At 6 p.m. Eastern time, hundreds of thousands tuned watched The Future of PlayStation in New York and on various livestreams on Feb. 26. Many rumors were confirmed, but the most important piece of information was announced by SCEI President and CEO Andy House: “Today marks a moment of truth and a bold step forward for PlayStation as a company… We have an unwavering commitment to phenomenal play experience… Today, we will give you a glimpse into the future of play.”
House then said the magic words: PlayStation 4, followed by a tweet from PlayStation simply saying “That’s right – PlayStation 4.”
Although we were unable to catch a glimpse at the console itself, we have officially seen the controller – looking like a sleek version of the prototype leaked in the past – along with a PSN profile, User Interface, and tech demos for numerous titles. Read on for a rundown of the titles announced and other important information.
Shortly after the announcement, we got our first look at the DualShock 4. The controller is kitted out with improved analog sticks, enhanced rumble features, headphone jack, a touchpad, lower latency, and the fabled share button. The controller interacts with a camera, looking like a bulky version of the Wii’s motion sensor.
A live demo was then presented by Mark Cerny, showing Unreal 4 running on PS4 in realtime. He then went on to reveal his own work in progress, “Knack”, and presented a trailer. The game looks cartoony, but seems like a fun title. Studio Japan is behind the title, which will be (obviously) released for PlayStation 4.
Following the demo, Gaikai founder Dave Perry came forward. After a lot of talking about the share function, he confirmed another rumor: The PlayStation 4 will stream games while you download them, and the PS4 will know what you want to play. Owners will also be able to share screenshots and video clips using the DualShock’s new Share button. They followed up with a presentation of the livestreaming feature and our first look at the console’s interface. Additionally, the confirmed the rumor regarding social media interaction – kind of. While rumors had been floating around for days about YouTube, Facebook and Twitter interaction, they only mentioned Facebook and UStream, whom they have partnered with. The spectating experience is facilitated with the share button and, if you get stuck, players can play your game remotely. This, of course, led to the pairing of PlayStation 4 and Vita.
They announced shortly after that “Vita is the ultimate companion for the PS4”, and Cerney returned to the stage playing “Knack” on the handheld console. “Our longterm goal is to make every PS4 game playable on PS Vita using local Wifi,” they mentioned during the demo.
While they mentioned PlayStation 3 titles are not natively supported on the PS4, they did mention the console could stream PS1, PS2 and PS3 titles.
We were then treated to numerous trailers and tech demos, over the course of roughly an hour. We saw a teaser for “Killzone: Shadowfall”, sporting ultra-crisp visuals, a massive city, and evolved Helghast. The game was followed up with a title from Evolution Studios, a racing game called “DriveClub”. “DriveClub” is a social racer, which will be about forming teams, and we have been told the game is “not about races, it’s about challenges.” They stress the game featuring “True first-person racing”, where you see detailed footage of the character getting into the car and putting their seatbelt on. Sucker Punch’s Nate Fox then showed up, presenting a trailer for “Infamous: Second Son”, a new title that will be exclusive to the title. Johnathan Blow revealed a title called “The Witness”, an open world puzzle game, Media Molecules revealed a PS Move title for the new console, and then they brought out the third party developers.
Not much was announced here; Yoshinoro Ono of Capcom hopped on stage and went into a speech in Japanese about Capcom’s long history with PlayStation. They then showed a new IP, called “Code Name: Panta Rhei”, displaying a titled called “Deep Down”. The HUD suggested the IP demo was in realtime. Square Enix popped up and ran an Agnes Philosophy clip on the console, and Final Fantasy’s Shinji Hashimoto simply said “please be excited for E3 of this year!” Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot then unveiled “Watch Dogs”, confirmed for PlayStation 4, and a demo was played live with two people. One player controlled a camera remotely during the demo, and game mechanics were displayed.
Blizzard came around and announced they will be releasing “Diablo III” on PS3 and 4, and both Activision and Bungie went on to speak more about Destiny. Finally, the event ended, stating the console would be “coming Holiday 2013”.