Sony's E3 2018 PlayStation Conference: The Liveblog

It's the last major conference of the day. Let's check it out, shall we?

You know the drill by now: if you want to watch along, here's what you need:

Watch Sony's E3 2018 Conference Here

I'm fully prepared to sit down for 10-plus minutes of Death Stranding while still having no idea what the game is about. What about you?

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Let's begin!

Monday 2245: Last one for the evening here, and the last conference of E3's largest day. For those of us enjoying the conference from abroad, at any rate. Start time, incidentally: 1100 AEST Tuesday.

Most of Sony's conference is pretty well known ahead of time. Days Gone won't be there, but Naughty Dog will. Hideo Kojima will grace the stage, with a rock star-like entrance as Sony is want to do for their premier auteur, and Sucker Punch's long efforts, Ghost of Tsushima, will get some air time.

Sony tend to avoid long speeches and pomp and circumstance, unless an orchestra is involved. Or people hanging from the ceiling, spinning in the air, like they did for Days Gone last year.

Come to think of that, I hope there's no repeat performance for The Last of Us: Part Two. Marvel's Spider-Man should be fun, too.

But I'm interested to see what treatment the PSVR platform gets. Some games got a good showing last year - Moss was nice - but it would be good to see a couple of games championed a little more. PSVR still costs almost as much as the base console. It's a decent investment, and those owners could use a bit more love - at least as far as the presentation is concerned, anyway.

2315: This will be the last update before tomorrow morning, unless something major breaks amongst Square, Ubisoft and the PC Gaming show.

The key I'm wondering is: will Red Dead Redemption 2 show up at all? There's always the chance it might not, having skipped Microsoft. Rockstar might also just opt to own the spotlight at a time of their choosing. Red Dead can command that attention.

But for now, for this evening, I'd like to know what you're most looking forward to.

Let me know what you're most excited for, and I'll see you in the morning.

Tuesday 1000: So, we're done with Ubisoft, Square and the PC side of things. PC show was pretty good; better than Microsoft for my money. Ubisoft's presser was nice and snappy too, although in terms of what's coming out this year, MS and the PC showcase had a broader range on that front.

But Sony has some things the others can't match. Like Kojima. Naughty Dog. Spyro should also show up. It'd be weird not to see some more Black Ops 4, or Red Dead Redemption 2. But we'll find out very soon.

1015: So, revisiting the poll above.

Right now, The Last of Us: Part Two has 28% of the vote for most anticipated game. Death Stranding is sitting on 23%, while Spidey has 12%.

That's a good mix, if you're Sony. Fourth place with 8% is Ghost of Tsushima, and those are the four headliners for this morning's presser. Surprisingly, only the one vote for some Final Fantasy VII action.

I hope we see something of that. It's been three years since it was announced at that nutty Sony conference. Now is a good time to show ... something. Anything.

1030: So while I'm not on the ground at E3 this year, Rae from Gizmodo is. And if you're wondering what that experience is like, the answer: packed. Insanely packed.

I'm very happy under my blanket with my freezing hands, thank you. Also, there's no way I'd be able to screencap and get things uploaded anywhere as fast on whatever is happening to the mobile/Wi-Fi in that area right now.

Under half an hour to go.

1040: So out of everything, what's been your game of all of E3 so far? And when I ask that, I mean the one that you're instantly and immediately the most excited in?

I'm super keen on Maneater, just because it sounds hilarious and ridiculously over the top. I'm keen to get stuck into Jurassic World: Evolution still, and weirdly I want to get hands on with Command & Conquer: Rivals. Honestly: I think I might enjoy that in short bursts.

Longer term: still want to spend some time with Skull & Bones. That looks more like the pirate naval game that I want. And, obviously, Death Stranding. I need to know what type of mindfuck Kojima is about to unleash.

1045: Question for you all: will we see Red Dead Redemption 2?

1049: Things are a bit cramped inside the theatre hall, it seems:

1053: Last chance to make another coffee. It's been a long morning, so I'm going to sort that out.

1055: For more of an idea from the show floor, here's Gizmodo's Rae. It's being held in what looks like an old church.

This must be a setup for something. Four minutes.

1057: No, we're starting three minutes early apparently. Or maybe just with a montage.

The ... the shit is this.

OK. It's just a different pre-roll screen. Phew. Two minutes to go then.

It's apparently a nightmare on the show floor still. No way this starts on time.

1100: Transitioning to the show floor now. It's *PACKED*. And with not much seating room.

Why are they in a church?

Shawn Layton says people are going to learn about games "in a deeper way" rather than just showing a whole bunch of "creative" (read: trailers).

He adds that the presentation is going to run for about an hour "or so".

1105: A melancholic banjo performance to kick things off.

I wonder how people of regular faith feel about the church being repurposed in this way. I'm not religious, so the only thing I'm taking away is that the acoustics of the room seem a bit shitty. The lighting is also very yellow.

The Last of Us: Part Two time.

That's the point of the church, then.

Setting up Ellie's gay relationship and her coping ability - "I'm just a girl, not a threat". This is sweet. Nice music too.

A+ kissing scene. By that, I mean the animations are solid. It looks genuine.

But then immediately after, things get brutal.

1113: The way objects are sticking in characters is really something: the axe burying in a body, the knife into the soft part of the neck.

Also, loving the quality of the grass. Doesn't look like it was completely painted onto the ground, like a sprite.

So people in the conference are being shuffled into another area, which will presumably be themed as something appropriate for whatever the next game is. Quick Q&A with Shawn Layton until people are settled.

1122: God of War is getting a New Game+ mode, the mini-panel confirms while people are being moved.

1124: In case you just wanted to see the sweeter part of the Last of Us footage:

COD: Black Ops 4 up next.

Summit, Jungle, Slums and Firing Range all being remastered for Black Ops 4. As someone who was still playing Black Ops competitively, that's one good map out of four. Slums and Firing Range were fun for deathmatch settings, but Summit was really the only offering out of those four that was consistently good across all modes.

Also: Black Ops 3 will be launching on PS+ later today. That's fairly sizeable for a PS+ game, and for Activision.

1127: Tetris Effect, Days Gone, Beat Sabre, Twin Mirror and another PSVR game, Ghost Giant. They were all revealed in the days leading up to E3, but they're getting another montage now.

1132: So, this is happening.

Nice performance. Still trying to work out what it was for.

Must be Ghost of Tsushima? The wind effects remind me of the best moments in Witcher 3. Seriously. This game has some style.

It's very methodical, calculated combat. Jin is the name of the main protagonist, we learn quickly.

The limited colour palette is working super well here.

1143: No wonder Sony wants to double down highlighting games when they look like this.

1144: Completely different game now.

It's Control, the latest project from Remedy Entertainment.

And now another title where you look like ... a rodent?

No, the rodent dies. Looks like the proper Resident Evil 2 remake, the way it should have been.

Resident Evil 2 drops January 25, 2019.

Now, some more cheerful music with a bloke and a trombone. Who plays one note.

A new game from Justin Roiland - only Roiland - called Trover Saves The Universe.

1151: Kingdom Hearts 3 time, and it's footage from Pirates of the Carribean.

And ... fuck me. Those models.

Definitely getting their money's worth from that Utada song, though.

Also: why did Square not show off their fresh footage in their own conference.

Oh god, this has to be Death Stranding.

Talking about the "extinction factor" and being able to sense someone. Someone has a little skull tattoo on the back of their hand. Norman Reedus says he likes deliveries.

Lot of walking and exploring. A Kojima game that's not about tactical espionage or stealth?

A new face appears, too.

1200: It's all been largely cinematic. But now we get to see what the Baby in the Bubble does.

Well, it can reveal the invisible creatures.

This is fucking weird.

No word on release date, of course. Last Death Stranding bits: we know the main character's name is Sam.

Nioh 2 then shows up, which is neat. Another game appears talking about defying death - and then the screen goes to black and shows a character playing chopsticks on a piano.

It's Spider-Man.

Electro's looking neat.

Spidey mentions he's in a prison with everyone he's locked up over the last 8 years - that's handy for plotting the timeline. The UI also notes that the suit power is "Web Blossom", which might indicate that you can swap out suit powers (or suits that have different powers each).

Animations are looking sharp too, and the sense of speed is very enticing.

1212: The stream has cut to the panel outside, although there's still another new game to announce plus gameplay footage from Spider-Man.

But quick recap: Death Stranding - it seems like more of an exploration-type game, perhaps a touch of survival? I'm still not quite sure.

Hugely on board with Spider-Man. Just looks like it'll be very smooth mechanically, with plenty of neat cut-scenes.

1218: So staying with the PlayStation panel for now. They've got some audio issues right now, but the footage of Spider-Man is working. The draw distance is pretty nice. Shots incoming.

Basic mechanics: the focus metre lets you either heal yourself, or pull off a finishing move. Charges through attacks/combos.

1224: Here's the full demo video, about seven minutes long:

1227: OK, so rather than talking about a new game just yet, we're chatting to the Ghost of Tsushima devs from Sucker Punch.

So we'll call it there for now, and when/if the new game is announced we'll do a breakout post. With that: what did you all think?

The conference ended a lot better than it started. I can't help but feel the whole idea of constructing areas to move people through just bogged the conference down. It's so packed on the show floor that I don't think the effect would have worked quite the way Sony wanted.

But each of the tentpole games looked good. Ghost of Tsushima and Spider-Man have a great style to them; Tsushima looks very much like it's focused on deliberate, slow combat.

Death Stranding is still a question mark. It looks bizarre in all sorts of ways. But we still don't quite know what we're actually dealing with. What's the core gameplay loop?

As for The Last of Us: Part Two - it's interesting. Right.

1232: Media Molecule has now joined the stage. The little animatronics that were shown in between the gameplay - that was all created within Dreams.

Righto. Siobhan Reddy says it's super quick to create things like that within Dreams. Now we're getting some footage as well:

Apparently Dreams will be used to create a 15 minute live gig later today, partially to show how simple it is to create things in Dreams.

"Every day people make choices ... and Dreams is very [much] like that," Siobhan Reddy adds. Everything made in Dreams gets uploaded, and there's a beta coming this year.

Someone made a text adventure in Dreams, and the Media Molecule devs are talking about creating all kinds of genres of games within Dreams.

And by the way, there's a boxing game for PSVR. Creed: Rise to Glory. Cue montage, although a good chunk of these are already released (like Star Trek: Bridge Crew and DOOM VFR.

1241: So now, finally, that seems like the proper end of the conference. The panel reiterates Days Gone is coming out February 22 - that last week of February is absurdly packed right now - but they've moved on from new games and fresh footage. Dreams will do its thing later in the day, but I've been going since 0200 on two hours sleep, so I think I might tackle that after it drops rather than when it appears.

Snoweee makes a good point:

It’s really odd that in the post show interviews, they have announced a new game from From Software and showed off Dreams gameplay, though. Why are these not in the presentation?

Great question. Mess with the presentation, but a bit of clarity would help viewers (and definitely poor bastards like me running on fumes).

Speaking of Sony stuff, here's what will get livestreamed over the next two days:

So more Death Stranding questions will be answered over the next two days. Maybe. At least we'll be able to see Koijma give weird answers. Concrete Genie is a game I haven't seen before, and 11:11-Memories Retold might be fun to see in action.

Spyro: Reignited Trilogy will also get highlighted tomorrow morning our time, although I don't have a time conversion for you. Still, we'll keep you posted on what happens there.

But that's it! Sony is done. And I am done. Thank you very much for tuning in, and I'll see you all again soon - because we've still got one last hurrah: the Nintendo showcase tomorrow morning.


    My hope, as it has been for every year since 2015, is that death stranding is really Silent Hills and Kojima is just itching to reveal his fake out.

    It’s not going to happen though :(

      Looks like it has horror elements though. Those apparitions are spooky alright!

    Anyone hungry for an old school Sony E3 conference full of powerpoint slides and sales numbers and little to no game news? Anyone? :p

    Jesus Christ, The Last of Us 2 is going to win every fucking award ever

    Last edited 12/06/18 11:33 am

    TLOU2 looks fucking nuts and this is coming from someone who is sick of dystopia.

    Why didn't they didn't get Freak on a Leash to play over the COD trailer?

      I double this recommendation!

    In Last of Us, when Ellie killed a NPC arrows fell out of the NPCs quiver as they died which fell to the ground for Ellie to collect... that’s an amazing simple detail.

    This is a terrible idea for a conference. Intermissions? Microsoft at least knew people just wanted to see games and that's what we got.

    Destiny 2. As a hunter all I have to say is. Im not crying. You're crying.

    One of the worst press conferences by Sony in a long time.

      I know what you mean. I was hoping for more new game announcements.

    I like the way they just let the games do the talking instead of having to watch and listen to devs prance around the stage, trying to be all enthusiastic and entertaining, like they are selling some miracle elixir on a street corner. The details can come at another time.

    I'm so confused why they teased Dreams so much then didn't give us any info about it whatsoever - again. Sony usually do such a good job focusing on games over talking or other nonsense but this year was just rubbish. The games looked good but there was so few, almost all of which had already been announced/shown in the past :/

      All the little interludes were made using dreams, beta out this year and they just showed off creation suite footage.

      All in the post show interviews for some really odd reasons

        Thanks, I'm watching it now. For some reason I thought the post-show was just Spider-man so I was just going to watch it later. They really should have had this stuff in the actual conference...

    I liked that they messed around with the E3 formula. The biggest criticism toward Microsoft has been "where's the games?", their presentation answered that. Conversely, Sony have showed a whole bunch of games in previous E3 showings, but they haven't been much more than teasers. Almost all of the PS exclusives actually showed gameplay. Would have liked release dates for the main four they showed off, though.

    It's really odd that in the post show interviews, they have announced a new game from From Software and showed off Dreams gameplay, though. Why are these not in the presentation?

    Thanks Sony for still making single player focused games. Really looking forward to Spidey now. The gaming demo at the end was more impressive than the prison cinematic.

    I also immediately guessed the "Control" game was from Remedy. It looks like they used the same combat system from QB. Here's hoping they have a better life with Sony.

    I notice that Tuesday livestream schedule mentions "Square-Enix Title" at 1:15pm. Perhaps something new? I have to assume it's just an error as it seems crazy both Sony and Square-Enix themself would keep an announcement out of their press events just to show it off in a random 15 minute livestream but at this point I have no idea.

    What timezone is the stream schedule chart in? Really would like to watch Kojima talk about Death Stranding ect

      E3 is in LA so I'd assume PDT but I don't think they mentioned a timezone.

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