Sony Gamescom Recap: PS4 Date, Price Cuts, Microsoft Burned
Finally, a free 14-day Playstation Plus membership for all non PS+ members who purchase a PS4 was revealed. Further, European gamers will be able to get an additional 90 days of PS+ service if they purchase a year of service before Playstation 4 comes out, starting tomorrow.
Indie, Indie & More
Meanwhile, Sony continued from its E3 presentation earlier this summer with an emphasis on its support for indie development. After a video full of testimonies from indie developers that Sony has been an exemplary partner, a large number of console-exclusive indie games were announced, including new title Murasaki Baby, Hotline Miami 2, N++, Rogue Legacy and The Binding of Isaac. Fez and Minecraft were also announced for Playstation 4, the latter of which is amusing, as Microsoft implied during its E3 2013 presentation that Minecraft would remain a Microsoft exclusive on Xbox One.
A total of 15 exclusive PS4 titles were announced, and though indies were emphasized, AAA games also featured large. A GTA V Playstation 3 bundle was announced, along with news that people who preorder that game on the Playstation Network will receive 75 percent off any other Rockstar title. Further, new trailers for Infamous: Second Son and Killzone: Shadow Fall, as well as trailers for upcoming games Rime (from Tequila Works), Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture (The Chinese Room), Helldivers (Arrowhead Studios) and a Shadow of The Beast reboot were shown.
Ubisoft featured heavily during the presentation, with a lengthy Remote Play demo using Assassin’s Creed IV, as well as a look at PS4 exclusive content from Watch_Dogs. That’s especially interesting after Ubisoft has hinted that Playstation 4 is going to launch before Xbox One. Perhaps this is why Ubisoft used the occasion to announce that, with the game not even out for another two months, Watch_Dogs is already being developed into a film. We will await the news of this project’s eventual cancellation with baited breath.
Sony also emphasized Playstation 3 and Vita-specific content. Vita will be getting a port of Borderlands 2, as well as a brand new game called Big Fest, which allows players to put on their own music festival with a large roster of unsigned bands and based on the trailer has many similarities to various Sim franchise titles. As for PS3, Little Big Planet Hub, a new free to play service for Playstation 3, was announced. In the trailer, narrated (as always) by Stephen Fry, the service was presented with many free to play aspects, as well as interactive, competitive and social content.
Let Slip The Dogs Of (Console) War
Sony and Microsoft will continue to snipe at one another until both new consoles launch, but at the end of Sony’s Gamescom press conference, it felt like deja vu. Once again, Microsoft looked like Goofus to Sony’s Gallant, thanks in no small part to a paltry offering that included a new Fable game. These kinds of events are no guarantee of future success, but as 2013 begins to wind down and still no release date for Xbox One, not to mention continued requests for unpopular features to be removed from the device, it was impossible not to draw one conclusion as Gamescon 2013 begins in earnest:
Sony looks more and more like the high odds favorite to win the first battle in the new console war.