Road to E3: Sony

Welcome back everyone, we're nearing the end!  As ridiculous as it is to claim a "winner" to a conference that's ostensibly about business products, Sony's been proclaimed to be the just that since this generation began.  Between fighting anti-corporation practices in 2013, revealing three of the most anticipated titles in gaming in 2015, or presenting one of the most focused, tight presentations of all time in 2016, it's been a pretty consistent clean sweep in favor of Sony thus far.  Can they live up to it again?  Let's find out!

Sony's presentation this year is on June 12th, 6PM Pacific, 9PM Eastern. If you missed any of the columns leading up to now, check them out here:


Days Gone: Developer Sony Bend Studios had been quiet for some time before revealing Days Gone last E3. Despite getting both a "story trailer" and an extensive gameplay trailer last year, oddly enough we don't really know that much about this title.  They've got some incredible AI, with massive zombie hordes that can seemingly follow you for miles, but overall all we know is that it;'s an open-world zombie game with some survival elements.  That's going to change this year though, since it's meant to be at E3 "in a big way".    I'll have fun for a bit and predict a surprise Fall release (or it'll be Sony's typical Q1 release)--this studio's last title was in 2012, it's time.

GT Sport: The only Sony title actually currently scheduled to release this year, GT Sport sees Sony's popular Gran Turismo franchise finally make an appearance on the Playstation 4.  Featuring support for the Playstation VR, GT Sport has been described by series creator Kazanori Yamauchi as the beginning of the second generation of Gran Turismo games.  Expect a bit more information detailing its online modes and perhaps a look at its VR if they can pull it off, along with hopefully a confirmation of the game's actual release date.

Destiny 2:  First teased back in late March, Destiny 2's publicity ramped up fairly quickly, starting with the reveal of the logo and eventually having a live special that explained both the story and gave us an in-depth look at the new gameplay for the sequel to the game that popularized the "Games as a Service" idea for current-gen consoles.   Since we already have a release date, I'm betting that here we'll get another demonstration of the game itself--perhaps showing off some of the "Adventures" serving as side quests in the game, or they'll show us more of the game's multi-player.  Either way, expect tons of time to be devoted to this as with Red Dead Redemption no longer launching this year this is easily going to be one of, if not the best selling title, of the year.   I'd also guess that we'll learn the date of the beta test; and I'd place 50-50 odds on it being either the day after the conference or right as E3 ends.

Call of Duty: WW2: Call of Duty finally returns to its roots and revisits the World War II setting, and since Sony has the marketing rights to Call of Duty this gen, this is definitely going to be at their show.  Since there's yet to be an in-depth look at this game, look forward to a three to five minute trailer devoted to this game's story mode, and maybe a quick peek at what this game's zombie mode looks like. 

Star Wars: Battlefront 2: Another title that Sony has marketing rights with, Star Wars: Battlefront 2 is another title that fans haven't gotten to look at very much.  There's a short story trailer, but there's been very little actual gameplay involved.   Expect that to change here, and expect a mix between what the game's multiplayer and the story will look like.  The multi-player so they can show off the various changes, and the single-player because they still need to convince fans this is a mode worth buying the title for even if they don't like MP.

Detroit: Become Human: Revealed back in October 2015 at Sony's Paris Games Week, Detroit: Become Human is David Cage and Quantic Dream's (Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls) latest creation.  A cyberpunk thriller following the story of multiple sentient androids and how they adapt to a world that still sees them as tools rather than living beings, Detroit is one of Sony's most unique titles.  Featuring branching paths that change even if one of your characters dies as a result of your choices, Detroit will be a stand out whenever it releases, and I'm fairly certain we'll get a release date here.   It sounds weird, but I'm guessing either this fall or sometime in Q3 2018.

God of War 4: Quite possibly the most hyped game behind Zelda last year, God of War 4 was a room-shaker when it was first revealed.  Like Uncharted 4, Sony Santa Monica is taking advantage of the PS4's extra power to not only give us a prettier game, but a world that's much larger and allows for exploration, while still eschewing the open-world style of gameplay and remaining with the linear experience fans fell in love with from the beginning.  Following the story of Kratos and his son, God of War 4 looks to feature the former war god battling creatures of Norse mythology this time.  I'm of the opinion that this title launches sometime in March of 2018, but if it doesn't I'd bet we go another year without a release date.  Sony really just needs to remind us this game exists, and that doesn't require announcing a date that will wind up being wrong due to delays.

Spider-Man PS4: My personal "game of the show" last year, "Spider-Man PS4" is easily the biggest enigma on the list.  We really only got snippets of gameplay and the barest hints of a story in a ninety secon clip, but this year things should be completely different.  With the game having experienced another year in the oven, a full gameplay reveal this time seems like a given, showing him swinging around the city and possibly even battling a boss.    What doesn't seem like a given however, is a release date.  I'm firmly in the camp that this thing is a Fall 2018 release, mostly because I can't have nice things, but also because Insomniac just finished Ratchet and Clank last year, and a proper open-world title takes time.   If anything, whatever trailer we see ends with us finally getting the title for this thing, but we'll see this game again next E3.

Kingdom Hearts 3: I'm going all out with the predictions for this list, but at least this guess is partially educated?  Call it a semipothesis.  (Ugh, that sounds gross.  Nevermind.)  Anyway, the first appearance of Kingdom Hearts we got was back in 2013--a fairly simple little story trailer letting us all know the title was in production.   The next time we saw it was E3 2015, featuring a much more focused look at the gameplay and showing the progress that had been made in terms of story and including worlds.   The updates have come in two year intervals, and I think we're about due.  I also think they might give us a release date of sometime in 2018, but that's me just being really hopeful.   If the game went into production even in late 2012, a late 2018 release would give them roughly six years of development time.   Horizon took roughly the same time from pre-production to release and that was a company that didn't even have the skills to release an open-world RPG when they started.

But I'm using logic and this is Square-Enix, so who knows?

Sucker Punch IP: A company that's basically been silent since the release of InFamous: Second Son in March 2014, I'm guessing that we're not far off from a reveal of their latest title.  Rumored to be a new IP, I wouldn't expect this game before 2019, which I'd say is too far off to reveal at a 2017 conference, except Sony's just about out of new titles and it'd be kind of a bummer if they didn't show us something that they haven't already shown before.  Whatever Sucker Punch is working on should be together enough to manage a brief two minute clip, I'm guessing.

And there we are: the ten titles most likely to appear for Sony this E3.  There's a chance there may be more, possibly even a surprise appearance or two, but I wouldn't bet on an array of titles like last year.  For one thing, they have to save some things for Playstation Experience in December.  But also...when you've got a show that's going to have Destiny, Star Wars: Battlefront 2, and even Call of Duty: World War II, you've got to be careful what you push alongside it so that the games don't get lost in the conversation along these major multi-platform titles that are guaranteed to sell several million copies each, easily.   

At the same time, they didn't spend millions in R&D to release Playstation VR and then not support it.  At least one or two games on the stage this year will be major VR titles, and I'd bet on a sizzle reel of some sort that shows off multiple VR titles back to back two to four minutes.  Combine that with all the games I already mentioned and...well.  Sony's conference is only going to last so long. 

I say all of that to say: temper your expectations, and you'll be fine.  Let's be honest, most of us won't have beaten all the games we've bought this year by the time next year comes around, and Sony's got a stacked roster for us in 2018 already. 

Now, next week is our "final" installment of the Road to E3, where I talk about Nintendo's games, as well as what I see Nintendo's release schedule looking like for the rest of the year.  Look forward to it.


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