- Scribbled on August 14th, 2012 by Jordan Lund
- Filed in Features, Gamescom, Move, Sony PlayStation 3, Sony PlayStation Vita
Jim Ryan, CEO of Sony Europe, opened the Gamescom conference by admitting that E3 was a little too PS3 centric and corrected matters immediately by introducing several new PlayStation Vita games and services. Let’s be clear here: this is the show that Sony should have had at E3. It look like they learned a lot, or some key people and equipment was missing at E3.
The usual suspects like LittleBigPlanet and PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale were in attendance, but for me the big stunner was Media Molecule’s new title Tear Away which features an all paper world and it’s Link-like hero Iota. Poking and prodding at the paper world will help you move Iota from his paper environment into the real world. (Though Media Molecule once again shows a penchant for stealing character design, as Iota looks an awful lot like the Prince from Katamari Damacy.)
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale will also be the introduction to a new feature – “Cross Buy”. Buy the PS3 version of the game, get the Vita version for free. They want to make multi platform gaming a bigger deal. Sly Cooper and Ratchet & Clank Q-Force will also be available under Cross Buy. These titles will all support cross platform multiplayer as well.
While it’s known that Sony has been having trouble getting 3rd party developers to look at the Vita, Gamescom showcased exclusive trailers for two upcoming high profile games, Assassin’s Creed: Liberation and Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified. Both of which will be available as console + game bundles in time for the holidays.
Sony claims that by the end of the year over 60 titles will be released, which seems to be on track as 45 are out currently. 60 is not exactly something to brag about as it’s more than 20 fewer than what Nintendo managed with the 3DS in Year One.
Other announced titles for 2012 include new iterations of Need For Speed and FIFA. PS1 classics will become available starting August 28.
Going forward, the disussion moved towards “The Future”. These titles and projects aren’t exactly dated so file them under “who knows when?” 2013 would be nice.
Killzone: Mercenary – A completely new game for Vita. Touchscreeen swipe to kill controls. Trailer – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvWUbbNKUV4
Announced for this Fall is a pseudo-new platform: PlayStation Mobile. PSM allow for cross platform development for anything with PS controls. Allows your content to follow you from Vita, to tablet to PS certified Android phone. No specific titles were announced, and the game screens looked like your average iOS or Android titles. Sony promises “Games from major and indie developers” and it will all be accessed through the PlayStation Store. Buy once, play on PlayStation Certified Android devices (made by Asus and Wikipad) and Vita.
Moving on to the PlayStation 3:
Assassin’s Creed 3 will feature exclusive DLC at launch, 4 extra missions, about an extra hour of gameplay (nothing we didn’t already know). Also a new value range for European games called “Essentials”, putting Uncharted, Infamous and LittleBigPlanet at the 20 Euro price point.
Cross Controller bundle for LittleBigPlanet 2, lets you play LBP2 with a Vita. Demoed by Paul Smith, it appears to consist of a connector cable that plugs into the bottom of the Vita and DLC for LBP2. It lets you use the Vita as a 2nd screen, but also lets you use the front and rear touch-screens to manipulate objects on the PS3. It’s not known now if Cross Control will eventually apply to other titles or not.
Change for PlayStation Plus are in the cards, Red Dead Redemption joins the massive instant game collection in September, cloud save storage expands from 150mb to 1gb and starting on September 5 and running for two weeks Europeans will get a 25% discount on their subscriptions. PS+ for Vita is also announced, but without any kinds of details.
I’m going to be contrary to most of the gaming press and say right now that the Wonderbook was actually kind of awesome… for the demographic, which appears to be kids aged 8 to 12. When you open a Wonderbook, it will interact with the Move wand and the PlayStation Eye to give you a virtual storybook land in your lap and, alternatively, put your living room in an on-screen bubble interacting with a virtual world.
Demoed were Book of Spells – the J.K. Rowling, Move integrated spellcasting title (sure to be a big hit in the bible belt) and Moonbot Studios adventure title Diggs Nightcrawler. The thing that I found most fascinating about Diggs is how the player can rotate the book to reveal more of the scene on sides facing away from the camera, really very impressive for a kids adventure game. Sony also announced a partnership with the BBC to do a Wonderbook enabled interactive learning title based on Walking With Dinosaurs along with Disney for titles yet to be named.
In addition to the Wonderbook, other Move enabled games were announced, notably for Europe is the new FIFA title, but the move bits didn’t seem to add much to that game.
The surprise of the conference had to be the Move enabled Until Dawn – which at first blush looked like another crappy Twilight rip off. The trailer showed it to be nothing but, an Evil Dead-ish looking title involving 7 characters tromping off to the proverbial cabin in the woods, it’s up to the player to keep them alive… well, until dawn.
Two new titles fom Japan Studio, the first being a PSN game called Rain. You play a boy who has become invisible and can only be seen when he’s struck by rainshowers. Could be an interesting play mechanic, but the game looks a little solemn.
The last of the all new games, also from Japan Studio is called Puppeteer and I’ll have to be honest, as awesome as the game looks, I don’t have the faintest clue what’s going on here:
Sony closed out their conference with a new look at Last of Us and another trailer for the Black Ops Vita title.
This is what Sony should have shown at E3 – not just the games, but the integration. Making it seem as though the PS3/Vita/Move/Wonderbook/PSN and so on is all part of a single ecosystem, multiple entry points into the same gaming system.