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Sony/PlayStation E3 2015 conference: As it happened

In case you missed it, here’s the lowdown of the runners and riders from the Sony/PlayStation E3 2015 conference. Take a deep breath – it was a biggie.

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Sony PlayStation E3 2015

In case you missed it, here’s the lowdown of the runners and riders from the Sony/PlayStation E3 2015 conference. Take a deep breath – it was a biggie.

After a strong and rather surprising showing from Microsoft it was Sony’s turn to play their cards. If you happened to miss the conference, the summary below will cover all that you need to know.

While PlayStation ditched the “For the Players” motto this year, their conference still felt more gamer-focussed than ever, with only a brief mention of Project Morpheus and no superfluous shenanigans; they went straight to the action. Sony had some impressive tricks up their sleeves, showcasing a mix of surprise returns, reveals, revivals, demonstrations and teasers.

  1. They opened with a PlayStation games montage on the grand concave display, setting an expansive precedent for the evening.
  2. Shawn Layden – President and CEO of SCEA – takes the stage welcoming viewers, thanking gamers and praising their purchase decision with the PlayStation 4.
  3. The Last Guardian still exists.
  4. Oh that last one didn’t convince you, huh? A gameplay trailer for The Last Guardian was shown; it clearly reflected Team Ico’s pedigree and looked unlike anything else. 2016 flashed on the screen as the trailer ended and Fumito Ueda, its creator who was sitting in the audience stood up from his seat to a thunderous applause.
  5. Guerilla Games were next, revealing their new IP Horizon: Zero Dawn. It featured stealth gameplay, ranged combat, giant mechs and an excellent boss battle, though no release window in sight yet.
  6. A trailer for the next Hitman game titled simply… erm… Hitman, is the return of Agent 47 by IO Interactive (the guys behind Hitman: Absolution). It could be a ‘going-back-to-the-roots’ reboot, is our guess. Contracts mode returns, with PlayStation players getting exclusive ones.
  7. Next up, Street Fighter 5 a PlayStation 4 console exclusive where two new characters – Birdie and Cammy – were added to the roaster, for a total of 6 so far. The beta begins July 23rd this year. Birdie was last seen in Street Fighter Alpha 3, if you’re keeping score.
  8. The concerns of “what is it that you actually do?” in No Man’s Sky were put to rest, as Sean Murray – cofounder at Hello Games – showed playing a certain planet in the game, opening up points of interest, showcasing destructible environments, highlighting space wars between factions and many other systems in the game. No release window was alluded to in the conference, though.
  9. Media Molecule – the minds behind LittleBigPlanet and Tearaway – introduced their next project called Dreams. It’s a PlayStation4 exclusive and was presented with the premise of giving the players the power to explore others’ dreams and create dream-like scenarios themselves using the games tools and a DualShock 4. No release window in sight here, either.
  10. Firewatch – a game by Campo Santo that we love here at Thumbsticks – was shown in a gameplay trailer which weaved a really intriguing dialogue between two characters, leading to a disturbing climactic realization; its console debut will be on the PlayStation 4.
  11. Destiny’s new expansion ‘The Taken King’ was revealed in a trailer. Its plot seems to connect it to a story thread from the main game, it subtly reveals 3 sub-classes: where a Titan was shown wielding fire, a Warlock controlling arc and a Hunter possessing void abilities. The expansion promises exclusive content on PlayStation consoles and is releasing September 15.
  12. Another instance of PlayStation exclusive content in a third party game was for Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate. It also showed the female protagonist Evie Frye in combat using a her fists while juggling a cane-sword and throwing knives.
  13. A new Final Fantasy title was announced called World of Final Fantasy: chibi-fied versions of characters and chocobos will grace your PS Vita and PlayStation 4 in 2016.
  14. Final Fantasy VII will finally be getting that remake; not a port, not a remaster, but a remake from ground up. It is planned to release ‘First on PlayStation’.
  15. Next up, Indie darlings Devolver Digital will bring four new games to PlayStation platforms, these being: Ronin, EITR, Mother Russia Bleeds and Crossing Roads.
  16. The Kickstarter for Shenmue 3 was highlighted at the conference with creator Yu Suzuki taking the stage to introduce his dream for the sequel and his yearning for making it a reality. His parting words were: “Save Shenmue“. [Note: Shenmue has been saved and as of writing the Kickstarter has crossed $2.5m].
  17. Rocksteady’s magnum opus Batman: Arkham Knight is round the corner and Sony showed a new story trailer for the game at their conference.
  18. A brief section dedicated to Project Morpheus followed next. Several Morpheus games were named: Solfar, Godling, The Deep, Wayward Sky and more.
  19. Call of Duty has jumped ship to PlayStation as its launchpad. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is shown at the conference in two separate gameplay demos: one for single-player in coop and another for online multiplayer. Beta begins in August playable only on PlayStation 4.
  20. A tiny snippet of Until Dawn is shown, a horror game with choices. It releases on August 25.
  21. A showing of Disney Infinity Star Wars. It was announced that PlayStation players get early access to an exclusive starter pack featuring Boba Fett.
  22. Sony’s coup de grace was of course Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. A live gameplay demo (that we freaking love) was shown with Nathan Drake and Sully showcasing shooting, jump assassinations, platforming and a lengthy vehicle chase sequence. It felt pretty effortless and spontaneous, the driving field was expansive and the overall showcase exuded confidence that Naughty Dog is known for.

And with that, Sony’s conference wrapped up. It was an impressive line-up, though most games were slated for 2016, it showed how Sony is no more indulging in gimmicks and aims to deliver games, simple as that.

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Monish is a lover of all things complex: RPGs, Fighting Games, puzzles, skill trees, combo setups, time-limits, roguelikes, languages and alternative music. I write well – or so I am told – so read away.