E3Port Card: Sony E3 2013 Media Briefing
Welcome to the E3Port Card, where I take a look back at last year Electronic Entertainment Expo to see which announcements came through as planned and which things we’re either still waiting on or never getting. For the next five weeks leading up the show, I’ll be analyzing every one of the five major media briefings from E3 2013 in the order they presented last year. Here’s what the schedule looks like:
Today it’s time to talk Sony, who really wowed the crowd last year with an impressive lineup of upcoming games and some fantastic gauntlet-dropping at the end. We’ll never forget that last moment, but did the rest of the conference perform as well? Let’s take a look!
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Jack Tretton takes the stage and addresses the crowd, thanking the devoted fans who lined up Friday at noon to get in and those watching the stream. He begins the briefing not with PlayStation 4, but with PS Vita and its upcoming lineup: Batman: Arkham Origins, CounterSpy, Destiny of Spirits, Doki Doki Universe, Killzone: Mercenary and Tearaway.
I want to award a point here, but he named six games in the “coming by the end of the year” slot, and we’re still waiting on CounterSpy. Sorry Jack. No dice. 0/1
Jack then announces that the first two God of War HD entries, Final Fantasy X and X-2 HD, Flower, and Dead Nation are all on their way to Vita.
4-for-4 (6-for-6?) on this list, so I’m not going to dock him here. +1. 1/2
The final Vita announcement is the arrival of Telltale’s The Walking Dead: Season One, including a full Vita system bundle including the game.
This also happened to Vita, so again Jack comes through. +1. 2/3
Jack then moves onto PS3, beginning with a trailer for Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us.
The game won basically every Game of the Year award there is, so this is an obvious point. +1. 3/4
Next is a trailer for Puppeteer, the platformer from SCE Japan.
This game did launch in September as promised, and it’s a charming little game you can get right now for free via PS Plus. Go. Do it. +1. 4/5
Another trailer from SCE Japan follows Puppeteer: the downloadable title Rain.
What a strange yet engaging game. If you haven’t played this, I’d recommend it. +1. 5/6
The next trailer comes from Quantic Dream for Beyond: Two Souls starring Ellen Page.
While it didn’t impress quite like Heavy Rain, there was still plenty to like about this, including Page’s performance. +1. 6/7
The last first-party PS3 trailer is Polyphony Digital’s newest racer Gran Turismo 6.
Surprisingly releasing on PS3 AFTER the launch of the PS4, I suppose Polyphony just wanted to get one more out the door before taking seven years to develop the PS4 Gran Turismo. +1. 7/8
Tretton then introduces the third-party offerings for PS3, starting with WB’s Batman: Arkham Origins.
Hooray Batman! Hooray Origins! Boo, not Rocksteady, but now we know what they were doing. This game launched in October with no issue. +1. 8/9
The last PS3 announcement is a system bundle including the highly-anticipated Grand Theft Auto V, with pricing at $299.
The game came out, as did the bundle, and we all rejoiced in it. +1. 9/10
It’s time for the PlayStation 4 section of the program, and Jack Tretton introduces Andrew House to talk more about the new console. He unveils the look of the new console for the first time.
Yup, that’s what it looks like. I can see mine right next to me. +1. 10/11
House introduces Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton to highlight the entertainment highlights of the PS4, including an original programming plan exclusively to the PS4 via the PlayStation Network.
I’m pretty sure we’re still waiting for the Sony Pictures original programming. No dice. 10/12
Andrew House returns to announce that Music and Video Unlimited will be available day one on the PS4. He then mentions multiple media streaming services that are coming to PSN, including Redbox Instant, Live Events PPV Viewer, and Flixster.
Yup, they’re all there. Whether or not we’re using them is a different story, but they are there. +1. 11/13
House moves on to the core of the PS4: the games. President of SCE Worldwide Shuhei Yoshida takes the stage to begin the gaming section, starting with The Order: 1886.
This first trailer was awesome, but until recently we hadn’t seen anything else from it. Plus, it was just delayed until 2015, so we really won’t know if this lives up to expectation for a while. No dice. 11/14
Yoshida continues with new trailers for the four titles announced at the February PS4 initial reveal: Killzone Shadow Fall, DriveClub, Infamous Second Son and Knack.
Three out of four of these games are currently available to the PS4 faithful. The fourth, DriveClub, will hit in October. Sadly, because it’s not out now, I can’t award the point, especially since Shuhei explicitly said it would launch with the system. No dice. 11/15
Yoshida continues by referencing the old man character model from Quantic Dream at the February reveal, unveiling a 12-minute technical demo from the studio called The Dark Sorcerer.
Sony gets the point here, because they were careful to call this a “tech demo” and nothing more. Now, if it becomes a game, great, but for now it’s a demo… a really cool demo. +1. 12/16
The next topic of discussion is independent developers, and Yoshida introduces Adam Boyes to talk more about them. He mentions The Witness, which was unveiled at the February event, but he introduces Amir Rao and Greg Kasavin from Supergiant Games, who unveil a new trailer for Transistor.
Transistor just launched last week, and reviews are pretty damn good. +1. 13/17
Boyes continues with a slew of upcoming indie titles: Don’t Starve, Mercenary Kings, Octodad: Dadliest Catch, Secret Ponchos, Ray’s The Dead, Outlast, Oddworld: New N Tasty and Galak-Z.
When you unveil this many games at once, you run the risk of not all of them releasing in the next year. Half of the games did launch (Don’t Starve, Mercenary Kings, Octodad, Outlast) while we’re still waiting for the other half. No dice. 13/18
Boyes then talks about some blockbuster titles coming to PlayStation, starting with Diablo III and some PlayStation-exclusive items coming to the PS3 and PS4 versions.
While the PS4 version isn’t out yet, the PS3 version did release and it was damn good. Oh, and the exclusive items were there. +1. 14/19
Next up is Square Enix, who prepared a special video for the conference with Tetsuya Nomura. He starts by unveiling Final Fantasy Versus XIII, which is now called Final Fantasy XV.
The name change was something we all saw coming, but one thing we haven’t seen is ANYTHING ELSE ABOUT THIS GAME. No dice. 14/20
Nomura then mentions another game that is currently in development, airing a brief teaser for Kingdom Hearts III.
The cheers that echoed through the arena were mere mouse squeaks compared to the reactions about the world (some of which can be found in this video). However, like FFXV, we have yet to hear anything else about KHIII. No dice. 14/21
We now move to Ubisoft’s newest Assassin’s Creed game, Black Flag. A gameplay demo is shown.
Man this game was good, a welcome return to glory after the ACIII misstep. Though the demo hiccuped at times, unlike the BF4 demo at the Xbox conference, this game was playable at launch. +1. 15/22
Jonathan Morin, creative director on Watch Dogs, then takes the stage to unveil new information about the game, including a new gameplay demo.
The game launched this week to great reviews, and every demo we saw is properly represented in the game. +1. 16/23
It’s 2K’s turn to take the stage, as they unveil a new trailer for NBA 2K14 featuring LeBron James.
NBA came out, and LeBron was in it. +1. 17/24
The Elder Scrolls Online from Bethesda is next, showing a new trailer for the first MO in the Elder Scrolls saga.
The game is out on PC, which is great, but this is the Sony conference, showing off the PS4 version, and that was delayed until the holidays, so I can’t give the point here. No dice. 17/25
Next up is Mad Max, a new post-apocalyptic game from WB Interactive Entertainment. The first ever trailer is shown.
No Mel Gibson is bad enough, but we haven’t really much more of this since E3 either. We expect that to change this year, but we’ll see. No dice. 17/26
Jack Tretton re-takes the stage to share some PS4 stats: 140 games in development, nearly 40 PS4 exclusives, etc. He then announces that there will be no used restrictions, eliciting a HUGE cheer from the crowd. He says that players can trade the game in, lend it to a friend or keep it forever. It’s their choice.
One of the best moments in E3 history, made better by the sly smile from Tretton after the cheers started. +1. 18/27
Jack then announces that there will be no mandatory online authentication, especially with single-player games. He mentions that the console won’t stop working if you haven’t authenticated in 24 hours.
A direct slap in Microsoft’s face, and still one of the best E3 moments of all time. +1. 19/28
Tretton then moves to PlayStation Plus, where he unveils that PS Plus will apply to the PlayStation 4, and that some of the free games throughout the first year of PS4 will be DriveClub, Outlast, Secret Ponchos and Don’t Starve.
Don’t Starve: Free. Outlast: Free. DriveClub: Still going to be free. Secret Ponchos: Still going to be free. Point! +1. 20/29
The last game shown at the conference comes from Bungie and Activision: Destiny. The first-ever gameplay trailer is shown.
Destiny looks great, sounds great, and hopefully will be great, but right now we still don’t know. No dice. 20/30
Andrew House talks about PS4’s cloud-based technology, including the implementation of Gaikai’s technology into a streaming service that will allow players to stream games right to the console.
Betas are out now for what is now called PlayStation Now, but we haven’t seen it come out to the masses yet. No dice. 20/31
House then finishes the conference with the most important information of the near-two hour event: $399.
That was indeed the price at launch. This, and launching ahead of Xbox One by a week, is why they’re in the sales lead right now. +1. 21/32
FINAL SCORE: 21 promises kept out of 32 topics discussed (66%)
While that is a low percentage, I don’t think anyone came out of Sony’s conference disappointed, and I think that people still believe that the Sony conference trumped the others last year. Most of the unkept promises came from third parties and other entities that Sony has no control over, while the first-party offerings were mostly delivered on. Hell of a show, Sony, don’t let that percentage fool you.
NEXT WEEK: The series ends with the Nintendo E3 2013 Direct!