not in the usual cheap and cheerful cash-in. It has been completely redesigned for the home console and the Dual Shock 4.

House Marque have a new title! entitled ‘Alienation’ which looks like an absolutely insane isometric twin-stick shooter meets bullet-hell with an ungodly amount of enemies on the screen at once.

Michel Ancel (Rayman creator) announced his new game, a survival game in which you can play as cavemen entitled ‘Wild’. We were shown a video that was created using the in game engine.

Bloodborne got a gameplay video – looked exactly liek you’d imagine it to…although i’m not particularly excited for this I know a lot of people are excited for this. Looks good.

The news Sony wanted to be big.

PSTV – play your VITA games on your TV (as long as you have a DS3).

Little Big Planet has new characters/character templates (Oddsock and Swoop) – although these were mega cute and will make a lot of money in merchandising I feel that LBP isn’t a big franchise anymore.

Bits I enjoyed.

An Usher song playing in between vignettes – has he defected from Microsoft? A bigger coup than Tomb Raider surely (/sarcasm).

The Sony vignettes are always wonderful to watch – they are so professionally done, nobody does them better (well maybe the WWE).

The Destiny PVP montage was absolutely chaotic and showed quite a lot of material that wasn’t in the BETA, looked so much fun and only heightens my anticipation for that title.

Driveclub looked amazing.

The best video I have ever seen in a games conference…MGS: Box video with quote of the evening “the box only does everything” and “you can do so much with the box, pop out of the box and back in. Or dive out of the box leaving it as a decoy”. It was crazy and I loved every second of it, had me in fits of laughter.

Overall

2 thumbs up. Microsoft’s conference left me with a tingle in my toes; Sony didn’t just blow my socks off, they took my whole foot too! The pace with which this conference was delivered was break neck! To have the confidence to show ALL their big hitters in a vignette to OPEN their show and not mention any of them again during the show showed their intent (to destroy). The momentum from the opening took us along and it did not let up. Sony never took their foot off the pedal. It was a whirlwind of games. They just kept on coming! I would have liked to see more of ‘The Order’ and it threatened to lose thrust during the Destiny opening, but these are minor complaints – many people are saying this was Sony’s best ever Press conference, i’d agree. It gives Microsoft one hell of a mountain to climb, I don’t know if they will conquer this Everest.

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