Miss our liveblog of Sony's Gamescom press conference yesterday, or the wealth of news we've covered on all things PlayStation? Well, we forgive you. After all, there's a whole lot to digest. Now, chances are they'll be more Sony tidbits appearing as the German gaming event runs its course, but for now we've collected, compiled and condensed everything we've learned in one handy place: right after the break.
Let's start with the man of the hour, the PS4. Most importantly, we now have firm release dates. The next-gen console is headed to North America first on November 15th for 399 of your finest US or Canadian dollars, followed by a slew of European (for €399 or £349) and Latin American countries, as well as Australia, at the slightly later date of November 29th. North Americans may get the console before any other region, but red and blue variants of the DualShock 4 controller will launch first in Europe alongside the PS4, before arriving elsewhere later in the year. By the way, every console purchase will come with two weeks of free PS Plus subscription (you'll need that for online play), and 90 days come free if you buy a year's worth of access.
Aside from the hardware, Sony's also released details around the PS4's software and services. We heard that The Playroom, a tech demo-slash-introduction to the console and peripherals, will come pre-installed on every unit, and that you'll be able to pump tunes from Music Unlimited while gaming, as well as access quick controls via the PS Home button. Now an official partner, you'll not only be able to watch other gamers on Twitch through your PS4, but livestream using the service, too. Whether this feature will be available from launch day, however, is still up in the air. It's obvious such high-profile hardware would attract content providers, but Sony Europe's confirmed various services, including TuneIn, Wuaki, LoveFilm and several BBC offerings. In other miscellany, Sony's inked deals with some European broadband providers so you can enjoy all manner of online magic the PS4 has to offer, although we don't know quite how these agreements will manifest themselves just yet.
You'll want games to play on that shiny new box, of course, and we're assured they'll be plenty. In addition to a list of 33 that Sony's said will arrive in between the launch of the console and the end of 2013, the company has been keen to highlight its commitment to indie titles. A couple have been confirmed for the PS4 and PS Vita, such as the sequel to one of our favorite games, Hotline Miami, and blockbuster Minecraft (also coming to the PS3). In all, more than 180 PS4 games are currently being made, and the developer community has swelled to 620 members. During the Gamescom press conference, it was announced that both Watch Dogs and Gran Turismo are getting the silver screen treatment, so you'll be able to enjoy your favorite game universes sans controller.
While the PS4 took up the majority of Sony's stage time, the PS Vita took a small slice of the limelight. As of today, the handheld has come down in price, now sporting an RRP of $199 / €199, matching the price of PS3 model with 12GB of flash storage -- the cost of memory cards for the Vita has also fallen. Furthermore, Sony said more than 25 new games will launch for the portable over the next year, indies included.
Sony's put together a couple of PRs to more or less wrap up yesterday's event, so if you're not tired of reading already, go ahead and click that orange button. Be warned: they're substantial.
PLAYSTATION® CONTINUES TO BUILD EXCITEMENT AS IT IS CONFIRMED THAT PLAYSTATION®4 WILL LAUNCH FROM 29th NOVEMBER 2013 IN EUROPE, ALONG WITH FIVE UPCOMING NEXT-GENERATION TITLES FROM SCE WORLDWIDE STUDIOS
City, Date - Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd. (SCEE) today revealed that the highly anticipated PlayStation®4 (PS4™) computer entertainment system will be arriving in SCEE regions from 29th November 2013. A huge range of software and entertainment services were also unveiled at the gamescom trade fair in Cologne, Germany, including five all-new PS4 titles from SCE Worldwide Studios – Rime, Hell Divers, Shadow of the Beast, Resogun™ and Everybody's Gone to The Rapture.
Showing a clear commitment to delivering gamers fresh new experiences, the conference featured a non-stop series of announcements for new games across PlayStation®Vita (PS Vita), PlayStation®3 (PS3™) and the upcoming PS4. As promised by Jim Ryan, President and CEO of SCEE, at the opening of the presentation: "We have always been committed to making next generation products but now we're increasingly focused on making those products for next-generation gamers."
On top of the PS4 excitement, fans were also delighted to learn of a price drop on PS Vita, Memory Card for PS Vita and PS3 12GB model for the European region. As of 21st August 2013 the price for PS Vita Wifi and 3G models will be reduced to €199 and the PS3 12GB model will also retail at €199
Along with the price drop, new titles for PS Vita were showcased, including Murasaki Baby and BigFest™.
Away from software and hardware there was a notable drive behind PlayStation®Plus (PS Plus), and the services that will be available on PS4 such as the instant game collection, cloud storage and immersive online multiplayer play along with the exciting new titles Resogun™ and #DRIVECLUB PS Plus Edition for PS4 and Assassin's Creed® III for PS3 instant game collection.
It was also announced that Twitch, the world's leading video platform and community for gamers, will come to PS4 globally. This will enable gamers to live stream their gameplay as well as view the live broadcasts of others as part of the "spectate" feature on PS4, enhancing the overall user experience.
Additionally, there was an emphasis on the wider services that will be available on the new PS4 via the PSNSM. SCEE has increased the roster of video services and apps to include the likes of Tunein, IGN and VidZone (Pan-European), Watchever, Maxdome and LoveFilm (Germany), Wuaki and TotalChannel (Spain), BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport, BBC News, Demand5 and LoveFilm (UK), Tvigle (Russia), RTBF and DVDPost (Belgium), Ximon (Netherlands / Belgium), Pathe (Netherlands), Viaplay (Nordics), and FilmoTV, Jook and GameOne (France). VIP broadband will also be introduced with a selection of partners including Deutsche Telekom, Orange (France), Virgin Media (UK), and ONO (Spain).
PlayStation®'s enthusiasm was matched by that of major third party publishers. Ubisoft gave the world its first look at Assassin's Creed®IV: Black Flag™ remote play on PS Vita and gave updates on Watch_Dogs. Gaijin Entertainment, MoJang and EA were also on-hand to give a glimpse into what gamers can expect from them for PS4.
PlayStation gamescom Conference 2013 – In Summary:
• The much anticipated release date for PS4 was confirmed as 29th November 2013 in the following regions
• New Zealand
• United Kingdom
• An exciting lineup of upcoming software was presented from:
SCE Worldwide Studios
• A new video was showcased for THE PLAYROOM the exciting camera-based experience which will come pre-loaded onto every PS4
• Hell Divers – a new cross-play title exclusive to PlayStation platforms for 2014
• Shadow of the Beast – a first look at this new vision of an iconic Amiga game
• Resogun™– a pure arcade shooter boasting addictive and challenging gameplay
• Everybody's Gone to the Rapture from indie developers The Chinese Room, award-winning makers of acclaimed title Dear Esther – only available on PS4
• Rime – An open world adventure / puzzle game from Tequila Works
• New video of inFAMOUS™: Second Son, the hugely anticipated title from Sucker Punch Studios
• Brand new footage of Killzone™: Shadow Fall multiplayer component
Third Party Partners
• Yves Guillemot showcased great upcoming titles from Ubisoft including a live demo of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
• The audience was also shown exclusive video content for Watch_Dogs before the upcoming Watch_Dogs movie in partnership with Sony Pictures was announced
• Jim Ryan also re-emphasized the importance of 3rd party partners and their key role in maintaining trust amongst fans, with reference to titles such as Destiny™, LEGO® Marvel™ Super Heroes, EA Sports™ FIFA 14, Call of Duty®: Ghosts, Skylanders Swap Force™, War Thunder by Gaijin Entertainment, and Minecraft by MoJang.
Third Party Partners - Independent Studios
• Re-cap on the simplified approach to self-publishing on PS4 due to the supercharged PC architecture of the platform
• Upcoming independent titles showcased included: N++ (Metanet), Volume (Mike Bithell), Wasteland Kings (Vlambeer), The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth (Nicalis), Guns of Icarus Online (Muse Games), Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number (Dennaton Games and Devolver Digital), Assault Android Cactus (Witch Beam), FEZ (Polytron Corporation), Final Horizon (Eiconic Games), Rogue Legacy (Cellar Door Games), Samurai Gunn (Teknopants), Starbound (Chucklefish), Switch Galaxy Ultra (Atomicom) and Velocity 2X (FuturLab)
• Many of these independent titles available for PS4 will also be available on PS Vita, including: FEZ (Polytron Corporation), Velocity 2X (FuturLab), Volume (Mike Bithell), Wasteland Kings (Vlambeer), The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth (Nicalis), Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number (Dennaton Games and Devolver Digital) and Rogue Legacy (Cellar Door Games),
• Innovative new partnership between Gran Turismo®6 (GT6) and leading auto manufacturers to bring exclusive concept vehicles to life in the ultimate racing simulator
• Sony Pictures are developing a full length feature film inspired by the GT franchise. Produced by Michael Deluca and Dana Brunetti the film will capture the adrenalin of the racing world and a human dimension will be inspired by GT Academy
• Rockstar Games' highly anticipated GTAV, given release date of 17th September, alongside a reveal of the GTAV PS3 bundle
• LittleBigPlanet HUB, a new free-to-play service heading to PS3 later in the year was unveiled, offering gamers from novices to hard-core enthusiasts ease of access to the extensive library of games and expansive array of entertainment services
• Upcoming independent titles showcased including FEZ (Polytron Corporation), Rogue Legacy (Cellar Door Games) and Supermagical (Tama Games)
• The RRP of the PS3 12GB model will be reduced to €199 from the 21st August 2013
• Library of almost 150 dedicated games and access to over 900 titles including PSP® (PlayStation Portable), Minis, PS One and PlayStation®Mobile
• PS Vita is offering all types of gamers fun, interesting, and compelling experiences legitimizing PS Vita as the gamer's mobile platform
• As of 21st August 2013 the RRP of PS Vita will be €199 alongside a reduction in the price of the Memory Card for PS Vita
• 4GB – €14.99, 8GB – €19.99, 16GB – €34.99, 32GB – €64.99
• The new PS Vita Mega Pack announced
• Over 25 new titles coming to PS Vita over the next 12 months including:
• Top selling Borderlands 2 from 2k Games
• Also coming to PS Vita is LEGO® Marvel™ Super Heroes from Warner Bros and Football Manager Classic 2014 from SEGA, offering the full PC game available for portable gaming for the very first time including continuous play between the PC and PS Vita versions
• Killzone: Mercenary, launching on 4th September 2013 - demonstrated PS Vita's potential to deliver home console quality FPS with graphics and gameplay to match
• Tearaway™, launching on 22nd November 2013 – won the E3 Critics choice award for best handheld game, showcased PS Vita's ability to deliver truly innovative gameplay, with that distinctive Media Molecule charm
• Murasaki Baby, which has been designed specifically around PS Vita touch controls by start-up Italian developer Ovosonico, led by acclaimed industry veterans Massimo Guarini and Gianni Ricciardi
• BigFest™, a free-to- play game where music fans are invited to create, build and manage their ultimate music festival working with real unsigned bands in a unique collaboration with online music portal Jamendo
• The highly anticipated Starbound from Chucklefish, the smash hit FEZ from Phil Fish and the sequel to one of the highest rated shooters of all time, Velocity 2X from FuturLab, as well as Age of Zombies (BlitWorks), A-Men 2 (Bloober Team), Assault Android Cactus (Witch Beam), Avoid Droid (Infinite State Games), Broken Sword: the Serpent's Curse (Revolution Software), Eufloria HD (Omni Systems), Final Horizon (Eiconic Games), Flame Over (Laughing Jackal), Gravity Crash Ultra (Just Add Water), Gunslugs (Abstraction Games), Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number (Dennaton Games and Devolver Digital), Joe Danger 1 (Hello Games), Joe Danger 2 (Hello Games), Kick & Fennick (Green Hill Studios), Muramasa Rebirth (Aksys Games), Rogue Legacy (Cellar Door Games), Samurai Gunn (Teknopants), Supermagical (Tama Games), Switch Galaxy Ultra (Atomicom), Table Top Racing (Ripstone), Volume (Mike Bithell) and Wasteland Kings (Vlambeer)
• Popular entertainment service VidZone, currently available for PS3, was announced for PS4, and TuneIn and IGN were confirmed for PS3, PS Vita and PS4 across multiple SCEE regions
• Enhanced Music Unlimited specifically for PS4 through a new user interface that is faster, simpler and better enables gamers to discover new artists and songs within the global catalog of 22 million tracks. Furthermore, "Play as you listen to music in the background" feature will be ready for PS4 launch
• Over 20 video services and applications coming to PS4 across Europe: Watchever, Maxdome and LoveFilm (Germany), Wuaki and TotalChannel (Spain), BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport, BBC News, Demand5 and LoveFilm (UK), Tvigle (Russia), RTBF and DVDPost (Belgium), Ximon (Netherlands / Belgium), Pathe (Netherlands), Viaplay (Nordics), and FilmoTV, Jook and GameOne (France)
• Twitch, the world's leading video platform and community for gamers, will come to PS4 globally. This will enable gamers to live stream their gameplay as well as view the live broadcasts of others as part of the "spectate" feature on PS4, enhancing the overall user experience
• Broadband partnerships with: Deutsche Telekom , Orange (France), Virgin Media (UK), and ONO (Spain)
• When it launches on PS4, for just over 4 EUROs per month, PS Plus will give members access to features such as the instant game collection, cloud storage and immersive online multiplayer play along with the exciting new titles Resogun™ and #DRIVECLUB PS Plus Edition for PS4 and Assassin's Creed® III for PS3 instant game collection
• Great perks announced for the service including a 14-day free trial with every PS4 purchased and 90 days free upon signing up for a year's membership
PLAYSTATION®4 (PS4™) LAUNCHES NOVEMBER 15 IN NORTH AMERICA, NOVEMBER 29 IN EUROPE AND LATIN AMERICA
33 Diverse Launch Frame Software Titles to be Available by End of the Year From Brand New Titles to Popular Franchises. Also Announces Support of Live Game Play Streaming Service, Twitch.
Tokyo, August 21, 2013 –Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) today announced that the PlayStation®4 (PS4™) (CUH-1000A series) computer entertainment system will launch on November 15, 2013 in the Canada and U.S., and from November 29, 2013 in Europe including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The PS4™ will also launch in the following 10 Latin American countries on November 29: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama and Peru*1.
PS4™ is a next generation computer entertainment system that redefines rich and immersive gameplay with powerful graphics and speed, deeply integrated social capabilities, and innovative second-screen features utilizing devices such as PlayStation®Vita (PS Vita). SCE will continue to offer breakthrough gaming and entertainment experiences to users by further enriching the services available on PS4™ such as PSNSM and PlayStation®Plus*2, a membership service offering members exclusive content and features, while enhancing the PS4™ system itself through future system software updates. As part of this initiative, PS4™ will support Twitch, a live internet streaming service devoted to video gaming, concurrently with the release of the system. Since its launch in 2011, Twitch has earned remarkable popularity worldwide as a live streaming video platform oriented towards video gaming, gathering more than 38 million visitors per month*3 . PS4™ users can easily broadcast their gameplay to their Twitch channel in real-time to gaming fans across the world, by simply hitting DUALSHOCK®4 wireless controller's "SHARE button".
A total of 15 Blu-ray Disc™ titles developed by SCE Worldwide Studios (SCE WWS) and numerous software developers and publishers from around the globe will be released between the launch of PS4™ and December 31st. Combined with digital download titles, an astounding 33 titles will be available before the end of the year*4.
There are currently more than 180 PS4™ titles*5 in development, and in addition to these exciting launch titles, Destiny™ from Activision Publishers, Inc. / Bungie, Inc., Diablo®III from Blizzard Entertainment, Inc., Mad Max © from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Witcher 3 from CD Projekt, The Divison from Ubisoft Entertainment, Dragon Age from Electronic Arts, as well as Shadow of the Beast, The Order:1886, inFamous™: Second Son, Rime, Hell Divers, Everybody's Gone to The Rapture, and Resogun from SCE WWS are expected to be released for PS4™. This incredible line-up reflects the strong support for PS4™ among virtually every software developer and publisher and within the independent development community. Since June 2013, the number of developers joining has increased from nearly 500 to 620.
Furthermore, SCE will pre-install THE PLAYROOM, in all PS4™ systems. THE PLAYROOM includes a tutorial session where users will be able to learn how to use various features of DUALSHOCK®4 Wireless Controller such as the touch pad and light bar. Those users who also own PlayStation®Camera will be able to enjoy content within THE PLAYROOM that utilizes augmented reality technology such as "AR BOTS" and "PLAY WITH ASOBI" where users can engage with robot type characters displayed on the screen, and "AR HOCKEY", an air hockey game where users can change the shape of the court by moving and rotating the DUALSHOCK®4 in different directions. SCE will continuously expand the world of PS4™ through further introduction of attractive content and services.
*1 Country names are listed in alphabetical order. *2 Digital service offerings vary by country. *3 Information as of August 2013. *4 Information as of August 2013. Release titles may differ according to country/region. Release dates may be changed depending on individual titles. Please refer to attached sheet for game titles available only for digital downloads. *5 Includes title lineup to be released from PS4 launch through December.