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With the Tokyo Game Show just a couple of weeks away, Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Asia held a press conference earlier today with lots of new announcements regarding Sony hardware from the Playstation Vita, PS3, and their next generation console, Playstation 4. Speaking of the PS4, it has been unknown how plans are shaking out for Japan in terms of its launch, but after today they announced major details regarding that along with some surprises.
First off was the Vita, which is still doing not that bad at Japan, and arguably the only region keeping the handheld alive compared to here at the states and Europe even though there are games coming out this fall. After announcing some big Japanese games for a 2014 release such as Phantasy Star Nova by Sega and Tri-Ace, a new Phantasy Star game by well-known JRPG developers, and Soul Sacrifice Delta, a new update for Soul Sacrifice by Comcept, Sony announced a new Vita model with multiple colors simply called the Vita 2000. Remember the upgraded PSP some years after its original model launched? This new Vita is pretty much that as it s thinner/lighter, has improved battery life, 1 GB built in memory, and Wi-Fi. A video of the announcement is available below to watch. No US dates are announced for these yet, but I’m sure we’ll get them eventually.
The Playstation 3 was briefly touched on in this press conference with a montage and a Gran Turismo 6 segment by Polyphony Digital’s Kazunori Yamauchi. The game is coming out in December at Japan and likely some after or around the same time here at the states, but Japanese folks are getting a PS3 bundle with the game.
Of course the Playstation 4 was the major focus of SCEJA’s event today and they announced the launch date for Japan, which is February 22, 2014. That was some months off the US and Europe’s launches, but considering there isn't any Japanese focused games out on November here at the states, February makes sense for the Japanese launch. Plus, it shows that Sony wants to focus big time in the regions that matter in the next gen console war. Most of the US PS4 launch lineup will be out on the same day as the Japanese launch such as Knack, DriveClub, Killzone: Shadow Fall, and the multitude of third-party games, but Knack is going to be bundled with new PS4s.
Some new Playstation 4 games by Japanese announcers were shown off for the first time today from a new Dynasty Warriors by Tecmo Koei, but of course it is the same game those fans have been playing for decades now, Gundam games, Idolmaster, and another new game by Suda 51 called Lily Bergamo. Fighting game fans will be pleased that Guilty Gear Xrd, the newest installment in Arc System Works’ long running series, will not only be coming to PS4, but also coming to PS3. This is also the case with a lot of upcoming games that were announced at this press conference.
Sega’s biggest game for the Japanese PS4 launch is Yakuza Ishin, yet another new game in the Yakuza series that never does well sales-wise here at the states. Ishin is another spinoff as this does not takes place in the metropolitan streets fans have used to, but in Japan’s earlier years and the cutscene shown in the trailer below looks pretty good. Cross play support with the Vita is also announced for Yakuza Ishin along with online multiplayer up to four players as it is coming out on February 22, 2014 with no plans for a stateside release currently.
After being first shown when the Playstation 4 was first announced earlier this year, Capcom’s Deep Down makes a return appearance at this SCEAJ press conference with Yoshinori Ono back to share the latest developments with this game. Personally, I still think this is the best looking next generation game I seen so far, and it shows in the off-screen playable demonstration below. Deep Down is shaping up to be a fusion of Demon’s Souls and Assassin’s Creed as players online can merge from the future to the past fighting ancient enemies in randomly generated dungeons. This online only game is still currently a PS4 exclusive coming out sometime next year and will be playable at the Tokyo Game Show later this month.
While it was looking to be it for SCEJA’s 2013 press conference, Andrew House comes to the stage with one more thing to announce. Many hoped it was the return of The Last Guardian, but turns it was not and the game continues to be in hiatus. However, House’s big announcement was something no one expected and I was personally surprised no one leaked it.
Sony surprisingly announces the PS Vita TV, a new Vita device that seems to be their approach to the Apple TV and other top box devices. Not only this new device allows players to play Vita games on their TVs, but also PS1 Classics, PSP games, and even Playstation 4 games thanks to remote play. Even though the $150 bundle comes with a DualShock 3 controller and a 8GB Vita memory card, there are plans for DualShock 4 support in a future update. With remote play, players can stream PS4 games to another TV thanks to PS Vita TV, which is its biggest feature for those getting a PS4. Sony did say that not all Vita games can be played on the PS Vita TV due to the lack of touch support, but there are in the plans in the works for updates to certain games to be playable on the new device. PS VIta TV is coming out at Japan on November 14th for $100/$150, but I’m sure it is coming out here sooner rather than later.
With a surprising debut of the PS Vita TV along with new game announcements that will satisfy the Japanese market (from numerous Monster Hunter clones on Vita and exciting new games on PS4), SCEJA had a great press conference this year. Sure, the Playstation 4 launch at Japan is months off to US and Europe, but it seems to be the only next generation console worth getting over there with Microsoft barely having plans for the Xbox One at Asian regions currently. Is Sony’s new PS Vita TV a game changer for their roster of gaming devices and the next generation of consoles? Let us know in the comments below.