The Last Guardian, Shenmue III, FF VII Remake - Sony's E3
PS4 maker packs conference with long-awaited projects many thought would never happen
A lengthy gameplay look at Uncharted 4: A Thief's End was technically the climax of Sony's E3 2015 conference, but for many, the highlights of the conference came much earlier in the show.
Right off the bat, Sony opened with a trailer for Fumito Ueda's The Last Guardian. Originally announced at E3 2009 for the PS3, The Last Guardian is the next project from Team Ico, creators of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. The project has had a troubled development cycle, to say the least. Ueda left Sony in 2011 and said he would continue work on the project as a contractor, but almost nothing has been said of the title since.
Later on in the show, Square Enix showed off Final Fantasy VII Remake. While that project has never been announced before, it has been an oft-requested revision of the very first Final Fantasy game released on PlayStation platforms, and the first entry to use 3D visuals. Gone are the original game's cherubic character models, replaced by more detailed renderings of Cloud, Barrett, and the rest of the crew.
Completing the trifecta was the unusual announcement of a Kickstarter project at Sony's show. But it wasn't just any Kickstarter campaign being announced; it was for Shenmue III, the next chapter in Yu Suzuki's modern-day adventure RPG franchise. The first two Shenmue games were highlights of the Dreamcast's brief lifespan, and it has been 14 years since the second game's release. The crowdfunding campaign is seeking $2 million. Shortly after the end of Sony's press conference, it had raised $730,000 from more than 8,300 backers.
Those weren't the only big games on display. Sony also announced Horizon: Zero Dawn, a new IP from Killzone developer Guerilla Games that pits bow-and-arrow-armed hunters against cyborg dinosaurs in a post-apocalyptic future, while Media Molecule showed off its latest creation and sharing title, Dreams. Square Enix even went beyond the Final Fantasy VII Remake, using the show to reveal IO Interactive's new Hitman game, as well as World of Final Fantasy for PS4 and Vita.
In another first, Activision used Sony's E3 conference to showcase the new Call of Duty, an annual rite that had been previously reserved for Microsoft's show. Additionally, Sony said that map packs for the game would arrive first on PlayStation. On top of that, PS4 players who preorder will get first crack at the multiplayer beta in August.
Interestingly, Project Morpheus only received a brief segment, with Andrew House showing off another Guerilla original game, the eSports shooter Rigs, and listing titles like World War Toons and Wayward Sky as others headed for the platform. He stressed that Morpheus will be an optional peripheral for developers to support as they see fit.
Finally, Sony announced the latest rollout plans for the PlayStation Vue television service. It launches tonight in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and in July, Sony will become the first provider to offer a la carte channels nationwide. So far, the only participating channels confirmed are Showtime, Fox Soccer Channel, and a new Machinima channel.