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El33tonline’s Gamescom Predictions: Anticipated Sony announcements

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Sony was hit hard earlier this year by the PlayStation Network hack and the resulting backlash against the PlayStation brand. Despite this, 2011 has been a bumper year for the company in terms of a number of triple-A exclusives being released for PlayStation 3. We’ve already enjoyed the likes of LittleBigPlanet 2 and inFAMOUS 2, but what about the games we’ve still got to look forward to this year such as Uncharted 3, Resistance 3 and Journey?

Sony will undoubtedly have a large presence at gamescom, and I know my fellow contributors can’t wait to see what the company shows off at the event. I put a list together of some of my hoped-for highlights and here it is for your reading pleasure.

PS Vita:

I’m personally disappointed by the news that PS Vita will only release in Western territories early next year. Missing the November/December holiday period is a big deal because that’s prime spending time for consumers. There’s excitement in the air during that time of year, and launching Vita worldwide around the middle of November would have been a perfect opportunity to remind consumers that there’s a reasonably priced, super powerful alternative to 3DS (which is going to look incredibly affordable next to Vita after Nintendo’s price cut).

Negatives aside, Sony can spend the extra time coaxing more developers towards the platform and working out how they’re going to compete with Apple in the handheld arena. Vita will never be as popular as iPad so long as Sony forgoes apps and bite-sized games for price-conscious consumers.

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I’d love to see Sony announce some awesome new Vita launch titles to help draw gamers in from the get-go. I also want to see Sony address how they’re going to hinder piracy on Vita. PSP has been hacked to pieces over the years and because of this there’s been little chance of developers recuperating their costs on big budget titles. This explains why there’s been so little quality software on PSP over the last two years or so.

Vita has so many features and so much raw power that homebrew enthusiasts could pretty much emulate any console (or iOS device) if it were hacked. The hacker community is going to be trying to crack open Vita’s security the minute it goes on sale so Sony had better be prepared to fight fire with fire. If it don’t bring its ‘A game’ to Vita’s security the promising portable could be dead in the water before it’s even found its feet.

inFAMOUS 2:

Sucker Punch announced that it was going to release a patch for inFAMOUS 2 later this year to enable Move support. Hopefully this control setup is demonstrated at gamescom and proves to be just as enjoyable as it sounds.

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Gran Turismo 5:

The real driving simulator is due for some meaty downloadable content one of these days so perhaps gamescom is where Sony finally takes the covers off of a welcome addition to Gran Turismo 5, which is already a gargantuan experience.

God of War IV:

Sony’s first-party studios typically employ a two-year development cycle so that would place God of War IV’s release sometime around March next year. Will Kratos be back to deliver his bloody brand of vengeance sooner than everyone thought? I for one would love to see how Santa Monica Studio builds on the jaw-dropping graphics engine used in the last game as the series’ visual fidelity is one of the main reasons I sit through Kratos’ spectacularly animated acts of dismemberment.

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Journey:

This PlayStation Network exclusive by thatgamecompany certainly fills the void created by Team Ico’s lengthy development cycle on The Last Guardian. The public Beta of Journey demonstrates the studio’s highly conceptual and spiritual design philosophy, and the whole thing feels very organic – as if your PS3 has opened up a portal to another dimension where nature reigns supreme. I’m hoping Journey will have a big presence at gamescom and that new areas of the world, as well as previously unannounced gameplay mechanics, will be shown.

Uncharted 3:

In my opinion Naughty Dog is the best game developer in the world. I’ve followed the studio right from its Crash Bandicoot days and witnessed the team gradually make more mature games as its initial audience grew up and consoles became more powerful. Uncharted is Naughty Dog’s best idea yet, and the third game looks to take the series’ famous brand of cinematic action to a whole new level.

Being the graphically-minded gamer that I am, the main draw for me is going to be seeing all the exotic locales Naughty Dog has carefully built using a refined version of Uncharted 2’s engine. Of course, the story and characters in Uncharted 3 are also going to be what makes the experience, and if all these aspects of the game live up to my expectations I’ll definitely be rooting for Uncharted 3 in any and all Game of the Year awards. Hopefully the El33tonline team will get some hands-on time with the singleplayer component of UC3, and if they get to play a completely new map I’ll be all the more pleased for them.

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Sony will also use gamescom to show off their other exclusives like Resistance 3, Twisted Metal and Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One alongside the huge range of multiplatform titles appearing on PS3 this year. I’m a relative n00b in relation to these additional three PS3 exclusives so keep an eye out for all the upcoming hands-on coverage of these huge titles (and more) courtesy of Lisa, Wayne, Oliver and Peter.


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