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Hit for six: creative Sony plays gamescom blinder

Tuesday, 14th August 2012 23:19 GMT By Patrick Garratt

Sony’s gamescom 2012 presentation proved the company’s breadth and vision for the PlayStation brand has the strongest of futures. Patrick Garratt was bowled over.

Instead of laying out a strategy of stimulating hardware with cost reductions, Sony said it would make people want to own and value its consoles and services by cramming them with inveigling games and spellbinding ideas.

There are times when platforms holders have to get it right. Sony, as with the rest of the under-the-TV industry, has found itself in a strange, distressed place of late. The games market’s diversifying practically beyond recognition, leaving the PS3 business potentially sapped, and the triple-A software’s drying up as we bluster on into the transition. After a virtual no-show at E3, many had pushed Vita into an early grave. Faith needed to be restored.

And so it was today. Sony’s gamescom presentation not only answered the question of whether or not Vita has even a near-term future, but was so strong in its variety of software, channel announcements and platform coverage as to leave the stunted worries of whether or not we’re going to get Christmas price cut left leaping for attention behind a tip-toeing barrage of creative bedazzlement.

Sony showed so much software, and dropped so many surprises, that the show verged on embarrassment. We saw four new IPs – one of which was Media Molecule’s beautiful Tearaway – and got a first showing of Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified. We saw a Vita Killzone title, and got a real sense that Sony understands that PlayStation needs to be everywhere and always. We got PS Plus for Vita, twin-screen Vita ideas working in LittleBigPlanet, Vita bundles and bumped PS Cloud storage. We get Red Dead Redemption for Plus. We got, to be fair, a hell of a lot for our money.

Sony showed today that it’s not scared to be creative outside of the near-absurd rigidity of its E3 presentations, and again revelled in Europe’s boutique appeal. Puppeteer and Rain both looked fantastic, both uniquely PlayStation. We got a first look at Until Dawn. Sony even went as far as putting a future on Move, using up its FIFA slot for the motion device and showing a distinct – if slightly unconvincing – line-up of Move games. Every announcement and presentation in the show was a statement of intent.

And if it wasn’t enough to be bombed by new IP and technical innovation, Jim Ryan actually carried the whole thing off. SCEE’s latest boss is clearly a man who’s been practising in front of the mirror: he looked confident to his bones. Even worldwide studios chief Michael Denny seemed relaxed. You know you’ve had a good showing when you can announce a peripheral-based e-learning product to one of the toughest crowds in entertainment and they lap it up. Tonight, Sony could do no wrong.

Going into the conference, it was easy to aim for a Vita price cut, a PS3 price cut and strong conviction that Declassified was Vita’s killer app. Leaving it, CoD was merely the cherry on a giant, game-filled cake. Instead of laying out a strategy of stimulating hardware with cost reductions, Sony said it would make people want to own and value its consoles and services by cramming them with inveigling games and spellbinding ideas. Is PS3 still strong? There’s no doubt that it is. Does Vita have enough exclusives on the way to justify buying it without a price cut? After tonight, it does.

There are times when platforms holders have to get it right. Sony got it right at gamescom 2012.

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36 Comments

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  1. Fin

    Far and away the best press conference I’ve seen in a long, long time (E3 ’10 maybe?). New IPs all over the shop. All it was missing was a hardware annoucement.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Surion_be

    Wow, what a great show.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. DSB

    I’m pretty sure Sony wish they were only in the under-the-tv industry these days. The Playstation really seems to be one of their most succesful departments. If they keep it up, I’m very likely to get in early next gen.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Erthazus

    Yeah, Sony was good. Nothing really to complain about. I’m still not so sure about if they are going to do much this holiday season but whatever. Holiday season has nothing to do with Press Event.

    GJ Sony.

    P.S. MM title was the best.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. DrDamn

    It’s Sony so I dare to ask, when can we actually expect the software. Any indication of release dates?

    #5 2 years ago
  6. OlderGamer

    I was impressed too. Really think a lot of Tearaway. Also, very glad I am a Plus member.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. speedxl01

    A lot of announcements, I really liked all new IPs especially Tearaway and Puppeteer.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. PEYJ

    I’m getting a Vita this month or the next one. There’s just to much good stuff coming up. Only question I have: does the bundle with LBP come with a memory card?

    #8 2 years ago
  9. monkeygourmet

    Considering no one else has really bothered with this show, Sony couldn’t really fail.

    Tearaway looked great, everything else, pretty average.

    Vita still needs serious TLC, maybe TGS will really push it.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. OlderGamer

    The Cross Buy idea is great too, just read about that. It needs to be exapanded to cover more games.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Dragon246

    Every thing was great , especially vita hit a home run. Now the only thing it needs is japanese games, I am looking out at TGS for that .
    Vita doomsayers should have less to complain about now.
    Potentially cross buy will offset vita cost significantly for Ps3 owners . Also PSM has the potential to become the next app store with a greater catalog of games and less shit. And buying the game once provides you access to it on all ps certified devices, including vita. How cool is that?
    PSM has the power to single-handedly provide thousands of games for vita and it will never face a game drought again.
    The world will be in play then.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. polygem

    it was a good show, but i also do remember how hyped pat was about the vita, while i couldn´t find more than a week worth of enjoyment in it. i like my ps3, but it really is the exclusivesstation for me and even those exclusives sometimes make myself wonder if they justify buying into the next playstation thing.
    killzone vita? let´s wait and see. burning skies was such a let down, it was a shame really. they raped this great franchise with that game.
    tearaway looks interesting but i never enjoyed lbp. the artstyle, the music, it just tries too hard to be hip and stylish- it´s too obvious, it kills the fun for me, not aimed at me and my taste. still this is a great title for the vita and more of those are needed. sound shapes, while having the same try hard hipness issues is another great title for the system, let´s just hope that the vita can pick up pace soon…
    you got to give sony credits though, you can clearly see that they are working hard to bring great games to gamers…i just wish they would fit my tastes better. to me it seems like sony try too hard to paint a picture of them being the most modern, most hip out of the bunch and this really turns me off…sony has the hipster issues, microsoft the ads on a paid online service. this is what makes me think about a nintendo/pc marriage for the next gen really-but that´s just me.
    this sony “coolness” written all over everything they make is just turning me off and it´s getting worse.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. DrDamn

    @12
    “this sony “coolness” written all over everything they make is just turning me off and it´s getting worse.”

    This from the man who can’t understand why some people are turned off Nintendo games? I’m not saying you can’t feel this way – it’s perfectly fine. You just can’t at the same time not understand why people finding Mario an annoying twat are turned also off by that style. :)

    #13 2 years ago
  14. TheBlackHole

    Now if only they can update the controller design. Thirteen years is long enough Sony – take a class in ergonomics.

    Seriously though, some great stuff on show.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Dragon246

    @13,
    My views exactly. People fail to apply the same standard they apply on others on themselves.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. polygem

    it is just my opinion. there is a difference between the “hipness” of kirby and nathan drake though. when i watch the gameplay of the tearaway game, i kind of like the artwork but i hate the music…it is those little things sometimes that make you falling in love with a game or not. like i said, my post was about MY taste, nothing else. i have no doubt that the sony style appeals to a lot of people and that´s 100% fine…they aim for that, legit too.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. polygem

    i can understand/accept why people don´t like nintendo games…i just don´t buy into the kids game argument. that one is a lie
    ;)

    #17 2 years ago
  18. OlderGamer

    I don’t understand why some folks can’t wrap their heads around the idea that other folks like Nintendo games. Favoring Nintendo games over something Sony offered(clearly with the goal of impressing Nintendo gamers(Move, LBPK or PS AllStars) isn’t some how bending the rules of the video game cosmos. it is almost like we need to apologize for liking Nintendo games as a disclaimer when talking about them.

    I like Sony, I think Sony had a great show. And Tearaway in particular looks great to me. But I still don’t see Sony out Nintendoing Nintendo. I fully understand where Poly is coming from.

    Here is the kicker for me, the folks that can critise Nintendo games but lavish praise on Sony for Move, LBP, LBPK, PS All Stars, and even Tearaway. These things are obviously aimed at the “Nintendo game space”. And Sony is working hard to recreate the experinces offered by Nintendo.

    So it is ok to laugh at me, or Manu, or Poly, or anyone else that enjoys a Nintendo game. But at the same time it is also ok to play the Sony versions of the same type of games?

    Kind of fishy if ya ask me.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. DrDamn

    @18
    Fair enough. Though it’s easy to mistake the view that Nintendo games don’t appeal due to visual style for dismissing them as kids games. One is valid and the other isn’t.

    @19
    I think Poly’s point is fair indication that stuff like Tearaway and LBP are not Sony trying to be Nintendo – they are Sony being Sony. LBPK and PS All Stars yes there is a decent argument there – particularly for All Stars. Putting Tearaway and LBP in the “aimed at the Nintendo game space” is rubbish though – they are simply innovative games with a very Sony look and feel.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. ManuOtaku

    #20 well, funny enough the only games that my kids told me daddy this game is like mario, as it made them feel the same thing as watching and/or playing mario was LBP and modnations, so i think they did traslate very well that nintendo feel into those games, and i think/feel the same way as my kids, i hope LBPK and All stars show this too, intentionally or unintentionally, doesnt matter i will like them too.

    #19 OG if thats made them happy, kudos for them, but i think from a point of view is difficult to imagine a gamer that likes LBP that doesnt like any nintendo or mario game, because both transmit the same feeling of joy while playing, theres a lot of mario/zelda etc gamers that did like LBP and modnations, myself and kids included, but it will be a hard time seeing the same the other way around, which is pretty strange, but like i said is ok OG, but what i dont agree is the constant attack to nintendo games thats all, when they share a lot.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. killersense

    i just get the vibe that you guys get way too defensive with your nintendo games. its like they own the party fighting genre or the karting genre or the platformer genre and anything that comes along in those are just blatant ripoffs and not good. i hope you are not implying lbp is a ripoff. i don’t think any of us have a problem with you guys liking nintendo games but when it comes to similar games in the genre it somehow is bad or uninspiring because it is not coming from nintendo or doesn’t play exactly like nintendo games. sony see a market for these kind of games and they are making their own versions of them and in some cases better. move is better and more accurate that wii ever was. mario gameplay wise is better than lbp but at the same time lbp offer way more value. some days i just go in to play a lot of the user generated levels while some of them are shit there are quite a few that are very good.
    ireland michael goes he wants more stuff like tearaway and points out not “lazy” ripoffs like lbpk, all stars etc…. what makes them lazy? why throw it under the bus without even trying them? journalists that have played these games say these games are a lot of fun and do unique and cool stuff so why should they not be made? this is what i am talking about you guys keep saying you like both systems and like some exclusives but then when something similar to nintendo games to cater to the audience that don’t have a nintendo system it is somehow shit and shouldn’t be made. NINTENDO game space? really? they own a certain segment of the gaming space?

    #21 2 years ago
  22. No_PUDding

    I wasn’t that impressed by the actual games.

    But there was clearly a lot of effort put into supporting all their ventures with content. Lots of partnerships, lots of new IPs, lots of support.

    That was absent at the start of the PS3 and PSP’s lifecycle. I am much more confident in the Playstation brand going into the next generation now.

    And hopefully this will be the first generation where I am in a position to buy the console day one!

    #22 2 years ago
  23. DrDamn

    @21
    I understand that completely, but it is one thing to relate two games (and in fact a big complement in those examples you gave) – and another to claim the games are aimed at a space owned by Nintendo. They are inventive games in a particular genre, full-stop. The fact Nintendo also has inventive games in that genre is neither here nor there.

    @22
    LBPK I think has a good LBP feel to it with some great link-up and elements from LBP which distinguish it as a title in it’s own right. All Stars I can see where “criticism” comes from as in terms of look and feel it does seem a lot like SSBM. I can’t really comment on the intricacies of it as I never really got on with SSBM personally. I won’t get All Stars for the same reasons, genre just doesn’t work for me. I can however see some value in All Stars in that at the very least it brings that sort of game to a different system with a different set of characters – it will certainly appeal to some people so why not? It’s not particularly original is fair, but not everything has to be.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. OlderGamer

    I have zero problem with Sony trying to duplicate the experiences found on Nintendo games. And I have less of a problem and more then I find it funny, that some gamers can diss Nintendo games while coveting the same type of experiences on different systems.

    People can play what they like to play.

    As for Nintendo space, you know what I am talking about. Just the general demographic and gameplay experiences. I never said Nintendo had a lock on anything, genere or otherwise.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. DrDamn

    @25
    How you phrase it is important though …

    “Sony is working hard to recreate the experinces offered by Nintendo.”

    “Sony trying to duplicate the experiences found on Nintendo games.”

    I realise what you mean, and it’s actually a big compliment from you in games where they achieve it, but in the case of games like LBP and Tearaway they are working hard to produce great experiences in a particular genre. Fullstop. If in doing that you get a similar feeling to what you get from Nintendo games then great, again it’s a big compliment from you, but give the people creating these games a little more credit.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. polygem

    http://www.gamespot.com/forums/topic/29261218/sony-is-indiscreetly-going-after-nintendo

    ;)

    #26 2 years ago
  27. ManuOtaku

    #24 I do agree and i believe the same, especially when the industry does this all the time, and all the manufactures, i mean taking some games for inspiration while doing their own thing, liek darksiders for example, it has some many genres and games fuse in them, no need to mention them, but they put their vision and touch into it, and for that is a great game, therefore like i said this happens all the time.
    p.s having said that, what i dont like is the constant attack to nintendo for being kiddy, casual or for not having good games, thats what i dont agree with, not directed at you.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. killersense

    @25just for argument sake is it not ok for me to say i don’t like mario and i love lbp as there are still a lot of little intricacies in games that may make people to not like it or vice versa.

    #28 2 years ago
  29. DrDamn

    @27
    Yeah they were definitely copying the WiiU indiscreetly when they demoed these sort of features on the PS3/PSP years ago. Remote play is obviously a WiiU copy too.

    #29 2 years ago
  30. DrDamn

    @28
    That’s fine. I am a self proclaimed hater of Mario the character. Like Poly it does have an affect on my enjoyment of the games. I do fully appreciate the design of the games though, they are fantastic and I’d love them to be applied to different IP – purely for selfish reasons :).

    #30 2 years ago
  31. OlderGamer

    Well Doc, it seems prety obvious to me Sony is crafting these games with a specific purpose in mind. That doesn’t make them bad games. That also doesn’t make them great games either. The devil is in the details, as with any game. I have yet to play lbpk or All Stars, so I will resurve judgement till I do.

    #31 2 years ago
  32. No_PUDding

    I feel that way with Nintendo, their output is not aimed at me.

    I look at The Last of Us and Gran Turismo, and feel they are aimed at me. Things like Red Dead Redemption would be too gritty to ever fit on a Nintendo system.

    So for next-gen, it’ll either be PS4 or Xbox3 for me.

    #32 2 years ago
  33. OlderGamer

    @KS of course, we are all free to enjoy whatever we like. That is the beauty of gaming.

    #33 2 years ago
  34. ManuOtaku

    #27 polly nice read, but i do believe both are very different in target and function, The wii U pad is more focused on the ashymetrical way of gaming, something rather new, and the NFC aspect that can have a lot of functions as well, while the ps3/vita is exchange or interchange the same experience between both consoles, translating the games to one and other and the games and the data information from the go to the console, therefore for me both are very different, but i grant it can be seem as the same.

    #34 2 years ago
  35. Khan979

    For me LBP is totally different than Mario games…sure they both are platformers, but the similarity stops there. I like them both but in different ways. If we are going to say LBP is a mario ripoff, then we might as well say all platforming games that don’t use guns are mario ripoffs…or all shooters are wolfenstein ripoffs etc., the games are totally different, the only things they have in common are that they are both kid friendly (Not saying just for kids, just kid friendly) and they are both platformers, other than that the similarities stop there.

    #35 2 years ago
  36. polygem

    yes sure, i just came across that article and thought it would just fit here to good to not put on the link…lol i even failed to link the original source.

    in the end it really is about taste most of the time. lbp (to stick with that example) received a lot of praise from reviewers and the gaming community in general and it is probably well deserved. i played lbp1 half way through and stopped because i couldn´t find much fun in it…on the other hand i can replay mario galaxy or super mario 3d land probably 20 times and still won´t get bored…i just love everything about those games. i can fully understand if someone cannot connect to mario or kirby games, hell even zelda or metroid games. i´m only having a problem with people who say those games are aimed at kids, that they are no real games because most of them don´t even have a story, that they are always only more of the same and all that stuff you always hear regarding ninty games.
    i also agree with OG though that there is just a very very strange and offensive behaviour from many when it comes to nintendo games. you can count on it. every time you say something positive about nintendo you will, 100% sure, get many negative comments back…most of the time i cannot accept those, because they contain the arguments i listed above. if someone would say, like you dr.: it´s great gamedesign but it doesn´t click for me, alright. if someone says: nintendo sucks because they produce only kids games/shovelware, all the wiis are collecting dust and only some moms bought it to play zumba dance twice on that thing and then handed it over to their underaged kids to play the stupid kirby games on it…i wont get tired to defend nintendo.
    but that´s what a site and forum like this makes fun.

    #36 2 years ago