Sony’s gamescom press conference kicks off next Tuesday, August 20th, at 5pm GMT. The platform holder’s presentation promises to be one of the most exciting events in PlayStation’s nineteen-year history, providing viewers with another opportunity to see the PlayStation 4′s launch line-up and catch a first glimpse of brand new IPs for the platform.
During E3 2013 President of Worldwide Studios at Sony Computer Entertainment, Shuhei Yoshida, announced that at least twenty first-party games will be released for the PS4 during its first year on the market. Although we’ve already been introduced to a number of these games at E3, such as The Order: 1886, there are still plenty of spots to be filled including new titles from Sony Santa Monica and Naughty Dog. I have a hunch that the former studio is working on a new action-adventure IP for PS4 being helmed by God of War III director Stig Asmussen, while Naughty Dog is either busy creating Uncharted 4 for PS4 or working on something entirely new for the platform (the developer has a history of creating new IPs for each iteration of PlayStation). If Sony shows jaw-dropping gameplay footage from both these titles during its gamescom press conference then I think a lot more people will want to pick up a PS4 when it launches later this year!
Speaking of the PS4 launching, we still don’t know exactly when the console will be released apart from a vague ‘holidays’ release window. Many gamers will be hoping that Sony lifts the lid on the PS4′s launch date during its gamecom press conference and announces that the console will be available worldwide by the end of the year. This will be in stark contrast to the Xbox One which is scheduled to be released in only thirteen territories sometime in November. I’d love Sony to beat Microsoft out the gate by releasing the PS4 in late October but I have a feeling that Sony’s new console will be released worldwide in late November or early December, with each region getting fairly limited stock due to the huge number of territories being supplied at launch.
Despite Sony’s focus being squarely on the PS4 during its press conference, I think the platform holder will also talk up the PS3 and PS Vita’s software line-up for the remainder of 2013 (games like Puppeteer, Beyond: Two Souls, Gran Turismo 6, Killzone: Mercenary and Tearaway) and hopefully announce a price cut for its struggling handheld. The PS Vita got a price cut in Japan at the end of February so it feels like this offer needs to extend to other territories if Sony wants the system to thrive like the PSP did during its first few years on the market.
One of the items which could also be on Sony’s gamescom agenda is the rumoured $500 PS4/PS Vita bundle reportedly scheduled for release before the end of the year, which would represent a massive $150 saving for consumers if true. With supplies of the PS4 expected to be very limited at launch, having this kind of bundle available as an alternate method to pick up the home console would be a genius move by Sony for a number of reasons. Usually console launches are accompanied by people selling spare systems for exorbitant fees on places like eBay due to supply constraints, but if consumers could pick up a PS4 and PS Vita for only $500 then this would be a significantly cheaper way to purchase a PS4 once supplies were exhausted. If Sony makes enough of these bundles available around the PS4′s launch then you can be sure that the PS Vita will get a much needed sales boost, especially if Sony advertises how the handheld can be used to stream PS4 games and how it can function as a companion device to the new console.
Apart from these major announcements, Sony probably has plenty of other surprises up its sleeve engineered to create excitement and goodwill for the PlayStation brand during its gamescom press conference. Many of us are still waiting to hear an update on Team Ico’s PS3 exclusive The Last Guardian which was announced more than four years ago, while others are curious to see what SCE Bend Studio (Uncharted: Golden Abyss) is currently cooking up for the PS Vita. There’s also a rumour doing the rounds that LittleBigPlanet 3 is in development at the UK-based studio Sumo Digital so perhaps we’ll catch our first glimpse of this highly anticipated sequel at gamescom. Guerrilla Games (Killzone franchise) and Quantic Dream (Heavy Rain) are both reportedly working on new games for PlayStation platforms so hopefully these titles will be revealed next Tuesday should Sony decide to call on these critically acclaimed developers during its gamescom press briefing.
Be sure to share your own ‘Sony at gamescom 2013′ predictions with us in the comments below, and to tune into El33tonline’s extensive coverage of the event brought to you from Cologne.