Contrary to popular rumour, Sony’s 2014 E3 press conference is not still going on. It has ended, but boy was it epic. For nearly two hours last June, Sony and friends laid out the future of PlayStation. Let’s see what came to pass.
Spoiler: They start strong and end on a big whiff.
There’s so much here, we just need to dive it. Shall we?
The promise: Sony’s press conference began with a hype reel for then-upcoming multi-platform shooter Destiny, followed by Sony Computer Entertainment president Andrew House praising the game and saying that “Destiny will help define this next generation of gaming.”
He continued: “Like so many of the worlds biggest and best games, you’ll be able to play Destiny first on PlayStation.” He announced that PlayStation gamers would get their hands on the game’s beta first on July 17 and said PS4 users would have access to an Alpha starting on E3 Thursday, lasting through the weekend.
“Destiny isn’t just first on PlayStation, it’s better,” he added, saying that “In addition to all of the extra content that only PlayStation customers will receive, I’m happy to announce our first ever white PlayStation 4 that comes with an exclusive Destiny bundle that we’ll make available when Destiny launches on September 9.” He said he knew we would love playing the game on PlayStation.
Did they deliver? Yes, much to Xbox fans’ dismay. The Destiny alpha launched right after E3 for PS4 and the public beta followed on July 17 for PS4/PS3. (It opened up for Xbox players on July 23.) The “Glacier White” PlayStation 4 came out in September, as promised. And for now, only PlayStation players have access to two exclusive strikes and three exotic weapons, although that could change later this year — all of Destiny‘s marketing materials for their PlayStation-exclusive content have asterisks reading “timed exclusive until at least Fall 2015.”
The promise: House segued to a look at an original game that he said would be available only on PlayStation 4. That was The Order: 1886.
Did they deliver? Yes, The Order is Sony-published and doesn’t seem to be heading to any other platforms, naturally.
The promise: Developers at indie studio Pixelopus showed their first game, Entwined. Scott Rohde, head of PlayStation game development in North America, then said the game was available “right now” for $US9.99, with PS3 and Vita to follow as a cross-buy game.
Did they deliver? Yes — Entwined was on the PS4’s PlayStation Store by the end of the night. It launched on PS3 and Vita a month later, on July 22.
The promise: Rohde introduced Infamous: First Light, standalone DLC which was pegged in a trailer for an August release. If you owned Infamous Second Son, you would get some “exclusive content.”
Did they deliver? Yes. It came out last August. If you owned Second Son, you could play some parts of the expansion as a different character.
The promise: A quartet of developers demonstrated LittleBigPlanet 3, showing off new items, the new characters Oddsock, Toggle and Swoop. A trailer promised that the game would be “our biggest handcrafted adventure” and offered a November release date. Sony head of worldwide studios Shuhei Yoshida said that any of the eight-million-plus user-created levels from the first two LBP games would be playable in LBP3 on launch day, with improved graphics.
Did they deliver? Yes and no. LBP3 came out on November 18, 2014 for both PS3 and PS4. You can use it to play levels from all three games. All well and good. But there’s something about the way hype can spin out of control. The trailer promised “our biggest handcrafted adventure,” but LBP3 actually had the series’ shortest campaign.
The promise: A trailer for Bloodborne indicated that the From Software game would be out in 2015.
Did they deliver: Yes. The PS4 exclusive came out in March.
The promise: After we were shown a demo of Far Cry 4 PlayStation exec Adam Boyes then announced that, in November, PS3 and PS4 owners of Far Cry 4 would be able to invite their PSN friends to join you in the game, even if they don’t own it — and that that feature would be PlayStation-exclusive.
Did they deliver? Pretty much, yes, though with some restrictions. The PlayStation-exclusive sharing feature was called Keys to Kyrat and could be used 10 times in sessions that lasted up to two hours. Interestingly, the demo of FC4 shown at the Sony event seems to have been a somewhat scripted custom mission that encapsulated a lot of the game’s gameplay. Based on the demo, you might have expected the game to have a mission that led from an attack on convoy to a vehicle chase to a wingsuit sequence to a co-op moment to the siege of the fortress Ratu Gadhi. All of those elements are in the game but they’re not all tied to a siege of that fortress. Instead, most happen on-the-fly as you play through the adventure. The fortress siege is less scripted in the actual game. Basically, the game is more liberating and open than the demo would suggest, probably a good thing!
The promise: They showed a trailer for Dead Island 2, and said it would have a 30-day-exclusive beta and a “full exclusive character class level” only on PS4.
Did they deliver? We haven’t heard a word about Dead Island 2 since then — other than the fact that it’s been delayed to 2016 — so this one’s still up in the air.
The promise: Diablo III Ultimate Evil Edition would include Clickers, Bloaters and Stalkers in a PlayStation-exclusive dungeon themed off of PlayStation hit The Last of Us. The enemies have their own special attacks.
Did they deliver? Yes, There was some Shadow of The Colossus bonus content, too.
The promise: The Battlefield Hardline beta would be console-exclusive to PS4 and available “now.”
Did they deliver? Kind of. There was a PS4 (and PC) beta for the game during E3. But the game was delayed to 2015, and there was an open beta for it in February of this year. That one was open to PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One gamers.
The promise: “The only place you can Hulk Smash in Disney Infinity at launch will be on PlayStation platforms” through a Disney Infinity 2 collector’s edition for PS3 and PS4.
Did they deliver? Yes.
The promise: Back to Destiny, Boyes said that on launch day players would get an “incredible amount of exclusive in-game content from unique weapons, armour sets, gear, kickass ships, as well as Exodus, an exclusive competitive multiplayer map and, the best part, an entire exclusive strike on Mars.” He said there was “literally too much great content to detail tonight, but needless to say, when Destiny comes to PlayStation this year, it will do so first, bigger and better than on any other platform.”
Did they deliver? Yes. Anyone who played Destiny on PlayStation has access to the Monte Carlo and Hawkmoon weapons as well as the Dust Palace strike on Mars. The Exodus Blue multiplayer map is PlayStation-exclusive, too, as are some armour pieces and ships. According to the fine print on various advertisements for Destiny, this stuff will all be exclusive until “at least fall 2015.”
The promise: Boyes announced a new partnership with Paradox Interactive and said that every Paradox studio is working on an exclusive PlayStation 4 game. He introduced their first one as Magicka 2.
Did they deliver? Magicka 2 launched on PS4 and PC, so this depends on your definition of the world “exclusive,” which is often game-exec-speak for “not on our rival platform but maybe also on computers.”
The promise: They announced a remastering of classic adventure game Grim Fandango, exclusively to PS4 and PS Vita.
Did they deliver? Sorta. Grim Fandango came out earlier this year for PS4 and Vita… but it also came out on PC, Mac, iOS, Linux, and Android. Remember, “exclusive” never actually means exclusive!
The promise: All of the following Devolver Digital titles would make their console debut on PlayStation platforms: Broforce (PS4/Vita), Titan Souls (PS4/Vita), Not a Hero (PS4/Vita), Hotline Miami 2 (PS4, PS3, Vita), The Talos Principle (PS4)
Did they deliver? So far, yes. Titan Souls and Hotline Miami 2 have come out for PlayStation platforms. The others aren’t out yet. None has shown up on an Xbox or Wii U.
The promise: Suda 51’s next game, Let It Die, would be coming only to PlayStation 4 in 2015.
Did they deliver? No idea. We haven’t heard a thing about this one since last E3.
The promise: A new game called Abzu coming from some of the creators of Journey would make its console debut on PS4.
Did they deliver? TBD. Abzu isn’t out yet, but it’s got a publisher — 505 Games — and it will be at E3 next week. They’re saying it will be on PS4 and PC in 2016.
The promise: All of the game titles in the above screencaps were shown while Boyes was talking about games coming to PlayStation Network. Presumably they would all be coming to PSN.
Did they deliver? Pretty much. Many of those games are now available to download on PlayStation consoles, with more of them presumably to come.
The promise: Boyes said No Man’s Sky would make its console debut on PS4. Hello Games’ Sean Murray said that the universe his small team was creating would be infinite and that everyone can share. Every player will be started on a different planet so no two players have the same experience.
Did they deliver? Well, the game isn’t out yet, but, man, how do you prove or disprove the infinite anyway? Presumably the game won’t include any invisible walls. We’ll see!
The promise: New Sony Computer Entertainment of America president Shawn Layden said YouTube would come to PSN later in 2014, enabling videos captured with the PS4 controller’s Share button to smoothly upload to a user’s YouTube page.
Did they deliver? Yep. YouTube came to the PS4 on October 28, 2014.
The promise: Layden said players would be able to not just watch another person’s gaming livestream but interact with those players by helping or harming them, among other things.
Did they deliver? Hmm. Yes? Like, we’re just talking about chiming in on someone’s livesteam, right?
The promise: There would be free Playroom DLC during the summer to give people broadcasting sets.
Did they deliver? Yes. It came out in August.
The promise: More than 25 free to play games are coming to PS4 in the next 12 months including Kingdom Under Fire 2, Planetside 2, and Guns Up!. Layden: “On PlayStation, at point of entry, free to play means free to play” leading into a reel of F2P games for console and Vita that included the fine print “Certain features available for a fee.”
Did they deliver? Not even close. It’s a year later and there are nine free-to-play games available right now on PS4. Five of them came out before last year’s E3 press conference. The demo reel that followed Layden’s remarks showed PS3 and Vita as well. Perhaps his count included those platforms? The Vita has bunch, about nine or so launched since last E3. Planetside 2 is slated for a PS4 release later this month.
The promise: The beta for Sony’s back-catalogue streaming service, PS Now, would be available on PS4 on July 31 and give access to more than 100 PS3 games. He said it would come to PS3 and Vita “shortly after that.” Said that PS Now would come to select Sony TVs “later this year.” Games name-checked during the presentation were Dead Space 3, God of War Ascension, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus, and Ultra Street Fighter IV.
Did they deliver? Yes. The beta rolled out for PS4, PS3 and Vita from July to October. At the start it had more than 100 games.
The promise: “With PS Now, Vita will have the best catalogue of games available on a mobile device… and the only mobile device with access to the deep library of PlayStation games.” He also said that PS4 Remote Play feature on Vita would work with games such as Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed and in turn “showcase Vita as the ultimate mobile platform.”
Did they deliver? You decide, reader.
The promise: Layden talked about how there are more than 100 Vita titles in development, including Tales of Hearts R, Child of Light, and Tales from the Borderlands. He said a full console experience of Minecraft would be coming to Vita with co-op and promised that Vita would “remain a key pillar for us.”
Did they deliver? It’s debatable whether Sony is treating it as a “key pillar.” Thanks to the Vita’s continued success in Japan and the support of indies, the Vita has continued to get a flow of games. Not many huge games, mind you. ToHR and CoL have come out, but there’s been no sign of Tales from the Borderlands yet. Minecraft is out on Vita, and it has co-op.
The promise: Layden also talked about PlayStation TV, a device that would work with PlayStation Now, music and video streaming services, and play most Vita games and PlayStation classics. He said Disney Infinity 2 would come to Vita and PS TV in early 2015. He said that the device would go on sale for $US99 or for $US139 with a bundle that included the Lego Movie game.
Did they deliver? Yes. PlayStation TV came out in North America last year. The Lego Movie bundle now goes for $US99. The Vita/PSTV version of Disney Infinity 2 came out in May 2015.
The promise: House announced the creation of the live-action adaptation of the comic book series Powers for the PlayStation Network. Series co-creator Brian Michael Bendis then came out to say that two “series” had been greenlit. House said the series would launch in December 2014, with the first episode free to all PSN users. He added the PlayStation Plus users would get the full series for free.
Did they deliver? Bendis probably meant two “seasons,” but, yes, this all checks out.
The promise: House debuted a trailer for Ratchet & Clank The Movie. The trailer said the movie would come out in 2015. House also said that Sony was working with R&C creators Insomniac to “reimagine the original Ratchet & Clank for PS4.” He said the game would have “completely new visuals and gameplay sequences that will rival the best PS4 games on the market.” He said the movie and the game would be available in the first half of 2015.
Did they deliver? Not quite. Both the game and movie have been delayed to early 2016. The game also sounds like less and less of a remake and more and more of a new thing — in a good way.
The promise: A trailer for a remastered PS4 version of The Last of Us promised a July 29 release.
Did they deliver? Yep.
The promise: House: “Metal Gear Solid V on PS4 is going to be amazing.”
Did they deliver? Not yet! But it better be.
The promise: GTA V coming to PlayStation 4 in the fall of 2014 (according to a trailer). House said it would feature “a host of enhancements and new details for players to discover” and noted that PS3 and Xbox 360 players (yes, he said the words “Xbox 360” during the conference) would be able to transfer their GTA Online character and progress to the PS4.
Did they deliver? Well, yes, but note that they didn’t say it was exclusive. It wasn’t. It also came out on the Xbox One last fall. The new-gen version had a first-person mode, some new missions, many other new additions and did support old-gen GTA Online save transfers to PS4 or Xbox One. The PS4 and Xbox One versions had console parity.
The promise: House: “Batman Arkham Knight on PlayStation 4 will be amazing and comes with Scarecrow Nightmare Missions that are only available on PlayStation”
Did they deliver? The game’s amazingness is TBD. It’s not out yet.
The promise: Uncharted 4…. 2015. According to a show-closing trailer.
Did they deliver? Nope. The game has been delayed to 2016.
Picture: Dan R. Krauss / Stringer for Getty Images