Sony Lays the Smackdown!

Yeah, I’m saying it right here and now, Sony wins. This is a fact that is extremely difficult to deny, and one which I will explain. If you want a more dramatic version, check out the Audioboo post I’ve already recorded.

Sony started their conference by discussing the PS3, and where it is right now. They talked about how it was still strong, and they would prove that by showing some of the titles that were still coming out for PS3 by year’s end. They began with the title coming out soonest, The Last of Us, and went on to show games like Grand Tourismo 6, and of course the highly anticipated Beyond: 2 Souls, as well as a few other games.

They then got straight to business on the PS4, letting us all know that the folks working on the games we saw during February’s PS4 reveal have been hard at work on their games. They showed us the progress in the form of 4 new back to back trailers for each game: Infamous Second Son, Driveclub, Nack, and Killzone Shadowfall. They then announced that every one of those titles except for Infamous Second Son will be a pS4 launch title, and that Infamous will come out in the spring of 2014.

There was other footage as well, such as trailers for Diablo 3, and Batman Arkham Origins, which will both contain exclusive content for the Playstation Platforms they can be found on. Batman will contain exclusive DLC and a 1960’s Batman Skin, and Diablo 3 will get special Playstation themed gear, such as an amulet that resembles Nathen Drake’s from Uncharted. Makes it kinda easy to choose your platform when deciding which system to get your multiplatform games on.

In fact, the exclusive content didn’t stop there. Why? Because this is one of the things Sony is very good at. There will also be exclusive content for the PS4 versions of Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag, and Watchdogs, both of which got live Gameplay demos on stage as well, and both of which were absolutely fantastic. In the case of Watchdogs, the exclusive is a skin, and an entire hour of additional content solely for the PS4. Great stuff!

Sony then spent some time showing us just how dedicated they were to the indi development community. They started with Super Giant Games, the developers of the acclaimed Bastian, and their new game Transistor, which to me is still pretty cryptic. One of those music only trailers. But then, they went on to showcase about 10 indi developers and their games back to back, which was quite special, and more than Microsoft did. On top of that, they announced that indi developers, with the launch of the PS4, would now be able to take advantage of a self-publishing program! I’ll bet they all grinned when they heard that. Sony showed us that they love them, and they’re making their lives a whole lot easier. Congrats.

Now, the super awesomeness starts. Square Enix shows us 2 trailers. The first one is a Japanese language trailer for what used to be Final Fantasy Versus XIII. I say used to be, because apparently they have now decided that the story, the characters, and the gameplay are different enough, even though it takes place in the same universe, that they can call it Final Fantasy XV, and that’s exactly what they’re doing. Really big news, but the second trailer is what had me grinning like a fool and whistling along to a well-known theme. Square Enix has finally, finally announced Kingdom Hearts 3. Yes, at last it’s coming. They skipped an entire console generation, but Kingdom Hearts 3 is now in development. They had extremely, extremely little in the way of actual footage, so don’t expect a release anytime soon. In fact, I’m pretty sure the guy said 2015. That hurts my brain a little, but at least now I have it to long for. I am such a nerd for that series. Oh, and speaking of nerds, Elder Scrolls Online is also coming to PS4. I actually find this funny, because Microsoft was the one talking about how their system could support all these MMO’s with their cloud computing technology and whatnot, yet the PS4 is bringing most of the MMO’s. Final Fantasy XIV, DC Universe, and now Elder Scrolls online. Weird, huh?

OK. I think that covers almost everything save for the last demo, but I’ll get to that momentarily. It’s time to tell you all why Sony really won. It’s time to blow your minds. The best part about this is, they did this entirely blatantly. A virtual slap in the face to Microsoft, and without shame. Jack Trenton, president of Sony Computer Entertainment America, came out and said outright, with an accompanying slide on screen that showed the world his words, the PS4 has no restrictions on used games! You can trade your games in, you can lend them to a friend, you can sell them to a friend… It’s all up to you! Once you buy that Playstation disc, Sony says it’s yours to do with as you see fit. This is absolutely huuuuge news! Along with that, since there are no license restrictions, there are also no connection restrictions! You don’t have to check in every 24 hours to play your PS4 games single player. If you have no internet connection, no matter. You’re good for single player no matter what.

Now you might think old Jack was done, but you’d be wrong! he also announced that your Playstation Plus membership, if you have one, will be carrying over to the PS4 without any additional charge or anything. If you’re a PS+ member, you’re a PS+ member. And on top of that, (yes, he’s still not done), if you’re a PS+ member when the PS4 launches, you will receive Driveclub, the PS+ edition, for free! Folks, this is a launch title, and you’re getting it for free! Of course, I didn’t miss the fact that it is the PS+ edition, and that probably means it’s a bit chopped down, but there’s probably a way to purchase or unlock the rest of it for a discounted price, and ya know what? That’s still awesome! Again, launch title. So yeah.

The next bit of news didn’t actually come until later, but I want to put it here, in the river of awesome that flowed from the conference. That is the pricepoint. Folks, in case I didn’t mention it, the Xbox One is retailing at $499. The PS4, ladies and gents, is $399. A hundred dollars cheaper in the US, and about the same in other territories as well, though I admit it is still more expensive there than it is here. Still, that is, once again, huge news! These are the blows that Microsoft will struggle to recover from. PS4 is now not just the right choice for those who don’t want any restriction on their games, it’s the economy choice as well! This may make developers take a hard look at the PS4.And if you’re thinking about Titanfall for Xbox One, I heard tell Respawn was considering making it a PS4 game in the future. now, it seems to me they most definitely will.

There was another bit of news about PS4 supporting cross-game chat, but I didn’t feel that was as big as the torrent I just threw at you. And there were other things as well that I didn’t really go over, such as the PS4’s new video services they’ll be launching, their partnership with Redbox, and apparently some other things too, including, apparently, the WWE. Seems you’ll be able to watch Payperview events live via the pS4, and probably the PS3 as well, since they don’t tend to restrict that content. Even the vita might be able to take advantage of that.

There wasn’t a whole lot of information on Sony’s partnership with Gaikai. They did confirm at last that it will indeed provide access to PS3 games via the cloud, but still nothing on whether you’ll be able to redeem your previous purchases and gain access to the games you already bought. That worries me a little. Starting all over for me would be a big deal, as I have, well, I have a lot of PS3 games. Still, there is so much awesomeness here that I’ll wait for more information on that.

I suppose I should mention the Mad Max trailer too, but I don’t honestly know the character. It was a big announcement, and people seemed delighted, but I can’t really speak for it. Still, it was there, and it’s PS4 exclusive, so there ya go.

OK, we’re finally almost done. The last game they showed was Destiny, which we’ve been waiting to see since its announcement. This game sounds pretty sweet. You’ve got guns, some really powerful ones from the sound, some that shoot lightning and whatnot, but then you’ve also got magic. Warlocks and Fireballs and so on. It’s really need, and it’s also a persistent world. Along with doing whatever it is you’ll be trying to do, there are also world events. they showed us this as a big team of players had to take on a huge, huge boss, along with his minions. They took it down, and that’s how it ended. Now, Destiny is a multiplatform game, but Sony assured us they had partnerships with Bunji, its developer, and because of that, the PS4 version was the place to be, as it was going to keep growing and growing beyond the game’s release.

And that was your Sony Press Conference. Again, if you ask me, a huge, undeniable, unquestionable win for the folks at Playstation. Microsoft is in for some serious struggles. The exclusives they showed off were pretty good, as I’ve admitted. There was even Halo 5, which I don’t think I even mentioned before, but it was there. Kind of expected though. Anyway, the exclusives were there for MS, but they might lose those quickly save for those they developed themselves unless they can do something to keep themselves afloat. The policies are better with PS4, there are actually more games, (Microsoft tells us 15 exclusives while Sony says 40), and even the pricepoint is better. Hard times ahead for Xbox One, but good times ahead for us gamers I think. And now I shall retire, having preordered my PS4, and written this fabulous blog. If my combing through footage over the next 3 days reveals anymore news, you can expect some more blogs and or Audioboo posts then. We shall see what happens. Until then, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading these, and that my blogs have provided you with some idea as to which console you might choose, or at least which games you might take a look at. Peace!

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