Sony Gamescom Presentation Review: Underwhelming

PS Vita is just gone and buried.

This year’s E3 was interesting, because Microsoft actually brought their A game with them, while Sony appeared to largely flounder (and was saved by the footage of some great games thrown together near the end of the conference). A lot of people felt Sony was saving things up- maybe stuff wasn’t ready at E3. Maybe they were trying to make an impression by showing off footage that was polished and actually near completion. Hell, maybe they felt they could ease off the pedal for a while, and just gauge what the competition was doing, before they decided how to proceed.

As it turns out, all of these were excuses. Sony has absolutely nothing to show. It’s all fluff, all hype. It’s a $400 high end premium console, billed as the most powerful console in the world, being used to… play indie games. While, indie games are great, but an eleven year old laptop could (and does) run them, so why am I supposed to care that they are coming on the $400 console or the $250 handheld that I bought on the promise of untold power, and games that utilize this power?

I understand that games take time to be produced… but why is it that every other publisher on the market has been able to show titles far out from release right now, while with Sony, we’ve been stuck with DriveClub for eighteen months now?

I understand that games take time to be produced… but why is it that every other publisher on the market has been able to show titles far out from release right now, while with Sony, we’ve been stuck with DriveClub for eighteen months now?

But you know what, let’s try to assess the conference on its own merits. Let’s try to see what Sony had on show. So… if you have any interest in indie games at all, you’ll like what Sony had to show. There were a lot of them. No, really, there were at least a dozen, and I am not going to list all of them here, except to say that The Vanishing of Ethan Carter looks great, DayZ is coming to PS4, and Ninja Theory’s new game is an independent PS4 exclusive that is a spiritual successor to Heavenly Sword titled, I kid you not, Hellblade.

In addition, Sony also touched briefly on some third party content- Far Cry 4, Shadow of Mordor, Metal Gear Solid V, Destiny, some games by Paradox- and also showcased some of their own first party games, including LittleBigPlanet 3, Bloodborne, DriveClub. Oh, and then, in what must be the most royal and contemptuous F YOU to the Vita that they have given yet, they also announced that Tearaway that lovely, charming, gorgeous PS Vita exclusive platformer that was built from the ground up for that system around its capabilities, that thing, is coming to the PS4.

Sony had two apparent ‘megatons’ for the entire conference- one was WiLD, a pretty cool game being worked on by Michel Ancel’s team that looked pretty damn cool. The other was a segment dedicated to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

It won’t be a straight port, because that would be impossible, so they went to the trouble of reimagining and redoing the entire game to make it work on the PS4. In the process, they also basically negated one of the last reasons to actually own a Vita.

Actually, this entire conference may well have been called the ‘Let’s Shit on Vita’ hour, because that was a running theme. Second to only indie games, Sony made it a point to neglect and ignore the Vita. The system was mentioned on two separate occasions by them, total: one, when Media Molecule was explaining how they managed to get Tearaway working logically and coherently on the PS4 at all; and then the second time was when they mentioned the PlayStation TV, where the order in which they approached its list of features was telling: it plays PS Vita games, it plays PS1 classics, but ‘most importantly, it acts as a Remote Play extender for your PS4.’ Yeah, Sony. That tells us everything about where your priorities lie with this device.

The Vita is just gone and buried, and we might as well just give up on that one now.

Sony had two apparent ‘megatons’ for the entire conference- one was WiLD, a pretty cool game being worked on by Michel Ancel’s team that looked pretty damn cool. The other was a segment dedicated to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Now this would ordinarily be a cause for excitement. It was not one here. The entire segment was a joke, and Hideo Kojima messed around a little, showing off two features that were obviously meant to be gags, and… that was it. Less than five minutes later, we were done.

I don’t know what to make of it. I guess it’s early days for PS4, so that one is excusable, even though I still wish Sony had actually bothered showing something for it. Microsoft at least very clearly tried. Sony did not.

But even more than that, the Vita is just gone and buried, and we might as well just give up on that one now.

That was a poor showing, Sony. I really wish you’d stop coasting.

THE VERDICT: Missing first party games, missing true big announcements, missing mostly anything of substance beyond a whole lot of indie games and a complete neglect of Vita, this conference goes down as Sony’s worst in a while.

THE SCORE: 4.5/10

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  • True_Fan

    Good honest critique.

    • andy

      Vita is the biggest thing to this guy? Where is Microsoft’s Vita or equivalent to talk about then?

    • Reddz Foxx

      Every smartphone is the equivalent to the vita.

  • Lionalliance

    What? are you serious? did we watched the same conference?

  • lassenwolf

    I want my money back from Sony for lying about the games and 1st party, I have an indie paperweight that does 1080p wow thanks for the games that the ps2 can play

    • andy

      Would help if you owned a PS4 first mate.

    • d0x360

      My ps4 does more than play indies. Sure most of the games worth owning are Indie but that didn’t stop me from buying killzone, watch dogs, infamous, trials, or last of us.

      Ok OK killzone is a generic borefest with abysmal AI and bad map design but some people like it.

    • Guest

      Sony = lies, overhype and underdeliver and you fell for it like every other dumb Sony hype follower. Indie garbagestation confirmed.

  • jacksjus

    Well considering that you didn’t offer as much of an inkling into what games were revealed, you my friend can be written off as a bitter brat. This isn’t news this is a complaint session by someone with the power to put it out there.

  • MrSec84 .

    Seriously where was Microsoft’s new Megaton announcement with actual gameplay?
    That’s right they didn’t have one.

    Rise of the Tomb Raider didn’t have any gameplay, just p**sed off the gaming community that has supported the new vision for the franchise.

    Wild is being developed by the guy that came up with Beyond Good and Evil, that’s a megaton, shown with actual gameplay, it looks amazing and will be huge in scope, with an open world environment comparable in size to Europe.

    Tearaway is a proper PS4 exclusive, a new game and gameplay was shown.

    Until Dawn is also looking amazing, a brand new game for PS4, yes it was announced for PS3 before, but it didn’t look as good as it does now on PS4 and that also had gameplay shown.

    Seriously and you knock Indies, but Sony’s platform will have Rime, exclusive, a game that looks more impressive than anything on any other console, I mean it’s like a 3D anime game, where the world is one huge puzzle.
    That game looks magical and is what games are all about.
    This is AAA in it’s scope.

    Microsoft didn’t have any quality looking exclusives actually announced at this show, Sony had 3 major AAA games announced and shown for PS4, along with indies that look to be up to par with AAA games.

    Let’s not also forget Bloodborne gameplay, which looked stunning, was the first unveiling of actual gameplay.
    More of The Order, with brighter looking environments and a clear improvement to how the game looks and plays.

    Sony stole Gamescom, Microsoft’s show didn’t even come close.

    Sony gets a 10/10 from me, Microsoft at best is a 3/10.

    • jacksjus

      That Quantum Break looks better then anything else as far as gameplay footage is concerned. That is a win for MS right there. Until Sony releases some actual gameplay footage MS got this one.

    • d0x360

      Quantum break? No gameplay but that tomb raider news sure was bombshell level

    • James Oda McCombs

      Tomb Raider is aa timed exclusive lmao. Git gud nerd

    • d0x360

      OK and what’s your point? Timed or not its exclusive.

      I swear to Christ Sony fanboys are the worst of all time. Back in the day when it was Nintendo and Sega we were civil didn’t act like raging morons poking each other with sticks. Never have gamers been so immature. It makes all gamers look bad.

    • JerkDaNERD7
    • James Oda McCombs

      I forgot about that game. lol Weird that it’s going to X1 since it’s from the makers of Heavenly Sword. But hey, game devs need money and staying exclusive isn’t gonna fill the pockets enough.

    • XboxGamer33

      Really? You don’t count Below? Or Or I and The Blind Forest beautiful showing as top notch indies? You don’t count the fact that Tomb Raider will not see any PlayStation console in the near future as a megaton? Especially considering that it started on PS1? You don’t think Forza Horizon and Quantum Break were good showings? Especially since we never saw anything on Quantum Break… You don’t count the fact that 4 bundles were announced (CoD, Sunset Overdrive, Madden, and FIFA) to Sony’s one? As well as Master Chief Collection multiplayer gameplay from MLG pros?

      You’re going to ignore all of that and give MS a 3 and Sony a 10? That is the most unbiased statement I’ve seen all day O_O

    • MrSec84 .

      Got some news for you, they aren’t exclusives, they’re coming to other platforms besides Xbox One.
      I can buy Ori day one on PC, or a short while later for my 360.
      Below is stated to be timed.

      FYI major exclusives, that were supposed to be dedicated exclusives actually are on or are coming to PC (talking about Alan Wake, Ryse and Dead Rising 3), Tomb Raider started life as a multiplat, but guess what it was announced at E3 and has had no gameplay.
      Also since when did Square Enix say that Tomb Raider won’t ever come to a Playstation console in the near future?

      I have some news for you, Tomb Raider has been on every Playstation mains connected console to date, it’s doubtful this will stay an Xbox One exclusive, especially when PS4 has outsold Xbox One 2:1 and the last Tomb Raider sold 3X as much on PS4 compared to XB1.

      Quantum Break gameplay was already shown, prior to E3, same goes for Forza Horizon 2, that’s nothing really new and both look the same as they did before (I didn’t say they were bad games BTW, just nothing new).

      Seriously where were the new AAA game announcements that Xbox One fans say are oh so important, yet Sony had more.

      I didn’t ignore a thing, I just don’t count bundle announcements as a huge presence within a game conference.

      MIcrosoft played it safe, going with stuff they think will help them catch up, showing stuff they’d already shown, as in games that have already been announced.

      A games conference is about announcements, with gameplay, Sony had more, a lot more, much bigger games, better indies, this is a balanced view point.

    • XboxGamer33

      Lmao dude you’re just angry that someone doesn’t display your opinion. You’re gonna tell me that Share Enix saying on stage the game is exclusive to Xbox.. Will suddenly go back and announce it for both. When I say near future I’m talking a year or two after launch.. Don’t kid yourself please.

      Also Tearaway and LBP3 I can play on PS3/ Vita. I can play half of the indies on PC so the same fact holds for you in that regard.

      You’re gonna tell me that aside from Silent Hill, Sony showed some huge AAA exclusives? What conference did you watch?

      Now you’re telling me we saw QB gameplay. That gameplay we saw were just a solid 15 seconds of it… What secret gameplay did you see? Forza Horizon was shown again obviously, but SSOD we got a new look at some of the enemies in there. Actual combat in Halo MCC and you’re gonna tell me that all the multiplats that Sony showed along with MS.

      Just because Sony gas sold a lot you guys think you’re entitled to every third party anything.. Like earlier don’t kid yourself. Face facta that the biggest megaton of GC was an exclusive Tomb Raider. No casual buys $400 console for indie man.

      The consensus is that overall Sony had an easy lackluster showing, I enjoyed it, but bias aside TR is a huge answer for Uncharted.

      I’m not even gonna reply because I’m not here to argue

    • Jaedre

      LOL dude you are hurt aren’t cha

    • MrSec84 .

      Not really, I’m just real.

      Anyone that thinks Microsoft’s conference was better wasn’t being honest with themselves.
      Sony showed more new stuff, with actual gameplay, had more megatons.

    • Jaedre

      idk bro Quantum Break gameplay was better than 80% of Sonys indie’s gameplay.

    • MrSec84 .

      Not even close, I mean Sony showed awesome gameplay from Bloodborne, gameplay for that hadn’t been shown before Gamescom.

      TBH Wild was vastly more impressive than what was shown of Quantum Break.

      What Indies are you referring to?
      Wild was a AAA, it’s being published and funded by Sony, developed by a legend in the developer community (Michel Ancel, the guy that created Beyond Good & Evil and Rayman).
      Tearaway wasn’t an Indie, neither was Until Dawn.

      Microsoft didn’t even announce a single new AAA game, let alone any new IPs, Sony announced a new AAA IP, that one of their game previously announced for PS3 was now on PS4 and a new game in the Tearaway series.
      All with gameplay, that’s much more impressive than everything shown at Microsoft’s conference.

  • GHz

    Wild looks very interesting. I’m in love with the idea behind the game. Sony however were too vague on how majority of these games will play, so there presentation was more of a tour. They didn’t allow us to experience how these games will play. On the plus side, they were definitely pushing video gaming as an art form though. Lots of creative indie designers out there. Their presentation solidifies PS4 position in regards to what kind of games to expect on the system. Aint nothing wrong with harvesting the potential of new indie talent. I give them a solid B.

  • DA-ROOSTER

    I totally agree Sony’s conference was weak, Microsoft had a more killer App take no prisoners conference

    • Agent_Blade

      Highly disagree. Sony has some great stuff down the road we seen to new info on some of Sony’s triple AAA titles, new HellBlade IP and a steller amount of high quality Indies.

    • JerkDaNERD7

      Hellblade is obviously going to PC also. It’s going to be a low-budget game with the emphasis on core gameplay mechanics. It’s not a major development, it’s developed and published by Ninja Theory.

      The only the thing eye-catching at Sony’s conference was WiLD. It seems like a Multiplayer Online game, which isn’t a bad thing. Microsoft had a better showing with their exclusives with interesting games and better quality indie games.

    • Guest

      ^

      In due time my buddy…

  • http://www.thealephnullsaga.com/ Jeremiah Locanas

    Lol, why I don’t own a PS4 yet. Still waiting for Uncharted 4 and better games. The Order did look promising though for the first time after the fail that was all the prior video game clips!

    • demfax

      PS4 has many great AAA games that gamers love. That’s why it’s 10+ million in sales and growing. Sony’s large number of well funded 1st parties will ensure PS4 has a ton of great AAA exclusives, as many or more than PS3.

      1st/2nd party studios include Japan Studio, Polyphony Digital, Naughty Dog, SCE Bend, SCE San Diego, SCE Santa Monica, Sucker Punch, Pixel Opus, Evolution Studios, Guerrilla Games, Guerrilla Cambridge, SCE London, Media Molecule, Ready at Dawn, Quantic Dream, etc.

      PS4/Sony exclusives Jun-Dec: The Last of Us Remastered, Driveclub, LittleBigPlanet 3, Infamous: First Light, Samurai Warriors 4, Natural Doctrine, Guilty Gear Xrd, Singstar, and lots of indies (Resogun DLC, Counterspy, Hohokum, Velocity 2X, etc.).

      PS4/Sony exclusives 2015 (announced): Bloodborne, The Order, Ratchet & Clank Remastered, Uncharted 4, Let It Die, Deep Down, and lots of indies.

      PS4 has 35+ AAA games from July to December 2014. Most of those are multiplatform but there’s no shortage of AAA games for PS4 owners.

      PS4 indie games rated 75 or higher on Metacritic right now: flower, Fez, Guacamelee, Towerfall, The Swapper, Sound Shapes, Resogun, Oddworld, Trine 2, Rogue Legacy, Transistor, Pinball Arcade, Sportsfriends, Pixeljunk Shooter Ultimate, Steamworld Dig, Zen Pinball 2, Child of Light, Trials Fusion, 1001 Spikes, Valiant Hearts, Don’t Starve, Outlast, Strider, Hohokum

      Well reviewed PS4 games not on XB1: Final Fantasy XIV, Resogun, Transistor, MLB 14, Injustice, Trine 2: Complete Story, TowerFall Ascension, Infamous 2nd Son, Don’t Starve, flower, War Thunder, DC Universe Online, Dead Nation, KZ Shadowfall, Dynasty Warriors 8, MotoGP 14, Yakuza Isshin and other Japanese games, Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee, etc.

      Sony showed the following games at Gamescom 2014, several of which were brand new reveals.

      The Tomorrow Children – Sony Exclusive
      Silent Hills (P.T. interactive teaser) – Possibly exclusive AAA game
      Until Dawn – Sony Exclusive
      Tearaway Unfolded – Sony Exclusive
      Alienation – Sony Exclusive
      WILD – Sony Exclusive
      RIME – Sony Exclusive
      The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter
      Volume
      HollowPoint
      Runemaster
      HellBlade
      Snow
      Dreamfall Chapters
      Nom Nom Galaxy
      Pix & Cat
      Papers Please
      Space Brawl
      EtherOne
      Qube 2
      Destiny
      FarCry 4
      Shadow Of Mordor
      Runemaster
      DriveClub – Sony Exclusive
      The Order: 1886 – Sony Exclusive
      Bloodborne – Sony Exclusive
      LittleBigPlanet 3 – Sony Exclusive

    • http://www.thealephnullsaga.com/ Jeremiah Locanas

      I can’t believe you actually typed that all out, lol. But sorry, I’m not interested in playing 3rd grade games like Little Big Planet or most of the Indies Sony has focused on so far. I outgrew Nintendo a long time ago. I like Uncharted and The Order has piqued my interest again after a disastrous last few months but other than that, there are no other games I’m really interested in on their platform. I’m not interested in brawlers or survival horror either. As for the 10M+ I attribute that more to MSFT’s poor marketing since Mattrick than anything else. 1080p-gate hasn’t helped either, but I focus on gameplay and story first before graphics anyway so as long as it looks great, I’m not complaining. Plus I love all the app/tv features that XB1 brings to the table. I’ve used the NFL app, the World Cup Brazil app, and love voice commands. Am hoping they bring an NBA app soon since I watch basketball more than any other sport. Now they’re even building in ability to stream TV live to any device in your home network even if you’re playing a game so I’m pretty content. I wish I liked more PS4 content but other than Uncharted and The Order, not really interested in anything else they’ve shown.

  • d0x360

    Destructoid have the impression that ninja theory’s next game isn’t exclusive. They said nt is developing and publishing the title themselves. If it was exclusive Sony would publish.

    As for the rest I haven’t actually watched it yet.

  • CEO Kaz Hirai

    Are you girlfriend of Microsoft?

  • shogunknight

    I guess the writer didnt download the P.T teaser and just quickly jumped the gun. By the way, P.T is a playable teaser for the newly announced Silent Hill. So make that 3 big announcements :)

  • Guest

    Sony = lies, overhype and underdeliver. Let the 10 million fanboys wallow in their mediocrity.

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