There is always a lot of talk after a show like E3 of who won and who lost. Like all real things though, the outcome is far more complicated then that. While Nintendo didn’t bother to really show up, Sony and Microsoft were poised to butt heads with more concrete information about the PS4 and Xbox One. Being a long time PlayStation fan, I have to say that there are parts of the Xbox One vision that I get and connect with. Still, a lot of the announcements and news from the Xbox camp the past month has been purely bizarre and anti-consumer in some ways while Sony has been able to better connect to gamers. With an array of exclusive games like Killzone: Shadow Fall, inFamous: Second Son, The Last of Us, Beyond: Two Souls Gran Turismo 6, and Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5, Sony had game after game to show for PlayStation at E3.
This of course doesn’t mean that there weren’t a host of other good content out there. Microsoft has been able to woe in EA/Popcap and get a timed exclusive for Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare while long time favorite series of mine, Command & Conquer is once again to PC with a new entry. All of this translates as a victory for gamers with lots of old favorites making debuts like Call of Duty and Battlefield while new IP’s like Puppeteer, Tearaway, and Titanfall had plenty of spotlight left for themselves.
During the initial PlayStation 4 announcement in February, Sony indicated that the PlayStation Vita would be a crucial companion device to the PS4. This will be achieved by the PS4′s Remote Play capabilities which streams the given game onto the Vita. Since then, Sony has further clarified that Remote Play will be required for every PS4 game, barring those that require additional accessories like the PS4 Eye or Move controller. So will such a requirement leave developers burdened? Apparently not, as the feature “just works.”
What would you do if you were the survivor of a deadly epidemic? You’re low on supplies and you’re stuck inside a boarded up, decrepit apartment complex surrounded by shambling corpses of the infected. Do you stay and rot or do you venture out into the dangerous complex, tempting fate and attracting the mutants to your scent? Thankfully, you’ll be able to decide for yourself once Lone Survivor arrives on PS Vita later this year.
Lone Survivor is an retro-styled indie psychological-survival horror title fusing the adventure, stealth, and platformer genres into one incredibly scary package. The game casts you as a lone survivor (unmistakable because of your iconic surgical mask) of an unknown contagion that wiped out most of the population. You’re low on food and supplies so you must explore and discover useful food and items that will help keep you alive and sane a little while longer.
More on our Lone Survivor PS Vita preview after the break.
If you didn’t already think that PlayStation Plus was one of the best values in gaming, you may want to have your head examined. Last year at E3, Sony introduced the Instant Game Collection to PS Plus, a revolving door of free games each month, with a total of 12 available every month regardless of when you sign up for the premium service. Games like Infamous 2, LittleBigPlanet 2, Spec Ops: The Line, Sleeping Dogs, and Demon’s Souls are just a few of the titles that have been free for PlayStation Plus users, with almost seventy games available for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita over the last year.
This month was already shaping up to be another feather in the service’s cap, as Deus Ex: Human Revolution is already available and Saints Row The Third, Machinarium, Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward, and God Eater Burst will be coming soon. Today, Sony announced that three more games will be added to mark the Instant Game Collection’s one year anniversary. XCOM: Enemy Unknown from Firaxis, LittleBigPlanet Karting from United Front Games, and Naughty Dog’s Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception will all be free for PlayStation Plus subscribers on Tuesday, June 11. They will be replacing Infamous 2, LittleBigPlanet 2, and Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One, all three of which had been part of the Instant Game Collection since it was announced at Sony’s E3 press conference last year.
Sony Computer Entertainment is expecting big things from the Electronic Entertainment Expo. The PlayStation 3 is now the best-selling HD console worldwide, the PlayStation Vita is riding an indie resurgence, and the PlayStation 4 will be coming full force in preparation for a holiday release. As such, you’d expect that Sony would be bringing a metric ton of games to showcase their systems. And correct you are: according to Sid Shuman, social media manager for the PlayStation Blog, the company will be featuring over 40 games on all three platforms during their E3 showcase.
Shuman, along with members of the PlayStation social media team and other special guests, will be live-streaming coverage of both the Sony media conference on Monday night and throughout the week from the show floor at the PlayStation booth. Among the games to be featured, according to the Blog post, are Beyond: Two Souls (Quantic Dream), Destiny (Bungie), DriveClub (Evolution Studios), The Evil Within (Tango GameWorks), Gran Turismo 6 (Polyphony Digital), inFAMOUS: Second Son (Sucker Punch), Killzone: Shadow Fall and Killzone: Mercenary (Guerilla Games), The Last of Us (Naughty Dog), Tearaway (Media Molecule), and Wolfenstein: The New Order (Machine Games). We can safely assume even more will be added to that list as new games are revealed in the upcoming days.
Limbo, the acclaimed indie title from developer Playdead, is available today for the PlayStation Vita. That news, by itself, is great — but if you already own the PS3 version, it gets even better. Thanks to the Cross-Buy initiative, which is kind of like the Avengers Initiative but even better, anyone who already purchased the game on PS3 will have it for the Vita too, at no extra charge. And vice versa — those who buy the newly released Vita version will have access to the PSN titles on their PlayStation 3 console.
While it’s traditionally Japan, Sony’s home turf, that gets things first, this time around, it’s been the West that’s enjoyed the earlier arrival date. Five months ago, Sony launched SEN (Sony Entertainment Network) and the PlayStation Store in one web portal which encompasses music, movies, and games. The idea is to begin expanding beyond ownership of content for singular devices. Purchased content from the store can then be redownloaded and accesses by different devices like the PS3, PS Vita, and their mobile fleet of tablets and smartphones. The web portal is also designed to make purchasing and discovery of content easier by allowing users to purchase their media of choice when away from say the PS3 and then simply visiting the download center on the game console to start the download process once home. In fact, come PS4 time, Sony will be expanding this web portal to iOS (iPhone, iPad) and Android via a native app which will make discovery of content a breeze. Even better is that the PS4 will automatically begin the downloading of your purchased content, reducing the time between your purchase and enjoyment of the content.
Sony is no stranger to augmented reality. Before Kinect for Xbox 360 became a household name, Sony had the PlayStation EyeToy for the PlayStation 2 which allowed gamers to interact with their game environment. Sony would then follow up with the PlayStation Eye for the PS3 with similar, but improved features that once again allow for you to be in your game with games like Eye of Judgement and Kung Fu Live. With the advent of the PlayStation Vita, Sony would take this one step further by utilizing the Vita’s built in camera which allows for a more immersive and personal experience. With the Vita, onscreen characters can now interact in your world.