The announcement came at GamesCom, a German-based video games conference with very little pedigree. Sony's mammoth move put the event on everyone's radar, and with the company planning another press conference this year, many are wondering exactly what we can expect from the platform holder.
I think it's best to go in with slightly lower expectations than last year. While the PlayStation 3 Slim's announcement was welcomed at the event, it was half-expected. This year, we're coming into GamesCom with a lot of emphasis behind the PlayStation platform, and a lot of games already out there. I don't expect any mind-shattering announcements from Sony this time, but I do expect plenty of blow-outs.
Having said that, I think the big ace in Sony's GamesCom this year is Insomniac Games. Whether it will be their Sony-published swan-song or not, I'm expecting big things from Ted Price's studio. It seems this year Insomniac are not working to a yearly release schedule. I expect whatever they announce at GamesCom to be due in Fall, 2011. And I expect it to be Resistance 3. The hints have been there from Insomniac (read into their Twitter account and you'll see the word "resist" used quite frequently).
I like the Resistance franchise a lot. I think I'm within the minority of people who enjoyed Resistance 2. The original's probably my favourite — the atmosphere and unique style of that game was really inviting. There was a distinct ambiance to the original Resistance that went missing in the sequel. They tried to make the second game an action fiesta, instead of staying true to the original's slower-pacing. I feel like Resistance: Retribution nailed both aspects and introduced a protagonist I genuinely liked. Whether or not he'll return to lead Resistance 3, I'm uncertain.
But I just know, whatever they choose, that Insomniac are ready to knock it out of the park. They've been open about the criticism brandished at Resistance 2, and it's evident that the fan response really cut them. I have a feeling it's going to be incredible — Insomniac are a studio devoted to their fans.
Because of the situation - Insomniac's pending switch to multi-platform development and the fan response to Resistance 2 - I think Resistance 3 is absolutely Sony's biggest announcement at GamesCom. I actually think they've been saving it; moving it away from inFamous 2 and Killzone 3. It is, after all, about time Sony put Insomniac on a pedestal, even if it is their swan-song. I think Resistance 3's destined to be one of Sony's biggest releases in 2011.
While I think Resistance 3 will be the big GamesCom announcement, I think elsewhere we're going to see tons of detail on other announced Sony titles. Gran Turismo 5's an absolute certain for the show. I expect a blow-out on the game's full feature-set, including an introduction to the game's campaign. I think we're also certain to get our first look at Killzone 3's multiplayer, aswell as information on a beta. Likewise, a LittleBigPlanet 2 beta is also certain to kick-off during the week. It'll be interesting to see whether these betas tie into Sony's PlayStation Plus subscription model.
Speaking of PlayStation Plus, I think we might see some developments there too. It's been such a long-time since Sony announced a firmware overhaul, we'd like to think something big's due on the system-front. Of course, the typical demands are still being voiced around forums — cross-game chat, automatic trophy syncing, background patching, etc. A firmware update to put an end to forum goers incessant ramblings would suit me more than the functionality itself.
GamesCom's scheduled just a month before the PlayStation Move's release, so it would be idiotic to expect Sony to ignore the motion controller's release. Aside from the obvious life-style trailers, I expect Sony to drop a game announcement or two. Here at PushSquare we've been spewing about a survival horror title that's shown up in many of Move's splash trailers, but's yet to be formally announced. We still reckon that could be on the cards for this year's GamesCom. We also wouldn't be surprised if other big third-party titles announced optional support for the controller — perhaps Visceral will allow us to control the Plasma Cutter with our Move controllers? There doesn't seem like a more fitting Move title than Dead Space 2.
What has me most excited, though, are the European announcements. The UK specifically. Will we finally get catch-up TV services from ITV and Channel 4 placed on the XMB? What about indie-film service Mubi — how's the PS3 app coming along? And what's next for Vidzone?
I'm not expecting any new hardware announcements. The PlayStation Phone sounds like a pipe-dream to me, and I still don't believe a PSP2 is ready to go. Even if it is, Sony would save an announcement like that for TGS. I'm expecting GamesCom to be more about blow-outs than shock-and-awe. The information might not be surprising, but it's sure as hell going to be interesting.
Twiggy is an anonymous PushSquare columnist who has been spotted in three major cities across the globe. Its rumoured hes on the run from the British monarchy who accused him of treason.