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Reaction: PS4's Variety Shines at Gamescom 2014, but Sony's Presser Lacked a Show Stopper

Posted by Sammy Barker

On closer reflection

Sony usually marches into Gamescom unobstructed. The platform holder has been holding press conferences in Cologne for as long as we’ve been running this website, even revealing the PlayStation 3 Slim – the redesign which would eventually reverse its flagging format’s fortunes – at the event some five years ago. In that time, it’s typically employed the event as a kind of E3 aperitif, focusing on all of the weird and wonderful titles in production for its suite of systems, as opposed to the gargantuan blockbusters. It adopted the same strategy today, and served up a smorgasbord of creative first-party and independent outings as a consequence – but it lacked that one show stopper to tie a big bow around all of the original ideas.

Perhaps it was a little short sighted of the organisation to not expect Microsoft to have anything of note. As expected, the Redmond-based manufacturer had very few new things to show – though its ID@Xbox programme is starting to strengthen, as the two console makers seemingly butt heads over console debuts – but it did drop a bomb in the form of Rise of the Tomb Raider’s purported exclusivity. The details regarding this remain hazy several hours on, but additional digging from those people in Germany, and the rigidness of Xbox boss Phil Spencer’s wording on the matter, suggest that the sequel will come to the PlayStation 4 a couple of years from now. Whether that will change over the coming months remains to be seen.

Either way, it’s the story that’s dominated the day, and we felt at the time of the reveal that Sony would need something seriously outstanding to break through the chatter regarding the Crystal Dynamics developed escapade. That announcement never came during the Japanese giant’s press conference – we were expecting a Grand Theft Auto V trailer of some kind to appease the more mainstream crowd – which made the entire spectacle come to an anticlimactic close. WiLD, the open world indie experiment from Rayman creator Michel Ancel, undoubtedly looked interesting, but it wasn’t quite the media briefing big bang that the millions of people tuning into these events ordinarily expect.

And that’s perhaps prompted the somewhat mixed reaction to the show on sites such as this. We didn’t predict a dozen or so internally developed exclusives would be revealed, but we did think that you’d get at least one, either from Guerrilla Games or Media Molecule. The latter did appear, of course, but to show off Tearaway Unfolded, a kind of adaptation of last year’s smash PlayStation Vita exclusive rebuilt for the DualShock 4. As far as we can tell, this is being crafted by the same splinter team that worked on last year’s game, which means that the bulk of the studio is still busy beavering away in secret. Of course, that remains true for the majority of the firm’s first-party teams, including London Studio, Guerrilla Games, Santa Monica Studio, Bend, and Polyphony Digital.

We’ve talked at length about how the firm is holding back these projects on purpose, but there’s a definite restlessness among early adopters right now that titles like Until Dawn, Alienation, and The Tomorrow Children are not going to quell. However, it seems unfair to undersell this unprecedented variety for the sake of not knowing what’s going on behind the scenes. Supermassive Games’ survival horror, for example, appears to have really progressed since it was first debuted for the PlayStation Move, while Housemarque seems to be following up Dead Nation with an isometric shooter that looks pleasingly frenetic. And in between all of that, there’s RIME, a vibrant adventure that evokes the same spirit as ICO.

And that was the real standout at today’s show: diversity. Microsoft had its fair share of original ideas for sure, but its conference hinged on known quantities. Sony had a couple of obligatory third-party eye rolls as well – the unprecedented partnership with Destiny is getting tedious at this point – but it once again proved that its first-party publishing arm stretches way beyond sequels and shooters. If that’s what you’re interested in, then we’re not here to tell you that you’re wrong – but if you’re coming out of today’s conference lamenting the fact that you didn’t see many first-party developer logos, then you’re potentially overlooking some interesting stuff. And while we do think that it’s time for the platform holder to open the floodgates on those internal projects, it’s not like they’re not coming at all.


Now that you’ve had time to digest all of the announcements, what are your thoughts on PlayStation’s press conference today? Was the variety something that pleased you, or would you have settled for just a handful of bigger games? Bicker and moan in the comments section below.

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User Comments (51)

Heavyman99

#2

Heavyman99 said:

Someone said it! I want them to shaddup about Destiny! Everyone's buying it already! I wanted them to price cut those Vita memory cards, so I can throw my money at them more efficiently on the PSN.

MoleZandor

#3

MoleZandor said:

I thought 'Wild' looked and sounded amazing. The metal gear solid vid was comical genius. The tomb raider announcement wasn't really a show stopper , just a massive shock to most people. Playstation showed some awesome looking games and I cant wait to hear more and play them. I'd like to see more on 'until dawn'. Never heard of it before, sounds like a great concept, I Just hope it works well.

viciousarcanum

#4

viciousarcanum said:

whereas MS had a showstopper but absolutely nothing else

also i'm sick of taking opinions of people who don't respectfully acknowledge a specific criteria of games (indie) as being the status quo of people to impress within the industry, sony had a great show because they really did exhibit a big variety of interesting titles and had good pacing throughout the conference.

ShogunRokAdmin

#5

ShogunRok said:

It was definitely a show full of variety. I think both Microsoft and Sony had decent, solid showings. Microsoft's was the far more predictable presser and felt a lot like a supplement to its E3 conference, but it was still all about the games and had some big chunks of gameplay throughout.

Meanwhile, Sony's had a few big gameplay chunks of its own, and there were plenty of interesting, smaller titles on show. Destiny, Far Cry 3, and Shadow of Mordor all had a say and all looked good, too, so like we've said, there was definitely variety.

I just don't know what people want from pressers any more. Gamescom has never been about the big announcements for Sony on any grand scale, and E3 was barely a few months ago. We're also less than a year into this console generation, and for some reason, a lot of people seem to expect a new first party exclusive to be revealed every other week.

While I understand the frustration if you're not a fan of indie titles especially, I think the gaming community really, really has to scale back its currently insane expectations. I've never quite seen people get this outraged so soon into a console generation. I totally get the Vita complaints, though. Even a montage would have helped.

Demi_God

#6

Demi_God said:

It's because people are so impatient. Also, there are some that are making it out much more then it should be and they are trying to get others on the bandwagon as well. Misery loves company.

Indies, AAA, etc etc were what Sony showed and they had a good showing, it was a solid gamescom for them. What people are really going to want still is a PS4 because of the variety. I am actually seeing platformers now, also RIME looks to be an abstract platformer which is more than welcome, we need platformers for us that like them. Indies are strongly supported and Sony is showing support for the bigger games as well.

Also, their announcement on Share/play is really awesome and that most certainly was a big announcement. To be honest, Sony is in a very awesome spot right now, they have a strong variety of well, everything and 2015 is going to be even better.

I think the main problem here is they have to find people that will be liked by gamers. Tretton was one of those people, but these people that were at gamescom from Sony, well, Sony needs to replace a few of those with more liked faces and I really think that is the problem here. No one wants to see an old fart on stage talking about games.

mitcHELLspawn

#7

mitcHELLspawn said:

I've gotta say one thing.. Microsoft are really starting to bring it with the indie games. I was never very interested in indie games but this gen has been like a whole new experience for me with games. I've been enjoying a lot of them. Max the curse of brotherhood was great, I loved contrast as well and playing guacamelee now. I've been having fun with the freebies on ps4 as well.

shadowman1

#8

shadowman1 said:

there was a show stopper for all the people who have bought the ps4 what a great reveal sony it was silent hill for ps4 hideo kojima reedus and del toro amazing stuff I am so glad I bought the ps4 instead of the xbox one it is light years ahead the hidden reveal was pure genius well done sony.

Demi_God

#9

Demi_God said:

Exactly, So you have Hideo Kojima and del toro teaming up to make an awesome @#$%ing silent hill game. It's INSANE!

GameAce

#10

GameAce said:

The only thing I can say is, this presentation reminded me of how PlayStation had a pretty mediocre console cycle last time around.

Itachi

#11

Itachi said:

I thought Sony had a great conference and really liked what I saw. As for the TombRaider announcement, i wouldn't call it a show stopper as to more of a shock. But it shouldnt come as no surprise given that Square is desperate right now and there's no telling how much Microsoft paid them. However while this move may help them in the short term, it basically kills the Tomb Raider franchise in the long run. Silent Hill on the other hand, I'm looking forward to that, though I dont its exclusive only to PS4. Honestly I'm getting tired of all this timed exclusive talk of 3rd parties, i think it's a dirty tactic that Microsoft started, and gamers overreact to it. Everyone already knows Sony is working on some amazing games yet to be revealed, but I'm sure they will when the time is right. As for the Vita, even though I don't own one I can definitely understand the frustration.

IronManDS

#12

IronManDS said:

Jesus, I wish the term "platform holder" would magically fall out of your vocabulary.

Hate to be a dick, but it receives far too much air time.....

Davros79

#13

Davros79 said:

MS seduce with $$$$$$ again i see!!!!!

ironically Tomb raider being xbox only and "The best way to maximize the games potential " makes a laughing stock of square Enix!! Why?

Tomb raider next gen ran to standard on ps4, that fell short on xboxone.

PS4 TR-60fps

Xboxone TR-30fps

thedevilsjester

#14

thedevilsjester said:

@GameAce it may have started slow but damn I have more great games on my PS3 than I can possibly play, and that's without buying a new game on it in over a year.

Boerewors

#15

Boerewors said:

I understand some of the disappointment of the people. Expectations going in were really high: ps4 is the current leader in sales, Gamescom is their turf and they've been pretty cocky in 2013. In 2014 they still haven't really delivered on their promises, but I feel they could have. It's not like they don't have the material to sell their console, it feels like they refuse to give the knock out punch. Like this SharePlay for instance; this is huge! Instead of really emphasizing what it means to you and me, they just brush through it. They should have brought it in Sony 2013 style: 'with SharePlay your friend on the other side of the world doesn't need a copy of your game any more to play together, neither do you need a copy of his game. You just need to buy one to play together! That is, if we didn't already got you the game for free on PS+".... Bam! Explaining and emphasizing the value you are bringing.
Ms and Sony have got pretty much the same cards in their hands now, Sony's ace is hearts, MS' spades... Now it's about knowing how to play them right, and I believe yesterday MS did the better job. MS is only kept in the race by Sony itself.

GameAce

#16

GameAce said:

@thedevilsjester Absolutely. I wasn't indicting the games. Xbox 360 beat PS3 pretty handily in sales and buzz is what I meant. PSP couldn't compete with the DS either.

THIS_SITE_SUCKS

#17

THIS_SITE_SUCKS said:

@get2sammyb were you not giving off about people hyping up games that were only announced and showed nothing more than a CGI trailer? Now you're hyping a game that doesn't even have that.

Sony's show was to many games with no firm release date that might be released in 2015. They've invested to much in indies and remakes and Microsoft have shown them it's the AAA games people get really hyped for. Sony had no answer to the Tomb Raider megaton or no game that looked as next generation as Quantum Break. They're spread over too many platforms and their one game for all platforms approach is weak.

N711

#18

N711 said:

I watch M$ show and was bored to death but yea inot interested in those games so I guess that's why's. I think Sony had a good show but 2 things were missing to make it a great show. Uncharted and a big reveal from GG or Bend. Spoiled children didn't see new big AAA reveal so they do as if Sony studios that we all know got a lot of games incoming don't exist

Gamer83

#19

Gamer83 said:

@voodoo341

I'll never get over the loss of the Alan Wake series but yeah, Quantum Break looks ridiculously good. I'm really hoping Remedy can get it done by Fall 2015.

Kohaku

#20

Kohaku said:

After yesterday we can declare the Vita officialy dead now for Sony? Or did I miss the chapter about Vita?

Gamer83

#21

Gamer83 said:

@Kohaku

Done since at least E3 I'd say, some would say even before then. If there was still slight hope, this Gamescom put that to rest. I don't remember hearing anything about Vita.

special_donkey

#22

special_donkey said:

i just want a new wipeout.i mean,surely a huge majority of ps fans all want a new wipeout/resistance/crash bandicoot dont they? arguably three of playstations biggest names..nowhere to be heard of.its crazyness.imagine if ms cancelled gears of war,halo and titanfall.

Gamer83

#25

Gamer83 said:

@special_donkey

MS is taking better care of the fans of its brand right now than Sony is of its fans on PS4. I know that will be disputed by most here but it's true. And it's always sugarcoated by 'Sony is just playing things close to the chest.' This is said after every conference. At what point do we f'ing get something? People are always like 'you can't show every game,' but NOBODY IS F'ING ASKING FOR THAT! I'm just asking for one or two games. Syphon Filter and God of War. Maybe Crash back as an exclusive? But no, and the Sony Defense Force will be out in full continuing to say why everything Sony is doing is perfect.

Scollurio

#26

Scollurio said:

@get2sammyb I agree to that. Overall I was really impressed. But there'll always be people that complain about each and every press conference leaving me wondering, WHAT exactly are those people even expecting, what games are they playing, is there sitll SOMEthing in the gaming industry they can enjoy? Not pointing at anyone in specific, I just get tired by the overall negativity of the gamer-crowd, be it here after a conference, on gtplanet.net after an update was announced for Gran Turismo (which of course never is good enough) and the like. I enjoy to enjoy the positives!

Vorlon

#27

Vorlon said:

The Tomb Raider announcement just fuels my long standing hatred for all things Microsoft. :-)

professorhat

#28

professorhat said:

What let the air out of my balloon was the Media Molecule logo coming up, and then it just being an adaptation of Tearaway. I like Tearaway, it's a good game, but I had been hoping to see what their new game is all about and when it didn't happen, I did feel disappointed.

Otherwise, I think it was a solid presentation, just not the incredible one we were all hoping it to be :)

Scollurio

#29

Scollurio said:

@Vorlon True that. But hey we get the next Ryse and Titanfall... not that I would care. But also, we'll get the next Tomb Raider game, it will just take a while, and meanwhile, we'll enjoy Uncharted 4...
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Gamer83

#30

Gamer83 said:

@Vorlon

But MS were not the ones who accepted the moneyhat. SE didn't have to do it, they're the ones to be pissed at, and the condescending dbag who works at Crystal Dynamics who wrote that pathetic PR letter supposedly explaining the decision.

Kohaku

#32

Kohaku said:

@MoleZandor

I am not living in the AAA camp and that's impossible anyway on a Vita.
It seems that there are lot of indiegames coming for the Vita but as you can read in the article and on the EU Sonyblog, loads of negative reactions and that's not strange. Why ignoring the Vita in your show, people don't know about games which are coming. On a lot of furums you see people complaining about the lack of interest from Sony in their own Vita. Maybe Sony should mention the Vita and the upcoming games more in their communication with the gamers. After all the rants they show up with a lot of titles, why not doing that before the rant?

When the Vita came out, Sony was proud to say that you will have a handheld which is powerful as a PS3, why all those indies on such a strong handheld? And I know that Gamescon is more then just one or two hours, but do we get another presentation from Sony dedicated to the Vita?
I don't want 15 AAA games every year, but some more interest from Sony first party developers should be very welcome. Where is GT for example?

special_donkey

#33

special_donkey said:

@Gamer83 @Scollurio well it seems to me sony has abandoned a lot of their biggest and most loved (most purchased) franchises.in the past generations people would moan about endless sequels,now on ps4,there just isn't much in the way of first party sequels,is it unreasonable to want/expect them? i dont think it is.also,90% of sonys new ip's seem to be third person shooter games,which isn't really my favourite genre tbh.i like fps and arcadey/futuristic racing games dang it! it makes me very annoyed that a new resistance game almost got made before being decided against and a new wipeout was almost finished when liverpool was shut down by sony.how is that a postive? yeah great,who even cares about their favourite games franchises anyway? i guess at least theres some good fps/fpsh titles on the way,as long as m$ dont buy them up

RaymanFan2

#34

RaymanFan2 said:

Insomniac specifically said we'll be seeing the R&C remake this gamescom.
Am I missing something? Can individual devs reveal games individually or something?

rastamadeus

#35

rastamadeus said:

@viciousarcanum Whereas people are getting sick of people like you who whine about it. If someone doesn't like indies and wants 'proper big budget retail games' it doesn't make them an idiot, they just prefer them to indies. Too many PS4 owners are becoming sort of gaming snobs, looking down on people who don't like indies. It makes you no less of a gamer to not like an indie, it just makes the 'snobs' look like tits.

@MoleZandor Vita has been dead for well over a year. People need to stop clinging to this ridiculous belief that it's still okay, it's not. The handheld is dead. Just enjoy what game it has coming left.

Gamer83

#36

Gamer83 said:

@special_donkey

All you can really do is sit back, wait and see what happens at the next tradeshow. I'm getting sick of the 'wait, wait, wait' as well but Sony is going to do whatever it wants to do.

@rastamadeus

But the only creativity comes from indies. And really who could live without a game like Octodad in their life?

MoleZandor

#37

MoleZandor said:

@rastamadeus The word indie has ruined the games industry. They are all games of different prices and budgets by different studios. Why does it make a difference if they have a well known publisher involved? Im not replying to your comment to me though, there is no point.

professorhat

#38

professorhat said:

@rastamadeus - It's not snobbery, it's just not really understanding how someone can say "I don't like Indie games". The sheer variety of games from independent publishers means there will absolutely, definitely be something you enjoy playing, if you'd only give them a go. The snobbery is on the part of those who won't look past their AAA blinkers.

MoleZandor

#39

MoleZandor said:

@Kohaku it is a pity they are not making big budget first party games for it as much, but they never sold that well. Indie developers are bringing more impressive games out all the time, I think we will soon enough have some awesome looking indie games on the vita as well due to Unity development.

3rdEyeMind

#42

3rdEyeMind said:

New Silent Hill, Wild, Rime, System 2.0, Tearaway Unfolded, updates on LBP3 and Bloodborne....not show stoppers?

It was one of the best conferences i have seen Sony do.
They focussed more on games from the "different" side, the more art-house side of things and that is exactly what i am looking for....hence why so much appealed to me here. It was game after game after game.

Mainstream games like that at E3 tend to do nothing for me as it is the same game repeated with new spray paint with each announcement.

Amazing showcase.

Jazzer94

#44

Jazzer94 said:

Rime, BloodBorne and Wild looked good, not sure on Tearaway: Unfolded but everything else felt average.

MadchesterManc

#45

MadchesterManc said:

I thought Sony's Gamescom was better than E3. People seem to forget that Gamescom is for the smaller studios to show what they're doing, so the fact there wasn't any megaton announcements is par the course for the event. Instead we got a look at a lot of interesting titles, which is why I watch Gamescom, instead of the usual suspects being rolled out (the mistake Microsoft made at the event) and turning it into an E3 lite. Sony may have lacked a show stopperduring the show, but if what Im reading regarding Sony being the publisher on the game - then this new SIlent Hill potentialy being an exclusive is as close as it gets to a bomb at Gamescom

get2sammybAdmin

#46

get2sammyb said:

@MoleZandor Spot on. Just because a game does not cost $60 and does not necessarily ship in a box does not make it indie. We should embrace all of these different experiences.

I'm not saying that everyone should like every indie game at all, but to write off a growing segment of the market is ludicrous — especially when there are experiences for all tastes and interests. And especially when these titles merely serve to complement the AAA blockbusters, rather than replace them.

uchinakagema

#47

uchinakagema said:

I was so pissed when when I heard that Sony only showed indies but then I went to watch the recorded version of the stream and found out that most of these titles that were called "indies" didn't have that indie feel... it felt like games coming from a new developer trying to showcase their talents (like most games on the PS2) and most of the games show at the press conference were amazing. I really need to stop reading Youtube comments

Gamer83

#48

Gamer83 said:

@get2sammyb

And sports games are a large segment of the game market and serve as nothing more than a compliment to JRPGs, open-world, action, etc, yet if you mention a game like MLB The Show as part of the PS lineup or talk up NBA 2K and you'll get laughed off whatever game website you post at. Nobody denies indie games are growing but just because of that fact doesn't mean everybody has to play them. If somebody wants to write them off, so the hell what, they shouldn't be ridiculed. I'm sure there's been genres you've written off in the past, all of us have. Writing off indies is no different.

sdavala

#49

sdavala said:

i wanted to hear something about Morpheus! a timeline, a game on it, a demo booth...something. I just bought the PS4 camera because I thought something would be coming soon morpheus-wise

SonyInfinity

#50

SonyInfinity said:

You seem to be reaching pretty hard with this article? No showstopper? Really? Ancel bringing Wild to ps4 exclusively is not a showstopper? Silent Hill? DayZ? I feel like all these are more of a showstopper than the tomb raider announcement. The tomb raider just made a big "surprise", mainly because Microsoft deceived everyone into believing that it was a true exclusive, now we know that was a load of crap. Gamescom is meant to showcase smaller studios. Not just the the big dogs of the community. Sony achieved by showing some great games that have nothing to do with EA or Square. Sony won, hands down. Because in the end it is a games conference and they showed the best games, period.

jwjury

#51

jwjury said:

Wild looks interesting, Im more excited for H-Hour though. For those who dont know H-Hour is a spiritual successor to Socom 2. The game that started online console gaming. It is being created by SOF Studios and the lead Creative Director is David Sears who was the original CD before the franchise went down the toilet. If you were a socom player you should check it out at https://www.sofstudios.com/index.php?/page/h-hour.html

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