E3: SONY 2016

Posted on 15 Jun 2016 by
Kyle Johnson

With their friends over at Microsoft getting their conference out of the way earlier that day, it was Sony’s turn to step up to the plate, and they certainly came out swinging. In multiple introductions, the stage was awash with color and lighting, and a live orchestra introduced and played alongside a number of the games and game announcements. Though there was little to be had to PC folk, I’ll cover what little there was, and then move into console-exclusive discussions.

PlayStation VR

Though not technically coming to PC, virtual reality is the new hotness this year, even being mentioned briefly at Microsoft’s press conference. Designed to run with current-generation PS4s, there’s a lot of technical ingenuity that seems to have come from Sony’s experience in working with high-end cameras and television sets. I’ll save the gory details for later, but PSVR is being pushed at a $399 price point without a PlayStation Camera, or at $499 with the Camera and two motion controllers. No confirmation has been released on whether or not it’s compatible with PC platforms, but Sony is pushing for 50 games at launch, or roughly comparable to the Oculus and the Vive.

Some of the titles shown during the VR portion of the show include: a new Batman: Arkham experience, Farpoint, Here They Lie, a brief section of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, a mission in Star Wars: Battlefront, and others. A VR demo of the new Resident Evil game (more on that below) was also playable on the show floor, with some attendees reporting extreme nausea during and after playing the game. Final Fantasy XV also had a VR showing, taking place in first-person while you wail on some poor beast, before jumping into a first-person car ride that apparently never ends.

Resident Evil 7

Surprising as it may seem, this first-person horror/house exploration “experience” is the new Resident Evil game. Played entirely in first-person with either a controller or VR, coming off of the offensive Resident Evil 6, this is another bold new direction for the series known for reinventing itself. The playable demo is exclusive to PS4 owners only for this week, sadly. Since Konami rather infamously canceled Silent Hills (and with it, P.T.), it makes sense that someone would look to ape some of the success. Resident Evil 7 releases on January 24th, 2017.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

Though some of this demo is purportedly playable in VR, it does give players a bit of a taste of what we can expect from the more-future shooter coming later this year. Of course, that hasn’t stopped the internet from bombarding the video with dislikes, of which there seems to be a concerted effort to collect as many as possible, but the footage does look quite good, if anything. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare launches on November 4th of this year.

Lego Star Wars: Episode VII

Strangely shown as part of the press conference, the latest Lego game of a seemingly infinite number got its first debut onstage. Featuring voice acting for possibly the first time in the series, it’s looking to hit all the high points of The Force Awakens, probably as part to not let the movies disappear from public consciousness. Episode VII comes to PC in just under two weeks.

Death Stranding

Kojima, after his rather public and ugly falling-out with Konami, has moved on to a publishing deal with Sony. Thankfully, he’s still at liberty to release games for those of us on PC, and he’s got quite the mindbending teaser to come with it. Norman Reedus, previously contracted to work with Kojima on Silent Hills returns for this baffling display of mocap, oil, babies, floating beasts, and millions of dead sea animals. No one has any idea what it means, or what it’s about, and it’s definitely a Kojima game. No release date is set yet, but I’ve got plenty of theories about the content. He said it is an action game, but in Kojima’s terms, who knows what that means. Definitely one to watch.


Though not part of the press conference itself, the new game coming from the art director of Journey is making its way to PC and PS4 sooner than we think. If you’ve never played Journey, it’s certainly an experience that you’re missing out on, as thatgamecompany has had success in the past with flOw. Regardless, it looks like quite the beautiful underwater exploration game, and it’ll be released on August 2nd of this year.

Mafia III

Another game not shown during the press conference yet still making its way to PC, the latest title in the Mafia series shows a very angry man doing very angry things to men of questionable morality. Set against the backdrop (and likely following) the Vietnam War, Mafia III takes on Lincoln Clay’s quest to seek revenge, as America struggled with notions of a “good war” and the civil rights movement. Mafia III drops on October 7th of this year.

Now then, what about console-exclusive games? It may not be our area of expertise, but as someone who seeks to educate and inform about wider gaming trends, it’s still worth touching on what else is coming this year.

God of War

Looking to steal some of the recent success of Rise of the Tomb Raider and the numerous Dark Souls games, Kratos, the rather human God of War has moved away from the Greek mythological setting of the first three games, and now finds himself in the frozen Norse wastes. There’s a lot less button mashing, and possibly even some RPG elements, things unthinkable in a series known for gratuitous violence in the mid-2000s. This is one to keep your eye on.

Days Gone

From the makers of Syphon Filter and the outstanding Bubsy 3D comes a post-apocalyptic shooter set in America’s Pacific Northwest, Days Gone. Probably easily compared to The Last of Us in terms of setting, Days Gone looks to throw hundreds, if not thousands of zombies at a player, all while struggling with very real human conflict. It’s a hard sell on a gaming population that’s likely well beyond burnt out on zombie games, but if Dying Light is anything to go by, execution is everything.

The Last Guardian

From the makers of the marvelous games Ico and Shadow of the Colossus comes The Last Guardian, another puzzle-platformer with undoubtedly a heart wrenching story to follow. Even though it’s Fumito Ueda’s first released game in over a decade, the pedigree of previous titles certainly bring high expectations for this title. Little is still known about the actual world of The Last Guardian, which isn’t exactly a surprise, as exploration and discovery were major parts of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. The Last Guardian releases on October 25th this year.

Spider-Man PS4

Very obviously a working title, the latest game as part of a buffet offered by Insomniac shows a freewheeling, web-slinging Spider-Man flying through the streets of New York City, smashing thugs into one another, and not much else. Curiously offered seemingly as a PS4 exclusive, there was little info about the new Spider-Man, including a release date and any words at all about it during the conference.

Horizon: Zero Dawn

By far, the most interesting and luscious game seen during the press conference was Guerilla’s Horizon: Zero Dawn. Known for making the allegorical and somewhat mediocre Killzone games, Horizon looks to mash up Skyrim, Grand Theft Auto, and a number of post-apocalyptic games in this brightly-colored, unique package. It’s a shame that Horizon is going to be PS4 exclusive, because every presentation of the game has been met with great interest and acclaim by the other members of the press and wider gaming community.

Detroit: Become Human

Quantic Dream is known for making strange games. The last game released on PC of theirs was 2005’s Fahrenheit, also called The Indigo Prophecy in some territories. Since then, he’s attempted to push the bounds of narration and video game cinematography, to sometimes terrible effect. This latest effort seems to attempt to strike a balance between Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls, by offering greater player choice and a variety of outcomes. Naturally story-driven, we don’t know much about this, but again, something to keep an eye on if you want to see an experimenter.

As far as conferences go, this was about as business-like as an hour and a half of game trailers could be. There’d been rumors that a sequel to Red Dead might appear at E3, though those rumors appear to be false for the time being. Little on information and heavy on footage, overall, a good conference for those who like game announcements, but not so much for those who care about the platform itself.

Comments (0)