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PlayStation 3 at E3 - Hopes and Expectations

Sony's home console's big show.

With the Vita’s less than inspiring launch sale figures, and an expectant fan base clamouring for new titles on that machine, Sony could perhaps be forgiven for relaxing a little on the PlayStation 3 announcements. Don’t bet on it.

Sony’s flagship might be reaching that critical tipping point in its life cycle where it’s about to be replaced by a younger, stronger model but there’s life in the old dog yet. The PS2 famously (and very successfully) spent the second half of its life with the likes of EyeToy, Singstar and Buzz for company and the PS3 will hopefully have its share of casual and party hits too, those are what bring in the cash and brand awareness that supports early cycle development on the next console.

Expect Move to have a strong showing with those lighter games, supported by some gentle nods of the glowing orb towards the traditional gaming markets we’re probably most interested in.

These nasty blighters will be back, in some form.
We know Guerrilla Games is busy working on something in the Killzone series, probably a fully fledged fourth instalment. A trailer was rumoured to have been shot in recent weeks with some speculation that it will feature Visari’s daughter as the main antagonist, so we can safely assume that we’ll see something of the Helghast on PS3 in Los Angeles this June.

That’s not all that Guerrilla Games has tucked in the thigh pockets of their worn fatigues though. We know from job advertisements and interviews that they’ve got some brand new intellectual property, hinted to be something with werewolves, zombies, steampunk or based on Ghost in the Shell.

Lycans or werewolves sound interesting but tricky to pull off, zombies are surely one of the most tired conventions in modern gaming – not to mention probably covered elsewhere in Sony’s line up –  and steampunk is popular but has been well stocked recently too. A game based on Ghost in the Shell, or at least on those cyber punk aesthetics, sounds very possible to me but a straight up licensed product might be a hard sell to a mainstream western audience.

We’re as sure as we can ever be that we’ll see something of Kratos’ recently announced prequel, God of War: Ascension, along with more about Naughty Dog’s extremely enticing The Last of Us and plenty about Sly Cooper’s latest outing. If they don’t show The Last Guardian then we might have a bit of a hissy fit too.

There’s too much speculation about that game being a heartbeat away from death for them not to refute that with some nice juicy gameplay footage. Speaking of games which are being noisily missed, Agent will surely raise its head above the parapets – if it isn’t dead already – before it’s forgotten about entirely.

Dust 514 will probably get a run out as Sony attempts to show that the PS3 and Vita complement each other perfectly. Expect plenty of Cross Play talk and mentions of game saves that work over both platforms. Media Molecule has been quiet since LittleBigPlanet 2’s release and there has been some quiet speculation that we might see something totally new from them, a prospect which should excite us all.

Sony’s Playstation 3 software sizzle from last year.

Speaking of quiet speculation, Gran Turismo 6 is a name that has been kicked about in recent weeks and it’s not beyond the realms of possibility. Although, if Gran Turismo’s name is to be dropped on stage, the smart money might be on a slightly less intricate sim-like game than GT usually supplies – rumours abound that the MotorStorm engine would be ideal for something that could more closely compete with Forza Horizon.

We’ll almost certainly see LittleBigPlanet Karting and PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale as Sony attempts to capitalise on fan fervour and show that it has the loveable figureheads to pick up business from people who are wanting to upgrade from a Wii but are put off by a potentially high price and confusing message of the Wii U. On that point, another PS3 price cut could be very likely, if only to keep the price disparity with the Xbox 360 to a minimum.

Speaking of the HD console rivalry, there are some reports that the Diablo III port has had trouble with Microsoft’s Xbox 360 certification. Sony could pull off a bit of a coup by taking that port under their wing and making it an exclusive.

It might be too early to talk about but the PC launch buzz should still be ringing in the ears of eager gamers when E3 is in full swing so it might just be a great time to get the chequebook out and nail something down they can mention on stage.

Don’t forget that Insomniac is working on Overstrike, too. That’s scheduled for this year and although it will be multi platform through EA, Sony has been such a good partner that it might be a sensible option to show it at their conference.

While we’re on the subject of multi-platform conversions, Gears of War has closed its main, Microsoft exclusive, trilogy and Epic are free to create something new on any or all platforms as their already-announced Fortnite testifies. A Gears spin off has long been rumoured, indeed, something called Gears of War: Exile was recently cancelled so the possibility has certainly been explored. Although it’s a massive long-shot, and I’m being very speculative here, if Sony could get that developer on their stage, it would be huge.

Elfen-featured android, Kara, was lovely but let's hear about a game.
A much safer bet, and something we’re hopeful for, is more from David Cage and Quantic Dream. That Kara tech demo was lovely and all but we’d like to hear some firm details of what the next game is going to be from that studio, unless they’re making it for the PlayStation 4 (Orbis?). In which case, it could be part of a sizzler trailer for the potential announcement of that machine.

I’ll go out on a limb and suggest that new hardware will probably be talked about at this year’s E3, even if Kaz Hirai has publicly denied it. Sony probably won’t throw it up on their huge screen at the press conference but behind closed doors, at least, they’ll show something off to a select few. Recent trends among rumour mongers have advised against hoping for new hardware but a release in the final quarter of 2013 is seeming more and more likely so it makes sense to at least tell people their targets.

Sony has also spoken about not wanting to get left behind by Microsoft again so even though Microsoft has proclaimed that there will be no new Xbox hardware from them at this year’s show, don’t assume Sony won’t be readying some sort of tech demo – as they did with Move in reaction to Kinect’s premiere – just in case.

We should probably also expect partner announcements for media streaming. Microsoft has come slightly late to this area, Netflix excluded, but they’ve hit it hard and Sony would be foolish to let that hugely popular side of the modern home console landscape slip away from them. We’re also piecing together evidence that points to some sort of deal that might bring streaming gaming to the console, probably via PlayStation Plus and likely with Gaikai rather than OnLive. What about PC emulation of PS1 and PS2 games, streamed to your PS3? Wild speculation, for now, but a nice idea we’ve seen floated.

Their’s will be the most game-focussed conference of the three platform holders, with plenty of first party titles to show off, some unannounced projects ripening at just the right time and the ever-present likelihood of some third parties throwing DLC announcements or extra bonuses into the ring for them. This is only half of it, too. With the Vita predicted to be a large focus, it’s looking like an action packed conference for Sony.

  1. Jakster123x
    Since: Aug 2011

    Good old E3 speculation :)

    Not gonna get ahead of myself this year but i would particularly like to see gameplay of Agent, TLoU, GoW and David Cage’s new game.

    Of course, i want Vita to get a good showing too.

    Comment posted on 25/05/2012 at 17:09.
  2. cc_star
    Team TSA: Writer
    Since: Forever

    I think they’ll go huge on Vita, which is a shame for me as I’m completely indifferent to home console quality gaming on the move. Just doesn’t fit IMO, no matter how cool it sounds.
    GT Vita off the top of my head but all sorts of others too. I’d be more interested in seeing them getting PlayStation Suite up & running at full speed and creating the kind of buzz that accompanies the AppStore.

    On the PS3 front I expect a Killzone 4 reveal, obviously plenty of Last Of Us… they’ll no doubt show something to try & prove that Move hasn’t flopped in comparison to its competitor. We might even see something GT… We might also see more from Quantic… and no doubt Ubisoft will show off more of AC3 during Sony’s presser if the existing marketing arrangement continues.
    Would be nice of Sony could get BlOps2 gameplay, now that Activision’s deal with MS has expired, but I highly doubt it.

    On the media side, they’ll highlight Amazon’s streaming thing but I’m not expecting to see SkyPlayer launch at a US show, although that’s a current huge advantage for Xbox over here.

    and of course we’ll see the launch of Gaikai streaming of full game trials for PS+ members.

    Comment posted on 25/05/2012 at 17:11.
  3. bmg_123
    Since: Feb 2012

    New Media molecule game and Quantic dream game will be revealed, no doubt.
    Also, GTA 5 exclusive to Vita.

    Comment posted on 25/05/2012 at 17:22.
    • Forrest_01
      Since: Jun 2009

      A different version of GT5? Because GT5 is already kinda exclusive to PS3 isn’t it? :P

      Comment posted on 25/05/2012 at 17:49.
      • bmg_123
        Since: Feb 2012

        GTA 5! I said GTA 5! I was joking anyway :p

        Comment posted on 25/05/2012 at 19:01.
  4. gazzagb
    Master of speling mitakse
    Since: Feb 2009

    Sony need to concentrate on Vita, if you think about the fact that in 10 weeks Vita hasn’t matched the first week sales of the PSP, you can see how much trouble it is in. They need to bring out the big guns with games to entice players to buy the console, but I can’t see that happening without a price drop.
    With regards to next-gen, I’m sure Sony will have prepared something that they can talk about if they wish. MS have their conference first so Sony will easily be able to decide if they need to talk about next-gen otherwise they’ll leave all the headlines to MS.

    Comment posted on 25/05/2012 at 17:25.
    • Sympozium
      Since: Aug 2009

      They need cheap games and worms.

      Comment posted on 25/05/2012 at 17:33.
      • cc_star
        Team TSA: Writer
        Since: Forever

        They need buzz, you know what makes buzz… Stuff like Tiny Town, Whale Trail, New Star Soccer… Cheap, no-brainer purchases, hundreds of them… arriving all the time.

        Basically, a vibrant PlayStation Suite. Won’t happen though, it’ll be still-born, like most stuff Sony do.

        It would also drive sales of Sony phones & tablets

        Comment posted on 25/05/2012 at 17:36.
      • gazzagb
        Master of speling mitakse
        Since: Feb 2009

        But hundreds of “cheap, no-brainer purchases” on their own make the console itself seem quite expensive, especially if it’s just for playing Mini’s and the like. They need to mix the small, cheap games with plenty of ‘AAA’ games that are actually worth playing, yet still aren’t priced at £40 and are more like £20-25.

        From that it sounds like its hard for Sony to win, but they should of really thought this through before launching the console. They haven’t got enough ‘top’ games to make it a ‘hardcore’ console worth the price, but at the same time they don’t have enough cheap games for people to actually play.

        Comment posted on 25/05/2012 at 20:22.
  5. JBoo
    Since: Oct 2011

    This comment is hidden.

    Comment posted on 25/05/2012 at 18:29.
    • Sympozium
      Since: Aug 2009

      That actually makes sense, well I guess it could be difficult to ignore a few screenshots or info on a new game.

      Gravity Rush will be intriqing, haven’t seen much.

      Comment posted on 25/05/2012 at 20:58.
  6. TSBonyman
    Since: Dec 2009

    I’m just looking forward to watching the press conference, hopefully plenty of surprises in store. If they don’t show some progress on TLG i will fear the worst.. :(

    Comment posted on 25/05/2012 at 19:50.
  7. ico
    Since: Aug 2010

    Hopes = lots of NEW games that haven’t already been announced and plenty of vita love. Expectations = low (but would love to be proved wrong).

    Comment posted on 25/05/2012 at 19:52.
    • cc_star
      Team TSA: Writer
      Since: Forever

      Everything will be pre-announced barring 1 or maybe 2 things.

      It’s the only way to guarantee column inches.
      Sad really, I liked surprises.

      Comment posted on 25/05/2012 at 20:23.
      • ico
        Since: Aug 2010

        Although I hate the film I have to say that Forrest Gump would not be a fan of E3. E3 is not like a box of chocolates. You do know what you’re going to get.

        Comment posted on 25/05/2012 at 22:08.
  8. ico
    Since: Aug 2010

    Psone classics on vita. Anything else is a bonus.

    Comment posted on 25/05/2012 at 19:53.
  9. The Lone Steven
    Never heard of him.
    Since: May 2010

    I suspect a ton of Vita games will be annouced as we’ve not heard nor seen that many get released this year. If they don’t announce any more games for it, the Vita will fail as noone wants to own a console without any games for it.

    I think GTA5 will be shown during Sony’s conference as i think Rockstar has a close relationship to Sony. GOW footage, some PSN titles, hopefully more TLG footage, Kevin Butler comes on stage, new exclusives etc..

    Comment posted on 25/05/2012 at 21:26.
  10. Kaminari
    Since: Jan 2010

    “That Kara tech demo was lovely and all but we’d like to hear some firm details of what the next game is going to be from that studio, unless they’re making it for the PlayStation 4.”

    You haven’t been following the news lately. Cage is not impressed with the PS4.

    Comment posted on 25/05/2012 at 22:03.

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