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Gamescom 2013: Recapping Sony's Press Conference

Much like at E3, Sony’s Gamescom press conference was the biggest and juiciest of the show.

Sony kicked off its press conference with a world premier demo of the PlayStation 4 UI. We watched a player browse the PlayStation 4’s dashboard, check out videos from upcoming games, and then jump into a friend’s Killzone multiplayer match. The impressive part of that last fact is that the system put the player directly into a match from the dashboard – no need to hop through in-game menus.

After that demo, Sony started talking about games. First up, Gran Turismo. Not only will the hyper real racing game launch on December 6 of this year, but the company announced that The Social Network and Fifty Shades of Grey producers Michael de Luca and Dana Brunetti are now working on a Gran Turismo film. The company also announced that LittleBigPlanet Hub will be launching on PS3 later this year. This free to play game will give players instant access to a host of player creation tools and a store to buy other user-created content.

Sony also announced a price drop for both the PS Vita, its proprietary memory cards, and the PS3. The Vita and the PS3 12GB version are each now $199. However, most importantly, the company announced that the PS4 would be releasing on November 15 of this year for $399. The company says that it has already received over one million pre-orders. 

Sony spent a great deal of time talking about indie games. Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the highlights:

  • Murasaki Baby – a touch control game developed by Ovosonico for the Vita, where you take a small awkward girl by the hand and navigate her through fantasy worlds.
  • Big Fest – a free-to-play music festival sim for Vita, where players promote real unsigned bands and visit their friends' festivals.
  • Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture – from the makers of Dear Esther, a strange adventure game set in a post-apocalyptic world around 1984. 
  • Rime – a crazy good looking game from a studio called Tequila Works, which looks like a cross between Ico and Wind Waker.
  • Helldivers – a crossplatform, top-down shooter (PS4, PS3, and Vita) where players work in teams to shoot a lot of Starship Troopers-like bugs. 
  • Resogun – an arcade action shooter with massive explosions from the makers of Super Stardust HD.

Sony also announced a few details for games that have already been revealed. The EyeToy-based The Playroom will be preinstalled on PS4s. Infamous Second Son showed off a new trailer where protagonist Delsin gains light-based powers. And Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag demoed the PS4’s second-screen functionality, which allows gamers to play PS4 games on the Vita.

All told, Sony announced 15 new PS4 and Vita titles. A few other notable announcements include: Borderlands 2 is coming to the PS Vita, Sony’s Music Unlimited service will allow players to listen to music while playing games, players will be able to share their PS4 gameplay via Twitch.TV, and fan-favorite Minecraft will finally be coming to PlayStation 4 at launch.

Sony’s press conference contained some of the biggest announcements from Gamescom this year, but stay tuned for more news from the show as we get our hands-on time with games starting tomorrow.

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