2015 proved to be an extraordinary year for Sony at E3. After some seriously impressive press conferences that went on prior to Sony, nobody knew what to expect from the gaming juggernaut. Microsoft came out with its strongest lineup ever, Ubisoft showed off The Division, and EA gave a quick glimpse into the future of Mass Effect as well as the adorable Yarny. Yet the company behind the wildly popular PlayStation 4 managed to capitalize on nostalgia as well as bring some brand new heavy hitters into the fold.
With some of the biggest, most requested games already being announced last year, it’s hard to imagine that Sony could possibly have another great presentation this year. But with the competition mounting their own offensives, it wouldn’t be wise to count these guys out just yet.
Sony still has plenty of potential to keep its momentum going after E3 2016 and well into 2017. Here are a few things you can expect from the company at this year’s event.
The Last Guardian’s Home Stretch
With The Last Guardian being re-confirmed for a 2016 release, the game that almost escaped the sight of millions of fans is quickly approaching. After a transition to the current generation of hardware, and several upgrades to the game itself, Team Ico’s latest has a lot to show off. At E3 2015, fans were treated to gameplay of an early section of the game as it was re-announced. You can expect Sony to provide even more this year.
There’s a very good chance that the PS4 exclusive will be playable at E3. Some hands-on time is a great way to generate hype for the long overdue release. Different editions of the game may be unveiled as well as Sony begins to set its sights on the encroaching holiday season.
Strong Square Enix Presence
Square Enix has proven to be a pivotal force in the PlayStation 4’s momentum. Final Fantasy XV was revealed at Sony’s press conference in 2013, along with Kingdom Hearts III. Last year brought Final Fantasy VII Remake into the spotlight after years of fans requesting it. You can definitely expect Sony to capitalize on the developers/publisher once again going into E3 2016.
New gameplay for Final Fantasy VII Remake is a strong possibility, even if the game isn’t due until next year. It has also been quite some time since anything substantial was shown for the companies Disney collaboration. Square Enix alone can take up a decent chunk of the conference while also helping to raise hype to a fever pitch with just those two games.
Sony Santa Monica
Sony Santa Monica has been quiet for some time now. With the studio being the bearers of God of War, one of PlayStation’s biggest exclusive franchises, it’s about time that it steps into the light. Back in April it was rumored that the studio was working on a new entry into the series, only this time Greek mythology was been set aside in favor of something more Nordic.
Sony Santa Monica isn’t one to play its cards too early, so it comes as no surprise that we haven’t received any confirmation on the upcoming title. E3 2016 would be a great stage though, as it helps to solidify a future that will keep things moving at the same, healthy pace.
It would be great to see Santa Monica in a capacity that isn’t just helping another studio, and it’s been long overdue.
Like The Last Guardian, PlayStation VR is also on its home stretch. Due out in October of this year, Sony is guaranteed to inject some steam into the hype train. The last few press conferences for the company have made sure to push this new technology in front of fans, announcing new games, showing off demos, providing plenty of hands-on time, and more.
A price and release window were already revealed for the PSVR, so you can expect something much more nailed down. A specific date, as well as some new bundles (most likely a Gran Turismo Sport bundle) will share some time on stage. Some new games will be unveiled as well for the final push.
No Man’s Sky (One Last Time)
No Man’s Sky is due out in August after one last delay, so you can definitely expect to see it take to the stage for the fourth E3 in a row. This game has amazed nearly everyone that has set eyes on it, but the delays have been affecting the excitement. An opportunity to inject some positivity back into the situation is needed and is something that Sony would be sure to capitalize on.
There’s a very good chance that it will be playable on the show floor as well. Those fans lucky enough to get into E3 2016 will get their first taste of taking to the skies as they discover entirely new worlds. Here’s to hoping that some amazing new content is shown off though, we can only see pink grass so many times.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
Sony is keeping up its timed exclusivity deal with Activision for the upcoming Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. With Activision not having its own booth on the show floor, the publisher has decided to put its games in Sony’s. Chances are that you will also see Sony place the major games into its stage show as well.
While there has been a somewhat steady stream of exclusives from this member of the “Big 3,” Sony has also used its third-party partnerships as leverage for its momentum. Even with the initial negative reaction to Infinite Warfare, it’s still a Call of Duty game. They sell every year, no matter what press surrounds them. That means they’ll be used to draw in the attention of all fans of the series just in time for the holidays.
New AAA IP
Sony has had a steady trickle of new IP since the launch of the PS4. Instead of bombarding fans with new entries in every single franchise owned, there has been time taken to properly develop them as third-parties handle the heavy lifting. Yet each show has brought fresh surprises from Sony’s talented stable of studios.
We’ve already mentioned that Sony Santa Monica will most likely take to the stage, and Horizon Zero Dawn is definitely going to be showing up, but there are still others that have been relatively silent since the release of the PS4. Bend and Guerrilla Cambridge are two that have been noticeably absent, responsible for bringing fans Syphon Filter and MediEvil respectively. Sucker Punch has been quite for some time as well since the release of inFAMOUS: First Light. It’s time for these sleeping giants to awaken.
Vita Will Fade
Sony trying to keep the PS Vita relevant is commendable, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that it just can’t compete with the 3DS, nor does it hold nearly as much interest as PlayStation’s home consoles. The company must have realized this, because over time PSVR has taking the spotlight normally reserved for the handheld device.
E3 2016 will most likely have a very light Vita presence, if any at all. It’s clear that the company still wants to sell them, but it also realizes that pouring money into development for the console is a risky gamble. With a push towards VR and the already successful PS4, Vita will be left sitting on the bench.
The rumored “PS4 NEO” has been the focus of a lot of speculation. Many believe that Sony will unveil the updated PS4 during the E3 2016 press conference. One thing is for certain: NEO will be answered either directly or indirectly at E3 2016.
Either Sony will officially announce the new version of its home console, finally adding some truth to all of the conspiracy theories, or the company will just continue to show off great games and focus on the success of the PS4. It wouldn’t be the first time that rumors promised a reveal, only for nothing to ever come into fruition. We’ve been hearing about an Xbox One Slim almost since the first box was revealed, yet nothing has been shown at any show. I guess if you say it every year, eventually you’re bound to be right.
Is there anything that you expect to be at Sony’s press conference? Feel free to share with your fellow readers in the comments below.