Sunday, June 9, 2013

E3 - My Sony Predictions


If you follow this blog at all, you know by now that I am primarily a Sony gamer.  I bought a Vita day one and have made several, several, several posts since then about the system itself, the games for it and the future of it.  So when E3 comes up, I am pretty much entrenched in Sony things, thus I believe I can talk at length about them the absolute most, which is why they're getting their own post.  Obviously, I don't have a -source- or anything like that - No, I'm just constantly looking out for the Sony bits of news, so I simply have that at my fingertips more readily than I do news for, say, Nintendo or Microsoft.  Still, I'm wrong a lot at predictions, so you should know that explicitly given that this is going to be a prediction-heavy post, being that I am trying to anticipate Sony's E3 in a large way.

The PS3 is likely on its way out, in that I think The Last of Us will be the last big, big first-party title released for it, which is, well, as appropriate as it gets.  So I wouldn't be surprised if the start of the Keynote, after the initial Sizzle Reel, is the presenter saying "Before we get started, let's take a look at all the great games that have brought us to this point that we'll still be enjoying throughout the start of this new generation of Sony consoles" or whatever.  We'll get another reel that shows off some real high-points from big-name titles - Uncharted, LittleBigPlanet, God of War, Metal Gear Solid (maybe), etc. etc. etc, you know the deal.  Hold for applause.  Then some more words about how the Playstation 3 is still the present of our hobby, the standard we go for.  But then, we'll start talking about "the future of Playstation."

Blam, sizzle reel showing that video with the close-ups of the PS4 before it finally ends by zooming out or something showing off the actual console on the screen, which is then also brought out to show off.  It'll be sleek-looking (Sony things almost -always- are), but who honestly cares?  It's the box through which we're going to play the games, nothing more.  For all the flak the XBone has gotten for its design, I say equally to that - who cares?  (Especially when that flak needs to go directly elsewhere)  The PS4 could be a Bust of Mark Cerny, immortalized for years to come for all I care if it's going to be playing inFamous:  Second Son and, hopefully, some Uncharted games.  New ones.  There'll be some talking about the system itself, perhaps some technical info that we already know about, and a lot of promises.  Likely showing off some of the DualShock 4's Move Integration and the like (which I am still curious about), which will lead in nicely to talking about the Playstation Vita.

They'll mention that the Vita will be able to be used as a second screen for games if developers so choose, but also that it'll be able to Remote Play all PS4 titles as long as those titles don't use the PSEye.  That's just re-affirming information we already know.  And then, they'll go something along the lines of "But you want to know why you should have a Vita in the first place for these features, and that answer is the games."  Which will lead into a nice little showing for Vita games.  I am definitely predicting (In no particular order, and not all of these are definitely going to be shown):
  • Gravity Rush 2 - The sequel is a definite.  It's been one of the most-known/acclaimed/talked about titles for the Vita, so getting the follow-up out ASAP is important.
  • Uncharted:  Golden Abyss 2 - Obviously not the title, but you get what I mean.  Another Uncharted for the Vita will get a lot of people talking, including me, and you know that Sony Bend will be a little more apt to take more control of the hardware now that they've had some good experience.  Remember how Uncharted 1 looked like compared to Uncharted 2.
  • God of War Vita - I'm pretty sure Ascension's Platinum trophy (Much like 3's) has a clue that Internet Detectives have already devised to be indicative of another Portable iteration of the God of War series, but this time on the Vita.  This is a big name, of course, but...I have my misgivings after how Ascension turned out.  Not to mention, I just have no damn clue where they're going to fit in a new game at.  But it's going to happen.
And I am -hopeful- for the following because they are certainly possible:
  • A new Assassin's Creed portable - This one is one of those rumors that have been under the surface for a bit, mentioning a title known as "Phoenix Rising".  It makes sense - Liberation did well, I believe and they'll want another title to pair up with Black Flag for the max money.  And then shoot that in the foot by releasing it same date, no bundle, no price saving or anything.
  • Phantasy Star Online 2 Localization - Sega.  Come on.  Sega.  Look at me, Sega.  EASY MONEY.
  • inFamous for Vita - Basically take the marketing plan for AC3/Liberation (that I'm assuming Black Flag/Phoenix Rising will be using if it's real) by doing Second Son and Vita title on the same date, but with any luck Sony will actually offer a bundle deal if not an actual bundle of the two games.  (Or a Cross-Buy-esque thing).  I'm not anticipating Second Son for Vita specifically, but a game where you'll have a sort of 'ripple effect' between the two titles.
  • Monster Hunter 4 - Personally, I don't care.  A lot of people do, however, and Capcom likes money.  Given that they're throwing out a Dragon's Dogma game on the Vita in Japan shows they're willing to put things on the system and MH4 will sell like gang-busters for them even announced this late.
  • Final Fantasy Type-0 - I believe I have covered this one already (even though I expect stupid Squeenix to release Type-0 as a Japan-exclusive PS3 Remaster before a Vita version)
And a few 'Long-shot but there you go' predictions which will actually not happen:
  • Yakuza Black Panther Collection - Both of the PSP titles bundled together on one cart with tweeks and localized.  This won't happen because of Japan's weird policies when it comes to putting multiple games together, which all-but nixes the idea in -Japan- meaning we don't stand a chance in the West.
  • Valkyria Chronicles 3 Vita - Basically, what I'm saying is that fucking Sega is killing me with non-localizations
  • Metal Gear Solid Portable - I....actually am not hoping for this one, however.  With Phantom Pain and Ground Zeroes, those teams are likely stretched pretty thin, so while I'd love another Peace Walker, I'd worry about its quality
  • Soul Sacrifice 2 - Would just be a logo at this point, but good god, some information stating it'll be a thing would be amazing
  • Deus Ex:  The Fall for Vita - It's just been announced, c'mon Squeenix, you can redeem that game
  • Minecraft PS3/PS4(?)/Vita announcement - The exclusivity is about done, right?  Right?
  • Bioshock Vita is shown off - Because -come on- it has to exist, please?
All told, a good portion of time will be spent on the Vita this year, on the games at least.  A lot of people are predicting a price cut on the Vita itself, the memory card prices (while announcing a bigger size to take the top-pricing spot) or both, and I....don't know where I stand on that.  I'm -hopeful- for a Price Cut, sure, but I think a lot of people would take a Price Cut and say "TOO LATE (but I was never getting one anyway)" instead of "Finally!  Time to go buy one!".  Though it would likely still manage to spur sales some.  If they -don't- announce a Price Cut, they'll certainly announce a new Bundle that might include two games (One on a memory stick and one physical) instead of just one.  Doing the whole 'value added' thing that nobody will shut up about being a bad idea.

Then, since we've covered PS3 and Vita, -now- it's time to go on to the PS4.  This will likely be half-way into their presser, perhaps later, but they're obviously going to finish out with it.  People will criticize them for taking too long, but the anticipation will be built and with any luck, Sony will absolutely capitalize on it.  What I'm -hoping- (and expecting) they hammer in first is what a lot of people are hoping for:

No XBone-Style Restrictions.

It's simple.  And if you'll allow me, I'll try to explain my own reasons for why I absolutely believe that the PS4 -won't- have those restrictions.  (Which means more bullet points, yay!)
  • Shuhei Yoshida has already said "Oh yes, yes, you can go offline totally" when referring to the PS4's online necessity.  (At the time, the "Always-On" question was being asked)  Detractors are saying that, if you use the highest order of bullshit semantics, you can go offline totally with the XBone (just only for 24 hours), but -come on- already.
  • Microsoft is planning on using the Azure cloud for just about all of this stuff, including MP and their Used Games things.  Azure is a big fucking cloud that Sony simply does not have an equivalent of.  Without requiring online, this essentially kills all opportunities -to- enforce such a system anyway, which means Shuhei Yoshida would be a dirty, dirty liar.  Which could still be the case, but -come on- already.
  • One of the main arguments has been "Publishers wouldn't go forward without -both- companies doing it" which is stupid and you're stupid if you honestly believe that.  Here's why:  What happens if Microsoft goes forward with their plans, and Sony doesn't, offering an alternative without the restrictions that most gamers will (apparently) happily run with instead of the XBone (which will still see a lot of purchases)?  They get to play both sides of the fence.  They take Microsoft's buddy-money in one hand for exclusivity and such with DLC (and the 'big bucks' from the used shenanigans) and they probably sell more copies on the PS4 because of the lax restrictions, thereby making the amount of money they look to make about equal from both.  Eventually, they'll figure out which has been the better fit for them and go from there.  It's actually the perfect scenario for Publishers instead of a scenario where both consoles have such a measure since that will, ultimately lead to less sales overall.
  • There have been absolutely no rumors about it yet.  No inside information.  No leaks.  Let's face it - Sony's ship isn't the tightest out there, and neither is Microsoft's.  These restrictions and such, we had heard tell of months before the announcement (The only thing we didn't know about the XBone, really, was the name) and simply refused to believe because who would be that stupid?  But you bet your ass if there was anything anywhere about this from Sony's camp, especially after Microsoft, we would already know it by now.
Is it still possible that they'll pull some hobbled-together form of Microsoft's stupid system?  Of course.  As we know because of Microsoft's many many many blunders, talking suits simply cannot be trusted and they have enough servers that some sort of system could be implemented in a very badly done way.  But if we don't know that Sony has a system like Microsoft in place until such a thing would be announced on stage?  Well, I'll be very disappointed.  Not only in Sony, but in the internet.  Because, internet, you have one job.  (Well, not really, but still)  But it's simply just too late into the game.  It's almost definite that publishers will be -able- to pull these shenanigans on the PS4, but they've been able to pull just as many shenanigans on the PS3 and look how many of them actually did.  (The answer is very few.)  Still, I'm saying the PS4 will be an open system that publishers can be as anti-consumer as they want to be with, but in such a case, we'll be able to tell them "Piss off" directly.

If you can actually believe it, I simply just have no idea about the games that will be shown off on the PS4.  I imagine a lot of current-gen ports (the two Metal Gear Solid games primarily, perhaps even announced as 'enhanced' versions) will be shown off or at least talked about, and some of the games that were shown off during the reveal will be re-introduced and shown off now further in development.  Most definitely Knack will be shown off, apparently to the dismay of all, but I also imagine Killzone:  Shadow Fall and/or inFamous:  Second Son will actually be demo'd on stage.  I'm hoping for the latter of course.  Squeenix will get some stage-time as well to show off whatever they're limping to the barn with.  Obviously, however, Sony's going to need something -big- to end out the show with and I have two ideas on just how that would be done.

The screen shows an underwater setting, slowly panning over to show off a small, likely privately-owned, submarine as it cruises through the water.  Suddenly, it's rocked by an explosion from inside and it cuts inside where we see a lot of legs running past without actually seeing upper bodies or faces.  We do, however, see them as they have wetsuited up and are prepared to exit the rapidly sinking sub, shown off by the last shot with the water about half-way up a human body level, which is illustrated as one last person wades, injured through the water.  The suited folks look back and one of them says "Quick, he's coming!" and open the door or hatch or whatever, filling the sub with water far more rapidly.  We see them outside of the sub, carrying harpoon guns and then see one of them -shot- by a harpoon, causing them to turn around.  Then we finally see Nathan Drake, with just a small air mask and a recently fired harpoon gun.  Harpoons are fired at him, one of them grazes an arm, the other a leg, and then they swim towards him, but change their minds when a couple sharks come, having been drawn by all the blood.  One chases Drake until he spots a stone formation that lets him get into an underwater cave that eventually lets him have an air pocket where he surfaces in, sputtering and coughing, closing out the Trailer.  Possibly with Drake saying some quote (as the games have done) with a vague hint about Atlantis.  Uncharted 4, 2014.

I....don't have an equally drawn-out way of starting a game that looks suspiciously like God of War, except about killing the Norse Gods done up by Sony Santa Monica.  But imagine that there are giants and gods and eventually it ends out with the beginnings of Ragnarok.  Or, hell, the whole trailer is the beginnings of Ragnarok with a voice-over about the end of the Gods that finally focuses on one single man on the battlefield that has markings similar (or like) Kratos, but obviously isn't Kratos.  He runs up a small rock and lands on the arm of a giant, stabbing it with some sort of weapon (I don't want to say Dual Blades) which causes the giant to throw its arm up, letting our new protagonist land on his face where he slashes out an eye in excruciating detail.  It reels which swats the protagonist out into the sky to a free fall, showing some of the battlefield in wonderful detail as he speeds towards it.  Valkyries descend and catch him, lowering him to the ground where one last one raises a spear to stab him through.  He struggles and moves just in time to have that Valkyrie stab another and he cuts them down, only to then dramatically turn and point his weapon to the sky where the camera then zooms in to what is obviously Odin atop Sleipnir as it soars through the sky.  The music swells as the screen goes black and the title is revealed, also with just "2014" below it.

Those would be my guesses, that is.

please just don't show God of War 4, still starring Kratos, good lord (said as someone who likes Kratos)

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