This year Sony hasn’t had to unleash all the punches. It’s no longer fighting to gain mind share and the attention of journalists and the media at large in the run up to a launch. The Playstation 4 is doing well enough on its own and Sony doesn’t need to fill in all the gaps with AAA system-sellers in their Gamescom address to make people happy. Because a larger focus this year was on the indie scene, a lot of people thought that it was underwhelming or uninteresting. But, take a breather before you head back in and go from start to finish with a clear head – things are much better than they appear to be. With that said, let’s get through the summary.
Ten million PS4’s sold
10 million PS4s. That is, ten million uinits sold through to customers, not into the retail channel, because Sony is counting this based on a mixture of sales and online activations of the consoles (by the most recent estimates, 95% of all PS4 consoles in the US are connected to the internet). A little while back noise was made of the console breaking the 3.5 million mark in just a single quarter and outselling the Xbox One almost 3-1. Well, now it’s a lot closer to that ratio on a whole than it was two months ago.
System Software version 2.0
System Software 2.0 for the PS4 brings a lot of features that Sony has promised in the past, along with some black magic-powered Shareplay features, allowing co-op gameplay over the internet. This isn’t all of the features coming in the update and Sony says they’re working on a late 2014 release for the update. Going to the 2.0 version is a big step for them, so it’s important for it to be working stably from day one. Share Play gives you the same benefits as the Far Cry 4‘s sharing offer that you’ll see more of later.
Skip a little in to 1:20 in the video above and note the glitches that Sony’s stream had. Someone broke something and it looked serious enough to be really expensive. After the glitches, Sony announced PS Now’s launch in Europe in early 2015 and Playstation TV, the Vita-based home console that does a lot of interesting things but primarily will be sold with the intention of becoming an extender for your PS4 to any second TV in your home.
€99 translates to approximately R1400. It’ll also function as a media player, a DLNA client, a console for PSP, PS Vita and PS One titles bought online and stored on the (still rather expensive) Sony MMC memory cards and it’ll even run the Netflix app, if you’re able to VPN or DNS-mask your way into it.
inFamous: First Light
Sony started off with a new trailer for inFamous: First Light, the DLC add-on for Second Son. The new trailer for Abigail Walker’s story DLC now continues from the first one, showing her talking to Dana Augustine, DUP Leader, inside a cell in Curdun Cay, a prison for Conduits. Abigail is coaxed into telling ger life story to Augustine, sealing her fate and the role she eventually plays in Second Son‘s main story line.
inFamous: First Light will become available sometime later this month.
The stuff dreams are made of
My Twitch stream cut out at this point, but resumed with Little Big Planet 3, showing off the sharing features the game has thanks to the PS4’s Share feature, as well as the ability to stream gameplay to others and interact with the Little Big Planet community. It looks absolutely adorable and the four-player co-op on the PS4 will really add to the zaniness these games sometimes dish out to you in spades.
Little Big Planet 3 is scheduled for a 18 November 2014 launch for the US and Canada, with the UK, Europe and EMEA following with a 19 November release date.
From Software’s Bloodborne
Although we have been promised gameplay footage of Bloodborne, it seems that Sony is not quite ready to do so just yet, instead teasing us with this trailer that showcases some parts of the gameplay and sells much more on the incredible visuals that From Software promises us.
When Sony’s Jim Ryan introduced the games that just appeared on screen and began his address to the audience, he noted that “All those exclusives will be shipping somewhere in the next six months.” Assuming no delays, Bloodborne will be out in February 2015.
The Tomorrow Children
Next up was Q-Games with their new title, The Tomorrow Children. It’s a 3D platformer that sort of borrows from the same concepts in Shin Megami Tensei: Lucifer’s Call, Dark Cloud and most recently Bastion, all games which feature world re-building after a catastrophic event. You have to gather resources and mine materials from the old world to build the new one and the art direction is very easy on the eyes. Also, there seems to be quite a few…uh, communist themes, along with the general dystopian feel of the game world.
The Tomorrow Children is a working title for now, set for a 2015 release.
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
The Astronauts’ The Vanishing of Ethan Carter also got screen time. It’s a detective sleuthing game with some supernatural elements, a decent bit of murder and time-traveling and some ghosts thrown into the mix as well.
The game was previously available on PC and has found its way into Sony’s portfolio. Many of the developers inside The Astronauts were from People Can Fly studios, the makers of Bulletstorm.
It’s by the same guys who did Thomas Was Alone. It was partly inspired by Metal Gear Solid. There’s stealth elements in the game, a lot of ideas borrowed from the VR simulations in Metal Gear Solid‘s universe and a really wacky art style that includes a lot of flat surfaces and triangles to make the game’s world feel alien and sharp – as if you’re not meant to be there, really. No launch date was mentioned.
Hollowpoint, by Paradox Interactive
Hollowpoint, an action-packed co-op combat title set in the 22nd century, will be released for the PS4 and PC in 2015. The game puts players in charge of secretive Organizations of corporate mercenaries, taking on missions for pay and prestige alongside three other players in online co-op.
DayZ coming to PS4
DayZ mod creator Dean Hall got up to the stage representing Bohemia Interactive and announced that DayZ for PS4 was in the works, but did not note if any other console was going to also receive the game. DayZ originated as a mod for ARMA II, putting players into a zombie-infested multiplayer map set in fictional Russia along with other survivors. DayZ is unique in that there is no storyline to follow as players typically make up their own story as they go along, trying to outwit and outlast other survivors or bandits.
Hall announced that that DayZ for PS4 was being designed on a new engine that would allow for improvements to the game to be ported over to other platforms with minimal delay and that the game had been in development for around three years. DayZ Standalone is currently available on Steam through Early Access for $29.99. The original mod itself still functions, requiring ARMA II and Operation Arrowhead, both currently on special for $12.49.
Hellblade looks like Heavenly Sword, take two
The main character looks like Nariko, it’s going to be an action hack-n-slash and it has both Independent Games and Ninja Theory behind it. This is probably only coming to PS4 in 2015.
Tequila Works and other Indie Studios
Rime was previously announced at E3 2013 and it looks like the hugely ambitious product that looks like a mix of ICO and the art of Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. No release date was announced.
Following this was an indie montage showing some of the other cool indie titles coming to the PS4. I can’t for the life of me find it on Youtube, but it’s in the full version of the conference starting at the 27-minute mark.
Activision had feet in both Sony and Microsoft’s conferences, showing off Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare on Microsoft’s event and Destiny on Sony’s. Here they stopped to show off the trailer for the multiplayer battles in Destiny. Multiplayer is accessed through the Crucible, which will transport players to different maps that Bungie says will be available for free.
The modes of games include Skirmish (team deathmatch with in-game goals), Rumble (deathmatch), Salvage (probably like capture the flag), Clash (team deathmatch), Combined Arms (team deathmatch with vehicles) and Control (like a domination match).
Destiny launches for South Africa on 9 September 2014. The Dark Below, the game’s first expansion, will be ready in December 2014. It’s on everything but the PC. And the Wii U.
Far Cry 4 and your friends
You want to explore Kyrat with your friends? If you own Far Cry 4 on PS4, you’ll be given ten Kyrat keys to hand out to your friends. They can then use Sony’s Gaikai game streaming technology to join you in co-op mode for two hours to try out Far Cry 4 for themselves. This is separate from Sony’s other black magic using Gaikai which they reveal a bit later.
Far Cry 4 launches in South Africa on 18 November 2014 for all major platforms. Yes, that excludes the Wii U.
Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
I will probably play this. No wait, I’ll definitely play this. Sony just showed the story trailer for Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor and it looks really good. The game is set to launch on 30 September 2014 for consoles and 2 October for Windows PC.
The new and improved cardboard box
Sony then gave Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima the floor to show off some new gameplay from The Phantom Pain. Oh Hideo! We love you and your fourth-wall sense of humor. I want The Phantom Pain so much more now. The game launches for all the major consoles sometime in 2015.
P.T. Interactive Trailer
I’m still not sure what this is. Will it give me nightmares? Will it give these people in the trailer nightmares? Maybe. Sony says that P.T. will have the first interactive trailer, available now on the PS4’s dashboard.
I don’t have a PS4 so… will one brave soul try it out and report back?
Until Dawn and Driveclub’s social connections
Step into the quaking boots of eight terrified friends, trapped in a remote mountain retreat with a deranged killer on the loose. Your choices will guide the gripping storyline, change the fate of each character – and decide who survives Until Dawn.
This is probably getting a late 2015 release. The trailer is the first announcement of the game.
YAY! Driveclub is launching on 8 October 2014 and shares, quite oddly, many of the same social features advertised in Ubisoft’s The Crew and Turn10’s Forza Horizon 2. I’m not sure if these guys all got together into the same room and decided that they were all going to offer essentially the same thing for a multiplayer, social, co-op racing game they were all separately working on.
Tearaway for PS4
Tearaway for PS4? Tearaway indeed. For the PS4. And it uses ALL of the Dualshock 4’s features and it makes that Playstation camera you bought not totally useless. Awesome.
A new shooty game from Housemarque
The same guys who did Resogun are now bringing out Alienation, a third-person, landscape top-down shooter. Very bright. Many colour. Much blood. Wow.
No launch date, probably another 2015 game. Damnit.
Wild will debut first on the PS4, allows you to play as a human or animal, has a map possibly as big as Europe itself and looks very ambitious.