Content Type: Gaming News
Date: October 28, 2017
PlayStation’s Paris Games Week 2017 press conference pre-show takes place on Monday, October 30th 2017 at 3pm GMT in the UK, while European gamers can see it at 4pm CET and 5pm EET in Europe; North American PlayStation fans can view it from 8am PDT, 9am MDT, 10am CDT and 11am EDT; alongside Asian and Oceania gamers who can watch the press conference from 12am JST, 11pm AWST and 2am AEDT. PlayStation’s Paris Games Week press conference pre-show, showcase and post-show can be live streamed from https://www.playstation.com/pgw in addition to Facebook, Twitch and YouTube. As amazing as it is that there is a free official live stream of the entire pre-show, showcase and post-show; the important thing is what will be featured within the event with the Official PlayStation Blog teasing “Big new game announcements and updates”, so let’s look ahead to what could happen.
Everyone knows that E3 is the place to announce big games, but despite having done so in the past; PlayStation decided to follow a different strategy at E3 2017. It was very noticeable that every trailer shown on PlayStation’s E3 stage was an updated look at what was announced at E3 2016. It is not exactly a negative to showcase Detroit: Become Human from another character’s perspective or to present new gameplay footage from Days Gone, God of War, Gran Turismo Sport, Spider-Man and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, but it was missing a number of major announcements that have been rumoured since as early as PlayStation Experience 2016.
It is important to notice the purpose and timing of PlayStation’s strategy; as Xbox One X will launch on November 7th 2017, therefore placing PlayStation’s Paris Games Week press conference on October 30th 2017 at 4pm UK time as the closest possible event full of blockbuster announcements to shatter any build-up of momentum that Xbox One X has going for it.
PS4 Pro Price Drop
PS4 will not necessarily receive a price drop, but expect PS4 Pro to be reduced in price from £349.99 to £299.99 and $399 to $349 in a further strategic element to stunt any momentum gathered in favour of Xbox One X by making gamers question its high price point of £449 in the UK and $499 in the US.
Upping the Game on Backwards Compatibility
One of the areas that Xbox is earning respect and gaining ground is in their stance on free backwards compatibility by gradually expanding the backwards compatible Xbox 360 games that can be played on Xbox One on a week by week basis ever since the feature launched on November 12th 2015, then taking it one step further by announcing compatibility with games from the original Xbox at E3 2017 before introducing the feature on October 24th 2017. This is in comparison to PlayStation’s pay walls of PlayStation Now for PS3 games on PS4 and a range of enhanced PS2 classics which have to be purchased yet again even if gamers already own PS2 retail or PS2 digital classics versions of any game within the PS2 enhanced classics range. It is rather oddly the complete opposite to the previous generation when PlayStation were actively patching in compatibility for PS2 retail games on the original 60GB PS3 model were games such as Mafia on PS2 were not initially compatible were made so through firmware updates. However, given that PS4 is unbelievably the first-ever PlayStation platform to not be compatible with PS1 games in a retail disc or digital capacity; there is still room for PlayStation to announce PlayStation’s first-ever region unlocked PS1 retail disc backwards compatibility via a firmware update released during the press conference; therefore gaining thousands of new playable games on PS4 and the chance to be able to play PS1 gems such as Echo Night. It would not be the first time that PlayStation sprung a positive surprise in relation to a major new feature as it has happened as recently as the PS4 Pro announcement; were HDR was announced for PS4 through a firmware update.
Firming Up the Release Dates Schedule for PlayStation Exclusives
The vast majority of updated looks at games during E3 2017 did not yield confirmed release dates other than an early 2018 window; therefore 100% rock solid release dates for a number of PS4 exclusives such as God of War which is already rumoured through Amazon store listings to be released anywhere from June 30th to July 10th 2018. Sony Interactive Entertainment America President, Shawn Layden stated categorically in an interview with The Telegraph that Days Gone, Detroit: Become Human, God of War and Spider-Man will all launch in the first half of 2018. Therefore, it is time to announce the games that we can expect in the latter half of 2018 into early 2019.
There has been a recent trend that started around the time of Tokyo Game Show 2017 in which PS2 games including Zone of the Enders and Gungrave are being brought back as virtual reality games; therefore it is most probable that more PS2 games and perhaps even PS3 games will follow suit. Shuhei Yoshida has publicly stated that he wants PS1 exclusive platformer Jumping Flash to return on PlayStation VR. Further realistic possibilities include survival horror first-person shooter Dead Effect 2 VR developed by BadFly Interactive which has released as a non-VR version on PS4 and a full VR release has already taken place on HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, while survival horror Killing Floor: Incursion has already released on the Oculus Rift and Touch VR device and it is tipped to be heading to PlayStation VR.
Potential Bethesda VR Announcements
Bethesda’s support for PlayStation VR kicked into overdrive during E3 2017 with surprising announcements for Doom VFR and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR, while Fallout 4 VR has been announced for other VR devices, therefore leading to rumours of an imminent big PlayStation VR announcement. A Bethesda related announcement such as a game from the Dishonored, Quake or Wolfenstein franchises would be equally as huge. It would be great to see Bethesda revisit their classic Quake franchise as Quake Champions is set to not come to home consoles; therefore a remaster of Quake IV in a similar approach to Doom 3: BFG Edition, albeit with 4K PS4 Pro and PlayStation VR support instead of stereoscopic 3D, while retro Quake games such as Quake, Quake II, Quake 3 Arena and Quake 3: Team Arena could also be bundled in to fulfil PlayStation gamers who have been starved of any Quake action since Enemy Territory: Quake Wars in 2007 with Quake IV having never released on PlayStation platforms.
Sucker Punch was eagerly anticipated at PlayStation Experience 2016, then again at E3 2017, but on both occasions were no shows; therefore Sucker Punch is an absolute definite for Paris Games Week 2017. Shuhei Yoshida has publicly stated that he had already played it and since then, “I have played it many, many, many more times” before having to stop himself from telling GameSpot during an interview around the time of E3 2017. Sucker Punch’s most recent release was rather staggeringly over three years ago when Infamous: First Light released in August 2014 which certainly paints the picture of a new IP or multiple in-development games. After three years and a vast amount of rumours the possibilities are endless; the safer bets are on the possibility of Infamous: Cole Strikes Back and a Sly Cooper sequel becoming a reality, although a new IP would naturally take quite some time to establish the appropriate world, likeable characters and an incredible story with a tone to match. One thing that is safe to say; if Sucker Punch is not a major part of PlayStation’s Paris Games Week 2017 press conference, then gamers will be as surprised as when there was no announcement over the previous year.
While Gran Turismo Sport has only just been released; much has been made by long-term fans of the Gran Turismo franchise regarding the lack of a proper career mode. Therefore, there is a possibility that free downloadable content could be announced as a step in the right direction for a single player offline focused career mode in Gran Turismo Sport, while complaints towards the lack of classic tracks such as Autumn Ring, Deep Forest Raceway, Grand Valley Speedway, Pikes Peak, Special Stage Route 5 and more besides could also be addressed through downloadable content announcements.
Dreams was teased briefly at PlayStation Meeting 2013 during the PS4’s announcement, although it was not officially announced as Dreams until E3 2015 with a BETA scheduled for 2016 that was delayed into 2017. Even though Tearaway Unfolded released on PS4 in 2015; Dreams has been in-development for at least 4 years, therefore it is anticipated that Media Molecule will have a final gameplay reveal and a release date announcement at Paris Games Week 2017.
Vicarious Visions experienced a successful launch of Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy that was even beyond the wildest dreams of everyone in the development team and at Activision with the June 30th 2017 retail release being sold out at both high street and online retailers many times over which resulted in not only a sensational six weeks atop the UK all formats chart, but also Crash Bandicoot earning a much deserved first-ever UK number 1! Vicarious Visions now find themselves in the enviable position of being spoilt for choice as to which games to remaster in their value added collection.
Everyone is asking for Crash Team Racing to be remastered, but surely Crash Nitro Kart which Vicarious Visions actually developed and Crash Tag Team Racing are also worthy of remasters; therefore a trilogy of all three home console Crash Bandicoot racing games given the full remaster treatment would be a genuine prospect, especially considering how some of the graphical assets such as character models and animations are already there from Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy. Meanwhile, for anyone looking for a fun Crash Bandicoot party game; there is Crash Bash on PS1 and the less well received Crash Boom Bang on Nintendo DS could certainly be remastered into a party game bundle. Outside of the potential of a Crash Team Racing Trilogy and Crash Party; Vicarious Visions have previously developed three Crash Bandicoot platform games for the Gameboy Advance in the form of Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure, Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced and Crash Bandicoot Fusion, so it would be rather appropriate to see Vicarious Visions being able to return to update their very own Crash Bandicoot games. Of course, there are numerous other Crash Bandicoot platform games to potentially receive the remaster treatment such as Wrath of Cortex, Twinsanity, Crash of the Titans and Mind over Mutant on PS2.
However, there is another PlayStation icon that long-term gamers also want to see make a big comeback and that is the equally legendary Spyro the Dragon. There has been a vocal appeal to Activision for Spyro to make a return in his own platform adventures for quite some time now, while even a hashtag in the form of #RemasterSpyro is progressively gaining more attention. Vicarious Visions also have prior experience with Spyro from Spyro Fusion on Gameboy Advance in addition to Spyro’s involvement in their Skylanders franchise, while much like Crash Bandicoot; fans want the remasters to start with the original trilogy that are held in regard as three classic games developed by series creators Insomniac Gamees. There are also numerous PS2 sequels including a Legend of Spyro trilogy and Gameboy Advance spin-offs that are worthy of future remaster collections after Insomniac Games’ original trilogy is remastered.
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale: The First Generation
Sony decided to not continue support for PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, despite a reported 1 million sales within 8 months with any planned downloadable content being abruptly cancelled. However, Sony have had ample time to take stock of constructive feedback from PlayStation gamers who have tried their best to make their voices heard; particularly regarding why quite a few were put off from purchasing PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale and how that could be addressed in a sequel which is partly why it is believed there is a strong chance of a sequel. A major complaint was that there simply were not enough high profile first-party exclusive PlayStation characters from past or present such as no Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon and Resistance’s Nathan Hale. Many long-term PlayStation gamers would like to see a sequel starring all of the exclusive characters; even the more obscure characters including Blasto and Rosco McQueen from the PS1 era, while not limiting each series to a single playable character; for instance instead of Nathan Drake being the only playable character to also have Elena Fisher, Victor Sullivan (Sully), Chloe Frazer and everyone else. Another major improvement asked for by gamers was to have a more unique storyline for each character instead of repeating the same story albeit with a different intro and end.
Bloodborne released on PS4 in March 2015 to critical acclaim of From Software’s and Hidetaka Miyazaki’s Dark Souls-esque RPG. Fans of Bloodborne are clamouring for a sequel and given the fact that the longest time between one Dark Souls game to another has been two and a half years; there is genuine reason to believe that Bloodborne 2 could be announced as a PS4 exclusive at Paris Games Week 2017.
Given that Ratchet and Clank launched on PS4 a year and a half ago on April 12th 2016; it is plausible that development on another game other than Spider-Man could have already begun. Insomniac is known to have previously seriously considered developing Resistance 4 before deciding to create Fuse instead. Therefore, it is not impossible that a new Resistance sequel could happen and there were even rumours in some circles of the gaming media about an E3 2017 reveal. However, Resistance is not the only first-person shooter that Insomniac could return to. Having revisited the start of Ratchet and Clank; Insomniac could just as easily decide to explore their own origins by rebooting their cult classic 1996 PS1 era first-person shooter Disruptor. Another major way for Insomniac Games to supplement PlayStation with further games for late 2017 and 2018 beyond Spider-Man would be to port their three Oculus Rift VR games to PlayStation VR. Insomniac’s three VR games include an action adventure set within a lost expedition at Antarctica titled Edge of Nowhere; a magical world of spellcasting and multiplayer duels in The Unspoken; and an action brawler set on a mysterious island titled Feral Rites. It is probable that all three could be ported to PlayStation VR due to their release dates being in the final quarter of 2016. Usually, if a game is a timed exclusive, then that exclusivity will last anywhere from six months up to one year in the same way that Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham VR launched on HTC Vive and Oculus Rift just over six months after being a PlayStation VR exclusive.
Michel Ancel and Wild Sheep Studio
There is a possibility that Michel Ancel could have a significant presence at PlayStation’s Paris Games Week 2017 press conference. WiLD is an open-world survival adventure set 10,000 years ago in which players can control any wild creature. It has been in-development as a PS4 exclusive since 2014, although there is no official release window as of yet, but Rayman creator Michel Ancel confirmed during E3 2017 that WiLD is still actively in-development at Wild Sheep Studio and gamers “Can expect strong updates during the coming year”. A further major game that could have a new trailer is another Michel Ancel project in the form of the highly anticipated Beyond Good and Evil 2 which was finally officially announced at E3 2017.
Syphon Filter Trilogy, Remasters or Reboot
A Syphon Filter reboot for a PlayStation home console from Sony Bend has been rumoured for as far back as it being a PS3 and PSP game, but it has continually been a no show. Sony Bend developed two amazing Syphon Filter games for PSP and the brilliant PlayStation Vita exclusive Uncharted: Golden Abyss, so in my opinion; there really is no better developer to re-launch Syphon Filter on home consoles as a reboot, a remake of the original trilogy or a remaster of their PSP and PS2 games Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror and Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow. However, Sony Bend has been working hard on their upcoming PS4 game Days Gone which fuses action adventure and survival horror, although given the announcement in April 2017 detailing a recruitment spree that more than doubled the size of Sony Bend’s team and a massive expansion in their development facilities; it would not be out of the question that this collective of amazing talent is working on more than one project.
In order to prise a real talent away from being Xbox exclusive; Sony entered into a partnership with Epic Games for home console exclusivity for free-to-play MOBA Paragon. Epic Games has had a smaller team developing an all-new Unreal Tournament powered by Unreal Engine 4; therefore it is not impossible that PlayStation’s partnership with Epic Games could continue in the form of Unreal Tournament 4 on PS4.
The Agent was confirmed at E3 2009 as a PlayStation platform exclusive franchise being developed by Rockstar Games and published by Take-Two, although the game has still not seen the light of day! However, there is renewed hope with Take-Two having renewed the trademark for The Agent as recently as December 5th 2016, while previously stating in May 2011 that the game was not cancelled with rumours rife that Sony are set to announce The Agent as a PS4 exclusive, so there is a possibility of a surprise announcement. Elsewhere, there are continuing rumours that L.A. Noire’s 4K PS4 Pro remaster will feature some variety of PlayStation VR support, although it is unknown if that will be on the limited scale of HTC Vive’s L.A. Noire VR implementation or if the entire story will be playable in VR; however with the release date set for November 14th 2017, a VR announcement would certainly generate positive hype for the PS4 remaster.
After the success of Wipeout Omega Collection and Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy; it is also logical that the trend will continue starting off with MotorStorm Collection including MotorStorm, MotorStorm: Pacific Rift and MotorStorm: Apocalypse in addition to MotorStorm: Arctic Edge and MotorStorm RC with full PlayStation VR compatibility, 4K native resolution on PS4 Pro and HDR. Killzone and Resistance are also prime for the picking for being remastered in high resolution textures and HDR on PS4, 4K on PS4 Pro and full PlayStation VR compatibility throughout each game. Killzone Collection would need Killzone HD to be upgraded to modern visual standards, while further content from Killzone and Resistance beyond the main home console trilogy includes Killzone: Liberation, Killzone Mercenary and Killzone: Shadowfall, alongside Resistance: Retribution and Resistance: Burning Skies respectively which could all potentially receive the same remaster treatment.
There have been a number of successful remasters of individual PlayStation exclusive games in 2017 including Parappa the Rappa, Loco Roco and Patapon, so it is a safe bet that there will be more remasters announced from the PlayStation archives. The majority of recent PS4 remasters have one common thread being they are portable games re-purposed for a home console environment, although that is a recurring theme when you go as far back as September 2015’s release of Tearaway Unfolded, then factor in the February 2016 release of Gravity Rush Remastered and June 2017’s Wipeout Omega Collection which includes former Vita exclusive Wipeout 2048. While I prefer Vita exclusives to remain Vita exclusive; I would not be surprised to see 4K remasters of Freedom Wars and Soul Sacrifice Delta from Japan Studio, while further possibilities include Killzone Mercenary, Murasaki Baby, Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Unit 13.
Sony will most probably be called upon contractually to provide one big final push on-stage for Activision’s Call of Duty: World War II and possibly even a gameplay or story reveal for a major upcoming Destiny 2 expansion as well as Electronic Arts’ Star Wars: Battlefront II and Need for Speed: Payback. Rocksteady founder Sefton Hill confirmed via his Reddit profile in December 2016 that Rocksteady already has their first post-Batman Arkham game in-development. There is some belief that it may be a new Superman game; which would be quite interesting as Superman games have tended to be somewhat disappointing in the past, but if anyone can overcome that it is certainly Rocksteady Studios. Rocksteady’s marketing game manager Gaz Deaves stated on social media on September 28th 2017, “Be patient, fans. I know we’re not talking right now… but when we do, people are going to lose their minds. Can’t wait :D”; suggesting a reveal could be just around the corner. Many people believe that it is the right time to bring Buffy the Vampire Slayer back in videogame form and there would be no better developer to do so than Rocksteady, especially considering their freeform fighting system and open-world design. Whichever platform holder hosts the announcement of Rocksteady’s highly anticipated new game or potential franchise will have a much talked about big ticket item that could earn significant momentum as a third-party partnership.
It was certainly surprising to see no mention of indie games during PlayStation’s E3 2017 press conference other than the announcement of Undertale for Vita and PS4 during the pre-show. With a slew of indie games releasing on PC, iOS and Android platforms almost everyday; it is anyone’s guess what indie games could be announced for PlayStation platforms at Paris Games Week 2017 or if PlayStation will decide to keep them for the pre-show.
The once much rumoured Vita 3000 model featuring SD card compatibility seems to be nothing more than a pipedream by now; however there are reasons to be optimistic of at least a couple of Vita game announcements. After initially being announced at Gamescom 2014; Papers Please received an age rating certification of M for mature themes from the Australian Classification Board on August 15th 2017 and a 16 via PEGI on September 30th 2017. Another game that was long thought to be cancelled on Vita is Assault Android Cactus that also received a PEGI age rating of 7 on October 1st 2017. Considering the fact that developers have to pay to have their games age certified; this confirms that the long awaited official announcement of a release date for Papers Please and Assault Android Cactus on Vita will most likely take place very soon at Paris Games Week or at the very latest PlayStation Experience 2017. Long-term supporters of Vita, EastAsiaSoft confirmed in September 2017 that they will still be releasing Vita games in 2018 which follows on from October 2017’s release of Semispheres on Vita and very recently announcing that Cursed Castilla will be receiving a Vita port in November 2017. It is usually around this time of the year that Square Enix announces an entry in the GO series is coming to Vita and PS4 as a cross-buy bundle; therefore Deus Ex GO is expected to be announced for PlayStation platforms during Paris Games Week or PlayStation Experience 2017.
Enjoy the Show!
I hope you have enjoyed my preview coverage, predictions and factual analysis of what we could see announced at PlayStation’s Paris Games Week 2017 pre-show, press conference and post-show on Monday, October 30th 2017. Enjoy the show and come back for review coverage of the pre-show, press conference and post-show.