Last year’s PlayStation Experience was ultimately a solid, satisfying, and highly entertaining event. This was in spite of the fact that it held back on a lot of big announcements, which makes sense- since it was Sony’s first time with the format, it figures that they would not want to waste some potential megatons on something that may not even be well received.
This year is different, though. PlayStation Experience turned out to be successful last year, and Sony, at the very least, seem to be on board with using it as a platform for major announcements. And with the success of major third party announcements at PSX last year, like Street Fighter V’s PS4 exclusivity, it is pretty clear that their third party partners will be looking at the event closely too.
All of which is to say- the first timer blues that may have held back last year’s already excellent event from reaching its full potential no longer apply here. This year, we can expect Sony to go big, and go hard. This year’s PlayStation Experience will probably be full of major announcements- and here are the five that we think, we hope, we’ll definitely be writing about ten days from now.
5. THE LAST GUARDIAN FOOTAGE, AND A RELEASE WINDOW
The Last Guardian was re-revealed, after nearly a half decade of speculation about the game’s ultimate status, at Sony’s E3 press conference earlier this year. The game looked like everything that fans of Team ICO, who had been waiting for their next masterpiece to follow up on Shadow of the Colossus, had ever wished for. It was reassuring to see the game being played in real time, reassuring to see it in person again, and reassuring to see the game being given a 2016 release date.
And then the game disappeared. Again.
We haven’t seen nor heard hair or tail of The Last Guardian since its E3 (re) debut. And while no one reasonable doubts that Sony means to meet its 2016 release date this time around, doubts on their ability to are not entirely unfounded- especially given this game’s history. So, what better course of action for Sony than to show off the game, preferably a new area, alongside a firmer release date (something like Summer 2016), not only to lay to rest all speculation about the game’s status, but also to reassure the faithful that the game is indeed coming, that the E3 show was not just smoke and mirrors?
This is why we fully expect The Last Guardian to be there at Sony’s PlayStation Experience keynote in some capacity. We’ll almost certainly see more of the game, and we’ll probably get a firmer release window too.
4. SUCKER PUNCH’S NEW PROJECT
Sucker Punch released inFamous: Second Son in March 2014. Since then, they have been working on something- frequent job listings and hirings have given us an indication of as much. It was not inFamous: First Light, the standalone expansion for Second Son that was launched at the end of 2014, as that only required a skeleton crew. So what, then, is Sucker Punch working on?
We think we’re going to find out at PlayStation Experience this year. It has been twenty months since the launch of their last major project, which is a long time- for context, Guerrilla Games announced their next project after Killzone Shadow Fall, Horizon: Zero Dawn, far sooner. Given all the evidence we have on hand (the job listings), it is clear that Sucker Punch is ramping up and working on something big. Exactly what that is, we expect to find out at PSX- it’s as good a venue as any to announce their next venture.
Just don’t expect it to be another inFamous.
3. FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE MORE FOOTAGE AND INFORMATION
When Square Enix announced the long anticipated Final Fantasy VII remake at E3 this year, it was with only a very short teaser, and the promise of more information to come at the end of this year– a timeframe that lines up suspiciously and conveniently well with the PlayStation Experience.
That is the basis for our expectation for seeing the remake feature at PlayStation Experience this year- the game has a long history of association with PlayStation, and the remake is going to be exclusive to the PS4, at least for a while. We fully expect to see more of the game next week- from how Midgar looks in the shiny new HD graphics that the PS4 can afford it, to how the battle system may have been changed from the classic turn based system, which is something that Square Enix has been hinting at for a while now.
And hey, who knows, we may even get a release window for the game. 2017 is coming up, and it does line up pretty nicely with the game’s 20th anniversary…
2. PS2 CLASSICS ON PS4
Of all of our predictions made in this article so far, this is the one that we are the most certain of. PS2 Classics on the PS4 have been speculated at for a while, now- there have been loads of leaks, from internal testers, patent filings, and from ratings boards, that have hinted at some sort of PS2 compatibility coming to the PS4. And then earlier this month, Sony went ahead and explicitly confirmed this to us all, declining, however, to share more details.
Why would they decline to share more details? Why, because they have a major event coming up where they get to do so on their own terms, with the proper pizzaz. The PlayStation Experience is a celebration of PlayStation- what better way to celebrate PlayStation than to bring the library of the greatest PlayStation system to its modern descendant? And just imagine- the announcement that PS2 classics such as Final Fantasy X, Grand Theft Auto Vice City, Dark Cloud, Dragon Quest VIII, Devil May Cry 3, Resident Evil 4, and Persona 4 can be played on your shiny new PS4 will definitely bring the house down.
Definitely expect to see more on this next week.
1. SONY BEND’S MYSTERIOUS GAME
Sony Bend Studio have been silent for a couple of years now- that’s a long time for a studio to go incognito. And since we know they have been working on a new IP for at least half that time, it’s pretty clear that we’re pretty close to the announcement soon.
But why would Sony waste such a major announcement on PSX, instead of saving it for E3, you ask? Because what better way to legitimize the PlayStation Experience as an outlet for major announcements than to actually make a major announcement there?
Consider Nintendo with their Nintendo Direct format- we now expect major announcements from each new one, but how did we get here? It happened when Nintendo announced major new games, such as The Legend of Zelda, Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros., Pokemon X and Y, Fire Emblem Awakening, Fire Emblem Fates, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D, and hardware like the Nintendo 3DS XL and New Nintendo 3DS, there. If Sony really wants all eyes on them at the PlayStation Experience, they need people convinced that the PlayStation Experience will have major announcements. And for that, they need to make major announcements at the event. A new major IP launch from one of their bigger studios seems like the perfect way to do just that, don’t you think?