Sony kicked off its gamescom press conference with a live stream where a release date was announced for PS4 as well as price drops for Vita and the 12GB PS3 Super Slim.
Along with various games and bundles, Jim Ryan announced a PS3 exclusive GTA 5 bundle where is you pre-order the game you will get 75% off all Rockstar titles through PSN.
While that was nice to hear, there’s more as you will see below.
Dynamic User Interface
The stream started off with Shuhei Yoshida silhouetted in a chair on stage messing around with the PlayStation 4’s UI before playing a bit of Killzone: Shadowfall.
He jumped into the game while watching a stream, and uploaded a screenshot from the game to the menu and posting it to Twitter.
It was the global unveiling of the the system’s Dynamic User Interface.
Gran Turismo 6 out in December for PS3
After the demonstration, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe president and CEO Jim Ryan took the stage to introduce a new trailer for Gran Turismo 6. The game will have many different concept vehicles in it as part of a collaboration with manufacturers, and in some cases they will be manufactured in the real world. This concept car project is called “Vision Gran Turismo.”
Gran Turismo 6 is out on December 6, 2013 on PS3 and Sony also confirmed the Gran Turismo movie as being in the works.
LittleBigPlanet Hub – a new free-to-play service
LittleBigPlanet Hiub was announced during the stage presentation as a new free-to-play service on PS3, set for launch later this year. A feature featuring Stephen Fry discussing challenges, the new create suite and community competitions with prizes.
Vita will be getting a price cut in the US and Europe from tomorrow and will now run you $199 and €199.99.
FEZ and Velocity 2X from Futurelab coming to PS Vita along with: Borderlands 2, Football Manager 2014, Batman Arkham Origins: Blackgate, and Lego Marvel.
Also announced was Murasaki Baby, a new title from Italian developer Ovosonico designed specifically for Vita touch controls. The game is headed up by Shadow of the Damed’s creator, and looks rather gorgeous.
Starbound from Chucklefish is coming to PS Vita.
Showing the love for indies
A new F2P game called BigFest was also announced and takes inspiration from music festivals and turns you into a music promoter basically, where you can create, build and manage the festival in order to become the world’s greatest music promoter.
During the conference, Sony focused on its indie cred, by showing a video with independent developers discussing how awesome PlayStation is with Mark Cerny discussing how PS4 is “the world’s most powerful game console,” and in order to satisfy gamers, the firm knew it would need to bring “the very best games to the platform.” Not just the big hitters: but the small studios as well. This resulted in the”strongest launch lineup in PlayStation history” thanks to speaking with devs all over the world.
Sony said its indie development support comes through in not only a financial matter by loaning out dev kits, but helping the studios through its incubation program to ensure projects made are the first console debut.
To that end, Shahid Ahmad, SCEE’s senior business development manager, took the stage to state that being an indie is about “freedom” to release what you want, when you want, with a device choice.
His courting of indies has made an impression, as Ahmad proved by announcing that N++ will debut exclusively on PS4, this year and that Rogue Legacy will be coming first to PS4 and PS Vita in 2014.
He also announced that in 2014, Hotline Miami 2 will also make its console exclusive debut on PS4 and Vita as well as Vlambeer’s Wasteland Kings.
Guns of Icarus Online will also make its console exclusive debut on PS4, and Thomas Was Alone’s Mike Bithell came on stage to announce that Volume, his studio’s new title, will debut exclusively on PS4 and Vita in 2014 as well.
PS4 launch titles and beyond
After Sony touted its indie line-up, Sony Worldwide Studios Europe SVP Michael Denny took the stage once again to discuss various games and incentives for PS4 and PlayStation Plus.
Denny said that 14 studios which make up Sony World Wide Studios will play an “essential role in the future of PlayStation 4,” as all are working on PS4 titles with unannounced projects in the works at Sony Santa Monica, Media Molecule, and Naughty Dog.
For third-parties, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture – the new title in the works at The Chinese Room – will also be released on PS4 and is a post-apocalyptic title developed using CryEngine 3.
Arrowhead Studios of Magika fame are also working on a cross-platform title called Helldivers, which looked like an isometric shooter of yore, which should please many fans of the genre.
RESOGUN is an arcade shooter in the works at Housemarque headed up by the Super Stardust Delta studio exclusive for PS4, and will add a “new twist” to the genre. The gameplay is similar to old school 2D shooters with gravity affecting the gameplay.
Shadow of the Beast, the Amiga classic, has also been “re-imagined” for PS4 and will only be available for the console.
Rime, an open world adventure game from Spanish developer Tequilla Works was announced as in development.
PlayRoom will be pre-installed on PS4 and uses the PS Camera, and a new trailer for InFamous: Second Son was shown and introduced a female character in the game called Abigail Walker.
A video of Killzone: Shadow Fall’s multiplayer was shown, and the game lets you create Warzones and play those created by other players.
Jim Ryan then took the stage once more to discuss PS Plus and Sony Music Unlimited and announce Twitch coming to PS4.
Sony is entering into “strategic partnerships” with Europe’s leading ISP’s for broadband service deals with companies such as Deutche Telecom, Orange, Virgin and ONO which will produce internet speeds “of up to 200 mega bits per second” reserved for gaming.
Sony Music Unlimited will launch day one with PS4 and a free 14 day trial of PS Plus is available to any new PS4 owner and comes with the instant game collection, DriveCLub PS Plus Edition and RESOGUN. Users can also sign up for a year via the PS Store, and get an additional 90 days of Plus membership.
PS4/Vita remote play demonstrated with Assassin’s Creed 4
Jim Ryan announced during the conference that almost all PS4 games can be played remotely on Vita. This was demonstrated when Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot took the stage to show how remote play between PS4 and Vita works using Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag.
The demonstration showed a naval battle taking place on Vita over Wi-Fi by Ubisoft Montreal’s Pascal Theriault. It seemed flawless from the stage demo impression.
Guillemot also confirmed that Sony Pictures and Ubisoft are working on a movie for Watch Dogs and showed a new trailer for the game as well as announcing exclusive DLC content for PS4.
Ryan also announced Minecraft, one of the most requested games for Sony platforms, would be coming to PS4. Another PS4 game, War Thunder, was announced as an exclusive PS4 and will be free to play.
The date heard ’round the world
Finally, to close things out, Sony president and group CEO Andrew House took the stage to announce a date for PS4 and a price cut for PS3 Super Slim.
The 12GB model PS3 will now run you 199 Euros/$199 and if you purchase select games such as CoD: Ghosts, Watchdogs or Assassin’s Creed 4 for PS3, you can pick up the PS4 versions at a discount.
PlayStation 4, which has seen over 1 million pre-orders, will be released for 399 Euros/$399/£349 on November 15 in North America and November 29 in Europe.