February 20th is finally here, and the day of reckoning has come. Sony is (almost certainly) set to unveil its new console to the public in an exclusive event starting at 6pm EST/3 PST. Will Sony make all of our dreams and wishes come true? Will we finally find out what’s going to happen with the Last Guardian? Will the PlayStation 4/Orbis/Whatever-it’s-called unite nations and bring world peace? Only time will tell.
We’re just as excited as you are, and we’ll be watching right along with you. Or maybe you can’t watch — maybe you’re at your job, at school, or a funeral, and streaming video isn’t exactly the best option. We’ve got you covered. Tune in here when Sony begins their presentation for a liveblog of the entire event. We’ll offer our own brand of reporting and color commentary, so you can stay up to the minute with all of your co-workers/schoolmates/fellow mourners. And if it turns out the conference is about nothing but Vita games, you can be disappointed right along with us.
The future is (hopefully) coming. Won’t you join us?
Alright everyone, we’ve got less than 15 minutes for the #Playstation2013 event to start. Who’s excited?
Welcome to the Gaming Trend liveblog. I’m David Roberts, your host. And I have a few people with me, if they’d like to introduce themselves.
Victor Grunn here, waiting to see what Sony’s going to reveal to the world.
Roger that Red 5, this is Jeff Burke, reporting in.
Breanna here, in before Sony doesn’t actually tell us anything new.
3 hours of Vita coverage! Read: 3 hours of dead air.
Ok Sony, show me something good
Anyway, what predictions do you guys have? What would you like to see from Sony today?
Of course this event is about what everybody is dying to hear- expanded Wonder Book support
Maybe J.K. Rowling will make a Wonderbook of her new book, to get that edgy adult market.
One thing I DON’T want to see: any kind of anti-used game, one user per disc nonsense.
My prediction: Sony Exec walks on stage, announces Last Guardian on sale next week. What follows is a glorious excess of rainbows, unicorns and butterflies.
Sam Raimi walks on stage to present Evil Dead: Necronomicon for Wonderbook. Comes with new peripheral that actually swallows your soul.
I’m guessing they’re going to push some kind of deeper interoperability with the Vita, and some limited WiiWare style action for small developers. Just pulling the latter out of thin air, but hey, that’s my bet.
Still 2 or 3 minutes to go, but I’m strangely hypnotized by the pre-rendered Playstation graphic that’s repeating.
ONE OF US ONE OF US
If they price it above $400 the PS4 is dead in the water
Cue horrible saxophone music
Well, at least the cheapest model. I’m sure they’ll have several SKUs
ahhh, generic funk music.
I’ve heard $429 for the base model, $499 for more hard drive
I imagine they’d pay attention to price point this time, yeah. Last time that bit them for a while.
I think if they can get under $450, Sony will be fine for the cheapest model.
Kotaku pulled those numbers out of their butts
SHHHHH IT’S STARTING
This music is what would have happened if Daft Punk had fixated on saxophones instead of electic guitars. Altman be praised we don’t live in that universe.
Here we go!
Sizzle reel begins.
Okay, so the start of the presentation is a Metric song. I’m okay with this.
Nice, Metric’s Monster Hospital.
As remixed by MSTRKRFT.
Playstation wants to win the war, apparently.
Winning the war against reality sounds vaguely ominous, like it’s going to suck you into the TV or something.
This sizzle reel just got a lot more EPIC.
Hey, I saw Parappa!
Andrew House is walking on stage
Simplified? Don’t Wii out on me, Sony.
He’s explaining how we can make social interactions streamlined
“ease of access regardless of device is a priority.”
Uh-oh, “social interaction”? Please no Facebook share buttons…
“consumer centric, developer inspired, commitment to phenomenal game experiences”
And we’ve opened with the vita.
“Continue to unlock Vita’s potential.” You better get on that…
Here we go, talking about what the consumer expects from gaming now.
“While we once had changed the gaming landscape, now the user is changing us.”
Social media will be a huge part of next gen, mark my words
I’d rather that original games were a huge part of next gen, but you’re probably right.
Lots of talk about “next generation technology”, “the future”, etc. Out with it, Sony!
And there we go: this is officially a PS4 reveal
Next up on the stage: lead system Architect on PS4, Mark Cerny
Lead architecht is talking about how the PlayStation could simplify development. Oh, the irony.
Consoles were a single-purpose device.
“PS3 the top platform for netflix?”
“PS3 Connects to a broad range of services”
“The need to radically customize technology can harm development”
Cell processor, he’s talking about you.
So, ecosystem change here cashes out to greater multifunctionality. Not a big surprise given the Netflix and general net capabilities we’ve been seeing.
Goals for Ps4 No. 1: Nothing comes between platform and the joy of play.
“If devs are happy, we could unleash the creativity and innovation of newer games.”
“We were able to create in Ps4, a platform by game creators, for game creators”
Enhanced PC GPU
Supercharged PC Architecture, and 8 GB RAM
8GB of RAM, not the 4GB preiously reported
Live demos coming up.
8 gigs memory is a major jump. That’s always been a console bottleneck.
New controller is Dualshock 4.
And the new dual shock 4 looks almost exactly like the photos we’ve seen.
The new controller, which most of us have seen already
It’s slightly more refined David
Enhanced rumble, reduced controller latency.
There it is. A share button on the controller.
Touchpad, light bar to determine player. And stereo camera.
The use of the colored light bar is interesting. It’s like the move but without the strange golf ball.
Unreal 4 Demo running in real time on the PS4. Looks pretty.
Well, gorgeous graphics, no question there.
I hated the motion functionality of the PS3 controller. I’m not convinced turning the DS4 into a move wand is a good idea
‘In ps4, an extraordinarily easy conversion path from the PC.”
“2 Teraflops of processing” damn.
PS4 memory will be GDDR5
~1.84 teraflops, actually
Running a “million object processing simulation” all running on the GPU, not CPU
Physics demo below uses 1×10^6 objects
Cute, Pixar looking game, about a robot called Mac.
Game footage is showing a small robot fighting goblins.
Sony proceeds to show off their graphical cabapilities with…a cell-shaded game?
I’m sure it’s all running in real-time though.
It’s called “Knack,” not Mac.
The Knack demo is…conflicting. What tone is this game going for?
Right off the bat, new IP. Nice.
Tackling user experience now.
“We wanted the platform to be consumer oriented, with a premium on ease of use.”
Suspend/Resume with a push of a button.
Looks like sony is aware how much people dislike waiting to play games.
Suspend/resume a fantastic idea. Love it on portables, will love it on a home console.
Seconadry chip that manages processing, like downloads.
Digital titles playable as they’re being downloaded. Nice!
Okay, thankfully we can now download in the background.
Told you- social is going to be huge
Always on video compression/decompression.
First look of the PlayStation store. Seamless uploading of gameplay.
big note: the decompression / compression is HARDWARE, not software.
Major advance on the social media front with making sharing video/screenshots easier. Nice to know it’ll be easier to share such things.
Browse live games of your friends, join their games as you’re watching them play.
Apparently you can hijack control of friends games remotely.
Sounded like you can literally take over the controller remotely of a friend playing? Very interesting.
“No, that’s not right! My turn!” yoink
Smartphones to browse video, challenge matches, etc.
“Our final ambition with PS4 is personalization.”
Pre-loading of content the console guesses you’ll like? Could work, could be a pain.
Apparently not only is the Twitch feed choppy, the Sony feed is borked too. Game Trailers has been rather fluid, lately. Watch it here, if the feed above doesn’t work: http://www.gametrailers.com/netstorage/psmeeting/index.html
Next speaker: Dave Perry–cofounder of Gaikai
Now we get to the streaming portion of the show.
Time for some details on PlayStation Cloud?
Sidenote: Aladdin was the first game I ever beat.
Genesis or SNES?
“Fastest most powerful network for gaming”
“free exploration possible for any ps4 game.”
Try it Now: streaming a game demo right from the store.
“With Gaikai in the Playstation store, you’ll be able to try anything you want.”
“Buy only what you love.”
Partnered with Facebook and Ustream.
DingDingDing!! The award for most accurate predictions of social media integration goes to Mike Dunn!
Combining social platforms create “first social network with meaning”
Spectating is getting a lot of attention on the PS4. Making it easier and faster.
With one push of a button, you’ll be able to stream your gameplay live.
Bam. Video broadcasting directly integrated.
Harassing your friends for doing poorly in games will be easier than ever!
People can post comments directly to your screenshots or videos. Ask friends to help you.
Developers get new spectating tools.
Developers can insert command buttons where friends can help out at specific parts of a game.
Sounds like what the promise was with the Wii U’s controller, except far more convenient and powerful.
Multicasting is easy too, broadcast right to Ustream.
These collaborative social features sound nice, but I’m skeptical based on Sony’s track record
Enhance gameplay via second screens, like remote play.
Built into architecture of PS4, through Vita.
PSVita equals WiiU tablet
There they go, doubling down on the Vita. Hopefully it pays off.
Maybe now people will actually buy them.
Video looks great. No streaming hitches that plagued PS3-PSP remote play.
Key problem is still the price on the Vita. Price drop would be nice.
So what will the combined price of a PS4 and Vita be?
Longterm goal is to make all PS4 games available on Vita through remote play.
If Japan is any hint, a Vita price drop is coming.
Talking about the various services on PSN, like Movie/Music unlimited, Netflix, etc.
More specifics coming later in the year.
They should include a free Vita with every PS4
PS1/PS2/PS3/mobile games potentially available on PS4
“Everything Everywhere” is the potential of their cloud service
Gaikai “fully greenlight” by Sony.
Centralizing game ownership. Sounding a little like Steam for a PS4.
Cloud services will be revealed in phases, most likely not all available at launch.
Sizzle reel of developers developers developers
Tim Schafer is on the promo real. Everybody throw money at it!
Developers seem excited. Sony came to them asking for what they wanted.
Simple = Elegance.
The more elegant it is, the easier it is to get depth.
“The system is aware of what’s going on in the player’s room at any point.”
System is aware of the player, and will know what games the player is interested in.
Developers basically hitting all the talking points discussed so far. From their POV.
No start up time. Literally just walk into a room, pick up the controller, press start, and off we go.
While they’re rehashing the talking points so far, I gotta say – I’m excited. These actually sound like promising, smart features across the board.
Yeah, if they can deliver on this, then Sony’ll be off to a great start.
@Victor. Easy there. They said amazing things about the Xbox 360, and when it launched it was totally broken.
Michael Denny from Worldwide Studios is taking the stage.
Yeah, but the vision is solid at least, and it’s easy to screw that up.
I knew I should have bought some Sony stock this morning…
“Future of playstation is about great games”
“Bring new synergy of hardware, software, network.”
A look at some games now! Let’s do this.
First up, Hermann Holtz from Guerilla Games.
Here comes Killzone
I always loved how the Helghast are unabashedly space-nazis.
“Two factions divided by vast wall, similar to Cold War
Killzone: Shadowfall teaser first off the blocks.
i think it’s a live demo. Guy’s on stage playing it.
Although, the killzone 2 demo was supposed to be live as well, and that was fabricated.
Game looks gorgeous. We’re getting a POV of a soldier in a helicopter, lands at a huge brightly lit city.
And yet it still wasn’t as fake as the Aliens: Colonial Marines demo.
Yeah, they’re definitely delivering on the graphical power here.
And just think of it this way: this is first gen stuff. Give it a few years.
Guy’s walking through checkpoints, a bomb goes off. Explosion ripples out in slow motion.
That was the coolest explosion since F.E.A.R.
Lots of effects. Paper and dirt flying through the air, debris and sparks raining down.
See? What’d I say? Space-nazis.
The amount of effects on screen is astounding.
the Player’s weapon has some kind of charge-up sniper shot.
Everything is fluid and smooth. No frame dips, no janky textures or crappy flame effects. Pretty sure this is running at 60fps.
I really like how the helghast heavy machine guns are mimicking the sawblade sounds of an MG-42.
This is stunning to watch. Amazing detail, smooth, and fun looking on top of it.
You know how publishers will post CG videos of their games? This looks kinda like that.
The most impressive thing about this demo is the framerate.
Slipping into intentional slo-mo on some kills like Killing Floor, I see.
Now he’s grabbed onto a tether hanging from a hovercraft and is zooming around the city.
Bumming a ride on a helicoptor. Cityscape looks really nice.
Nice. Now he’s sharing the video clip.
Racing games up next. GT 6?
Game is DriveClub, not GT 6. Team based racer.
They’ve been waiting for the tech to be available.
“not just about cars and locations”
“collaborative gameplay with friends in teams.”
“Visited greatest car companies we could find.” They then show a scrolling list, featuring no american companies.
This is coming from the studio behind the MotorStorm franchise
Form a club – asynchronously, and in real time. Rewards you for playing in groups.
“Weekend long, thousand player races”
First person perspective game. Like Shift series, perhaps?
Cars are shiny.
Sounds like you’re going to be able to walk around in the game, admire your car, etc. Neat immersion move.
Wow, they’ve detailed this stuff out. Exact engine specs and real world details.
Gonna be big for car freaks. Er, aficionados.
Modeling “microscopic flakes of paint” sounds intense.
He’s looking in the engine of the car right now.
Click it or Ticket!
Opening the door, and actually strapping into the seat belt.
What? I didn’t make that pun, it’s something you see all over Michigan roads.
showcasing how easy it is to join clubs mid-race.
Now some gameplay. Fluid driving, insanely detailed, and you can accept challenges and check on your team on the fly.
PS4- officially endorsed by the Occupy Movement
New guy on stage. Talking about wanting to be safe, but what at what cost.
I don’t know who this guy is, but he apparently really likes 1984.
Down with the X-men!
What if a handful of people developed supernatural abilities? We have that. It’s called X-men.
Superhuman abilities now? What effect would that have on all of these security measure.
Sucker Punch’s latest game announcement.
Seattle looks ruined. Sad.
Footage shows confused security team being attacked by…something.
Explosion goes off, Soldiers freaking out from fireballs being thrown at them.
It looks like the next person in the InFamous series will have fire-based powers instead of electricity?
Infamous: Second Son exclusive to PS4
“playstation will be a leader in pushing creative boundaries.”
talking about taking risks with indie developers.
Awesome. Here comes the indie gaming attention.
Self-publishing on Playstation Network?
did i hear that right?
“PlayStation remains steadfast in its support of indie developers”
Next up on stage: Creator of Braid, Jonathan Blow
Johnathan Blow’s The Witness to debut on PS4. Nice.
If so, called that one. Longshot too. Excellent.
“Game where you explore a mysterious abandoned island and solve the puzzles.”
A “game about epiphany.”
This game has been on my radar for a while. So excited to play it.
The Witness will be an open world, featuring a very compact, dense world.
Everything is where it is for a reason. No filler.
Despite little redundancy, the Witness will clock in at 25 hours.
25 hours of gameplay, all unique puzzles. Within the release window, exclusive to PS4
Now showing the first official trailer.
Trailer is showcasing some nice environments, but not much else.
Forests, deserts, ocean. It all looks cartoony, but with a very high resolution.
More of a cartoony environment on The Witness than the other games we’ve seen. Still very pretty.
Now we’re seeing some of the puzzles.
Man, I can see the share function on PS4 being invaluable here.
Is that a mirror puzzle?! I LOVE MIRROR PUZZLES!!
Killzone “playthrough” was uploaded to Killzone facebook.
David Cage from Quantic Dream up now.
Here comes Singularity!
“Getting player emotionally involved is holy grail of creators.”
“Want people to live it and suspend disbelief.”
“Technology allows us to get player emotionally involved.”
Showing the Great Train Robbery, a silent film highlighting how technology allows films to create enhance emotions.
Mr. Cage is sandbagging black and white movies as “primitive.” To that I say “go see All Quiet on the Western Front.”
Silent film, specifically @Jeff.
Showing polygon count of various characters. 350 for Omikron, Heavy Rain 15k, Beyond, 20K.
PS4 will have a crazy high polygon count. Showing a spectacular looking head.
Showing an elderly human face with realistic features, running real time on PS4.
Supreme realism there. Not perfect, but they’re selling the ability to convey subtle emotion well with that.
“We can take you to places you’ve never been to before.”
Just a tech demo, but some impressive stuff.
Are we going to hear from thatgamecompany?
Alex Evans from Media Molecule on stage.
Taking creativity to the next level.
I hope so, Jeff.
“Let you record your dreams.”
Alex Evans wants to break the “Tyranny of the Polygon.”
“How can PS4 sweep away the ‘techie’ mess”
Playstation Move is going to be a huge part of this.
Actually this looks ridiculously cool
I didn’t expect the Move to get much attention. But yeah, this is actually an interesting way to use it. A bit niche, but still compelling.
A video is showing off how they’re using the move controller to sculpt and form objects.
“3D sculpting easy for beginners, complex for professionals.”
Now he’s showing a real-time creation of an object in the software.
As the controllers move, so does two figures on stage. One interacts with a guitar.
Now they’re all playing music together. One on guitar, one on drums, one on keyboard.
But can I play my guitar with the Move?
This is adorable.
“Indie community is pushing boundaries.”
“Every major 3rd party partner in N.A., Eu, and Asia will support PS4.”
Yoshinori Ono from Capcom, on next.
C’moooon Monster Hunter. Or Dragon’s Dogma. Either one.
No, victor. We need a new Viewtiful Joe.
This presentation in both English and Japanese.
Make Viewtiful Joe fight bigass awesome monsters and I’m in.
“Technology of original Playstaiton allowed us to move past sprite based gameplay.”
Viewtiful Joe 3: The Last Guardian.
“PS2 allowed us to make stunning titles, like Devil May Cry.”
“PSP takes PS experience out of the living room.”
side note: 2.9 million viewers of the Sony feed currently
PS3 allowed cinematic evolution.
“Usher in a new era of entertainment with PS4.”
New engine – Code Name Panta Rhei.
“new engine allows them to take game design in new directions.”
Capcom revealing a new IP running on Panta Rhei
Working title: Deep Down.
A fantasy game by the looks of it.
Dragon sighted. fantasy game confirmed.
Dragon spurts fire at a soldier behind a column, various others are attacking it with flaming arrows.
Lots of really nice particle effects going on right now.
Now, Blanka is sending a message for help…?
Last bit indicates you can share gear across the internet.
I like the little hints they keep throwing in about the social network integration.
Developed concurrently with engine.
Yoshihisa Hashimoto of Square Enix is up now.
Presentation is not a game, but a “real time demo” of PS4
As we’ve all known, Square is capable of creating astounding graphics.
Again, we’re seeing lots of particle effects here. Magic lightning, bullets, sparks, everything is flying.
A demonic ritual was just broken up by guys with Kalashnikovs. Amazing.
Now we have huge mutant hyenas. Wow.
What they’re pulling off in realtime is quite an accomplishment.
And she just healed herself with a soda bottle.
I hate to be really skeptical, but I hope this is all in real time. I want to believe!
The video was representative of the level of quality Square is aiming for.
Development environment is flexible and easy to use.
Well, lets keep in mind that Square games have always looked good. We’ll see how well they play.
Shinji Hashimoto on, presumably to announce Final Fantasy.
They will announce a Final Fantasy title at E3 this year. But something is coming.
Now, we’re getting Ubisoft. Yves Guillemot up next.
Oh boy, Watch Dogs is up next!
Watch Dogs, Watch Dogs, please
“Creating games that can be played anytime, anywhere, across many different devices.”
“Let you collaborate to achieve many things.”
“This platform will bring millions of new customers.”
Player can control the AI that connects everything in society.
“once you tap into someone’s life, anything can happen”
Watchdogs is going to be played live.
That’s a lot of lens flare.
Huge open city. Lots of reflective lighting and texturing. Puddles in the sidewalks shimmer.
Watchdogs: Featuring the smoothest of smooth jazz.
Protagonist pulls up information on a man standing guard. Hacked his bank account with the push of a button.
Walks to a car, takes cover behind it, pulls out a gun.
Things just changed from exploration to a tense chase scene.
Protagonist now on the run from the cops–just deployed roadblocks to crash a car.
Watch Dogs showing what it’s like to have complete control over the city. Deploying roadblocks, seeing location of bops on the minimap, and more.
Apparently, both the criminals AND the cops are your enemies
That was impressive
Yep. I really hope this is a launch title.
This was my most wanted game out of E3. Can’t wait.
Next up is Blizzards Chris Metzen.
Starcraft Ghost???? :D
Diablo port? :P
“Blizzard and Sony entered into a strategic partnership”
Sony’s “one more thing” moment
David…that would be so incredible.
No, Mike. Only one game could be the “one more thing.” You know what it is.
Diablo III it is.
Blizzard’s PS4 game is…Diablo 3.
Yup. It’s about damn time.
Not a surprise, that game was supremely consolified in some ways.
Sony’s anticlimactic moment
PS4 and PS3.
Apparently Starcraft Ghost still needs more time.
Full screen 4 player Co-Op.
More details at PAX East.
“Formally unveiling the game at PAX East.”
Correction: demo at PAX East
CEO of Activision up now.
Activision logically follows Blizzard on the stage.
“Multiple blockbuster titles from our best developers in the launch window.”
“Ambitious ten-year-project, Destiny.”
“How can we take a genre we love so well and turn it on its head?”
Persistent online world, create and customize characters
Persistent online world for Destiny.
Footage looks kind of like a mix of Aliens, Halo, and Warhammer 40,000.
You’re my Density.
Destiny first “shared-world shooter.” Apparently Bungie never played Planetside 2.
Now they’re bringing out a bunch of Bungie’s higher-ups.
Destiny launchng on both PS3 and PS4 with exclusive content
Maybe they mean shared across systems.
PS4 coming Holiday 2013.
And with that, we end with another sizzle reel.
They seem to be wrapping up. No news on price? No news on release date? NO NEWS ON LAST GUARDIAN?!??!?!?!?!
So…no look at the actual console? For shame.
I’m sure we’ll get an unveiling at E3.
So what did everyone think?
I was damn impressed. Whether they can deliver or not is another question, but they really made a solid case for the PS4.
I was impressed overall, went from pretty apathetic to actually excited about the PS4.
I’m pretty ambivalent, honestly. None of the games really reached out to me. They’re pretty, but I was looking for something more.
Very cagey, but not surprised about that- it was all feature centric. We’ll get hands-on at E3 for sure
The presentation met my expectations. the problem is that my expectations were very very low.
I didn’t know what to expect out of them but “better graphics”, which they delivered on. It’s the social platform integration that really has me interested.
I feel like this presentation was similar to the Wii U’s sort of nebulous unveiling. Except we won’t have to wait a year for more details.
I’m a bit disappointed they didn’t at least show the console, but it’s at least coming this year. And we’ll definitely know more by E3.
Ok, that’s it, everybody! Keep checking back at GT through the next few hours and days for more coverage!