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E3 2015: Sony Preview

"What does Sony have in store for us this year?"
E3 is just around the corner and it’s time to once again speculate as to what Sony will have for us to feast our eyes upon. The launch of the PS4 has gone very well so far even with a mixed bag of exclusive titles so far and Sony will want to keep this momentum going throughout the rest of the year. We already know that Uncharted 4 is delayed to Spring 2016 so what do PS4 owners have to look forward to before then? As Sony focuses more on 3rd party exclusive content and less on 1st party exclusive games, the two big consoles in PS4 and Xbox One will look eerily similar going forward. Let’s breakdown what I think Sony will chose to focus on next month.

Uncharted 4
It may still be a year away but I will be very surprised if Uncharted 4 isn’t still heavily featured during the press conference with it being by far Sony’s biggest announced exclusive. I expect the show to open with a live demo to remind the audience that this game is coming before then moving on to games that will be available this year afterwards.

Horizon (Guerilla Games’ new IP)
This is my pick for the big announcement that Sony will bring in terms of a new exclusive PS4 title. It’s been heavily rumored for a while now and with concept art leaking last year it surely must be time to officially show this game for the first time. Guerilla shipped Killzone: Shadow Fall a while ago now and development has reportedly been ongoing for at least three years already for a title we still haven’t seen. Now is the perfect time and place to give the audience what they want; a new IP from a trusted Sony owned studio.

No Man’s Sky
Still scheduled for 2015 and currently a timed/console exclusive (whatever that means), No Man’s Sky stole the show for many people at last year’s E3. However still so many questions are left unanswered for such a heavily anticipated game. We still don't know what exactly the point of the game is or how exactly the gameplay works. This has to be shown in a demo at some point and if it is still coming out this year,  they really should be nailing down a release date soon.

Project Morpheus
The VR arms race is already in full swing as a whole host of companies are fighting to be the first one on the market with a VR headset as well as be the one that fully breaks through as a viable product. With a release window of the first half of 2016, Sony really need to talk about Project Morpheus more and explain what makes it unique to the many other VR options out there. Expect a live demo of perhaps a exclusive game being made by a Sony owned studio (Media Molecule?) to really try and entice potential buyers to their product over its rivals.

The Witness
Now for a whole host of smaller titles that we know are coming to PS4 sometime in the next 12 months. Jonathan Blow’s new title has been a very long time coming and suffered numerous delays. Announced in 2009, this indie title is in danger of becoming a forgotten title if it fails to meet its 2015 deadline. We have to see this game in almost complete form at E3.

Until Dawn
What originally started as a PlayStation Move game now looks like a promising horror title for PS4. This game has been shown a lot at recent events and with a vague 2015 release date, we are almost guaranteed to see more of it soon. It’s a potential game that could have a “And it’s available to buy right now!” moment but the smarter plan would be to release it later in the year to cover up any holes in the fall schedule Sony might have.

Alienation (and friends)
Housemarque’s latest title is shaping up nicely for fans of their previous games and will likely be released sometime this summer. Most of these games aren't super big on their own so I expect many to be shown in a highlight reel showing all the games coming to Sony platforms over the next few months. Add also Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, Drawn to Death, Rime and Kill Strain; there are plenty of smaller titles already announced that are sure to be featured at some point.

Exclusive Content
Unfortunately one of the main parts of this conference will be exclusive content for games coming to multiple platforms. Destiny already has been heavily aligned with Sony platforms and I expect this to continue. The plans for Destiny for the rest of the year could be talked about here as the game will probably relaunch will all the new content released so far as well as new content only on Sony platforms.
Star Wars Battlefront will be heavily featured at one of the conferences and if it is aligned with Sony expect the demo that was shown behind closed doors at the Star Wars experience to be shown off here.
Call of Duty has always been aligned with Xbox but we could see that change as Halo will already be Microsoft’s centrepiece this year, COD could look elsewhere to show their new game off. If we don't see COD during Microsoft’s conference that you can bet it will be at Sony’s.
Then there’s always the return of franchises like Guitar Hero, Rock Band and Tony Hawk that will probably be more featured at Microsoft’s conference but with Sony’s lack of exclusives I have a feeling they are really gonna look to try and lock down the alignment of this year’s biggest 3rd party games to fill the void currently left with a lack of their own Halo this fall.

Now to speculate. There are an absolute ton of first party studios working on games that we are still yet to be shown or told about. Media Molecule other than working on Tearaway Unfolded have clearly had a PS4 title in the works for a while now and hopefully will show it off soon.
Sony Bend have been extremely quiet since working on Uncharted: Fight for Fortune and are way overdue for a new game. A potential Syphon Filter reboot is on the cards but all signs point towards a new IP.
Quantic Dream aren’t owned by Sony but have still made exclusive games for Sony platforms and have been working on a PS4 game since the release of Beyond: Two Souls.
Sony Santa Monica have collaborated on many projects recently and with God of War 3 Remastered scheduled for release this July it’s unlikely they'll have something new to show off before other studios that have been quieter for longer show theirs first.
Also we know that Naughty Dog have their hands full with Uncharted 4 but they do have multiple teams so it’s not beyond the realm of possibility we see something else from them. I do think even a teaser for The Last of Us 2 is still very far away but an Uncharted Collection this fall seems very likely. It could even be worked on by Sony Bend or Santa Monica.
I do also think we’ll see DLC for Bloodborne hopefully announced for later this year. From Software released a lot for Dark Souls and with the positive critical and commercial reception for the game; it would make sense for Sony to still be talking a lot about their best exclusive on their newest console so far.

Highly Unlikely Possibilities
Other than the steady stream of indie and PC games from last year, I really don’t see anything else talked about coming for the poor PlayStation Vita. A bundle with PS4 would be a last ditch attempt to sell more units but I really think Sony are happy for it to stay where it is right now. A nice addition to the PlayStation family (especially if you have PS+) but I don’t expect more than 5 minutes to be spent on the Vita nor do I expect a single big exclusive title to be announced for it unfortunately.
Persona 5 is coming to the west later this year and could be shown at E3 but is way more likely to be featured heavily at TGS. Which leaves us with one more game to talk about; The Last Guardian. Trying to predict what’s happening with the game is a fool’s errand at this point. I honestly don’t think it will be shown but Sony’s reluctance to just let the project die is intriguing to say the least. Who knows what will happen but I wouldn't get your hopes up for this one anytime soon.
So there we have it. There is actually a surprising amount of announced PS4 games that we can expect to see, even if none are big blockbuster releases. By far the most exciting aspect is the amount of studios working on currently unannounced projects. Sony could easily announce three or four big new exclusive games from their studios. Or they could announce none. Either way, we will only have to wait a few more weeks to find out.


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