Sony’s gamescom 2013 press conference wrap up

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Update: Ster Kinekor (local distributors of PlayStation in South Africa) have confirmed a local release date for the PlayStation 4. Details here.

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Sony’s recently concluded gamescom press conference may not have featured any new AAA title announcements, but a wide array of new indie games were confirmed for PlayStation platforms (particularly the PS4) and we learned when and where the PS4 will launch later this year.

Sony’s upcoming console will be released on November 15th in North America and November 29th in South America and various territories in Europe. The system will launch in 32 countries this year, with notable exceptions being Japan, India and indeed South Africa.

Sony spent a bit more time discussing the PS Vita during its gamescom press conference than we have grown accustomed to. Gearbox Software’s hit co-op shooter Borderlands 2 will be released for the handheld during 2014, and the system itself will receive a price cut starting today (August 21st) which sees both models selling for $199/€199 in North America and Europe. Sony also said that the price of PS Vita memory cards will be “drastically” reduced.

The 12GB PS3 model also received a price cut, with the new RRP set at $199/€199 on both sides of the Atlantic. The price cut comes at a great time, with Sony’s premier racing game Gran Turismo 6 hitting store shelves on December 6th.

Sony also had some exciting news for current and future PlayStation Plus subscribers, announcing that Assassin’s Creed III will be one of the free PS Plus games available during September for those of us in PAL territories. The platform holder also announced that Housemarque’s new PS4 shooter Resogun will be joining DriveClub PS Plus Edition as the first two PS Plus freebies which will be available from day one. Every PS4 system will also come with a 14-day free trial for the PS Plus service if you’ve never explored its benefits before.

Sony and Media Molecule’s LittleBigPlanet franchise has already made its way into millions of people’s homes (and hearts) but Sony intends to extend its appeal even further with the free-to-play service LittleBigPlanet Hub which launches on PS3 this December. Here’s the game’s announcement trailer:

A sizeable slice of Sony’s press conference was dedicated to announcing various indie titles, almost all of which will make their console debuts on PlayStation systems such as the PS4 and PS Vita. Most notable of these is Minecraft which will be available alongside the PS4’s launch later this year! The game will also be available on PS3 and PS Vita so a large selection of PlayStation fans can finally get their hands on this phenomenally popular sandbox world builder.

inFamous fans weren’t left out of the equation as Sony unveiled a brand new story trailer for upcoming PS4 exclusive inFamous: Second Son revealing a new female character who can use conduit powers just like the game’s protagonist, Delsin Rowe. Check it out below:

Overall Sony’s gamescom press conference felt like it was missing a massive AAA announcement from a first-party studio like Naughty Dog or Sony Santa Monica, but two price cuts and a release date for the PS4 are certainly nothing to sneeze at. Also, the platform holder’s focus on indie games will surely tide over even more small-scale developers ahead of the console’s launch.

What were your personal highlights from Sony’s press conference? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to also tell us the areas where you think Sony succeeded or failed.

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