PlayStation E3 2017 Media Showcase Notes

Sony has a Sid Shuman pre-game before the press event this year, so you can skip to about one hour in if you want to get to the event.

One of the trailers they opened the show with features a hideous gold PlayStation 4 that’s $249 for a few days. Get it while it’s tacky and cheap?

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

A new Uncharted game coming out just a year after the last. I had fun with Uncharted 4 last year, and this time we’ve got no Nathan Drake. Instead it’s Chloe and Nadine’s adventure in India and it’ll be out on August 22nd. At least Sony doesn’t feel the need to have some deep voiced “exclusive” before every trailer, even when this is.

Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds DLC

It’s DLC for a game I haven’t played yet. The Frozen Wilds will be out some time later this year.

Days Gone

This post-apocalyptic zombie game was announced last year. The gameplay in the trailer is pretty interesting if the game actually gives you different options for getting stuff done. No release date yet. Another exclusive.

Monster Hunter World

Capcom’s been making Monster Hunter games for a long time, but I don’t ever remember them looking like this. It’ll have four-player co-op online early next year on PS4, Xbox One, and Windows. They actually had pyrotechnics on stage at the end of the trailer.

Shadow of the Colossus Remaster/Remake

Hell yes I’d play Shadow again. It’s kind of a surprise Sony are doing this after doing an HD remaster on PlayStation 3, but this looks more like a remake than a remaster. It’ll be out some time next year on PS4.

Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite

September 19th for Windows, PS4, and Xbox One. The art is real weird on some of these characters. There’s a story demo out now. I think I’d rather play Ultimate MvC 3.

Call of Duty: WW2

Last year’s Infinite Warfare was an unexpected delight, and I was surprised at how little the other journalists I follow enjoyed it. Some still thought that Advanced Warfare was the best game from the triad of developers switching off on the game every year. I felt that going back to the same ship between missions in IW added a slice of life that I hadn’t seen in other Call of Duty games. If WW2 is as far back to its roots as it appears, it won’t be much like Infinite and even though I am sure I could still enjoy playing through it and some multiplayer, it’ll be worse for it. Call of Duty: WW2 is due out on November 3rd for Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.

Skyrim VR

It’s Skyrim VR’s trailer for PlayStation VR. While I’m sure it will be a very different experience, and it’s good that VR is getting more full games, I’m not that psyched to replay it. Still no release date, and it’s going to be on Windows as well.

Star Child

A curious kind of sci-fi side-scroller for PSVR without much other information. No release date given.

The Inpatient

The idea of playing a horror game in VR is particularly terrifying. According to the game’s description The Inpatient is a prequel for another Playstation exclusive game, Until Dawn. No release date.

Monster of the Deep: Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy XV is a strange RPG. This fishing spin-off is hilarious and will be out this September. It isn’t clear if this will be exclusive to PlayStation 4 and its VR platform or not, but until there’s an official VR solution for the Xbox One it’ll probably be exclusive by default.

Bravo Team

Another PlayStation VR exclusive. This looks totally unremarkable. No release date.

Moss

The thing I like about Sony is their tendency towards the weird. That PlayStation VR gets a solid shot of that weird is good, too. I’m a little concerned about the collectible card images depicted on the game’s website, but Moss looks good and weird and the developer promises it’ll be out late this year.

God of War

God of War is a series that I spent the most time with on the PlayStation Portable, but adding Kratos’ son to the game could convince me to try playing more of it on a console. This dadventure is due out on the PlayStation 4 next year.

Detroit: Become Human

Quantic Dream’s games are amazing. Sometimes the gameplay is awful, sometimes it’s the terrible voice acting, sometimes the story is atrocious like a bad TV movie on the Syfy channel, but I enjoy going wherever David Cage takes me whenever I play these games. I look forward to whatever Detroit has in store as it liberates androids. No release date yet.

Destiny 2

I used to wonder if Bungie was disappointed about losing the Halo games to Microsoft, and I bet they are, but Destiny is clearly their own thing and it’s good that they had the opportunity to leave Halo behind and do something different. Destiny 2 will be out on September 6th for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and on October 24th for Windows through Blizzard’s Launcher. That delay for Windows kind of sucks, and it looks like Sony’s PlayStation 4 will have a bunch of exclusive stuff.

Spider-Man

Spider-Man has a very long history with games and I’m looking forward to see Insomniac’s take on the wallcrawler. The combat looks fun and watching Spider-Man take out guys with guns feels like a refreshing change from so many shooter games. He’ll be on the PlayStation 4 next year.

Overall
This event was strange because Sony didn’t have a presenter to give context between the trailers, only bringing out Shawn Layton sparingly at the beginning and end. There was spectacle in the live music and pyrotechnics, but people clearly didn’t know when to leave after the show was over.

I am happy that Sony hasn’t abandoned virtual reality. For some of 2017 it has felt like the air around VR got stale without more hardware updates and fresh software, but there is clearly still interest and development going on for most VR platforms.

Ben Heck Got That Nintendo Playstation Working

Last year Ben Heck attempted to repair a Nintendo Playstation prototype. It was a console developed in partnership between Sony and Nintendo during the Super Nintendo era. Before Sony decided to go their own way and the project was scuttled, this prototype was developed and made its way into the world.

Last year Heck managed to get the unit loading regular Super Nintendo games. He now has the prototype loading homebrew games off of the disc drive.

“I’m upset that you changed the password to the PSN account I stole from you”

Seriously crazy stuff going on with PSN account resellers in this article from Patrick Klepek:

A few weeks ago, Mic Fok got a weird email. The person writing it claimed they’d been playing Overwatch on a PlayStation Network account for more than six months, but the password had changed recently. But why would Fok know anything about this random dude’s account? As it turns out, they’d “purchased” Fok’s account through a website called PSN Games, one of many businesses trafficking in the selling of cheap games by sketchy means.

The individual who bought Fok’s account was an Overwatch fan named Bennett Eglinton.

“Hello I purchased overwatch from psngames.org and this email was used as the account info,” reads an email from Eglinton, sent in early March. “However the password I was given for the PlayStation Network sign in no longer works. Did you happen to change it? Can I get the new info.”

As Patrick mentions in the article, this is a great reason to use unique passwords everywhere with a password manager. I use and recommend 1Password despite them switching from standalone purchases to a subscription. You should also use the free Have I been pwned? service to check all of your email addresses for public account credential leaks.

PS4 Pro Boost Mode

When Sony’s upgraded Playstation 4 Pro shipped it only offered performance improvements for games that were updated to support it. That’s a manual process that costs money (in wages) on the part of the developer to support. Not every game is going to get an update. It’s an impossible task for games that have had their development teams disbanded, or small studios that don’t have time to go back and retest and resubmit their updates to Sony.

An upcoming firmware update (4.50) is to resolve this issue, partially. Boost mode will offer enhanced performance for all older games. With the caveat that there is no guarantee they will support it.

Richard Leadbetter has thoroughly tested the new mode for Eurogamer:

In short, boost mode will work best in stabilising performance closer to target frame-rates and should prove interesting on unlocked titles, but you can’t expect game-changing miracles. Games like Destiny that stick doggedly to their 30fps cap will see no improvement, and titles certainly won’t break their performance limits and suddenly run at 60fps. However, there are plenty of games out there that glitch badly or run nowhere near their theoretical limits. In this scenario, boost mode could be revelatory.

Enhanced performance isn’t everything, and I’d be surprised if Sony didn’t eventually blacklist games that don’t work well with the boost, but this is huge news for anyone that bought a Pro and a disappointment for anyone that bought the regular Playstation 4 before this functionality was announced.

September 7th is Going to be a Busy Day

Now we know where Patrick Klepek went. In a post for Vice Gaming, with fellow Giant Bomb alumnus Austin Walker, Klepek confirms that the rumored variation of the Playstation 4 with improved horsepower would be announced on a very busy September 7th:

Sony will reveal the first details on an upgraded PlayStation 4 at a September 7 event in New York, French gaming website Gameblog reported today. VICE Gaming can confirm that it’s heard the same information from multiple sources familiar with the planned rollout for the new machine. These sources chose to remain anonymous because they are not authorized to speak publicly about Sony’s plans.

Previously, previously, previously.

That’s not the only announcement that is rumored to occur on the 7th, the iPhone 7 should be announced on the same day.

Ben Heck’s Hands-On With The Nintendo Playstation Prototype

Ben Heck met with and interviewed the people who found a prototype of the original Playstation. That was actually going to be a joint project between Sony and Nintendo where Sony would develop the hardware and Nintendo the software for a CD add-on to the Super Nintendo. The partnership didn’t work out between the two companies, which is why we have Sony’s Playstation competing with Nintendo’s consoles today. Heck tears down the Nintendo Playstation prototype in this video, and in the next part he’ll attempt to repair it.

Upgraded Playstation 4 Rumors Confirmed by Sony

Speaking with the Financial Times’ Tim Bradshaw, Sony’s Andrew House confirmed the rumors of an upcoming upgrade to the Playstation 4:

Andrew House, president and global chief executive of Sony Interactive Entertainment, told the Financial Times that the “high-end PS4” would be more expensive than the current $350 version.

“It is intended to sit alongside and complement the standard PS4,” he said. “We will be selling both [versions] through the life cycle.”

The new console, which is codenamed “Neo”, will target hardcore gamers, he said, as well as consumers with a 4K television set looking for more high-resolution content.

You should probably still hold off on buying one since pricing information (beyond that it will be more expensive) and other details were not revealed, and won’t be announced at E3 next week.

It’ll be very interesting if this is the final console generation for a long time and we end up with a more iPhone-like annual or bi-annual console upgrade cycle that maintains software compatibility.

Don’t Buy a Playstation 4

Austin Walker has the scoop on the recent rumors regarding a new half-step Playstation 4 upgrade console:

The NEO will feature a higher clock speed than the original PS4, an improved GPU, and higher bandwidth on the memory. The documents we’ve received note that the HDD in the NEO is the same as that in the original PlayStation 4, but it’s not clear if that means in terms of capacity or connection speed. Starting in October, every PS4 game is required to ship with both a “Base Mode” which will run on the currently available PS4 and a “NEO Mode” for use on the new console.

The article has many more details regarding the upgraded console and what Sony will require of developers, but it really doesn’t read like a huge upgrade to me, and it certainly won’t be true 4K. Even a high-end gaming computer can’t hit 4K at a good framerate for big 3D games.

For now, original PS4 purchasers are good, but I would be surprised if a year into the release of this new console the original “base” PS4 isn’t discontinued in favor of the NEO, and then soon after the requirement that developers target both consoles is dropped as well. Either way, don’t buy a Playstation 4 until you hear Sony give plans publicly at E3.