E3 Pre-Show Thoughts: Sony
Ah, here we go. I placed this last for a few reasons--it's the last conference of E3, it's my favorite company and I believe in saving the best for last, and finally? It's downright a pain in the butt to predict. But, time to give it that college try. If you haven't checked them out--I did Nintendo's, Ubisoft's, Microsoft's, EA's, and even an imaginary Square-Enix conference already. Give them a click, then come back here and read (even more of) my insanity.
The end of the ICO trilogy, it says something that The Last Guardian wasn't the most shocking thing to be revealed at Sony's conference last year. But this year it probably gets the spotlight it couldn't last year, with Final Fantasy 7 Remake and Shenmue 3 likely being pushed to the back for a while to give them the time they need in the oven. There's a good chance this is Sony's fall game for the year, as opposed to...
A game that had been discussed for years before it was finally revealed, and the secret fourth reason why Sony's E3 was so good. Now despite some promotional material indicating otherwise, I'm still firmly of the belief that this game is going to land in 2017. Feel free to mock me if it doesn't happen, but it lines up. They've been relatively silent on it, they went to multiple places last year and only ever showed off the same ten minute demo. If its ready I'd guess a November 2016 release date, but otherwise I'm thinking a pushback to the earliest parts of 2017.
Now being industry leader comes with a couple of "requirements" that might seem unfortunate to some gamers but business-wise is a huge deal. So we'll likely lose at least 8-10 minutes with Activision talking about the "First on PlayStation" map packs for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare™, then introducing Destiny 1.5 or Destiny 2 and whatever exclusive stuff comes along with that.
And with the Playstation Morpheus launching in just a few months, it would be a miracle if Sony didn't devote a chunk of the conference to that, so don't think you'll be out of the water once they're done with those two games. Hopefully though, after allll these things, we can get back to the games, because there's a lot of things that haven't been shown off just yet.
I hoped against all hope that the pasty, bald-headed needlessly angry fuck from the other four games wouldn't actually make his way into God of War 4. But alas, the minds at Sony Santa Monica decided against it, and so Kratos is back to murder the gods of the Norse empire. I'd be salty, but honestly the view is just too gorgeous. Anyway, this concept art leaked a while back and everyone's been taking it as a sign that we're not too far off from a God of War 4 reveal. Normally I'd say no, but it's been roughly three years since Cory Barlog signed back on to work with these guys, and it's about time for them to get fans hyped now that Uncharted 4 has shipped out to the masses.
Injustice 1 was a surprise that was first unveiled, if memory serves, at E3 2012. Since then, NetherRealm's kept a fairly strict schedule of a game every two years, with a reveal the year prior. And since Injustice 1 was actually a fairly big success, I'd be willing to bet we're about to see the sequel unveiled this year. I'm hoping for Darkseid as a villain, with a few New God characters to spice up the roster, a larger roster in general, and a lot fewer Bat-characters now that we know the series can sell. Hopefully NRS doesn't let me down.
Speaking of DC and Marvel. While there's always the possibility they could save their announcements for later in the year, it wouldn't be overly strange to see them pop up here. Last year, Marvel Games producer Mike Jones (who?) said the company was working on partnerships for future Marvel console titles and that we could start hearing about them as early as 2016. Setting aside the fact that 2016 will be half over by the time this conference starts, there's no better place to announce a game than E3. Especially with Disney Infinity dead and Disney talking about licensing their characters out for console games in the future.
As for DC, development studio WB Games Montreal hasn't released a game since 2013's Batman: Arkham Origins. Given the end credits scene in both the console and portable versions of the title, it was believed they were working on a Suicide Squad game. (That, and Geoff Johns said a Suicide Squad title was in development...) But they've also been hiring for a second game, which could be literally anything. But my money is on either a Superman solo game, or a Justice League title due to some rumors that swirled up a couple years ago. It's about time the Man of Steel returned to video games to scrub his record clean, but as much as I want that to happen, I'd probably be overjoyed if an open-world Justice League title were to hit the PS4.
Of course, there's also Shadows of Mordor 2. While there shouldn't be any chance this game comes out this year, the success of the last game pretty much ensured there'd be a sequel, and because no voice or stunt actor can keep their mouths shut, it's basically been confirmed. One of Sony's strongest games in 2014, while Microsoft could steal its announcement it feels more likely it will make an appearance here unless they're just completely pressed for time.
A rumor surfaced yesterday about Resident Evil 7 surfacing at E3. I wouldn't give much credence to it, only Capcom has been talking about a title they expect to release this fiscal year to sell in excess of 4-5 million copies, and Resident Evil is probably the only brand they have left that isn't Monster Hunter capable of doing that. They also recently released remasters of RE4-6. Resident Evil 4 is understandable--classic game from when consoles were king. But 5 and 6? Yeah, that's a build-up to a release of 7 if ever I've heard one.
I'm guessing DMC5 won't be too far behind this, either.
Ultimately, Sony's going to end up being the wildcard of the conference. I haven't mentioned Dreams, GT Sport, or Detroit. And there's still the rumored Dead Don't Ride from Sony Bend Studios, and that's before you get to the host of smaller games that Sony always makes time for at their show. As usual, some big titles from Sony will end up getting delayed into Gamescom/Paris Games Week, Tokyo Game Show, and even Playstation Experience 2016. So even if you don't see your future GOTY at this show, take heart. Sony makes more appearances in the latter half of the year than any other console developer, so even when this show ends, there's plenty of "show" left.