E3 2014: Sony Press Conference Impressions and Reactions

Man, Machine, the Fusion.

Building upon a commanding performance during last year's press conference, Sony launched into their E3 2014 presentation with confidence. They unveiled a stable of new game announcements, extended trailers, and updates on their upcoming hardware, culminating with the reveal of teaser trailer for the much-anticipated Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. There is a lot of ground to cover here, but the GameSpot editors are here to share their opinions and put all of these announcements in perspective. And in case you missed any part of the presentation, you can check out our live blog of the entire event.

Pie in the Sky -- Tom Mc Shea

No Man's Sky shouldn't be possible. As the action unfolded in this unbelievable adventure, I kept babbling, "Oh my god, oh my god" like I was on my deathbed. I was in awe. Being able to explore a small planet would be enough to make me giddy, but an entire universe? One populated with all manner of planets, ecosystems, animals, and who knows what else? That doesn't sound like it should be real. It's the most incredible game I've seen in some time, and the one that I've seen thus far that I'm most excited to play. Even thinking about it is making me anxious, so let me move on to a couple other things that caught my attention.

No Man's Sky

Abzu looks almost as stunning as No Man's Sky. Swimming through underwater locales with creatures drifting dangerously nearby? Sign me up. My greatest fear is being stranded in the ocean with a blue whale under my kicking feet (they're so huge), but seeing them realized in a game--where I can swim nearby without having a heart attack--makes me so excited. Finally, there was Bloodborne. We saw almost nothing about this game, but who cares? Dark Souls is my favorite game ever, and I'm excited for everything Hidetaka Miyazaki makes.

Sony's conferences often get bogged down by random pitches that have nothing to do with games, so I had to suffer through stuff I had no interest in yet again. But everything that was shown through the rest of the conference looked downright stunning. Plus, I'll finally get a chance to play Grim Fandango--and on my Vita, no less!

Keeping in Stride -- Justin Haywald

While it was disappointing to not hear again (for yet another year) about The Last Guardian, the bombshell announcement of a remastered Grim Fandango on PS4 and Vita makes up for it. And every time I see No Man's Sky and imagine the staggering depth of an explorable world they're creating, I'm dumbstruck that it's made by a studio of just four people.

Far Cry 4

Altogether, this E3 has been like Christmas for gamers: The ridiculously adorable LittleBigPlanet 3. The tension-filled gore of Bloodborne (or what we were previously calling Project Beast). The stupidly fun action of Far Cry 4. And of course, finally getting an announcement of Grand Theft Auto V on current-gen, with the ability to transfer saves from previous-gen. Now that the PS4 and Xbox One are out, I was anticipating a lot of big game announcements at E3. Sony delivered on that promise in spades.

Strong Promises -- Kevin VanOrd

While everyone else bemoans the (very predictable) lack of The Last Guardian, I will instead get giddy about the gaming future. Sony’s E3 2014 press conference was loaded with goodies to get excited about--so many that I don’t even know where to begin. But begin I must, and so I shall first start with No Man’s Sky, a procedurally generated game that has you flying through space and exploring planets, seamlessly transitioning from the blackness of interstellar space to the vibrant colors of entire worlds teeming with life. I don’t know how compelling the gameplay will be in either venue, but I am giddy just thinking of how many beautiful things there could be to discover and how many dangers there might be to escape. I am an explorer at heart; I long to find new worlds never before charted, and new sights never before appreciated. No Man’s Sky could very well be my dream game.

Bloodborne

On the opposite side of the tonal spectrum is Bloodborne, which boasted a different kind of beauty. The game was previously being referred to as Project Beast, and is under development at From Software, the creators of Dark Souls. Bloodborne looks just as bleak as the Souls series, but it possesses a decidedly Victorian vibe; I half expected to see Jack the Ripper rise from the shadows. I’ve no doubt, however, that Bloodborne’s evil entities will be no less fearsome than the infamous serial killer.

How intriguing that Sony is bringing us darkness to offset the light. I expect enchantment and eeriness in equal measure in the year to come.

See more coverage of E3 2014 →

Written By

GameSpot senior editor Kevin VanOrd has a cat named Ollie who refuses to play Rock Band because he always gets stuck pla

Discussion

18 comments
FLEEBS
FLEEBS

Although I thought Sony had some great announcements, I felt their conference was extremely boring.

battlefront1943
battlefront1943

This is how I saw the Sony vs MS shows.

First, the MS show:

1)  MS showed me COD:AW but it's multiplat and looked like it wants to be KILLZONE.  What does it mean when COD morphs to become a clone of a series (KILLZONE) that was originally created as a futuristic COD clone?  The irony.

2)  MS showed me SUNSET OVERDRIVE, but it looked like a cartoon children's version of INFAMOUS.

3)  MS showed TOMB RAIDER 2, and while the first game is ok (I played through it once...  liked game but hated that ending), it always made me want more UNCHARTED, a better series.  And...  multiplat.

4)  MS showed a new FABLE that looked decidedly last-gen but with a nifty Dungeonmaster-like "God mode" enemy placement mechanic.  It's an interesting mechanic, but not enough to get me to play FABLE.

5)  MS showed DRAGON AGE INQUISITION, multiplat.

6)  MS showed WITCHER 3.  IMHO, this was the absolute highlight of MS' show, but it's multiplat.

7)  MS again showed PROJECT SPARK...  wasn't interested last year, not interested now.

8)  MS showed FORZA HORIZON 2.  Just don't like racers enough to get excited with this.

9)  MS showed EVOLVE!  Great!  Multiplat!

10)  MS showed AC:UNITY!  Multiplat!

11)  MS showed THE DIVISION.  Multiplat.

12)  MS showed PHANTOM DUST...  Uh, that trailer was ridiculously laughable.  Game might be fine, but I don't care to ever find out.

13)  MS showed SCALEBOUND...  Uh, ok.  You ride a dragon.  For a franchise into at least a second game you can get away with a nothing trailer, but this is a new IP with nothing to show.  It didn't even make the dragon-riding look cool.  Next.

14)  MS showed CRACKDOWN.  Fan service for long-time XBOX players but nothing here to get PS players to jump ship.  I'm looking at a person aiming a rifle...  uh...  is that it?  Uh...  don't care.

15)  MS showed HALO.  Repackaging mostly.  Still never saw anything that would make me want that series.  Again, I think the hardcore HALO fans already own XBOX ONE and people with PS4's either don't care about HALO or got their fill years back.  I'm just not interested enough in the series to care.  Plus, isn't DESTINY the new thing?  

Now SONY show:

1)  DESTINY.  It's a new multiplat IP with an alpha and beta on PS4.  Not that exciting to me, but I've heard people talking about the alpha and beta.  Dunno.

2)  Sony showed THE ORDER 1888.  While on-rails, the setting, tone, and aesthetic of the game have gotten me interested.  I will say there's nothing like this game currently in the market.  We'll see what they release?

3)  Sony showed BLOODBOURNE!  This was THE WITCHER 3 moment of MS' show in Sony's show...  but this time it was a console exclusive.  This Miyazaki game will sell consoles!  Amazing coup to get another FROMSOFTWARE exclusive this gen.

4)  Sony showed LITTLE BIG PLANET 3.  I've never played LBP.  I've never wanted to play LBP.  I'm not a LBP kind of guy...  but this gameplay made me laugh and co-op reminded me of what I loved about TRINE and TRINE 2.

5)  Sony showed ENTWINED.  I liked the idea, but the presentation was poor and I didn't connect with the game.

6)  Sony showed BATMAN ARKHAM KNIGHT.  WOW!  But multiplat.  I've never been interested in a Batman game, but I've never seen a game like that.  Pretty amazing.

7)  FAR CRY 4.  Multiplat...  but something possibly extremely important to PS4 came out in this gameplay -- if you own a game, a friend from your friends list can join your game session for co-op, even if they don't own the game.   WHAT!?  And the number of games implementing this is supposedly going to grow quickly.

8)  NO MAN'S SKY.  This indie exclusive came out of nowhere and had "wow" factor +10!

9)  BROFORCE to PS4!  Yeah!

10)  DEAD ISLAND 2.  Multiplat and *meh*

11)  INFAMOUS stand alone dlc.  When added to the mp KILLZONE dlc on the show floor, it made me feel good that there's continued support for past PS4 releases.

12)  YOUTUBE to PS4!  Finally!

13)  THE LAST OF US REMASTERED.  I have the game.  It's great.  Need a repackage?  But then I've heard people at game shops saying PS4 is their first PS system, so...  guess it makes sense.

14)  GTA V.  Multiplat...  and been played

15)  The POWERS presentation.  Uh, SUCKED!  Lowest point of the show.

16)  PSTV.  Finally on Western shores, but will Sony open up and tweak games like UNCHARTED GOLDEN ABYSS for that console?  Still hoping...

17)  BATTLEFIELD HARDLINE.  Multiplat, but that beta is kinda intriguing...

18)  MGS V.  Multiplat.  Darn you Kojima.  Remember how MGS was Sony exclusive?  Uh, always...?  Ha.

19)  UNCHARTED 4.  I wanted more of a reveal, but that game will sell systems.  Hasn't been a bad UNCHARTED game and don't expect one now.

20)  PSNOW.  This could be huge.  Strangely, this is my biggest draw for this E3.  Amazing if it works.  Really love this!  

Overall, Sony didn't have a lot of first party AAA content, but I'm fine with that.  There are plenty of games coming out and I enjoyed what I saw from Sony.  It felt like the company was moving forward with MORPHEUS, PSNOW, PS4 tweaks, and a lot of content.  Yes, MS showed more games, but Sony showed a company strategy that I liked.  The Sony presentation wasn't polished, but it did the job.  MS showed lots of games but nothing I care to play that wasn't already multiplat.  

SaudiFury
SaudiFury

I thought Sony and Microsoft both had great conferences. and while i'm more in Playstation's camp. there is now enough interesting games for me to justify an Xbox One. the idea of playing through Halo 1,2,3,4 and 5 is pretty awesome and i'm not a multi-player guy, but that right there is plenty of story to go run with. then there was Scale Bound and Sunset Overdrive that caught my interest. 


As for Sony's camp, The Order 1886, Grim Fandango (a series i never played before), No Man's Sky, Far Cry 4 (I know, multi), Uncharted 4 : A Thief's End, Batman Arkham Knight, Metal Gear Solid 5 : Phantom Pain (my most anticipated). 


It is most definitely a good time to be a gamer. 


Just coming this holiday - that we know of - i am most def picking up Far Cry 4, Assassin's Creed Unity, The Crew (and i don't care for most racing games), Evolve, Battlefield : Hardline, inFamous : First Light, Destiny. 

then there is the Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD, Borderlands : Pre-Sequel. supposed launch of Roller Coaster Tycoon 4 for PC. 


Look forward to Gamescon and TGS for more announcements. 


Hoping to see Nintendo step it up.

mwamba1
mwamba1

The time of the year we get to get excited over things we don't currently have...let alone the fact that we don't know exact dates of when said games arrive. I hate waiting :(

Gallowhand
Gallowhand

Apart from the boring talk about hardware and TV, etc., I quite enjoyed Sony's conference.  The announcements of Dead Island 2, Little Big Planet 3 and a remaster of Grim Fandango took me completely by surprise.  It was good to see some flesh on the bones of some of the recent trademark filings as well.  Bloodborne looks very dark and gritty.  Entwined looks enchanting.

The gameplay of Far Cry 4 has me very excited for that game.  The Order: 1886 is looking more and more like a linear experience, which is a bit disappointing, but I still love the theme and setting, so if the story is good I will probably get it.  ABZU looks intriguing, and I had no interest in No Man's Sky until I saw the gameplay footage - now I'm looking forward to learning more about it.

homey_d_clown
homey_d_clown

IMO neither console won this E3, Gamers won!

They both have great games coming up, I'm just glad I own all new gen consoles and can play what I want without limits.

Also glad I waited to get the XB0ne with out Kinect, nothing new was mentioned for it.

Halo 5

Uncharted 4

The Order:1886

GTA5

rasterror
rasterror

This conference was terrible. While Microsoft's look well put together, planned, and practiced over and over again, Sony's was thrown together with a "whoever is available just put them on stage" deal. It's like watching Phantom of the Opera on Broadway then watching my 2nd grade class' Phantom of the Opera play. I was the Phantom because I was the only one who could slightly play the piano and sing. One of my favorite games ever is LBP and that LBP3 presentation made me lose interest a lot. No Last Guardian speaks volumes to me. And the fact that their longest presentation was about a TV show based on a comic book with the guy just rambling on and on had me nodding. Far Cry 4 felt more like Far Cry 2 and nothing fresh like 3, Destiny looks kind of like Borderlands minus the fun, and where's the games for the Vita? No Man's Sky should get best new game or even best in show in my opinion. The move from land to space was seamless and the colors were rich and vibrant. I'm not an Uncharted fan even though I will get it and Bloodborne is far from m type of thing. And the fixation on being able to play PS3 games on a PS4 was too much. 


The one thing the conference did sell me on was getting a PS3 again. Why buy all of these new systems to play PS3 games at full price when you can buy a PS3 and play them at discounted prices?

jeager_titan
jeager_titan

Well bloodborne. You are the reason I will buy a PS4. Damn you sony and your exclusivity.

novar1999
novar1999

After owning both a day one PS4 and day one Xbox One, I'll sum it up both live events in short 

"hi everybody, we're releasing every delayed game and every delayed feature you thought would be out last xmas this xmas..." the end.

SaudiFury
SaudiFury

@Gallowhand

I agree, I don't care for Dead Island series, but i did think that the cinematic trailer was funny.

Khasym
Khasym

@rasterror "Why buy all of these new systems to play PS3 games at full price when you can buy a PS3 and play them at discounted prices?" 

Because you will then be able to play PS4 games as well as PS3 games?

As far as the content, ummm who still needs to scrap egg off their face from last year? I don't think Microsoft could have gone to another E3, and looked a little shaky about their future(never mind that their own actions rocked the foundations of MS profitability) They NEEDED to radiate confidence and trust. They were basically apologizing to the gaming world. A half hearted apology before us would have been quite disingenuous. 

Sony came out, and basically followed through on their promise to KEEP delivering games, old and new, to the Sony library. PS 4, PS 3, PS Vita, or a Sony TV, you will be able to game as you choose. I'm an Xbox Defector, and I have not a single regret about my decision.

xenus_13
xenus_13

@rasterror


Microsoft just talked about games, which was great, but it really failed to mention anything else about the system such as Kinect, XB Live Gold or anything else really that made it stand out from PS4.


Sony covered games, a boring Powers presentation I agree, PSN, PS+, PSNow, Sony TV game streaming, PS Vita and even touched on it's camera and VR stuff. Seems to me Sony has a lot more to offer gamers than MS this year again. Plus I found Sony's guys much more engaging and human than MS, no where near Ubisoft though. 

rasterror
rasterror

@Khasym But what PS4 games? All of them seem to be coming out next year unless they're delayed like they have been.  MS slipped but they dusted themselves off and came back stronger. But why bring MS into this? Sony came out and they looked lost. They looked like they were hoping MS slipped so they could ride off of them again. But seeing that they couldn't they just seemed to stumble. They looked so unprepared, so unprofessional. They really didn't show much outside of what was expected. And a snippet of what's coming later isn't exciting. It's like they're taking the old Xbox road and hyping up exclusive content or games that will be elsewhere. And where was the love for the Vita out side of amazing free 2 play games. No Man's Sky was the game that wowed me but to see that it is a multiplat really didn't do Sony any good.  There's always next year.

xxmavr1kxx
xxmavr1kxx

@xenus_13 This comment made me laugh. When MS brings up the Kinect, everyone says they don't want it. They talk about the Tv stuff, the comment sections get filled all MS does is TV TV TV SPORTS TV TV.


Ms made a bunch of announcements before E3 to have there shows focus just be about games. Yet, there are people who say showing only games means they have nothing else to show??


I just don't understand it anymore. I would like to see the comments if the shows were flipped.



Khasym
Khasym

@xxmavr1kxx @xenus_13 Microsoft doesn't know what horse they want to hitch their wagon to. THAT is the message they are still shelling out. Last E3, MS told the gaming world that they knew we didn't care about gaming and built an entire console and infrastructure AROUND not caring about gaming. This E3, they pretty much said "Okay, we get it, we were wrong. Here's the E3 that should have happened last year." But it's still a year late. 

They screwed over their pre-kinectless X-1 buyers by basically ensuring the kinect, the device MS touted would work and create new gaming opportunities, is once again an optional device for game makers to try and use. They will screw over their kinectless X-1 owners, as their game makers fights the two headed MS ogre, that in one breath asks for game makers to code for the kinect, but in the next says not to negatively impact non-kinect owners for their gaming dollar. 

Sony just focused on games. You've got a great library of PS3 games that will soon be available on the PS4. You've got new big budget titles coming, and a truckload of indie games. You've got arthaus games, you've got straight up games, you've got puzzlers, shooters, drivers, sports....this is gonna go for a while if I keep it up. 

As for countering Microsoft.....well, when Sony TV's can now play PS3 games with a dualshock controller, deliver the streaming content of the PS3, and basically be a mini Ps3 in and of themselves, I no longer CARE what multimedia options the Xbox One might deliver. As I said before, it's far easier for a TV to do the multimedia stuff AND game, than have a console do the multimedia first, THEN game.I don't even have to talk a friend into buying a new console. Just talk to them about a new Sony TV, tell them that for a good $50 they can get a controller and play old, great PS3 games without missing a beat, and let the natural processes of gaming suck them into a new world.

sammoth
sammoth

@Khasym  You're forgetting those nice fees that will come with playing those old games. Also the cost of the extra piece of hardware. Say what you want you will gobble it up like you have on both posts. MS was not great, nor was Sony. All Sony did was hand you reasons to buy new hardware and new subscriptions. Playing old games is not what most people are looking for. W/T/F is the point of all the talk of how powerful the hardware is with not games to showcase that power.