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Opinion

What To Expect From Sony's Gamescom Conference

All the rumours and facts in one place.

Gamescom kicks off today, and it’s a big one for Sony this year, hot on the heels of the PS4 reveal and a massive E3 showing of all things PlayStation. So, what can we expect them to show us today at 6PM?

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PlayStation 4

There’s no doubt we’ll be seeing a lot of PlayStation 4 information at Sony’s press conference, with Sony previously stating that “the focus will be on PS4 and its games line-up once again” at Gamescom 2013, in a competition posted on their website.

Of course, the biggest news might just be the release date, which looks like it might be in October, with Sony cutting in before Microsoft and releasing their console in just over two months. An FCC approval first suggested that we might see the console earlier than November, essentially meaning that the console is ready to go, but NeoGAF has provided the best fuel for the October fire, with a mod verified user stating that an October 21st release date was shared with the store they work at.

Furthermore, industry leaker Cboat posted a cryptic message sharing that the PS4 would have a late October launch and that Sony’s SDK is completely ready, while Microsoft’s is not. We’ll definitely find out the date today, with Sony themselves confirming that they would be revealing their “release plans” at their showing. The fact they’re labelled “plans” sounds a bit worrying, as if it may be releasing on different dates in different territories.

Since the release dates will probably take a few minutes towards the end of the show, we can also expect to see a lot more about the PS4’s interface, which Sony haven’t really shown much of – it’s still quite vague what the actual home screen looks like, though a recently leaked video gave us a bit more insight. We’ve also seen screens of the game page, social aspects and a glimpse at the Android application, though it’s hard to tell from all these what it looks like when put together – hopefully that’s what we’ll be seeing today.

What should also be interesting is whether Sony detail the Trophy system or not. We uncovered that they’d be keeping the bronze, silver, gold and platinum system but there’s no word on if the levels or values will be changing, or even if your trophies will carry over. It seems likely that they will, going by the fact that the Vita and PS3 trophies all count as one. Sony probably won’t talk too technically about the hardware, so don’t expect them to talk in terms of numbers if they decide to clarify how much RAM will be available for games – something that was discussed quite a bit a few weeks back.

Hopefully they’ll tell us more about the video capabilities of the PS4; it’s rumoured that the length could be “virtually unlimited” and that you’re able to export video content to a PC for editing, rather than having to use built-in software. We already know that PlayStation Plus isn’t required, but we’ll find out if there’s any advantages when it comes to streaming with PS Plus, such as a longer length of video.

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PlayStation Vita

To quickly tie in with the aforementioned PlayStation 4 expectations, we could be seeing a joining of forces of Sony’s upcoming home console and current handheld, with a rumoured $500 PS4 and Vita bundle, which would increase Vita sales as well as make the prospect of a PS4 even more enticing for those who don’t yet have a Vita.

They should also be pushing the Vita’s remote play and controller features, clearing up whether the system will work as a secondary PS4 controller or not and exactly how using it as the first controller will work – will there be support akin to the Wii U’s GamePad? Will the back panel be used for the R2 and L2 buttons? Will you be able to stream? It would be good to find out these answers soon.

Quite interestingly, it looks as though there could be a Vita redesign on the way, if a report from a Japanese magazine is anything to go by. The new system may have double the RAM, as well as a jump in screen size to 6.3 inches from the current 5. That seems a bit uncomfortable to me, though I get on fine with my Wii U’s GamePad. The doubled RAM seems odd, too, though this is reportedly so that more applications can run in the background at once.

The rumoured redesign might pave the way for a price cut with the current version, which could really boost the system’s diminishing sales and fit in with the bundle rumour. Whatever the case, it’ll be an interesting day for Vita hardware.

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PlayStation 3

I wouldn’t expect much from Sony on the PS3 hardware front; they certainly won’t be releasing another brand-new model any time soon (if at all, actually) and the price has dropped down so low that another price cut seems irrelevant.

There could be some minor changes to the current model, however, with Sony filing for certification of two new CECH-4205B and CECH-4205C systems, which could subsidise the price of the system on Sony’s end. There’s no real word on what the difference is from these models in comparison to the current CECH-40 version, though.

It’s odd to have a year at Gamescom with the PS3 on the backburner, isn’t it? There’s still some games coming, remember…

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New Games

Sony have actually been quite tight-lipped about any unannounced, upcoming PS4 or Vita titles, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t any on the way. First of all, we know that new Vita games – that’s plural – are going to be announced, as confirmed by PlayStation Blog Manager Fred Dutton last week. Quite what those games will be remains to be seen.

There will be PS4 games, naturally, since Sony won’t have spent all of their big game announcements on E3, but what could those titles be? Well, the director of God of War 2, Cory Barlog, recently returned to Sony Santa Monica – so could they be set to reveal a PS4 or Vita God of War title? Perhaps.

Sackboy recently made an appearance aside a Gamescom banner on the official PlayStation twitter, aside a comment from Sony saying that the “little fella is excited”, so could there be LittleBigPlanet 3 on the horizon? It’s a stretch, but something worth considering now that Media Molecule are wrapping up Tearaway.

Uncharted 4 doesn’t seem that likely but Lord of the Rings and LOST actor, Dominic Monaghan recently referenced a “new Uncharted” title, though this is perhaps the biggest stretch of them all, though it’s likely Naughty Dog will be busy at work on a PS4 release – certainly not The Last of Us 2?

Speaking of which, there was supposed to be a DLC announcement for The Last of Us at some point this month – today seems as good a time as ever, so hopefully we’ll hear more about the story-centric content rather than the multiplayer packs.

Something entirely new is Helldivers, which Sony recently registered a domain for, as well as Take-Two renewing the Agent trademark – could we see a triumphant return of Rockstar’s PS3 exclusive for the PS4? And don’t forget the indie games – Fez developer Polytron are said to be working with Sony. There could be a lot of nice new game announcements at the conference!

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Confirmed Games

Finally, Sony will be returning with some new footage and information about games they’ve already announced. We’ll keep this section short, since there’s not much in the way of rumours to discuss with this section.

On the PS4 side of things, we’ll no doubt see DriveClub, with Sony perhaps revealing what you get with the ‘free’ PlayStation Plus version of the game; inFamous: Second Son, which might even have a live gameplay demo if we’re lucky; Killzone: Shadowfall, which seems like a good chance for Sony to push the multiplayer; Knack, with Sony actually trying to sell the game as more than a tech demo this time round; and The Order 1886, which we might see another teaser (or even gameplay) for.

For the Vita, Sony will be pushing Killzone: Mercenary before its beginning of September release, with some new gameplay footage or story information, perhaps. Aside from indie games – which will no doubt get shown, the only other confirmed big exclusive is Tearaway, which will definitely be discussed as some point.

They’ll make sure not to let us forget about the PS3’s fantastic end-of-year line-up, showing how scarily real the actors in Beyond and the cars in Gran Turismo 6 look. Puppeteer should also get a showing, too, if Sony want to push this game before release and I’d be surprised if we didn’t see some third party titles such as Kingdom Hearts 1.5 and even Assassin’s Creed.

So, there you have it. Everything we know that we can expect to see at Sony’s conference, along with plenty of educated guessing. What do you want to see?

13 Comments
  1. Gaztee
    Member
    Since: Mar 2009

    I sure as hell hope the release date isn’t 21st October! It’ll be a week before I see it if that’s the case!

    Comment posted on 20/08/2013 at 09:09.
  2. stueeeee
    Member
    Since: Jun 2009

    I wanna see all that you’ve mentioned, and a couple of surprises.
    I hope there’s a new big hitter for ps4 that we know absolutely nothing about, and after e3, this time I could really believe they could keep it a surprise with no leaks…..

    Comment posted on 20/08/2013 at 09:10.
  3. Bilbo_bobbins
    Member
    Since: Jun 2009

    I just want to see gameplay of PS4 games. Especially for The Order and Killzone. I’m also looking forward to seeing BF4 gameplay.

    Comment posted on 20/08/2013 at 09:16.
  4. Voolar
    Member
    Since: Mar 2009

    Exciting…!

    I’d love an October release date, if for no other reason than the MS panic that would ensue…

    Comment posted on 20/08/2013 at 09:18.
  5. ron_mcphatty
    Member
    Since: Sep 2008

    Nice summary, there’s going to be plenty to dribble over this week then! I’m not so sure we’ll see a new Vita anymore, the competition Sony are running have the old one pictured with a new looking telly and a PS4 and I doubt they’d give away an old model of anything, if a new Vita was coming this year they would surely have waited until after the announcement to run a competition and given that away with the PS4. But then, maybe I’m completely wrong and my hungover deduction skills are leading me astray.

    Comment posted on 20/08/2013 at 09:23.
  6. leeroye
    Member
    Since: May 2012

    Cant wait to see what “proper” vita games they have in the pipeline, for me they are relying far too heavily on Indie titles. I bought my Vita for the PS3 experience on hand held.

    Comment posted on 20/08/2013 at 09:37.
  7. Starman
    Member
    Since: Jul 2011

    I wonder if they’ll announce how many servers will be added to the network to support the ps4?

    Comment posted on 20/08/2013 at 09:46.
  8. damoxuk
    Member
    Since: May 2011

    Personally i’m hoping for late Oct/early nov release will give me enough time to catch up on AC3 and GTA5.

    Comment posted on 20/08/2013 at 10:13.
  9. Klart
    Member
    Since: Jun 2010

    “clearing up whether the system will work as a secondary PS4 controller”

    I thought they were clear about this and that the answer is no, it will not work as a secondary PS4 controller, but just like the PSP, meaning that your TV screen goes in “remote play” mode, so you don’t see what you’re playing on TV.

    Comment posted on 20/08/2013 at 10:20.
  10. boyinastairwell
    Member
    Since: Jun 2010

    I hope they announce the PS4 comes with a sticker!

    Comment posted on 20/08/2013 at 10:23.

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