Dreams Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Dreams RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Media Molecule's Dreams Set To Enter Early Access On PS4 This Spring https://www.gameskinny.com/e4nlj/media-molecules-dreams-set-to-enter-early-access-on-ps4-this-spring https://www.gameskinny.com/e4nlj/media-molecules-dreams-set-to-enter-early-access-on-ps4-this-spring Thu, 21 Feb 2019 12:50:46 -0500 QuintLyn

Little Big Planet developer, Media Molecule is close to releasing it's next project to the world. After 6 weeks of beta testing, the company  has announced Dreams will enter Early Access this spring.

During the beta test, players created a whole tons of content -- not just game levels, but art pieces and music.

Media Molecule's goal from the outset has been to provide creators everything they need to make exciting content using just their PlayStation 4s. Based on the samples provided in the video above, it appears they've done just that. But, the devs note their work isn't done yet.

Beta testing may be over, but between now and the game's full launch the team will be working to perfect the game. To do this, while allowing players access to Dreams, Media Molecule has decided to launch the game in Early Access .

While they haven't provided an exact date, player can expect EA to launch in the next three months.

When Early Access kicks off, it won't contain everything the final game will, but players will have access to all the same tools Media Molecule uses to create their own content -- as well as interactive tutorials, pre-crafted arcade games. And, those who participated in the beta will have access to everything they created during the testing phase.

During Early Access, Media Molecule will continue to finalize everything they're working on while taking feedback from those players who wanted to get rolling in Dreams as early as possible. The great news for players is that NDA will be lifted for EA, so they can share their content with others however they like. This includes streaming and images. Players can even openly collaborate and create tutorials for others.

When Dreams' EA launches it will be available to players in  the UK, US, Australia, Austria, Benelux, New Zealand, France, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, and Spain.  Of course, since it's EA, it's a purchase. That means players will need to pay €29.99 (approximately $34 USD).

Those wanting to get in on the Dreams' Early Access action will need to keep a close eye on the PlayStation Store.

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Media Molecule's Dreams: Everything We Know So Far https://www.gameskinny.com/muoba/media-molecules-dreams-everything-we-know-so-far https://www.gameskinny.com/muoba/media-molecules-dreams-everything-we-know-so-far Tue, 25 Oct 2016 02:00:01 -0400 chopchamen

Media Molecule, the creators known for Little Big Planet and Tearaway, have a new exciting game under development -- Dreams

What is Dreams?

With an initial tech demo showcased back in 2013 Dreams has actually been in development since shortly after the release of Little Big Planet 2 (2011)

"Before we knew it at Media Molecule we had made hundreds of these things, imagine this multiplied from our tiny stuff to the thousands of millions of brilliant PlayStation users online"

- Alex Evans, Co-Founder and Technical Director at Media Molecule

Dreams is a game in which you can create whatever your mind can think of, whether it's a character, a piece of scenery, foliage, or something that doesn't fit any category whatsoever. You can paint, sculpt, animate, create music, or if you want you can simply experience what others have created. You can use your work, or the work of others to make a movie, diorama or even a game, it's multiplayer too! From an entertainment point of view, there is virtually unlimited fun to be had.

There is heavy networking involved on this game, as it was explained by Media Molecule that everything you upload will be available to everybody for use in their own work. But don't worry, there will be an original creator link on every piece of creation, so there won't be a huge deal with plagiarism. This is great for someone who has a gift in directing, but isn't the best at sculpting a visual, or vise versa.

Media Molecule has hosted a number of live streams showcasing some of what can be done in Dreams, below is a live stream that shows off a created environment, a robot, and some other cool things! (Note: Everything you see at any given time is created with the same feature shown after 14:00)

Media Molecule hasn't shown anything recently, Their last live stream was back in August 18th. As somebody who gets their fix off of this sort of game, I hope they start live streaming again, or hopefully announce something big about Dreams soon!

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Every PS VR Game Announced https://www.gameskinny.com/eaws3/every-ps-vr-game-announced https://www.gameskinny.com/eaws3/every-ps-vr-game-announced Tue, 15 Mar 2016 16:05:04 -0400 Curtis Dillon

Sony revealed the price and release window of PlayStation VR today at the Game Developers Conference. The headset will launch in October of this year and cost $399, making it the most affordable VR headset (of the big three) on the market.

So with this exciting news, we figured we'd compile a list of every PS VR game that has been announced to date. Obviously many of these will not be launching in 2016, but Sony has confirmed that 50 games will come to PS VR this year. Therefore, you can expect to play a significant number of those -- and probably a few unannounced titles this year! The future has arrived.

Here are the games that have been confirmed for PlayStation VR:

  • 100ft Robot Golf
  • Ace Combat 7
  • Albino Lullaby
  • Allison Road
  • Apollo 11 VR Experience
  • Aquarion Evol
  • Atom Universe
  • Adrift
  • Ark: Survival Evolved
  • The Assembly
  • Battlezone
  • Chernobyl VR Project
  • Classroom Aquatic
  • Crystal Rift
  • Cult County
  • Cyber Danganronpa
  • Dead Secret
  • Distance
  • Dreams
  • Eagle Flight
  • Earthlight
  • Eclipse
  • EVE: Valkyrie
  • Fated
  • Final Fantasy 14 (demo)
  • Futuridium VR
  • The Gallery: Six Elements
  • GNOG
  • Godling
  • Golem
  • Gran Turismo Sport
  • Harmonix Music VR
  • Headmaster
  • Hyper Void
  • Job Simulator
  • Joysound VR
  • Jurassic Encounter
  • Kitchen
  • Loading Human
  • Megaton Rainfall
  • Mind: Path to Thalamus
  • The Modern Zombie Taxi Co.
  • Mortal Blitz VR
  • Omega Agent
  • Bad Bird
  • The Occasional Encounter
  • Omega Agent
  • Paranormal Activity VR
  • Pollen
  • Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin
  • QUBE
  • Rez Infinite
  • RIGS
  • Robinson: The Journey
  • Star Wars Battlefront VR Experience
  • Snow
  • Summer Lesson
  • SuperHyperCube
  • Tekken 7
  • The Deep
  • The Getaway: London Heist
  • The Hum: Abductions
  • The Mars 2030 Experience
  • The Playroom
  • Thumper
  • Thunderbird
  • Trackmania Turbo
  • Until Dawn: Rush of Blood
  • Vector 36
  • VEV: Viva Ex Vivo
  • Visage
  • VizionEck
  • War Thunder
  • Wayward Sky
  • White Day
  • World of Diving
  • World War Toons
  • Xing: The Land Beyond

Are you planning on getting PlayStation VR? Which PS VR game are you most excited for? What game series would you like to come to VR? Let us know in the comments and keep tuned to GameSkinny for all your PS VR news!

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2015 Console wrap-up, and what to look forward to in 2016 https://www.gameskinny.com/dctx2/2015-console-wrap-up-and-what-to-look-forward-to-in-2016 https://www.gameskinny.com/dctx2/2015-console-wrap-up-and-what-to-look-forward-to-in-2016 Tue, 29 Dec 2015 04:30:01 -0500 Curtis Dillon

2015 was the year that the PS4 and Xbox One became must-have systems. I personally got a PS4 a few months after it released; I was always going to be an early adopter, but I can see why some people may have held off. Well, the time has come for everyone to upgrade, to make the jump to the current generation. 2015 was a banner year for both systems and you really can't go wrong with either, they both had phenomenal games and even more on the way.

Looking back, 2014 was an OK year but it was very much a transitional one in which the two new consoles were finding their feet. We got some stellar games like Dragon Age: Inquisition and The Wolf Among Us, some underrated gems like Child of Light and Watch Dogs, and an overrated, yet good, game in Shadow of Mordor. But it wasn't anything like 2013, in which we got one of the greatest games of all time in The Last of Us, another masterpiece in GTA V, and many other fantastic titles like Tomb Raider, Bioshock: Infinite and Rayman Legends.

Of course, games were delayed that would have made 2014 a much better year but those titles fell into 2015 and ended up making it a very memorable year. This year we were gifted with Bloodborne, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Life Is Strange, Batman: Arkham Knight, Rocket League, Mortal Kombat X, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Tales From The Borderlands, Fallout 4, and much more. Any of those would probably have been Game of the Year last year, which made this year really tricky to choose, but it's a great problem to have. This was the year that the PS4 and the Xbox One justified their price tags. Some people will argue that neither system have many blockbuster exclusives as of yet but at this point it seems those naysayers will never be pleased.

So looking ahead to 2016 there is so frickin' much to be excited about. I can't really say too much more without touching upon what I want to go into greater detail about below, so I'll just kick the pretenses and the bush beating here, and get right into the big breakdown!

PlayStation

Sony's PS4 has had a phenomenal year. This was the first year since the system was revealed that some trol...I mean fans seemingly started to turn on Sony, largely due to the apparent lack of exclusives. However there was no real lack when compared to Xbox and Wii U. Both had fewer AAA exclusives than PS4, not even counting Japanese titles - which would really push PS4 ahead. That being said, the fact that Sony lacked a big Fall game was noticeable, albeit a blessing in disguise considering the fate of Rise of the Tomb Raider.

Regardless of exclusives, the PS4 continued to dominate sales charts all year long, losing to the Xbox One only twice, in April and October. The console's meteoric success is still outpacing that of the PS2, and it has done so without a big name exclusive, like Uncharted.

Speaking of which, let's finally look at 2016 and to the absolutely huge deal that is Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. The game was originally set to release in 2015 but was pushed back to March 2016, however just yesterday that date was pushed back a month to April 27 (Colin was right). Of course this was met will predictable snide remarks and vitriol from internet trolls but the simple fact of the matter is that delays are only ever a good thing. This game is (probably) going to be amazing, and more importantly for Sony, sell like hotcakes!

But before Nathan Drake and Co. set out on their final adventure, the PS4 will get the blockbuster Street Fighter V in February! Having this title as a console exclusive on PS4 (It's also on PC), is a very smart deal for Sony and will ensure the fighting community finds its home on the PS4.

Also landing in April 2016 is the remake/reboot of Ratchet and Clank, which coincides with the movie. This remake looks amazing and is set to bring the series back to its roots, while retaining the gameplay and level design that was perfected in the PS3 games. Street Fighter V, Ratchet and Clank, and Uncharted 4 are sure to give Sony a big boost in early 2016!

The problem with looking further ahead is that we don't have concrete release dates for everything. We know Sony will have The Last Guardian, Persona 5, No Man's Sky, Horizon Zero Dawn, Drawn to Death, WiLD, What Remains of Edith Finch, Gran Turismo Sport, and potentially Dreams, from Media Molecule. That's a genuinely incredible line-up, and I wasn't even counting the plethora of digital titles that come out on a weekly basis.

We know No Man's Sky is scheduled for a June release, and both Dreams and Gran Turismo Sport have early Beta's next year, implying both games could also release in 2016. The Last Guardian, should it actually come out, seems like a potential August release but it could easily be in October or November. That being said, I am fairly certain Horizon: Zero Dawn will be Sony's big fall game. Everything else is up in the air and we will find out much more in the first half of 2016, but if most of those games actually manage to release next year it will mark the first incredible year for PS4 exclusives.

PlayStation VR

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention PlayStation VR, a product/medium I am incredibly excited about. It seems fairly obvious that most gamers are still wary and unsold on virtual reality, particularly due to the lack of announced games and not having experienced it for themselves. That's a big problem Sony will have throughout 2016.

Sony aims to release PlayStation VR in the first half of 2016 and, so far, the announced games include Rigs, Adrift, Eagle Flight, ARK: Survival Evolved, REZ Infinite, Robinson: The Journey, Golem, Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, EVE: Valkyrie, Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin, 100ft Robot Golf, Final Fantasy XV, Megaton Rainfall, Gran Turismo Sport, and Ace Combat 7, among many others. There might not be a killer app announced as of yet but the announced games are very impressive and I know most gamers won't care about something like Ace Combat 7, until they put on the headset and fly that jet themselves. Then they will care.

Sony is going all in on PlayStation VR. It's easy to look at it like another PlayStation Move or even *shudders* Wonderbook, but this really isn't the same thing. Sony has invested a ton of money in this new technology and is treating it with as much care as it does a console release. Shuhei Yoshida even compared it to the release of the PS1, saying Sony expects to be celebrating the 20th anniversary of PlayStation VR - that's how much he and Sony believe in it. And rightfully so, for anyone who has actually tried the technology, it is truly revolutionary. This is the biggest leap in gaming since the jump from 2D to 3D, and truth be told it's even bigger than that. Virtual reality's potential extends far beyond games, into virtual tourism, music/sporting events, socializing and much more, this technology is likely to be all-encompassing in years to come, making Sony very smart for getting in on the ground floor.

2016 will be a massive year for Sony with PlayStation VR and I wish them all the success with this incredible new medium.

Xbox

But let's move on from Sony. Xbox One struggled in its first year on the market, but let's not continue to rehash that ground. Last year, Phil Spencer took over as head of Xbox and he has turned the entire ship around - it cannot be overstated how impressive a job the man has done in the past year.

Under his tutelage, 2015 was an excellent year for Xbox One. Sure it's still lagging behind the PS4 in sales, but it's doing fantastic in its own right. And should the console continue to receive great exclusive games like Halo 5, Rare Replay, and Rise of the Tomb Raider, it's profile will continue to attract more gamers. And that looks to be exactly the case in 2016.

Following on the heels of this year, Xbox One will kick 2016 off with a bang, relasing Quantum Break in April. Quantum Break looks like a very fun, unique game that may only be held back by its tie-in TV show. Later in the year, Scalebound will be unleashed upon gamers. Scalebound is a semi-open-world action game, involving dragons and Beats-wearing, sword-wielding teenagers developed by Platinum Games, the team behind Bayonetta 2 and Transformers: Devastation.

Following on from that insane-looking game, Xbox One will get Sea of Thieves, ReCore, Crackdown 3, Halo Wars: Origins, and Gears of War 4. These games have release windows, from the summer to the fall. This release schedule doesn't include digital games like Cuphead, Below and Inside, meaning Xbox One will have an incredibly busy year!

Not much is known about Gears 4 yet but no familiar faces were seen in the E3 reveal trailer and it seems to be taking the series back to its darker roots. Crackdown 3 looks like more Crackdown, as is the case with Halo Wars. Sea of Thieves and ReCore are very exciting games, largely because they are very different from what we expect of Microsoft. Not much is known about either game but the teams behind both, Rare and Comcept (Legendary producer/designer Keiji Inafune), is more than enough to get players hyped.

Microsoft and Phil Spencer are wisely doubling down on games and nothing else, much like Sony did in 2014. By continuing to pump out great games and not focusing on the entertainment aspects, Microsoft will continue to win back the many gamers it lost in 2014.

Nintendo

What a weird year for Nintendo. With more rumors than games, the Wii U rapidly dying, rare game delays, and the untimely passing of a legend and company figurehead, it wasn't really one to remember.

Yet, we also got one of the best and most creative Nintendo games in years: Super Mario Maker. An excellent game that allows players to create their very own Mario levels for the first time ever, Super Mario Maker was sheer brilliance that inspired a thriving community of creators. Then there was the surprisingly great Splatoon, Nintendo's first foray into the shooter genre. However, those were the two hits of the year, Nintendo had some rare mishaps with Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash, Devil's Third, Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival, Earthbound Beginnings, and Mario Party 10. It wasn't the stellar year you might hope for at this point in a console cycle but truth be told, the Wii U isn't in its glory years, it's in its death throes.

So we look forward to 2016, a year in which Nintendo is set to reveal and seemingly release its next console. Codenamed the NX, much of what we know about the new system are rumors and speculation -- including console and controller patents that suggest a hybrid between home console and handheld. Another, more recent report said Nintendo expect to ship 20 million NX's in 2016, a number we deem a tad ridiculous considering the underperformance of the Wii U and the downward trend Nintendo has been on for years (minus the anomalous Wii). To put it into perspective, the PS4 only sold 12 million in its first year on the market and it broke records.

The latest controller patent for the NX is fully touch sensitive and playable by itself

So with the launch of a new console on the horizon, Nintendo is a very exciting company right now. We don't know much about the NX but most people are hoping it is a return to more standard gaming, as opposed to the innovative experiments seen with the Wii and Wii U. However all the patents and rumors suggest otherwise. From January to E3 in June we should get many more details and rumors about the new console, including a full reveal. If the console is to release next year as suggested, it should be revealed before E3 in June!

Which brings us to the games. Both The Legend of Zelda and Star Fox were scheduled 2015 releases but both were delayed, something Nintendo's first parties do not often do. Star Fox Zero from Platinum Games really does not look good, for a 2016 game it is very poor in the graphics department and the compulsory GamePad implementations are poorly designed and unnecessary. So here's hoping the delay will see the game resurface in much better shape. Then there's Zelda Wii U, which looks set to be another great entry in the legendary series. Many are expecting a Twilight Princess situation with this game, meaning it may end up on both the Wii U and the NX. This seems entirely likely. Though if Nintendo really wants 20 million NX sales, it should simply abandon the Wii U and force gamers to upgrade.

The NX will need games. That seems a fairly obvious thing to say but I mean big games, from both first-party and, more importantly, third-parties. Nintendo spurned third-party developers, like Ubisoft, with the Wii and Wii U, and it needs to win them back if it hopes to succeed. It isn't enough getting a port of a game like Mass Effect years after it released on PlayStation and Xbox. That makes gamers see Nintendo's consoles as mere additions to their primary console, be it an Xbox or PlayStation, whereas Nintendo need to establish the NX as the only system you need, or at least the best of the three.

So big games are a must. They need complete third-party support, meaning Rockstar's games launch the same day they release on PS4 and Xbox One, and the same for Ubisoft, EA, Warner Bros., and more. It will also need great first-party games. A big single-player Mario game was notably absent from the entire Wii-U cycle, so one can hope that year or two ago Nintendo made the decision to slide it over to the NX instead. Having a game akin to Super Mario Galaxy or Super Mario Sunshine on the NX at launch will be a very big deal. If it gets that Mario game, Zelda, Donkey Kong, a new IP, and complete third-party support, then maybe gamers will have to pay attention. If not, I can't envision it grabbing the hardcore crowd.

I'm really not sure what Nintendo can do to make the NX a legitimate contender to the PS4 and Xbox One. If it's is a dedicated gaming system with similar power levels, then won't it be just more of the same? But if it's experimental and ultimately uninteresting to the hardcore gamer, then they won't sell to the most important early adopters. Nintendo find themselves in a pickle, but as a fan it is going to be a very exciting situation to watch play out.

The 3rd Parties

Now that we've analysed the state and potential forecast of each console and their exclusives, let's focus on the third-party games coming to systems in 2016.

January is home to a ton of great digital games, given that AAA games rarely release in that window. Both PS4 and Xbox One will get Gone Home, Assassin's Creed Chronicles: India, Resident Evil Zero, and Lego Marvel Avengers, the latter of which is actually a full retail release. A lot to look forward to there, as well as some that are exclusive to PS4.

February, then, is where things kick into gear; Far Cry Primal, The Walking Dead: Michonne, Assassin's Creed Chronicles: Russia, Unravel, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 and Mighty No. 9, among a few very exciting platform exclusives, make February the first big month of the year.

March sees the release of two very big games in Tom Clancy's The Division and Hitman. March also has a few remasters on PS4, including Heavy Rain, Day of the Tentacle, as well as the ever great MLB: The Show.

April, May and June are also very exciting months, with PS4 and Xbox One both getting giant exclusives. On the third-party front however, we'll be getting Dirt Rally, Dark Souls III, Battleborn, Mirror's Edge: Catalyst, ARK: Survival Evolved, and One Piece: Burning Blood. Including the exclusives, that means at least 8 AAA games between February and June!

From June onwards we don't have too many actual release dates but I will list a few of the big titles coming to PS4 and Xbox One; Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Yooka-Laylee, Batman: A Telltale Games Series, Dead Island 2, Homefront: The Revolution, Dishonored 2, Doom, Friday The 13th: The Game, Outlast II, Mafia III, Mass Effect Andromeda, Overkill's The Walking Dead, Overwatch, Paragon, Tekken 7, Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter, Battlefield 5, Titanfall 2For Honor, and the next installments in Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed, and all sports franchises.

Needless to say, that's a lot of games coming in 2016The biggest hitters are Dishonored, Mass Effect, Mirror's Edge, Deus Ex, Battlefield, and Doom, as well as the yearly installments and console exclusives. That's a lot for sure, but is that really everything coming next year?

The Unforeseen

My 2015 game of the year is one that I hadn't even heard of at this time last year: Life Is Strange. I won't gush on and one about why I love the game so dang much, mostly because I already did that here, but also because my point is that the very best games can pop out of compete obscurity and take the world by storm, like Rocket League.

That's one of the best things about gaming, we don't know everything we're going to play in 2016, and that's really exciting.

Who knows what giant games might be revealed and released in 2016, I have a sneaking suspicion we will get a Rockstar game, be it Red Dead 3 or my long-desired Bully 2. That would be a similar situation to Bethesda and Fallout 4 this year, which clearly worked very well for them, so why wouldn't Rockstar want to emulate that formula. Plus it only makes sense considering it's been 3 years since GTA V, and the team behind Red Dead Redemption didn't even make that, so it's been a long time that they've had to toil away on something. And that's just Rockstar, Visceral are making a single-player Star Wars game, so hopefully that can be a 2016 reveal and release.

Then there's the plethora of digital-only games that are often revealed and released in the same window, which can often make game of the year lists. There is already a laundry list of exciting, innovative "indie" games coming next year, including Bound, The Tomorrow Children, Firewatch, Cuphead, Inside, Below, Mighty No. 9, The Witness, We Happy Few, Thimbleweed Park, Boundless, and, of course, No Man's Sky. That's a very exciting list of games, but then there's the ones we don't even know exist yet, and they might be the games that capture our hearts more than any other.

My Personal Top 10 Most Anticipated Games:
  1. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
  2. Horizon: Zero Dawn
  3. Quantum Break
  4. Gears 4
  5. Mass Effect Andromeda
  6. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  7. The Last Guardian
  8. Telltale Games: Batman
  9. No Man's Sky
  10. Mirror's Edge Catalyst

So what games are you most excited for? What is your 2015 game of the year? Do you think 2016 can be better than 2015? Let us know in the comments below. 

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PlayStation vs. Xbox: PlayStation Is Doing Exclusives Better https://www.gameskinny.com/6ffwq/playstation-vs-xbox-playstation-is-doing-exclusives-better https://www.gameskinny.com/6ffwq/playstation-vs-xbox-playstation-is-doing-exclusives-better Thu, 19 Nov 2015 21:13:20 -0500 Curtis Dillon

"PlayStation 4 has no exclusives!"

That's the claim I've heard and read all year long.

"This is the greatest gaming line-up in Xbox history."

That's what Microsoft has touted all year long. Truth be told, though, the playing field is a lot more level than you might think.

PlayStation has always had more and better exclusives than Xbox.

Sure Xbox will always have Halo, Gears of War and Forza, but before the Xbox One, that was pretty much it. Microsoft tried its hand with the Fable series, Viva Pinata, and Too Human, none of which were massive successes. PlayStation, on the other hand has a history of hosting many fantastic exclusives and giving its first-party developers room to breathe and create freely.

Last generation, the PS3 played catch-up to the 360 for many years. Sony's third machine ended up outselling the 360, with a year less on the market. And it did so by having the best games. While Xbox 360 owners twiddled their thumbs between Halo and Gears of War experiences, PS3 gamers were having thrilling adventures with Nathan Drake, killing gods with Kratos, becoming a superhero with Cole McGrath, fighting the endless war against the Helghan, and creating worlds with Sackboy. Year in, year out, the PS3 had exclusives every other month.

A Promising Start for Xbox

This time around, Microsoft aimed to rival PlayStation in that department by having more exclusives - and more than just shooters. They came out of the gate with Dead Rising 3, Ryse: Son of Rome, Forza Motorsport 5, and some Kinect titles, as well as showing trailers for Halo 5 and Quantum Break. The first two were easily the most exciting of the launch games, because Ryse had a ton of potential and Dead Rising is a great series to have exclusively.

PlayStation on the other hand, launched with Knack, Killzone: Shadowfall, and Resogun. Games that were initially intended to be launch titles, like Infamous and DriveClub, didn't make the cut-off. Therefore it's undeniable that the Xbox One had the better launch titles.

Microsoft continued its promising start by unveiling Titanfall and Sunset Overdrive - an awesome-looking game by Sony's buddies Insomniac. That was a real blow to Sony. Meanwhile, Titanfall was dubbed the "Call of Duty killer". Then came Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Killer Instinct and more Forza. The Xbox One was really looking like a fantastic platforms for exclusives....so what happened?

Cracks Begin To Show

Titanfall released and was...good. The game was a critical success, but not so much a commercial one, and it didn't bring about the death of Call of Duty like many had predicted. In spite of a year's worth of hype and anticipation, Titanfall faded quicker than a fart in the wind.

Sunset Overdrive was next. The difference with Sunset is that it was actually an amazing game. Sunset Overdrive was a fantastic game from Insomniac that oozed charisma and charm, and yet it sold poorly. Poorly enough that Microsoft never announced any numbers for it, and has referred to it when discussing the challenges of new IP.

A fantastic game that no one played

Forza and Halo did well, as expected. However, neither seemed to shift console sales - plus Halo was a muddled mess with big online issues. Meanwhile, on the other side of the tracks, Sony had big success with Infamous: Second Son, The Last of Us: Remastered, MLB: The Show, and DriveClub, despite The Order: 1886 being pushed to 2015. Microsoft was trying, and even producing some great games, but it wasn't getting the desired results.

And so 2015 rolled around...

Do The Math

2015 was supposed to be the year for Microsoft. Sony had "nothing", particularly after Uncharted 4 was delayed. Xbox fans emerged from the crevices of the Internet to poke fun at PS4 owners. I've even heard industry insiders discuss the brevity of Sony's line-up. However, was it really as one-sided as everyone claimed? Nope. In fact, PlayStation 4 had more exclusives in 2015 than Xbox One.

Let's just start with AAA games. Microsoft's "greatest line-up ever" consists of Halo 5: Guardians, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Forza Motorsport 6, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, and Rare Replay. That's a great line-up, and probably the best Microsoft has ever had (as per the claims).

2015 hasn't been the best year for Sony; no one will argue that. But it hasn't been anywhere near as barren as you may be led to believe. The year started with The Order: 1886, a ridiculously pretty game that was unfortunately more fun to look at than it was to play. Then came Bloodborne -- the spiritual successor to Demon Souls was a surprisingly big hit for Sony and was all the talk when it came out. Bloodborne is a surefire game of the year contender.

The next big title to hit Sony's platforms, a game I wouldn't count if I didn't already count Gears of War, was God of War III Remastered. Then came the biggest surprise hit of the year, Until Dawn. A fantastic horror game in the vein of Heavy Rain, Until Dawn shocked many by how well it was written, how beautiful it was, and how much dumb fun it was. Then to round out the year we got Tearaway: Unfolded and Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection.

So, Xbox One had five exclusive AAA games in 2015, while PS4 had six. Now all in all, quantity is not always as important as quality, and the fact that three of Sony's six were remasters is definitely a factor.

For Xbox, Rare Replay and Gears of War: Ultimate Edition outperformed expectations, Halo 5: Guardians has been a hit, Forza always performs, and Rise of the Tomb Raider has been met with critical acclaim, but sold poorly in the wake of Fallout 4. The sales disappointment of Rise of the Tomb Raider is surely a problem, but it's been a great year for Xbox regardless. It outsold the PS4 in the month of October - marking only the second time this year it has done so, and the fourth overall.

If you want to get really nitpicky...

If we look at smaller titles, PlayStation has had a far better year. Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, SOMA, Axiom Verge, Journey (Remastered), Volume, Hotline Miami 2, and Grow Home are just some of the games that came to PSN this year. However, one title in particular really captured the hearts of millions in 2015 -- Rocket League. The second vehicular soccer game from Psyonix has been an unprecedented hit, selling over 6 million copies. The game is likely to come to Xbox One in 2016, but it was a Cinderella story on PS4 this year. The only Xbox digital games you heard talked about this year were Ori and the Blind Forest and State of Decay: Year One.

Party Partnerships

Now I've talked at (great) length about what games came to which platform, yadda yadda yadda, but what's really important and interesting to look at, it the logistics of the exclusives.

Ryse: Son of Rome, Dead Rising 3, Sunset Overdrive, Titanfall, and Rise of the Tomb Raider are all third party exclusives, the latter being only a timed exclusive. The only first-party games Microsoft have published are HaloForza, Rare Replay, and Gears of War: Remastered.

Another amazing game no one is playing. Thanks, Fallout 4.

The failure of the third-party games to be commercial hits has probably hurt Microsoft's relationship with third party developers. Take Titanfall for example. EA and Respawn has both admitted it would have benefited the game being on PS4 - and the sequel will be. Phil Spencer has even said that third party games will be less of a focus going forward, though it's not because Microsoft don't want them.

Looking ahead at 2016, Xbox One exclusives Recore, Crackdown 3, Quantum Break and Scalebound are all second and third-party developed games once again. This isn't necessarily a problem, but like I said, should the games continue to underwhelm commercially, developers will be less inclined to work with Microsoft (and Microsoft will be less inclined to work with them). 

On the other side, every game released by Sony this year, minus Tearaway, was a second-party exclusive. Even the Uncharted Collection was done by independent port house Bluepoint Games (although still published by Sony). This is a less risky business than third-party development because Sony still owns the IP, which is also true for Microsoft with Recore, Scalebound, Quantum Break, and so on.

The point is: Microsoft's third-party exclusives are a very short-term solution.

The company has not built any new series, though it's not for lack of trying. There won't be a Ryse 2, and a Sunset Overdrive 2 or Dead Rising 4 is unlikely. Titanfall 2 will be multiplatform. Whereas there will probably be a Knack 2 for the PS4, there will certainly be sequels to Infamous: Second Son, Bloodborne, Until Dawn, and even The Order: 1886. Already this generation, Sony has created 3, maybe 4, new exclusive series.

First-Party Poopers

Part of the problem is Microsoft's first-party studios. Microsoft owns 343 Industries, The Coalition, Lionhead Studios, and Turn 10 -- all of whom are confined to making Halo, Gears of War, Fable, and Forza for eternity. That's four main studios, all tied to making the same four games over and over; it's creatively stifling and redundant. Imagine if Sony had gone to Naughty Dog and demanded it work on Crash Bandicoot forever - without that creative freedom, we wouldn't have gotten get Jak & Daxter, Uncharted, or The Last of Us.

Then Microsoft also has Rare, BigPark Studios, Mojang, and a litany of small studios that work on tablet and Kinect stuff. Rare is working on Sea of Thieves, a fun-looking game with tons of potential. BigPark is completely in the dark, and Mojang is doing its Minecraft thing.

There's plenty more where these came from

So we kind of know what every single Microsoft first-party developer is working on, and it's exactly what you'd expect. This is why Microsoft has gone to third-parties like Armature, Respawn, Insomniac and Crystal Dynamics to get exclusive games. The Xbox needs more variety.

Sony has no such problem.

Of Sony's first-party developers, we know we are getting Uncharted 4 from Naughty Dog, Dreams from Media Molecule, Gran Turismo Sport from Polyphony Digital, Horizon Zero Dawn from Guerilla Games and Rigs from Guerilla Cambridge, Gravity Rush Remastered, Gravity Rush 2, and The Last Guardian from Japan Studio, and Evolution is still working on DriveClub. Four of those are new IPs.

The rest of the first-party studios are shrouded in mystery -- Sony Bend, Sucker Punch, Sony San Diego, Sony Santa Monica, North West Studio and Sony London. Sony Santa Monica is almost certainly working on a new God of War, but it also helps with development on a ton of smaller games, from The Unfinished Swan to Everybody's Gone to the Rapture. Sony London is working on Virtual Reality. Sucker Punch is well along in the development of something, according to Shuhei Yoshida -- maybe it's another Infamous. Sony San Diego is inevitably making the next instalment in the MLB: The Show series, but it is also helping produce Drawn to Death, Guns Up, and Kill Strain - three other PlayStation exclusives.

I broke down Microsoft and Sony's first-party studios to paint a picture of the future. Sony gives its studios a lot of rope to hang themselves with and, as such, we get extremely exciting new IP like Horizon Zero Dawn, surprising sequels like Gravity Rush 2, and a few artistic experiments like Dreams. Simply put, Sony's first-party titles are much more exciting.

The product of creative freedom

However, Sony also works with second and third-parties, as mentioned earlier with all of this year's exclusives. Also coming exclusively to the PS4 is Detroit: Become Human from Quantic Dream, Street Fighter V, No Man's Sky, Persona 5, Hellblade, and a lot of third-party VR support. This is different from Microsoft, because those games are all almost guaranteed to sell well - Street Fighter V, No Man's Sky and Persona 5 are no-brainers, and Hellblade and Detroit could definitely do well if marketed properly.

Endgame

I don't want to be a Debbie Downer and spell doom and gloom for the Xbox One, because that most certainly isn't the case. The exclusives games on the Xbox One so far have ranged from good to great, and it's a shame that some of them didn't sell better. If you are a true gamer, you do not wish ill on Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo, because competition is good for everyone.

The failure of Rise of the Tomb Raider is bad news for Microsoft; if a known property like Lara Croft cannot sell, then what can be expected to? However it has baffled me since E3 that Square Enix and Microsoft agreed to send it out to die beside Fallout 4, sandwiched between Call of Duty and Star Wars. Hopefully the game will find some success when it releases on PS4 next year.

Microsoft will always have its staples of Gears of War, Forza and Halo, which may not be the most exciting prospects, but they're a very safe bet. It would be nice to see those developers get more leeway and maybe even develop some new IPs; however, renaming two of them to reflect their respective games kind of suggests they won't get such freedom.

This fall has been a big season for Xbox One, and the winning sales of October are a great sign, but the goal should not be to outsell the PS4. If Microsoft provides excellent games that can only be played on Xbox One, then gamers will come. 2016 is looking exciting for the green brand, with Gears 4, Crackdown 3, Sea of Thieves, Recore, Quantum Break, and Scalebound, not to mention a myriad of fantastic digital games like Below, Cuphead and Inside. Microsoft could benefit from re-organizing a few internal teams, most of which were working on Kinect, and setting them off to work on new IP. They should follow Sony's example and allow established studios (like Naughty Dog and Guerilla) to stretch their wings and try new things.

The Xbox One cannot afford another Ryse, Sunset Overdrive, or Titanfall, it needs new first-party IPs that can be established into series. Right now, Microsoft is sitting pretty with exclusives but the past two years were not great for Xbox One, and going forward it could serve the company well to take a page out of the competition's playbook. 

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Sony Paris Games Conference Recap https://www.gameskinny.com/upcs7/sony-paris-games-conference-recap https://www.gameskinny.com/upcs7/sony-paris-games-conference-recap Wed, 28 Oct 2015 21:53:25 -0400 Curtis Dillon

Sony skipped out on Gamescom in Germany this year in order to give itself room to breathe after E3. Today, it returned to the expo scene and took to the stage for the first time at Paris Games Week.

We're here to give you the entire recap of Sony's press conference and talk about everything shown, which turned out to be quite a lot. We'll break down everything important said on stage about the trailers themselves, and we'll even include each trailer!

The Opening

Jim Ryan, the Boss of PlayStation Europe, opened the show for Sony and took a brief look back at the PS1, given its 20th anniversary. He then showcased every game that came to the PS4 this year, from Bloodborne to Tearaway: Unfolded (which got a bigger pop than Arkham Knight). Ryan then mentioned the price point for the PS4 in various regions.

Looking ahead, Ryan wanted to talk about two upcoming games, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and Star Wars Battlefront. A short trailer for the zombie mode in Black Ops was shown, which focused on the fun-looking story, atmospheric (and very pretty) setting, and, of course, lots 'o' Zombies. This map is exclusive to PlayStation. Check it out for yourself:

A trailer for Battlefront was next, which starts with the awesome 'The Force Music' from A New Hope and a voice-over from Emporer Palpatine himself. The trailer shows newly announced characters Princess Leia and Boba Fett, with Fett boosting over a Sarlacc pit - a great reference. If you care about Star Wars at all, this trailer will probably have sold you on Battlefront.

When the lights came up, Ryan announced a PS4/Battlefront bundle releasing soon. This bundle contains the Darth Vader PS4 that was revealed last month.

Street Fighter V

After all of the Star Wars news, Jim Ryan then showcased Street Fighter V. Some of the new fighters, including Laura and Birdie, are shown, as well as the announcement that Dhalsim is also in the game.

Yoshinori Ono then took to the stage to talk Street Fighter V. Before starting, he joked that it would be great if everyone could pretend they hadn't already heard all of the news leak, and just applaud his announcements anyway. He quickly talked about Dhalsim and showed off his new look, which ages him significantly.

Ono went on to announce that 6 new characters will be in the game, and showed a silhouette of each. These fighters will release periodically throughout the year following the games release and can be purchased with in-game currency, or mini-transactions. 

Ono then said that Street Fighter V will release on 16th February 2016, and reiterated the PS4 console exclusivity. He finished up by saying that the final character in the game is...Harada?! Yes Katsuhiro Harada, producer for Bandai Namco who made the Tekken series, showed up on screen. Harada then appeared on stage and the two joked about the fake announcement before Harada took centre stage to talk about...

Tekken 7

Harada reflected on the 20th anniversary of both PlayStation and Tekken, as well as the special relationship between the two, before announcing that Tekken 7 will be coming to PS4. No word on whether or not it is coming to Xbox, but the word exclusive was never uttered. Harada said fans can look forward to a dramatic continuation of the story of Tekken, that Tekken 7 will be the most complete version of the game, and that it will feature exclusive content on PS4.

Harada finished up by showing a trailer for Tekken 7 (as seen above). An awesome trailer ensued, which shows off every Tekken game up until now and uses the music from each. Oh, the nostalgia! Tekken 7 looks to focus in on the relationship between Heihachi and Kazuya and may or may not be a prequel - a lot was mentioned about the past.

Tekken 7 has been released in arcades for a while now, so it seems likely the console version will happen sometime in 2016.

Battleborn

Immediately after the Tekken 7 trailer ended, a new one for Battleborn started up. Battleborn is the upcoming multiplayer game from Borderlands developer, Gearbox. The game looks like Ratchet and Clank meets Borderlands, with a little Destiny thrown in for good measure. A few new features were shown off, including a capture mode, as well as solo play, co-op, split-screen, and lots more.

Jim Ryan came back on stage and announced that PS4 users will be the first to experience Battleborn through the 2016 beta. He then said the next 3 games are all set to be PlayStation exclusives.

Three New Indies

A few new indie games are coming to PS4 as well. The first game shown was a very Minecraft-inspired game about jumping between pixelated dimensions with a mallet in hand. The game is entitled Boundless, and it's a first-person adventure that looks fairly huge. The game looks beautiful and very interesting, but it's hard to tell what exactly the point was. We will have an in-depth feature on the site in the coming days, so keep your eyes peeled for more on Boundless.

The next trailer begins by showing music artist Avicii. He says he grew up with PlayStation and he's working with them to create a new rhythm game called Avicii Vector. The Swedish music icon says the game allows you to create and experience music as though you were at a concert of 2000 fans. Hard to say what exactly the game is, but it looks like Race the Sun with rhythm elements. Basically, you steer a vehicle and hit notes to make music, which allows you to play standard songs or create remixes. It will release in 2016.

The final trailer is for...No Man's Sky! The short trailer featured a cool voice-over talking about travelling through space and finding treasure, creatures, and discovering a "universe you wouldn't believe". A release date of June 2016 was finally revealed for No Man's Sky. No new footage was shown, hence the lack of a trailer included, the game was likely only included to give the (rough) release date.

Matterfall

Michael Denny, Senior Vice President of WWS Europe, took to the stage and started talking Housemarque. They revealed a new game, titled Matterfall. The trailer begins with a very futuristic city and shows the main character in a mechanical suit shooting enemies on a city skywalk, before being smashed by a big crab-like robot. The protagonist is crawling away but suddenly gets up, sprouts mechanical wings and flies right through the crab robot. He then jumps off the walkway and flies off using the wings. This is not an easy game to describe, so just have a look at the trailer:

Housemarque makes twin-stick shooters, usually from an almost top-down perspective; however, Matterfall does not look like that kind of game. They may be going a different direction with this one, or it may just be a cool cinematic trailer. Housemarque may actually be Sony's most consistently fantastic developer (2nd party, that is) and so a new game from them is great news. Although sadly there was no mention of currently-in-development title, Alienation.

Ratchet and Clank

A new trailer for the upcoming Ratchet and Clank remake was shown, which looks incredible. The game could easily be an animated movie, it looks so darn good. It shows all of the usual greatness of a Ratchet and Clank but also some flying missions that were very impressive, it kinda looks like what we all wish StarFox Zero was. This game started out as a simple remaster to coincide with the upcoming movie, but Insomniac decided to go the whole nine yards and re-do the entire game, adding in a bunch of new features and plot. So this could easily be called a reboot for the franchise.

Ratchet and Clank will be releasing in the Spring of 2016, and it looks like a return to form for the series.

Horizon: Zero Dawn

Hermen Hulst of Guerilla Games appeared on stage and began talking about the hotly anticipated Horizon: Zero Dawn. As he talked, a gameplay video rolled in the background. Protagonist Aloy runs under a gigantic robotic dinosaur and hides in some foliage. Hulst described the creatures, as well as the tools that Aloy will have at her disposal. Aloy uses a very cool looking crossbow to set up a trap for some deer-like creatures, then shoots near the machines to send them running into her trap. One manages to escape, and she has to take it on with a simple bow and arrow. The combat in this game continues to look incredible.

As in the E3 demo, a T-Rex looking creature appears and charges at Aloy. The demo then froze...but intentionally so. Guerilla took a closer look at the awe-inspiring creature and talked about the design of it. Apparently this is an actual feature in the game that allows you to freeze the action and move the camera around. As the gameplay resumes, Aloy uses an array of weapons, including an EMP arrow that momentarily stalls/stuns the creature. She then pins it to the ground (with the same arrows she trapped the previous robots) and is able to target a weak spot and destroy it. As the demo ended, Hulst again confirmed the game is coming in 2016. This will most likely be Sony's big fall 2016 game, so let's hope it can make that window.

Expansions

Next the conference slowed down just a bit to show off some new stuff for existing games. The new Bloodborne expansion, The Old Hunters, was displayed in gruesome detail. If you like the standard Bloodborne, this DLC looks every bit as creepy, gory, and fantastic as the game itself. It's coming November 24th.

Next up was a trailer for a new DriveClub expansion. Entitled DriveClub Bikes, this new mode will allow you to race Motorbikes, which are just as pretty and exhilarating as the cars. Michael Denny announced new modes and a campaign for the expansion, which is available now! The expansion can be be bought as an update for DriveClub or a standalone experience. 

Gravity Rush 2

Keiichiro Toyama, director of Gravity Rush 2 came on stage to discuss the previously announced game. He said it has a lot of fun new features and showed off the new combat in a gameplay video. In Gravity Rush 2 you can switch between 3 different gravity modes, the first is the same as the original, but you also have Lunar Style and Jupiter Style - which are lighter and heavier, respectively. These two new features offer big changes to the combat.

The trailer shows the open-world aspect, along with the incredible gravity combat. Jupiter style looks fun, as you can leap into the air and pound the ground, much like Delsin from Infamous: Second Son. A boss battle is also shown off, which allows for Tag Team Battles with 2 players. Gravity Rush 2 looks like a bigger, more beautiful and robust version of the original. Excited to see more.

Uncharted 4

Christophe Balestra, a native of Paris, came on to discuss the PlayStation 4's most exciting game, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. He reiterated the March 18th 2016 release date, as well as a December window for the beta.

The trailer showed the improved multiplayer in Uncharted 4. This new mode allows for sidekicks, power-ups, and summons, using the supernatural elements usually found in the campaigns. The trailer is a mixture of gameplay and cutscenes, but if the multiplayer is even half as cool as it looks, it will be incredible. It seems that each player will have quips, much like Drake does in the story mode. Naughty Dog has embraced the weirdness of Uncharted with the multiplayer, and it kind of reminds me a little of Team Fortress.

Dreams

English gaming studio Media Molecule came along to talk more about its upcoming project, Dreams. The game was unveiled a few months ago at E3 and was fairly hard to wrap our heads around. In the game you have an Imp that you control, but it also helps you learn how to play. You can grab, pull or move everything in the world.

The guy playing moved everything in the pink fluffy environment and unveiled a doorway. Going through it, he emerged in a grassy area and found a cute bear girl, who he then possessed using the Imp (it's a lot less creepy than it sounds). He began building the world with trees and set up a house. He opened the door and entered a magic-looking library. After a few moments, he found a way out of the library and discovered a similar area with a giant mouse. He took control of the giant mouse and began reading a book, which gave him the ability to make things float.

A sizzle reel showed off levels created in the game, from classic platforming levels to soccer matches, Mars missions to snowboarding, just to name but a few. Dreams is a very stylized game that has incredible potential for world-building and creation. Creators can give you tools to create and navigate the level on your own, or they can give you nothing and allow you to traverse the world in the various ways that they designed. Basically, it feels like the natural progression of Little Big Planet that gives creators a zillion times more creative control. This could be special.

PlayStation VR

Shuhei Yoshida came on stage to discuss PlayStation VR. He said VR allows you to visit places and do things you never could in real life. 8 games are playable on the floor at Paris Games Week.

Yoshida emphasized that PlayStation VR isn't just a solo experience, it has social and competitive potential. This led to a trailer for the upcoming multiplayer game Rigs (which can be seen above) - a game in which players control flying robots and fight in futuristic arenas. The trailer shows a few of the various robots you can use, which look really fun and diverse. One of the coolest elements of Rigs is the commentary, which is like that of a sports game. Players can score points by leaping into a bowl in the center of the arena, which both teams are trying to stop each other from doing. This game could be huge in the competitive gaming scene, which is clearly what it's being designed for.

Yoshida then came back to announce a new title in development for PlayStation VR, Until Dawn: Rush of Blood. Supermassive Games has been working on this expansion for Until Dawn, building it from the ground up for virtual reality. Not much was said about the game, apart from the fact that it will be on-rails, instead of QTE based. Looks interesting, but I don't know why they attached the popular Until Dawn name to this.

Cevat Yerli from Crytek then came on stage to announce another new game for PlayStation VR. It's called Robinson: The Journey and is a PlayStation VR exclusive. The game is first-person and shows the main character, Robin, in a beautiful, alien forest. Robin is approached by a white orb, similar to Ghost from Destiny. The orb guides you around the forest as you avoid being "squished" by massive dinosaurs. The trailer ends with a Velociraptor-esque Dino appraoching you as the orb turns and asks "Robin, are you ready for a different game?"

Nice to see Crytek back in the AAA game space after the rough last few years. Robinson: The Journey looks pretty great so far and will be coming first to PlayStation VR.

Next we had nother VR title called BattleZone, from Rebellion, which is a stylized vehicle shooter. BattleZone is a reboot of the tank game from Rebellion, and the visual style is reminiscent of SuperHot. First-person tank combat could be very fun, and the art-style is less abrasive and painful on the eyes than standard game visuals.

Yoshida came back and said PlayStation VR is not just about games. They showed a movie clip from The Walk, which puts players in the shoes of Joseph Gordon Levitt's character as he walks out onto a wire between the Empire State Buildings. It's a funny video that showed people trying the demo and freaking out/falling over. This is the kind of experience that VR needs to succeed. Yoshida said over 200 developers are working on PlayStation VR games and showed a sizzle reel of some of those games.

Jim Ryan returned to the stage and announced that Tekken 7 is also coming to PlayStation VR.

Gran Turismo Sport

Finally! Polyphony Digital has announced a new Gran Turismo. The reveal trailer showed the history/evolution of racing cars before leaping into the insanely beautiful Gran Turismo Sport. I don't get the name change, but you will be hard-pressed to find better graphics in any game, on any system.

Gran Turismo creator Kazunori Yamauchi explained that the graphics, sound, and physics engine are dramatically improved on PS4, and it will be the most realistic Gran Turismo game ever. He said he wants to change the way people play racing games and revitalize the genre, which is why it isn't just GT7.

Two new modes were announced. The first is the Nations Cup, in which you race and represent your own country. The other competition is the Manufacturer Cup Race, which allows players to choose a favorite manufacturer and race for them. The world champions of these tournaments will receive awards at the FIA each December, which are the real-life racing awards for Formula 1 and other motorsports. He said this is a big step forward for gaming in the mainstream.

Finally, Yamauchi announced that Gran Turismo Sport will have Beta tests beginning early next year and that the game will be compatiable with PlayStation VR. That's a huge deal for VR. No word on a release date, but it could be fall 2016 or Spring 2017.

WiLD

After what seems a lifetime, Michel Ancel, creator of Rayman, talked about WiLD, the game revealed at Gamescom 2015. The trailer shows off the more personal, story-driven aspects of the game, as well as the scope of the world.

It begins with a woman bitten by a snake, who needs a Shaman to get her help. The gameplay ensues as the player, a Shaman who can call any animal, jumps out of a tree and takes the form of an eagle to locate some snakes. The eagle flies down and snatches a snake for the Shaman. The character then calls in a bear and rides it like a horse. A quick montage shows the Shaman and bear travelling through the world together, which looks massive and diverse. The Shaman reaches his location, to get the cure, and he needs to infiltrate a cannibal camp. So he takes the form of a rabbit and simply sneaks past all of the insane fire-worshippers. He then changes to a Raven and instructs dozens more to begin attacking the cannibals. As the enemies are distracted by being pecked, the Shaman charges in on the bear and attacks.

After clearing the camp, he can summon a deity based on any animal, like the snake, which gives him the ability to create an antidote. A giant snake lady appears and the demo ends.

Ancel says everything he did was his choice, and every player could do it differently, which is also the impression we've gotten from behind closed doors demos. WiLD is a lot to take in; it's very ambitious and could be one of the most amazing things out there right now. Ancel said it's still "very early in development", so this feels more like a 2017 game to me.

Detroit

And here's the big one. David Cage from Quantic Dream appeared to finally discuss his latest project, Detroit. Cage talked about the popular tech demo, Kara, and the process of writing that script.

For Detroit, he wanted to continue the story of Kara, the android in the demo. Cage talks a lot about the pre-production process behind the game, which is worth listening to.

The trailer shows a beautiful, futuristic Detroit as Kara talks about being born. She was created in the factory, as seen in the original demo, before coming outside and experiencing human life for the first time. Things take a darker turn, as Kara is not pleased with the world she has seen. It's not kind or representative of freedom. Humans are becoming more machine-like...or the AI's are more human. AI's are everywhere in Detroit and Kara refuses to be meaningless. She says:

"My name is Kara. I am one of them. This is our story."

Very exciting game that shows a reborn Detroit that has prospered through the development of AI, as opposed to cars. Look forward to seeing more of this game but no release window suggests 2017.

The end

Jim Ryan came back on stage one last time and announced the end of the show. Next stop, PSX in December!

A ton of great stuff shown and announced at Sony's press conference. 2016 is looking like an incredible year for Sony right now, with Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Tekken 7, Gran Turismo Sport, Battleborn, Boundless, Gravity Rush 2, Street Fighter V, Avicii Vector, No Man's Sky, Matterfall and a ton of exciting PlayStation VR experiences. Great conference overall.

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Sony's E3 2015 Conference - A Critical Look and Evaluation https://www.gameskinny.com/x4ddi/sonys-e3-2015-conference-a-critical-look-and-evaluation https://www.gameskinny.com/x4ddi/sonys-e3-2015-conference-a-critical-look-and-evaluation Mon, 22 Jun 2015 10:41:59 -0400 Ford James

Everyone and their aunt has an opinion on the various conferences and announcements at this year's E3, which really is part of the charm of the gaming world’s biggest event. Conversations, debates, jokes, snark, hype, you get it all whether you use Twitter, Reddit, or another social media site. I’m writing this to simply voice my opinion on what Sony did well, what could’ve been improved, and what wasn’t so great. I think I’m relatively impartial as I primarily game on PC. But I also had an Xbox 360 since its release - up until the latest gen when I switched to PS4. So I don't really belong to any particular camp.

A nice surprise

Sony’s conference started out as strong as it possibly could. The Last Guardian had become a myth, a video game spoken about only in legends. Everyone had given up hope. They went out and kicked things off with a bang, showing actual gameplay of the boy running and jumping across wooden structures with the Guardian, the dog-bird-cat thing, saving him from precarious situations. 

While the announcement of The Last Guardian returning was nice, what they showed of the game wasn’t as impressive. If you guys cast your minds all the way back to E3 2009 when they first revealed The Last Guardian, they showed a cinematic trailer mainly in the same location shown in the E3 2015 gameplay demo. Graphically, it didn’t look that much more impressive.

While it was nice to see actual gameplay, not much has changed. Considering that The Last Guardian has been in development for over six years at this point, that’s a little disappointing. You can see the trailer from 2009 below along with the 2015 one above.

Nature vs. Technology

Horizon: Zero Dawn was also announced, and oh my it looks phenomenal. Developed by Guerilla Games, the same guys behind Killzone, Horizon is an open-world RPG with robot dinosaurs. Freaking ROBOT DINOSAURS! Guerilla has supposedly hired some of the same guys that worked on The Witcher 3, which is easily one of, if not the best, open-world RPG game to date. Horizon appears to be a mix between Disney’s Brave, The Witcher 3, and Jurassic Park, plus robots.

That sounds like a recipe for success.

Play Part 1 on the PS4, Part 2 on the Xbox One!

Next up was the latest installment to the Hitman franchise, simply titled Hitman. I won’t be focusing on the game itself, since it’s not PlayStation exclusive. What does irritate me with the Hitman announcement, however, is the exclusive DLC and beta, which is not a ‘feature’ of Hitman alone. 

Unfortunately, most of Sony’s conference was full of extras meant to draw gamers to their system. Hitman, Street Fighter V, Firewatch, Destiny, Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, Final Fantasy VII remake, Batman: Arkham Knight, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and Disney Infinity 3.0 were all confirmed to have PlayStation exclusive content, whether it be in the form of DLC, betas, or timed releases. All this does is split the console player base and slow down the growth of the games industry.

Microsoft and Sony should instead be competing with their exclusive first-party games, hardware, and the services they can offer (e.g. PS Now for Sony, backwards compatibility for Microsoft) rather than cheating gamers out of certain features/parts of a game with exclusive DLC.

Abstract defined

Media Molecule (the guys behind LittleBigPlanet) showed their new game next, called Dreams. A rather vague title for a similarly vague presentation. I still have no clue what you do in the game. They said you could create worlds and play games in those worlds, but they didn’t give any clue as to how.

The only aspect they showed off was the art style, which does look gorgeous (albeit very abstract). I'll leave you guys to see if you can figure out what it's about.

Mystery with a hint of comedy

Firewatch also looks phenomenal. They didn’t show off a lot more than what we already knew. Aesthetics-wise, it looks similar to The Long Dark, whereas gameplay-wise it appears to be a little more hands-on than a point-&-click in the same vein as Life is Strange. We still don’t know if there are any more gameplay mechanics involved other than pick up/use. Firewatch seems to be going for innovative storytelling rather than innovative gameplay.

Overpriced DLC and stale gameplay

Sony didn’t stop their train there. They kept showing game after game. Destiny came next with another pricey expansion pack of little substance. Not really worth a spot at E3, if you ask me, as everyone who wants to play Destiny, has done by now (except for PC gamers, but they didn’t announce a PC version, so it’s irrelevant) but it was there anyway.

Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate was next on the list with the announcement that you can now play as Evie, a welcome addition in a world filled to the brim with male protagonists. Multiplayer is also now non-existent in Syndicate, which is a decision I don’t quite understand. I spent a lot of time playing the multiplayer in Brotherhood, and I had an absolute blast, the ‘you hunt someone while someone hunts you’ mode led to some incredibly tense moments.

I wouldn’t have expected them to remove something that doesn’t seem too tricky to put in, even if they didn’t work on it and just ‘copy and pasted’ the multiplayer from an older title. Nevertheless, Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate is going to have to do something impressive to warrant my purchase, mainly not being bug ridden a la Unity.

Final Fantasy meets chibis?

Final Fantasy came up next, specifically World of Final Fantasy. Not much announced for this, only that it is exclusive to the PS4 and Vita and will be coming in 2016. It has a chibi art style, which gives the impression it will be tailored toward the younger generation to get them interested in the Final Fantasy universe.

Sticking with the Final Fantasy theme, the Final Fantasy VII remake is going to be a thing. For real. Now, I’ve never played a Final Fantasy game before in my life, although I have seen many comments and tweets claiming that Final Fantasy VII is the best one of all time. No gameplay was shown, which is a big disappointment, although the cinematic trailer they showed was rather pretty.

There are also rumors floating around that Square Enix will be redesigning the traditional battle system, although that hasn’t been confirmed. There’s also a rumored timed exclusive deal between Square Enix and Sony, but so far Final Fantasy VII hasn’t been confirmed for any platform other than PS4.

2D retro!

Devolver Digital, a publisher popular for lots of indie games such as Hotline Miami, Serious Sam, and Broforce was up next. They showed a montage for four games coming to PS4 and PS Vita: Ronin, a 2D side-scrolling stealth slash-em-up; Eitr, an isometric fantasy pixel-style action game; Mother Russia Bleeds, a 2D violent fighting beat em up, and Crossing Souls, a game I’m not too sure how to describe. It has some cartoon cutscenes straight out of the '90s with some pixel retro style gameplay. All of the games look unique, which is really what Devolver Digital is known for. So, four titles to keep an eye on.

Hopefully not the start of a trend...

Sony then did something never seen before at E3. They announced the Kickstarter for Shenmue 3, a sequel to Shenmue 1 and 2,  which released on the Dreamcast in 1999 and 2001 respectively. This announcement was completely out of the blue, people thought they’d seen all the surprises with The Last Guardian and the Final Fantasy VII remake, but nope. Yu Suzuki announced the Kickstarter project live on stage and that they were looking for $2 million.

Now, that’s quite a lot compared to a lot of Kickstarter projects and the goal was actually reached in just 9 hours. However, there is no way in a million years $2 million is going to fund Shenmue 3 by itself.

Shenmue cost $47 million to fund in 1999, which is the equivalent of $67 million today. It was one of the most expensive games to fund, ever. It is highly likely that Sony used the Kickstarter project to test the waters and gauge interest on how well received a third Shenmue installment would be. Sony has now come out and explained, after the project was fully funded, that they will be assisting with the budget of the game. However, the fee is still undisclosed. A misleading practice by Sony, but one that was easily foreseeable.

More exclusive content...

Batman Arkham Knight was showcased next, which was relatively surprising as the game actually releases so soon. Nevertheless, sticking with the theme that was consistent through most of their conference: it was simply to announce some exclusive content, specifically some missions titled ‘Scarecrow Nightmare’ along with some skins.


Virtual reality mech-ball!

Guerilla Games returned to the stage next but not to show off more Horizon: Zero Dawn footage. Instead, they’ve announced a game exclusively for Sony’s virtual reality headset Project Morpheus. RIGS is the name and has the tagline ‘Mechanized Combat League’.

The snippet of gameplay we saw showed an arena with multiple players, implying it’ll have online capabilities and not just split screen or AI, fighting in their mechs trying to score ‘goals’ with the commentator saying things like “he’s through on goal!” and “great defence!” Not much to go off yet, although it looks like it could be fun.

More subscription services for your media box

One aspect surprisingly vacant from Microsoft’s conference this year was the mention of other media services on the Xbox One. Previously, they’ve focused a lot on sports and TV streaming, however, this time it seemed like they listened to fan feedback and eliminated that entirely. Sony almost did the same, but they did announce a service called PlayStation Vue. Rolling out in San Fransisco and Los Angeles initially with more to follow, PlayStation Vue is a subscription-based service to individual channels that will come at a discount to PS Plus members. I suppose going through the entirety of E3 focusing just on games was too much to ask.


Sony shelled out the big dollars for this

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 followed which was a big surprise as the Call of Duty franchise has always been a Microsoft favorite. This time around though, it seems like Sony have shelled out more cash for the Call of Duty contract than Microsoft were willing to cough up, resulting in a timed exclusive DLC along with the beta that launches in August. 

For followers of the Call of Duty eSports scene, this is a big change as since Modern Warfare 3, competitive Call of Duty has always been played on Xbox consoles. This change will likely see Major League Gaming switch their focus to the PlayStation 4, as the Call of Duty World Championships are funded by Activision, which means they’ll want to promote the game on the console they’re supporting.

A much more preferable option would be to have both consoles receive the content at the same time and let MLG decide which console is best for the future of Call of Duty eSports, but that’s obviously a completely absurd idea. Right guys?

Yay!... oh wait, nevermind

What followed seemed rather exciting at first with Star Wars being the logo on screen… then it turned into Disney Infinity 3.0. Laden with exclusive content, I’ve personally never encountered anybody who plays the Disney Infinity games and I’m sure that won’t change with 3.0.

Surprisingly not too similar to Battlefield

Star Wars: Battlefront came next. Not a lot to talk about here, there was no exclusive content announced for PlayStation 4, it seemed like they had it in there simply to beef up their conference a little. The game itself is looking solid; nothing revolutionary, but nobody was expecting 'revolutionary'. It simply looks like a Star Wars shooter, nothing wrong with that.

When it works, it looks good

Sony concluded with what everyone knew was going to appear: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. The person playing the demo live on stage had a few issues with getting it running at the start but when things finally got underway, it looked pretty impressive. A beautiful environment with some fantastic dialogue between Nathan Drake and Sully as they fought their way through a colorful middle eastern town.

The demo concluded with them chasing a mysterious character called Sam as he drove away from a convoy in pursuit while Nathan and Sully avoided their own antagonists. It looked fairly scripted but, then again, Uncharted isn’t famed for its non-linearity. As far as linear action games go, it’s a damn sight more impressive than Rise of the Tomb Raider.

My biggest gripe with Sony's conference is their focus on exclusive content.

It only applies to the minority of people who pre-order games, instead they should have centered on actual features of the game. Another piece of feedback I have would be that even though the announcement of The Last Guardian is a very welcome one indeed, I can’t help but feel it would have had a much larger impact if they closed the show with it, rather than opening it. The Last Guardian would have been a phenomenal send off to what was already a solid conference compared to Uncharted 4, which everyone was expecting anyway.

Sony’s conference was impressive. As far as game announcements go, I’d say they smashed every other conference into the ground except for maybe Bethesda’s, but the disappointing side of that coin is most of the games won’t be out until 2016. What was missing in terms of games? I'm disappointed no Ratchet & Clank was shown and deep down in my heart I was hoping for The Last of Us 2, although I knew the chances were slim given Naughty Dog are working on Uncharted 4. A new Crash Bandicoot would've fulfilled all my hopes and dreams too, but it wasn't to be.

One thing I do need to praise them on though was their tendency to skip the crap. What I mean by that is a lot of the conferences, namely EA, Square Enix and Ubisoft, had a LOT of talking and not enough showcasing of the games. Sony went the complete opposite route, they showcased game after game after game. The Sony hype train well and truly didn’t stop until the end, whereas comparing it to a conference, or should I say lecture, like Square Enix’s, the hype there never really began. A solid showing from Sony and it makes me very happy to be a PS4 owner. Unfortunately, Microsoft didn’t show anything that made me want to purchase an Xbox One. Recore looked cool, I guess.

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