Sony Paris Games Week: Le Joie de VR

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After a fairly mind-blowing presentation at this year’s E3, nothing at Gamescom, and a mixed bag at TGS, Sony has had an interesting year in terms of announcements. Their PS4 is currently the leading console for this generation in terms of sales, but many worry that their success has lead them to become complacent in terms of new titles for the platform. Taking a page of the last few years, Sony has decided to host their own press conference to discuss the hardware and new titles. This time the event took place during Paris Gaming Week (shortened to PGW) in well… Paris. If there was any doubt that they had stuff in the pipeline, those were gone about 20 minutes in. Not only did Sony provide information on several games that we haven’t heard about since E3, we also got trailers for several new projects we hadn’t seen before. Combine that with some more information of PlayStation VR and Sony delivered a fairly solid press conference. A ton of stuff was announced and I won’t be going through all of it here, but I’ll be discussing what I believe to be the highlights of PlayStation PGW.

To kick things off, Sony is continuing to take the Star Wars publicity machine into HYPErspace (that joke sounded better in my head) with a brand new Star Wars: Battlefront trailer. Considering how successful the beta was and the excitement surrounding the movie, having a trailer with new gameplay footage and revealing new hero characters only adds to the buzz. This was followed by trailers for Street Fighter 5, Tekken 7, and Battleborn. But what we weren’t expecting was out first trailer for a new game. Boundless at first glance is an odd mix between Portal, Minecraft, and Turok (only in that there are dinosaur like creatures). While there’s a lot we still don’t know about the game we do know it looks gorgeous and if the portal mechanics are as smooth as it looks in trailer, it could be mind blowing as well.

A new No Man’s Sky trailer once again showed the seemingly endless possibilities the game has in store for us. But what was even bigger surprise was a release date, or rather schedule. No day per say, but June 2016 is better than the complete lack of a release date that we’ve had to deal with as this game had been dangled in front of us at almost every conference.

We had a new trailer for the new Ratchet & Clank gaming coming out next spring, and while we expect stunning graphics from the series, Insomniac is definitely giving it their all. The franchise has been need of an overhaul, so only time will tell if this is the game to do that. As a big fan of the series, I’m certainly excited.

There were also new details and gameplay footage about Horizon: Zero Dawn, the newest IP from Guerrilla Games that was first announced back at E3. At the time I said that it was one of the games from E3 that was the most intriguing and exciting, so to get even more information on the title is music to my ears. There’s so many things about the game that look fantastic based on the demo, so I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

Speaking of games of E3, Media Molecule’s Dreams had an extended demo. I wish I had words to describe my thoughts on this game. Dreams is pure creativity, and whether or not it will be a success only time will tell. but a 2016 beta will definitely help get us in the right mind set to see if Dreams is more than just that, a dream.

But perhaps what was the most interesting news from the conference was the details about the games for Playstation VR. I’ll admit that I’ve never been sold on idea VR gaming. While I’m sure the concept is cool, I’ve never been able to imagine myself using the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive, even though I’ve heard amazing things about both systems. While this conference hasn’t made me want to buy a Playstation VR, the games announced for the platform definitely give the platform the competitive oomph it needs against Oculus and Valve. Plus, when you have studios such as Crytek and titles like Tekken and Until Dawn behind the system, VR isn’t waiting for people to make stuff for it, it’s already happening.

The conference ended with some pretty cool trailers. First, Gran Turismo Sport is coming to the PS4 bringing the famous driving simulator to current gen. I particularly thought this was funny as I had just been thinking the other day “I’m surprised that Gran Turismo isn’t on the PS4 yet”. Second, we got to see a detailed demo of Wild. All you really need to know is that you get to ride a bear. Nuff said. Finally, Quantic Dream showed off it’s next title: Detroit. Oddly enough the 2012 tech demo featuring Kara; that wasn’t supposed to be a game, appears to be the main inspiration behind the next title. While the game certainly looks impressive graphically, it’s hard to say if the game will be any good. Still, it’s an interesting trailer and one to watch.

Yes, I know that there’s a lot that I didn’t talk about. But if you’re really interested you can watch the whole conference online for yourself. It’s good to not only all this new stuff for the PS4, but all these new projects for Playstation VR. I can’t wait to get my hands on some of these games, though seems like I’ll have to wait till next year for most of them.


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