Sony has officially announced that its next-generation PlayStation 4 will go on sale this holiday season for $399, undercutting Microsoft’s Xbox One by $100. E3 also marked the first time we laid eyes on the PS4. The rhombus-shaped system is far smaller than the PlayStation 3 when it first launch, which was an incredibly bulky device. As expected, the console carries over the black coloring of its predecessor, though it also offers a nice industrial design.
One of the biggest moments of the show was when Sony announced that it will support used games and that the system does not have to be connected to the Internet for any type of authentication. You can also play single-player games offline without any need to be connected to the web, something that Microsoft’s Xbox One will require.
As part of the debut, Sony announced that Crackle, Sony Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited, Netflix, Redbox Instant by Verizon, Flixster and other services will be made available on the system. Sony says it is also working to develop exclusive programming content specifically for the PS4. The company says that it will also specifically curate its available content for what it believes gamers are interested in watching, though exactly what that content will be remains to be seen. Additionally, the company announced that its cloud-based PlayStation Cloud service will launch in the U.S. in 2014.
Sony says that its own Sony Worldwide Studios has 20 new titles headed to the PS4 this year, 12 of which are all new IPs including “The Order:1886,” “Drive Club,” and “Knack.” Of course, there were sequels to be shown during the show including “Killzone: Shadownfall,” the latest in the “Killzone” series and”InFamous: Second Son.”
Sony also showed a tech demo from Quantic Dream titled “The Dark Sorcerer,” which offered plenty of eye candy including beautiful lighting and particle effects, realistic blowing hair and exceptional facial mechanics.
Indie gaming also got a lot of love from Sony. The company previously announced during the PlayStation 4’s debut in February that independent developers would be able to self-publish on the system, and the fruits of those promises appears to have payed off in a series of new indie games including “Outlast” and others.
The fun didn’t end with that, though. Sony also debuted Square Enix’ “Final Fantasy Versus XIII” and “Final Fantasy XV.” We also got a look at an on stage demo of “Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag.” Set in the Caribbean in 1719, the game offered lush tropical environments, as well as a few of the series’ trademark assassinations. The demo also showed how players will be able to take command of boats and use them to do battle on the high seas. Of course, these battles looked far more interesting than those found in “Assassins Creed 3.” There were, however, quite a few instances of lag, though that can be attributed to the fact that the game is still in development.
We also got a look at the highly anticipated game “Watch Dogs.” The title, which gives gamers the ability to hack into any portion of a city’s infrastructure, looked positively stunning. We watched as the game’s protagonist, Aden Pierce, dodged police and surveillance cameras using his elite hacking skills.
One of the biggest titles on display was Bungie Studio’s “Destiny.” The first game to be developed by the former “Halo” developers, “Destiny” is a massively multiplayer first-person shooter that takes place in a persistent world that the developer promises will stay online for several years after its release. Bungie gave event attendees a special look at a live demo of the game, which looked absolutely gorgeous, despite the few technical hiccups along the way.
We’ll be sure to bring you more news and go hands-on with many of the announced games, and stay tuned for more coverage here at E3 2013.