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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.

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New PlayStation 4 releases (September 21-25, 2020)

Mafia: Definitive Edition tops next week’s list of new PlayStation 4 releases.

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New PlayStation 4 game releases
Sony / Thumbsticks

Mafia: Definitive Edition tops next week’s list of new PlayStation 4 releases.

Hangar 13’s ground-up remake of Mafia is this week’s PlayStation 4 pick. The original game is not an outright classic, but it’s certainly bold and was forward-thinking in its day. The remake includes new vehicles, improved visuals and audio, and a larger city of Lost Heaven to explore.

Another highlight is the console port of Port Royale 4. Kalypso Media’s trading and strategy game depicts the 17th-century Caribbean power struggle between Spain, England, France and the Netherlands. Turn-based naval encounters are the big new feature, and each nation has a full single-player campaign to complete.

Trading is also central to Rebel Galaxy Outlaw, the new space Western sequel from Double Damage Games. Outlaw improves on its predecessor with streamlined spaceship combat, seven new radio stations, and a fun cast of bounty hunters, aliens, and intergalactic ne’er-do-wells.

Other new PS4 releases include Tennis World Tour 2, Unrailed!, and Going Under. We’ll update this article throughout the week with news of any late additions. Here’s the full lineup of new PS4 games confirmed so far.

New PlayStation4 releases: September 21-25, 2020

Monday, September 21, 2020

  • No releases

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

  • 3 Sentinels: Aegis Rim
  • Rebel Galaxy Outlaw
  • Tennis World Tour 2

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

  • CastleStorm II
  • Jet Set Knights – TBC
  • Unrailed!

Thursday, September 24, 2020

  • Dungreed
  • Ginga Force
  • Going Under
  • Gothic Murder: Adventure That Changes Destiny

Friday, September 25, 2020

  • Mafia: Definitive Edition
  • Port Royale 4
  • Trollhunters: Defenders of Arcadia

Bookmark our new releases page for weekly updates on the latest games. You can also follow Thumbsticks on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.

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New Xbox One releases (September 21-25, 2020)

Mafia: Definitive Edition and Rebel Galaxy Outlaw headline the list of upcoming Xbox One releases.

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New Xbox One game releases
Microsoft / Thumbsticks

Mafia: Definitive Edition and Rebel Galaxy Outlaw headline the list of upcoming Xbox One releases.

Xbox One owners can lead a life crime next week in the eagerly anticipated remake of 2002’s Mafia. The city of Lost Heaven has never looked better, but we’re interested to see how Hangar 13 has fleshed out the experience. The addition of motorcycles is a fun place to start.

Meanwhile, players of Rebel Galaxy Outlaw can live their lives on the outer rim of law and order. This sequel from Double Damage builds upon the strong foundations of the first game with improved dogfights, an engaging story, and an even better soundtrack. If you find Elite Dangerous too overwhelming, Rebel Galaxy Outlaw is an accessible blend of arcade and simulation sci-fi that scratches the same intergalactic itch.

Other new Xbox One release highlights include Port Royale 4, procedurally generated track laying game Unrailed!, and satirical dungeon crawler, Going Under. Halo ODST‘s Firefight mode is also coming to Halo: The Master Chief Collection on Tuesday.

Each new game can be purchased from the Xbox One digital games store or the Microsoft web store. We’ll update this post throughout the week with any late additions to the lineup.

New Xbox One releases: September 21-25, 2020

Monday, September 21, 2020

  • No releases

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

  • Halo ODST: Firefight (The Master Chief Collection)
  • Rebel Galaxy Outlaw
  • Tennis World Tour 2

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

  • CastleStorm II
  • The Drone Racing League Simulator
  • Jet Set Knights
  • Unrailed!
  • Twin Breaker: A Sacred Symbols Adventure

Thursday, September 24, 2020

  • Going Under
  • Little Big Workshop
  • Tears of Avia

Friday, September 25, 2020

  • Mafia: Definitive Edition
  • Nexomon: Extinction
  • Port Royale 4
  • Sentinels of Freedom
  • Shotgun Farmers
  • Trollhunters: Defenders of Arcadia

Swoop by the Thumbsticks new releases page for the latest games. You can also follow us on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.

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Hello Games announces No Man’s Sky Origins update

No Man’s Sky is the gift that keeps on giving, from a team we don’t even deserve.

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No Mans Sky book covers
Hello Games / Thumbsticks

No Man’s Sky is the gift that keeps on giving, from a team we don’t even deserve.

Did you know that the procedurally-generated aesthetic for No Man’s Sky was based on pulpy, 70s science fiction novel covers?

(We did know, but it’s still fun to watch the video in the post linked above. For all of its “bazillion of procedurally generated planets” pitch, the aesthetic and the atmosphere of No Man’s Sky are still some of its biggest selling points, especially with the very scary Desolation update from a couple of months ago.)

As the free content updates kept coming for No Man’s Sky, each with its own science fiction cover, it built up a bigger picture: a “shelf” of those pulpy sci-fi book covers.

But when Sean Murray, of Hello Games, tweeted a picture of all the covers together following the Desolation update, it did not escape people’s notice that there was only “room” for one more cover left on that artificial bookshelf of pulpy book covers:

And with the No Man’s Sky Origins update set to be revealed next week, people have been worried that might be the last update we see for the game. The final space on the bookshelf will be filled, as it were.

But according to the blog post announcing Origins, “This update will be another small step in a longer journey.”

Perhaps Hello Games isn’t quite done with No Man’s Sky just yet.


Follow Thumbsticks on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter for daily video game news updates.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.

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Play three cool games for free on Xbox One this weekend

This week’s lineup of Xbox One Free Play Days titles takes players to the high seas, a world destroyed by war, and a creature-infested Louisiana.

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Sea of Thieves - Xbox One

This week’s lineup of Xbox One Free Play Days titles takes players to the high seas, a world destroyed by war, and, erm, Louisiana.

Shiver me timbers, Sea of Thieves is free to play on Xbox One this weekend. Rare’s online pirate adventure was somewhat cooly received on release, but who’s cool now? A treasure chest of content and gameplay updates has helped build a thriving community of shipmates, most of whom are welcoming to new deckhands. Nonetheless, take care, there’s always someone waiting to steal a Bilge Rat Doubloon or two when your back is turned.

Players should also keep their wits about them in Hunt: Showdown, the popular PvP first-person hunting game from Crytek. Up to 12 players must venture into the dangerous swamps of Louisiana. Your task is to retrieve a bounty from a vicious creature, but once you have that bounty, friends become foes, and you become the target. Hi-jinks ensue.

Finally, Warhammer: Chaosbane is moderately fun hack-and-slash action RPG from EKO Software. If the phrase “fighting battles in the sewers of Nuln” gets your blood pumping, this game is probably for you.

All three games are playable for free until midnight on Sunday for Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members. As always, any earned achievements and save states carry over into purchased copies of each game. Here’s the lowdown on this week’s related digital discounts.

Xbox One Free Play Days Discounts

Hunt: Showdown

  • Standard Edition – 60% off
  • Master Hunter Edition – 50% off

Warhammer: Chaosbane

  • Standard Edition – 65% off
  • Deluxe Edition – 65% off
  • Magnus Edition – 70% off

Sea of Thieves

  • Standard Edition – 50% off

Bookmark our sales and freebies pages for the latest video game promotions. You can also follow Thumbsticks on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter for daily gaming news updates

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.

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Surprise! The Long Dark is out now on Nintendo Switch

Another Nintendo Direct, another raft of surprise Nintendo Switch releases. One of today’s picks is The Long Dark.

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The Long Dark Nintendo Switch
Hinterland / Thumbsticks

Another Nintendo Direct, another raft of surprise Nintendo Switch releases. One of today’s picks is The Long Dark.

Nintendo has developed a habit of doing the old “and it’s available on the eShop right now” trick during its Direct presentations. In a summer of interminable video press conferences and wall-to-wall Geoff Keighley and 15-minute trailers for games we won’t see again for a couple of years, it’s a lovely little trait, an instant dopamine hit.

And Nintendo used it again, a few times, during its September 2020 Nintendo Direct Mini Partner Showcase. There were games we knew were coming at some point, like Hades, and games we didn’t, like Ori and the Will of the Wisps. But they were still a nice surprise.

Then there was The Long Dark, the brilliant, wintry survival epic from Hinterland Games. That, too, got a surprise launch on the Nintendo Switch today. This is a lovely turn of events for a couple of reasons:

  1. The Long Dark is really rather good.
  2. The last we heard, the game’s performance on Switch was quite poor, so it’s excellent that it’s now in a state good enough to release.

There’s also an excellent launch trailer to mark the occasion:

Meanwhile, Hinterland head honcho and The Long Dark director Raph van Lierop took to Twitter to address some players’ confusion that, uncharacteristically, the trailer wasn’t particularly bleak.

We’re looking to heading out into the wilderness and playing The Long Dark later this year. You know, when it gets really cold.


Check out everything else announced in this month’s Nintendo Direct, or follow Thumbsticks on FlipboardFacebookGoogle News, and Twitter.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.

Continue Reading