Last weekend, Sony held is first annual special event held in Las Vegas in celebration of 20 years of PlayStation. As the perfect opportunity to get a load of Playstation fans together and reminisce about the past, while looking to the future, Sony used the event to hold a kind of mini-E3 of sorts, lifting the lid on a number of PlayStation exclusives on both PS4 and PS Vita, with plenty to be excited about.
But if you're a content Vita or PS4 owner, or you're looking for an excuse to jump on board, what did the announcements really mean to you? Here's our take on the biggest news.
Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
Headlining the event was a first look at the gameplay of this new next-gen entry into the Uncharted series. Looking more like Tomb Raider than even Tomb Raider itself does now, we also found out that veteran video game voice actor Troy Baker (he's literally in almost every game now) will also be joining the cast as Nathan Drake's older brother.
The demo was set in an absolutely gorgeous looking mountain region, featuring massive caves to explore and cliffs to climb, giving the team the perfect opportunity to show off the game's new traversal mechanics (it looks as if you can climb up just about anything). Even if they did go slightly wrong at one point, leaving poor old Nathan falling through the floor.
The new combat system also looked fantastic, with less drawn out gun battles, and more spectacular moves to make even the newest player look like they know what they're doing. It's all very impressive to say the least - but we'll have to wait until 2015 to find out if this is a true system seller.
Drawn to Death
Things soon got a little bit more adult as God of War and Twisted Metal creator David Jaffe unveiled brand new third person shooter, Drawn to Death. This stylish, class based, 4 player arena shooter (think along the lines of the likes of Team Fortress 2) is set in the world of a high school students notebook, and comes complete with an art style to match.
In typical video game fashion, you get to take control of one of one of the hand-drawn, weird and wonderful character 'sketches' the kid has cooked up, as you face off against other players in over the top destructive combat. Expect to use chainsaws, giant fire breathing dragon heads, and even a giant, real life hand, that appears to crush your enemies. It's definitely a pretty unique take on what could be considered a played out genre.
While they only showed footage from early in its development (Pre-Alpha) its shaping up to be an interesting looking exclusive. We'll be keeping an eye on this one.
Street Fighter V
As well as the news that Ultra Street Fighter IV is coming to PS4 (yes, that's yet another version of Street Fighter IV) we also got the far more exciting news that its true sequel, Street Fighter V is well under way. We only got a short glimpse of actual Street Fighter V gameplay amongst the inspirational Street Fighter themed montage, but thankfully Capcom also released a trailer of early gameplay footage to show off Ryu and Chun Li facing off.
The shocking news here was the announcement that Street Fighter V will be exclusive to PS4 and PC - and even more impressively, you'll be able to play cross-platform between the two titles. Becoming only the second game to allow cross-platform multiplayer (the first being WW2 dogfighter War Thunder), it's this sort of universal approach to multiplayer that will give Sony's console the edge over its competitors.
In one of the strangest announcements of the evening, a brief, and bizarre trailer was shown for a new title, called Wattam. The latest game from Katamari Damacy creator Kieta Takahashi and Journey Producer Robin Hunicke, it's apparently going to be an adventure that focuses on the connections between objects - although quite how they illustrate that by showing us a green cube man with a penchant for Bowler hats, who's completely unaware that he has a bomb on his head is anyone's guess.
One of the only things we do know is that it has a minimalistic yet colourful art style not far removed from Katamari Damacy. It's cute, it's original, and the sort of thing we love. More things like this please, Sony.
What Remains of Edith Finch
The puzzling trailers didn't end with Wattam, however, as we also got a brief look at What Remains of Edith Finch. A new game from the studio that brought us the artsy The Unfinished Swan, this new game seems to take a much darker approach, with a grimy trailer that mixed eerie landscapes with a creepily foreshadowing voice to great effect.
Apparently, the game will be a collection of short stories that tells the tale of a cursed family living in Washington State. You'll play as Edith Finch as she explores the history of her family members, and somehow plays through their memories, with each story played from a first person perspective, and each ending with that family member's death. Its sounding pretty similar to the GameCube classic Eternal Darkness: Sanity's requiem - and if its even half as good it will be well worth taking a look.
Double Fine are quadrupley fine
The always popular, and never less than creative studio Double Fine were on top form on stage at the show, continuing the much appreciated point and click revival with several new announcements. First up was the appearance of some footage from Grim Fandango, a cult classic PC game that was originally released over 16 years ago for PC, and is finally getting a remastered re-release for PS4 and PS Vita. Well loved for its great art style, soundtrack, and puzzling gameplay, we're looking forward to this.
With the recent resurgence of point and click adventure games, its great to see Double Fine give one of the best the full HD treatment. Here's hoping a whole new generation of players will get to enjoy this as much as we did. Now, if only the other great games of the day could be remade too. Things like Day of the Tentacle, perhaps.
Wait, what's that you say? Day of the Tentacle is getting a remastered release too? One of the most popular announcements at the event, Double Fine confirmed that one of studio head Tim Schafer's most well remembered games, and another classic point and click, will be agetting a 'Special Edition' re-release. Double Fine didn't give much information on just what this 'special edition' will entail, but with the first two Monkey Island games receiving a special edition release a few years back that featured updated graphics and gameplay, with the ability to switch back to the classic mode at the press of a button, here's hoping they have something similar planned for Day of the Tentacle.
Continuing the point 'n' click Adventure goodness, it was also confirmed that PC title Broken Age will also be seeing a PS4 and PS Vita release. While Part 2 of the episodic PC release has yet to be released, the PlayStation console ports will see both parts bundled together. Good times for Adventure fans.
And the last Double Fine title that's set to be coming to the PS4 is the interesting Gang Beasts, a party game that sees players take part in brutal melee combat in the hazardous environments of Beef City.
The one button gameplay and rag doll physics make this an extremely interesting title, and one which saw success via Steam's Early Access program on PC - so it's no doubt a no brainer to bring it to consoles.
Other notable news from the keynote
- Shuhei Yoshida (President of Sony Computer Entertainment World Wide Studios) will be appearing as a playable character in side-scrolling pixel shoot 'em up Super Time Force Ultra when it releases in 2015 on PS4 & PS Vita
- Popular Japanese adventure Yakuza 5 is finally getting localised in English for the PS3
- Final Fantasy VII is getting a PS4 release... but its just a port of the original version. No full HD remake. Bummer.
- Retro themed hardcore platform game Shovel Knight is coming to PS Vita, PS3 and PS4 in 2015. God of War's Kratos is a playable character.
- The debut trailer for survival horror game Until Dawn was also shown at the keynote
- Persona 5 will be seeing a release in the west sometime after its initial release in Japan in 2015
- And a new God of War title confirmed to be in development.
And eveything else that happened
Seeing as far too much stuff has happened recently to go into it all in detail, here's a quick round-up of all the other games that were mentioned or shown off over the past weekend (including Game Awards announcements). If a trailer's available, we've hyperlinked them for you, because we're nice like that:
- Bastion (PS4 and PS Vita)
- Batman Arkham Knight (PS4)
- Bloodborne (PS4)
- Darkest Dungeon (PS4)
- Disney Infinity 2.0 PS Vita Edition - Including exclusive Symbiote Black Suit Spider-Man Figure (PS Vita)
- Enter the Gungeon (PS4)
- Fat Princess Adventures (PS4)
- Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions (PS Vita)
- Kill Strain (PS4)
- Killing Floor 2 (PS4)
- Kings Quest (PS3 and PS4)
- MLB 15 The Show (PS4, PS3 and PS Vita)
- No Man's Sky (PS4)
- Octodad Dadliest Catch (Now coming to PS Vita!!)
- Orcs Must Die Unchained (PS4)
- Resident Evil Revelations 2 (PS4 and PS Vita)
- Severed (PS Vita)
- Skytorn (PS4)
- Suikoden I & II (PS3 and PS Vita)
- Tearaway Unfolded (PS4)
- The Banner Saga (PS4 and PS Vita)
- The Banner Saga 2 (PS4)
- The Forest (PS4)
- The Order 1886 (PS4)
- Towerfall: Ascension (PS4 and PS Vita)
The PlayStation Experience has obviously been a very successful endeavour for Sony, and it's fantastic to see so many game announcements in such a short time. We're hoping Microsoft jumps on the bandwagon to bring us their own public conference, perhaps lifting the lid on the old X0-something events they used to run back in the day. And wouldn't it be something if Nintendo bought back Space World?
Until then, why not let us know your thoughts on the PlayStation Experience and everything else that happened in the world of gaming this past week. Which game got you the most exited? Let us know in the comments section.
Check out the full Playstation Experience Keynote below: