Every year in June, the video game industry heads to Los Angeles for a week of showmanship at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). Companies debut their upcoming software and hardware, allowing the press and those with industry credentials to get a sneak peak at what they have to offer.
The highlight of every E3 is undoubtedly the press conferences that kick off the show. Publishers and platform holders typically each hold a 1-2 hour press conference packed with announcements and live stream them to fans around the world.
PlayStation stole the show at E3 2015, reintroducing The Last Guardian and announcing Final Fantasy VII: Remake and Shenmue 3 back to back to back. Although I’m not sure they can top that level of excitement, here’s what I do think they’ll have at the show…
For years, Crash Bandicoot fans have been clamoring for a return to form for the iconic hero, many of them hoping to see Sony acquire the rights to the IP from Activision. While publishers don’t typically sell their intellectual property, something seems different in this case. PlayStation executives have been dropping hints and mentioning the brand more often in recent years and Sony’s own marketing materials have even made reference to the character. Meanwhile, Activision has seemingly wiped Crash Bandicoot completely off of their website.
Crash is the source of some of my favorite childhood gaming memories, so these hints have certainly been toying with my emotions for a while now, but I’ve remained skeptical…until two weeks ago when Crash Bandicoot‘s original developers, Naughty Dog, paid homage to him in an incredible way…a way that makes me think Sony may own the rights now. If you’ve played Uncharted 4 you already know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t played it yet and you don’t mind being spoiled, watch this.
God of War 4
At PlayStation Experience in 2014, Cory Barlog confirmed that Santa Monica Studio was developing a new God of War game with him at the helm. More recently, widespread concept art leaks hinted that the next game in the series would move away from the Greek gods in favor of Norse mythology. After that kind of a leak, I expect that Sony will lift the veil in June and show off the game for the first time, although I don’t expect to see it released this year.
Sony Bend’s Game
Sony Bend is probably best known for their Syphon Filter franchise. After moving away from the series in 2007, they shifted gears and released successful portable entries in the Resistance and Uncharted franchises. Since 2012 though, the studio has been quietly hard at work on a new PS4 game. We know that it’s using Unreal Engine 4 and that the bosses at Sony are excited about it. After four years of development, it seems like this has to be the right time.
Destiny: Rise of Iron
This is kind of a given based on last week’s leak. Activision will be showing off their newest Destiny expansion at this year’s E3 and, based on their marketing partnership over the last two years, it seems most likely that they’ll be showing it off on the Sony stage with exclusive content for PlayStation platforms.
Horizon: Zero Dawn
Horizon: Zero Dawn was my game of the show at last year’s E3, but we only got a small taste. We know that it’s a gorgeous action RPG set in a distant future where AI controlled machines rule the world and humankind has been forced to band together into tribal groups to survive. But really, that’s really all they needed to say to get people’s attention 18 months ahead of release.
Sony has committed to a 2016 release for the title and, although I expect the game to be delayed into early 2017, now is the time to show off everything they have. I’m looking forward to learning more about the characters, the leveling systems, and the lore of the world.
No PlayStation 4K
Although it seems like a no-brainer that Sony would announce the upcoming PS4K / PS4.5 at the biggest trade show of the year, I’m not sure they’ll be able to do so and still maintain 4-6 months of PS4 sales in between E3 and the PS4K launch window. For that reason, I expect to see PS4K announced at a later date, possibly at the Tokyo Game Show this fall.
So those are my predictions for the Sony E3 conference. What do you think? Is there anything you’re hoping Sony will announce that I didn’t mention? Let me know in the comments!