Sony Talks VR and 2016 Games in Paris

While Microsoft has been driving home the potential hits it has for the holidays, Sony has sat silent. That changed this week at Paris Games Week, when Sony set the tone for the next year or so by touting 21 games, mostly exclusives, poised to redefine the PlayStation 4 experience.

It’s what PlayStation fans have been waiting for — a listing of completely new games. Sony had been focusing on minting indies and HD remasters.

At its first-ever appearance at Paris Games Week, the company put on a console-selling show that evidenced the potential of the latest PlayStation and the upcoming PlayStation VR headset.

Sony provided updates on previously announced games Street Fighter V (PS4/PC), Uncharted 4 (PS4), Wild (PS4), Star Wars: Battlefront (all consoles and PC) and others. There was even a commitment to release procedurally generated space explorer No Man’s Sky (PS4/PC) — that’d be June 2016.

The Highs

The company also announced several new games, two of which Mike Schramm, head of the qualitative analyst team atEEDAR, found especially compelling. That’s the pair of Gran Turismo Sport games, the next entry in the hallmark series, and Quantic Dream’s Detroit: Become Human.

Gran Turismo Sport will tie in several special events with real-world honors from the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile. Detroit: Become Human is a sci-fi saga with androids from the studio that developed Beyond: Two Souls and Heavy Rain.

“Sony also featured some impressive gameplay from Wild and Horizon Zero Dawn, two games that were previously announced. Both gameplay sessions featured some new and interesting details, from Wild’s different shamanic powers in its vast, open world to Horizon: Zero Dawn’s trapping gadgets and its item and crafting systems,” Schramm told TechNewsWorld.

Some of the biggest news wasn’t released in a singular announcement: PlayStation VR, previously code-named “Morpheus,” is a serious contender in next year’s virtual reality war, and Sony has the software to see the VR headset succeed, according to Rob Enderle, principal analyst at theEnderle Group.

“Suddenly VR looks very real and very compelling, which is important given the coming of Oculus Rift,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“This was also a huge event for Sony, who typically holds this stuff for E3, suggesting that Paris and Europe in general have become far more important to the firm of late,” Enderle added.

The folks over at IHS Research are so convinced by what Sony has shown of the VR headset that they project PlayStation VR will lay claim to more market share than HTC’s Vive and Facebook’s Oculus Rift combined, Gamasutra reported.

The Lows

For those focused more on core PlayStation games than PS VR titles, Sony’s press conference wasn’t a home run. It put more of its magic into its E3 presentation than it did at Paris Games Week, according to Alex Mandryka, game design consultant atGame Whispering.

“Overall, the conference seemed underwhelming, with a lot of sequels being announced. It is certainly a result of Sony hitting really hard earlier on this year’s E3 show, but I also believe that very few of the new titles seemed to have a strong identity, making the overall show rather bland,” he told TechNewsWorld.

A singular disappointment is the release dates for Hello Games’ dream-inspiring No Man’s Sky and Guerrilla Games’ open-world adventure game Horizon Zero Dawn, Enderle said. No Man’s Sky won’t touch down until the summer, and Horizon Zero Dawn isn’t expected to arrive until the second half of 2016.

“That is a lot of emphasis on games you can’t buy for the holidays right before the holidays,” he said.

The biggest downer is the lack of Vita news, Schramm said. Sony’s pipeline for Vita has been empty, but there was still the hope that it had some plans for the handheld console.

“Some fans are disappointed that there was no mention of games coming to the platform,” he said. “Sony’s gaming focus appears to be directly on the PlayStation 4, with a solid amount of support toward PlayStation VR.”

Quinten Plummer is a longtime technology reporter and an avid PC gamer who explored local news for a few years, covering law enforcement and government beats, before returning to writing about things run by ones and zeros and the people who make them. If it pushes pixels or improves lives, he wants to learn all he can about it.

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