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Gamescom 2013: Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Vita Conference

Jack Gardner



People are busy and sometimes they just don’t have two hours to sit down and watch video game PR people talk about new releases and gizmos. Thankfully, you have us.


Sony kicked off their press event by debuting the user interface of the PlayStation 4. The UI looked very similar to the PS3’s current mode of operation. Without some hands-on operation, it is difficult to pinpoint the exact differences. The addition Sony wanted to direct the majority of attention to was the ability to hop into live online games on the fly with friends. Sony’s president of worldwide studios, Shuhei Yoshida, demonstrated the speed of the new UI by jumping into the final minute of a Killzone: Shadow Fall multiplayer match.



Following the user interface demonstration, the show’s main presenter, Jim Ryan, took the stage to show off a new trailer for Grand Turismo 6. Polyphony will be introducing the latest concept cars from various manufacturers that will only be appearing in GT6. The new Grand Turismo title will be dropping December 6. Ryan also announced that Polyphony is working with Sony Pictures to develop a feature film based on the Grand Turismo Academy from GT6.


Next, Sony presented a new, free-to-play collection of creation tools and games in the form of LittleBigPlanet Hub. Players will have access to tons of free content and will be able to purchase other digital items and tools as they see fit.



At Grand Theft Auto V’s launch on Sept 17, there will be a PS3 bundle available as well as an elite headset. Starting today, any gamer that pre-orders GTA V will receive 75% off other Rockstar games.


Sony, proving that they firmly believe in the Vita’s future, announced several titles that are being ported to the handheld including: Batman: Arkham Origins, Lego Marvel, Football Manager Classic 2014, and Borderlands 2. They also announced that several major indie games would be making their way to the device such as Starbound, Fez, and Velocity 2X. These three titles will also be coming to PS4. The Vita will be receiving a price drop to $199 as well as significant reductions to memory card prices.


Following these announcements, several new titles were announced for Vita. First, Ovosonico’s Murasaki Baby tasks players with leading a child safely through a nightmare fantasy world that looks like Tim Burton and the animators behind The Yellow Submarine got together. Using touch controls, players will quite literally take the child by the hand and lead them through the various dangers like nose monsters and thunderstorms.



BigFest, a music management game, is another title coming to Vita. Tasking gamers with throwing the best music festival ever, players will design the festival and organize the music to be as successful as possible. In a unique twist, all of the music players can promote is written and performed by real, unsigned bands and Big Fest could actually influence their careers depending on how well you manage your festivals. The game also has co-op and competitive modes, but we aren’t sure yet how they function.


In addition to these two new titles, the PC indie hit Rogue Legacy will make its way to PS4 and Vita next year along with Edmund McMillain’s The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth next spring. PlayStation Plus subscribers get The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth for free. N++ will make its debut on PS4 sometime soon. Exclusively on PS4 this winter, the creator of Thomas Was Alone, will be bringing his next game, Volume, to PS4 and Vita. Guns of Icarus Online is also coming to PS4 next year. Vlambeer, the developer behind Ridiculous Fishing, is bringing their self-described “Rogue-like-like” title Wasteland Kings to PS4 and Vita next year. Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number will be a console exclusive for the PS4 and Vita next year.



Several new exclusive titles were announced for PlayStation 4. The Chinese Room’s mysterious Everybody’s Gone to The Rapture made its debut with a new trailer. Tequila Works’ Rime also surfaced, looking like Ico crossed with a Miyazaki film. Hell Divers, a new game from Arrowhead, is coming to PS4, PS3, and Vita. It appears to feature co-operative alien fighting gameplay mildly reminiscent of what the team achieved with Magicka. A reimagined version of an Amiga game of the same name, Shadow of the Beast, will be making its way to PS4.



The Playroom, a suite of mini-games and interactive toys, will be pre-installed on every PS4. Playroom uses the DualShock 4 and PlayStation camera to provide party games and gimmicky fun.


A new InFamous: Second Son trailer was shown, as well as new multiplayer footage of Killzone: Shadow Fall.


In a bit of a surprise announcement, will be coming to PS4, presumably in the form of an app similar to what you can find on the Xbox 360. However, it will probably not function as an alternative to the built-in Ustream in-game streaming.


Music Unlimited will allow gamers to listen to music while playing games. And easily control their music selection with the DualShock 4 controller.  

European internet access can sometimes be insufficient to play online. However, Sony is partnering with some of Europe’s leading ISPs to offer broadband packages that give attractive bonuses for gamers. It is unknown if similar packages will be available in North American markets. Additional details on these offers will be coming in the near future.


Ubisoft showed off the Vita’s remote gameplay capabilities with a PS4 copy of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. We are really hoping that remote play works as well as it appears on stage (something that has historically been spotty at best). A new Watch_Dogs trailer was shown and Ubisoft announced that a film based on Watch_Dogs is in the works.


Unsurprisingly, Minecraft will be available on PS4 at launch, marking the moment when you will be able to play Minecraft on literally every single electronic device ever constructed.



The final game announced was War Thunder from Gaijin (not to be confused with Gaijin Games). War Thunder is a free-to-play, next-gen, WWII combat MMO with literally hundreds of aircraft, ground vehicles, over 100,000 km2 of battle area, co-op modes, a mission editor, and five nations with unique weapons battling for world domination.


The closing bullet points of Sony’s conference were more like bombshells. First, the 12GB PS3 price will be dropped to $199. Second, players who buy the PS3 versions of Battlefield 4, Assassin’s Creed IV, Call of Duty Ghosts, or Watch_Dogs will be able to buy their PS4 counterparts at “a significantly discounted price.” Third, players were reminded that all PS4 games playable via remote play on Vita.


Finally, priced at $399, the PlayStation 4 will be launching in 32 countries and available in North America on November 15.


If you are interested, you can view the official stream of the conference for yourself.


What do you think about the PS4 and its launch line-up? Pre-ordering? No? Let us know what you think!

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