PlayStation 4 – Games, Used Games And £349

What does the PlayStation 4 look like? That was perhaps the most anticipated reveal that we have been expecting to come out of Sony’s E3 press conference. And they kept us waiting for it.

After opening with the obligatory montage featuring a host of current and next-gen games Jack Tretton took the stage with the “welcome to the new age” line from Radioactive playing.

Making the point that 70 million gamers around the world who already have PS3s and PS Vitas want to know how their existing hardware is going to continue to be supported.

The PlayStation Vita, which SCEA were criticized for marginalizing at last year’s E3, was up first with reminders of some of the games coming to Sony’s handheld over the coming months.

From Batman Arkham Origins and Counter Spy to games we’re more familiar with like Tearaway and Killzone Mercenary to PS Vita ports of PlayStation favourites including Flower, Dead Nation and The Walking Dead, there’s plenty to come.

He was very keen to stress that the PS Vita still has a central role in the wider PlayStation ecosystem as that continues to grow with the addition of the PS4.

When it comes to the PS3 their “commitment is as strong as ever” so if you’re not planning to grab a PS4 on day one you shouldn’t be forgotten. Starting with The Last Of Us was perhaps to be expected with it about to be released though somewhat redundant with reviews, including ours, already out.

Other first party games we’ve already heard about were next up on the big screen. Puppeteer and Rain got short trailers while we saw some new gameplay footage of Beyond Two Souls showing Jodie receiving some military training before being sent on a rather MGS-like mission.

Of course the rollcall of first party titles wouldn’t have been complete without Gran Turismo 6, which got its own lengthy new trailer featuring some of the new tracks and cars.

Then it was time to shine the spotlight on some of the more eagerly anticipated third party games. When Batman Arkham Origins arrives on PS3 “this Fall” it will bring with it some exclusive PlayStation content including the ‘Adam West’ 60s-style Batman outfit.

Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V will be getting an exclusive bundle when it releases on September 17th, priced at $299. Presumably it’s “exclusive” because no other console manufacturer can bundle a PS3 with their games?

And those are just a handful of the 300 games we were told that would be releasing on the PS3 this year.

Then it was time for the money shot. Andrew House took the stage to tell us how the PS4 will bring “unparalleled power” to console gaming, with the physical console itself having a “sleek and visually impactful” design.

Finally, we got to see the PlayStation 4 console and rather than a simple black box you’d be quite keen to hide, Sony’s design flair has taken a mix of gloss and matt surfaces and given the box a bit of a nudge to turn it into a parallelogram shape.

The rumoured blue LED stripe is present and correct and the overall impression is that you’d likely be happy to sit it proudly next to your TV and not hide it under your cable or satellite TV box. When held aloft on stage by Andrew House it also looked impressively compact.

Rather than push straight on with the games, there was a slight diversion as Sony Pictures’ Michael Lynton to us how that part of the Sony conglomerate were bringing “brand new programming” and exclusive content to the PSN and PS4. Content that would be focused on what gamers enjoy. Whether that’s necessarily a good thing…

His segment was thankfully short and Andrew House was soon back to tell us more about PlayStation’s media streaming services. Sony’s Music & Video Unlimited will be available on PS4 from day one and Redbox Instant, Flixster and a Live Events Viewer are all coming to the PSN. Thankfully for us gamers that was the end of the TV and sports announcements.

Shu Yoshida, President of Sony’s Worldwide Studios was next through the revolving stage door and he chose to drive home the point once more about just how much his developers have been involved in the development of the PS4.

We were told that Sony’s studios are contributing 20 games in the PlayStation 4’s first year, 12 of which are new IPs. One of those new titles, from Santa Monica and ReadyAtDawn is The Order 1886, its cinematic trailer revealing a steampunked Victorian London where a group of players fought off monsters in the city’s, fenced off, Whitechapel area.

A new Killzone Shadow Fall gameplay trailer showed us a recon mission on the Helghan side of the wall that featured at the end of February’s reveal trailer. There were also new trailers for Drive Club, Infamous Second Son and Knack.

We were told that Killzone Shadow Fall, Drive Club and Knack will all be available at the launch of the PS4 while we will have to wait until Q1 2014 for Infamous’ next installment.

Continuing the theme from February of how the PS4 will enable developers to create characters showing a “wider and deeper array of emotions” enabling better storytelling and reaching a wider audience, it was time for a technology demo.

Remember the head we saw back then of the wizened old man? This time Quantic Dream’s demo gave him a body, dressed him in wizard’s robes and set him in a scene with impressive lighting and particle effects.

They then threw in a dash of humour too. We were only shown a short segment of the demo which will be getting its first full play at 1PM on the 11th.

A handful of small and independent developers were given the chance to display the “passion and creativity” they bring to gaming with their games shown on stage.

Perhaps the most interesting was Transistor, with its stylized artwork used in both isometric and 2D environments, from Bastion-creators Supergiant Games. It’s due to arrive on PS4 “early next year”.

Attention then returned to some of the big-hitting gaming franchises with Diablo III getting a quick mention before upcoming releases from Square Enix got plenty of exposure.

There was confirmation that Final Fantasy Versus XIII will now be known as FF XV and perhaps bigger news in the announcement of Kingdom Hearts 3. If you like your Disney/Squeenix mash-ups then perhaps news that a Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD release is headed to the PS3 will also be good news.

The last bit of JRPG news was that Final Fantasy XIV is a console exclusive to PS3 and PS4. By this point though the word exclusive was feeling somewhat excessive but was far from done.

For those who prefer piracy to assassination, Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag got an embarrassingly stuttering and seemingly crashing gameplay demo, along with an announcement that Aveline from AC:Liberation will be exclusive content on the PlayStation edition.

Watch_Dogs took a turn with a gameplay demo which showed little that was new but showcased the ‘press square to hack’ mechanic. PlayStation gamer’s are promised an hour of exclusive gameplay and a fresh set of clothes for Aidan. Presumably other platform could get a different exclusive hour and clothing though?

After what looked like some terrible real-life and rendered lip-syncing in NBA2K14 we got a quick look at The Elder Scrolls Online which will see you adventuring either alone or with pals in Spring 2014. PS4 gamers are promised that they will have access to the beta first.

A “world premier” of a brief cinematic trailer for the Mad Max game was accompanied with news that it would come with a “road warrior survival kit”, “only on PlayStation”. I think by now even those on stage were getting fed up with the word exclusive.

All those were only a few of the 140 PlayStation 4 games that are in development with almost 100 due in the console’s first year.

What you can do once you’ve played your copies of those 140 games was up next and there was much cheering when it was announced that Sony’s approach was to let us game “without restrictions or devaluing our games”.

Specifically, they are imposing no new restrictions on used games with the introduction of the PS3. Sony are equally happy for you to trade in, sell on, lend or keep your disc-based games. The crowd’s enthusiastic reaction led House to quip, “guess that’s a good thing”.

He had a particularly big grin on his face when he said that you wouldn’t need to connect to the Internet to play your single player games “and it won’t stop working if you haven’t authenticated in 24 hours”.

Your PlayStation Plus subscription carries over to PS4 bringing with it all the benefits we’re familiar with, plus one restriction. The slide clearly implied that to play online with your PS4 that you will need a PS+ subscription.

As for your PS4 Instant Game Collection, at launch it’ll include a PS+ edition of Drive Club. What makes the PS+ edition special wasn’t disclosed. One PS4 a month will be added to the ICG including the Indie titles Don’t Starve, Outlast, Secret Ponchos.

Bungie’s Destiny saw a world premier of its gameplay, with a somewhat slow start in an area that was very rusty, leading to cooperative firefights with friends and later a “public event” that saw more players joining to take down a larger enemy.

With the press conference beginning to wind down we learned a little more about Sony’s plans for Gaikai, which as expected is how Sony is providing an all-access gaming library to bring streamed PS3 games to the PS Vita, PS4 and PS3. Arriving first in the US in 2014 the rest of us will have to wait for an unspecified period.

One last key piece of information was still to be revealed, the PlayStation 4’s price. A wildly enthusiastic response from the crowd suggested that they were happy with the $399, €399 or £349 price points.

With the sentiments that PlayStation is “without a doubt” the best place to play and that the trust of gamers is important to Sony, a lesson they likely learned the hard way a couple of years ago, the press conference ended the way it began, with a montage.

Those of us covering the news for you here in the UK came away feeling pretty positive, with only a faint shadow cast by the requirement for PS+ to take your PS4 online. We considered that Sony’s stance on used games and the Xbox One-beating price point gives Sony the edge.

What’s your take on it all?



  1. As a gamer I’m over the moon. As the owner a small independent video game store (2 months now!) I’ve never felt happier after watching a press conference in all my life. I have a genuine thank you to Sony for pulling this one off.

    • where are you? I have a local indie in Luton, and they are going to get all my trade now – vote with your wallets ppl!

  2. Genuinely really excited, that price point also makes the prospect of buying at launch a very real one for me. They could have done with showing more need games than the ones they have already shown…

    Although I was a little disappointed that the console wasn’t a cube. I’ve kind of been hoping it was gonna be a cube, but I like the design the rhomboid parallelogram profile makes it look a bit less like a posh blu-ray player….

    You can also definitely see a much more in tune Sony, they seem to want to give the gamers what they want rather than microsoft’s more prescriptive attitude of deciding that the Xbone is going to be the gateway to everything we do for entertainment in the living room.

  3. Have i missed the hard drive size anywhere, and will it be easily upgradable like the ps3 does anyone know?

    • CVG posted on update saying it will be 500GB and will be upgradeable.

  4. Stunning. I can’t believe the dichotomy between Sony and Microsoft at this point. I think it’s going to take a miracle for Microsoft to turn this around and who I feel bad for are the true X-Box fans (not the fanboys) because it almost seems like they’re being given the middle finger (DRM, Checking in online etc).

    Also it may not be the prettiest piece of hardware but it’s a hell of an improvement over Microsoft’s VCR. At least the PS4 looks more like… a DVD player?

    • Also I forgot to mention that this presentation has converted my stance from “I’ll get one but maybe a few months after launch” to day 1 purchase.

  5. Holy shit!

    That’s everything I hoped & more besides.

    The ability to trade in & subsidise new purchases will mean I’ll be able to help keep developer’s pockets lined.

    Gaming retailers are sure to favour PS4 over Xbone with this ability to have future revenue.

    And no DRM’d dialling home will mean its console of choice for many groups of people including students in halls.

    Thank your favourite deity that Sony haven’t followed Microsoft’s assault on long held consumer ‘rights’

    And the price… Wow, I hoped they could get it in at £399 but £349 means I’ll be able to get an extra game or put it towards a 2TB HDD or something!

    Now to try & grab the event to watch in HD on my TV after work tonight.

    Day 1 mutha fuckers, day 1!

    • sounds amazing. One point though. No more free online gaming.

      That was a huge thing for me personally, but it looks like I either have no choice and pay for P+ or I go Steam route.

      The price, the games, the stance on DRM and trade in all just adds up to Sony nailing this right on the head. I have no idea how or what Microsoft are up to but they have got it massively wrong this time round.

      • I look at the paywall for online gaming in a more positive light though. Yes, they have done a Xbox Live, but unlike that service a single plus account covers PS3, PS4 and Vita, getting access to the free games and content on each of those systems. All for £40 a year. It’s still immense value, even if the principle of free online gaming is out of the window.

    • Amen.

  6. Some great news to wake up to there.
    I’ll now spend the rest of the morning taking it all in.

  7. Greg, thank you so much for a brilliant round up of the Sony event. I had watched EA and Ubisoft earlier in the evening but as someone that couldn’t stay up to watch Sony that was perfect. It all sounds like pretty amazing news to me. I can’t wait to get back home now and catch up on it all properly.

    • Apologies for adding to the above. Sod waiting to get home, been in work 5 mins and my pre-order is down. Might change as would like some kind of bundle, perhaps KZ themed, but as of now I’m in.

      Also wanted to comment on perhaps the only negative point of online play being part of PS+. I have to say that personally I don’t see this as a problem as I believe PS+ has been such great value I’d still keep it going regardless. I can of course see how this is quite a major shift away from the stance of free online play for all but if this is the only concession for Next Gen with Sony then I can live with it. Perhaps the only unknown though (unless I’ve missed it) is whether the price of a PS+ subscription remains the same. An increase could see more negativity, including from myself.

    • You’re welcome. It’s always nice to know that the long hours the whole team put in during gaming events, especially E3 with it’s time difference, are appreciated.

  8. Someone has just posted that the PS4 will not have region locked games?!?

    • really? I’m sure this happened last time though?

  9. It was a brilliant conference with all the issues handled as perfectly as they could be.

    Nice surprise on my way in to work:

  10. Watched the Sony press conference until 3 am and was happy with what I saw, but to wake up to find no DRM and £349 price I couldn’t be happier. Sony have given us just about everything we wanted.
    There’ll be a lot of worried people at MS.

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