With Microsoft firmly setting out their stall regarding their plan to be the central entertainment hub of America’s homes, it was up to Sony to give gamers what they really wanted – a focus back on the things that made us fall in love with this hobby in the first place.
But could they manage to resist the allure of always-on Internet and restricted used game policies?
The answer was, emphatically, YES.
As you may know, the plan was to live blog the Sony Press Conference as I’d done with Microsoft earlier in the day. However, our DNS server had other plans, meaning I had to turn to Twitter as an outlet for my growing excitement (it’s worth a read, just to imagine how high-pitched my laughter becomes near the end – @ManBitesWonders).
So, here are all the major announcements from the Sony conference, in chronological order:
* Tons of Vita announcements – most important is that it can be used to play PS3/PS4 games over Remote Play
* The Last Of Us still looks amazing – out this Friday
* Puppeteer on its way to PSN – lovely platformer with great art style
* Japan Studio making Rain, touted as the next Ico. Looks great, obviously
* Extended trailer for Beyond: Two Souls – looks as compelling as Heavy Rain
* Gran Turismo 6 coming to PS3 later this year. Looks next-gen and incredibly shiny
* PS3 players of Batman: Arkham origins get exclusive 1960’s Batman outfit!
* PS4 design revealed – it’s a black box, split longways, offset with diagonal sides. It’s striking and handsome.
* Sony making exclusive programming, sounds like their own small version of Netflix
* New exclusive IP The Order. Victorian London with blimps and energy weapons. Looks gorgeous, even though it’s just a pre-rendered trailer at this point.
* More exclusive games: Killzone Shadow Fall, Driveclub, inFamous Second Son, Knack. All look great/interesting.
* Funny video by Quantic Dream shows off the emotions that can be conveyed by the PS4’s graphics in real-time.
* Lots of indie games coming to PSN’s Indie Channel – Transistor, Don’t Stave, Mercenary Kings, Octodad, Secret Ponchos, ray’s Dead, Outlast, Oddworld Universe, Galax-Z
* Strong support of indies – they will be able to self-publish on PSN
* Diablo 3 coming with exclusive items for PS
* New Final Fantasy Versus XIII trailer – with gameplay – looks absolutely amazing, and has been re-titled Final Fantasy XV
* Kingdom Hearts 3 coming exclusively to PS4
* Ubisoft showed off new gameplay footage of Assassin’s Creed 4 (which crashed out) and Watch Dogs (which still looks amazing)
* Elder Scrolls Online with have an exclusive beta on PS4
* Avalanche Studios making Mad Max. No mention of Just Cause 3 yet though.
* PS4 will not have ANY restrictions on used games! Trade, keep, sell – whatever you want!
* The PS4 will work without an Internet connection, does not need to check in every 24 hours as with the Xbox One
* Playstation Plus carrying over to PS4, one price and membership for PS3, PS4 and PS Vita
* Driveclub will be free for PS+ members at launch
* Bungie/Activision showed off first gameplay footage of Destiny. Looks like Halo/Borderlands with beautiful shiny vistas. Going to be a huge game.
* PS4 has ongoing exclusive deal for DLC
* Sony’s purchase of GaiKai will mean Cloud Game Streaming will be coming to PS3, PS4 and PS Vita in 2014. This will allow you to stream a huge amount of PS3 games on PS4.
* It will release this year for $399! That one hundred dollars less than Xbox One!
And that’s how it ended. They targeted Microsoft’s business stance and took it apart, piece by piece. It was an amazing appeal, direct to gamers, and one that has ensured my pre-order being placed very soon. Good work Sony!