The Last of Us Part 2? The PlayStation 5? More of God of War 4? The PSVita 2? We make some educated guesses on what you can and can’t expect to see during Sony PlayStations E3 2017 press conference.
E3 is now mere weeks away which can mean only one thing – The rumour mill has powered itself over 9000. Between now and the 13th of June, you’ll likely see a myriad of fake line-ups printed on branded paper, a handful of blurry, fake power point slides taken from dodgy angles on a phone camera and more than a few “leaks” from “industry insiders” that are little more than hopeful guesses. It’s the nature of the beast.
Here at Finger Guns, we like to be a little more grounded when it comes to E3 and take our rumours with an industrial sized bucket of salt. Rather than wildly speculate on game announcements that are unlikely to happen, we like to take some educated guesses based on what we know and what we expect to be announced during each companies Key Note Presentation. So here it is –the first of our E3 prediction pieces – “Sony @ E3: X Educated Guesses on What to Expect”
1). A new trailer for The Last of Us Part 2
Sony blew the roof off of the Anaheim Convention Centre at PSX 2016 by unveiling the first trailer for The Last of Us Part 2. It’s fair to assume we will be hearing plenty more about the game at E3 from developer Naughty Dog. If I was a betting man, I’d expect Sony to open their with a small game play snippet of The Last of Us Part 2 (much like they did with God of War 4 at E3 2016) – but as my compatriot Rossko was keen to point out, it will have only been 6 months since the game was announced and game-play might be a bit of a stretch. A new trailer on the other hand? Yeah, expect that for sure.
Probability – High
2). New Sucker Punch Game Announcement
Since Sucker Punch released Infamous: First Light back in August 2014, they’ve been eerily quiet. Apart from a few new hires for job roles that indicate they’re working on a new open world game, we know very little about what they’re working on. Last year it was rumoured that they were working on a PS4 exclusive Spider-Man game (which we now know, was being developed at Insomniac) but nothing of note has leaked from the Washington based studio. Fans of the InFamous series are hoping that they’re working away on the next instalment but there are unconfirmed rumours that (like Guerrilla Games did with Horizon Zero Dawn) Sucker Punch have been trying their hand at something a little different. Whatever Sucker Punch are working on, you can expect to see something of it E3 2017.
Probability – High
3). More WiLD Game play and a release date
Wild Sheep Studios, headed by Michel Ancel, have been quiet on the status of WiLD since 2015. The game wowed at Paris Games Week 2015 and started to look like a very hot prospect. Almost 2 years on (and with Michel Ancel’s diary filling up with work on Beyond Good & Evil 2 pre-production) we can expect a new trailer a release date for WiLD. My prediction? A Q1 2018 release date.
Probability – More than likely.
4). Shenmue III & Final Fantasy VII Remake Game Play
Both Shenmue III and the Final Fantasy VII Remake got their initial reveal during Sony’s E3 2015 showcase so what better way to show their progress than to return to the E3 stage in 2017? As both of these are a PS4 console exclusive (at least at the time of writing) and to some degree, are system sellers, it’d make sense for Sony to give both of these titles time on the stage to show them off the progress they’re making. Can we expect a release date? Maybe but I wouldn’t stake my life on it. I think the best we can hope for is a tentative release window, probably “2018”.
Probability – 50/50
5). Star Wars Battlefront II VR Game Play
While I fully expect the majority of the Star Wars Battlefront II coverage to come at EA’s own E3 show, it seems that much like the add on for 2016 Star Wars Battlefront game, this sequel will have some PlayStation VR compatible content. As Sony have exclusive console marketing rights for the game, I fully expect to see the Star Wars shooter on stage at the Sony focusing on the PSVR content.
Probability – I find your lack of faith disturbing.
6). Call of Duty WWII Game Play & Timed Exclusive Maps
As is now E3 tradition, Activision have forgone the possibility of hosting their own press conference and are going to show their games on stage with their partners. As Sony have a deal with Activision for the marketing rights and timed DLC exclusivity, you can expect a segment of Sony’s E3 2017 show to be dedicated to Call of Duty WWII. Expect more than a few reminders about the timed map exclusivity.
Probability – Dead Cert
7). Destiny 2 Game Play & exclusive content
As with Call of Duty WWII, Sony have the marketing rights and exclusive content deal wrapped up for Destiny 2 with Activision. As with previous E3’s, you can expect a dedicated section to the online shooter MMORPG on Sony’s stage. Now that Sony is without Adam Boyes however, who will present this section with as much style and finesse is anyone’s guess.
Probability – Destined to happen
8). More on God of War 4
E3 2016 kicked off with Kratos kicking things in the face which set the tone for a pretty tremendous showing. We’ve not seen any more game play since then and I fully expect Kratos and Son to be co-op killing another Norse monster live on stage at E3. Will we get a release date too? Don’t expect anything solid (because even the voice actor behind Kratos seems to be a tad confused) but we might get a release window. My guess? Q2 2018.
Probability – Higher than Mount Olympus
9). A PSVR sizzle reel with a few new announcements.
There are a tonne of 1st party PSVR titles on the horizon that Sony haven’t done a very good job of publicising. They’ve even got a studio in Manchester, England that is dedicated to developing PSVR games that is currently recruiting at all levels for development of a game being made in Unreal 4. At E3 2017 I expect Sony to reaffirm their dedication to PSVR with a sizzle reel of upcoming games and a few new announcements from their 1st parties.
Probability – High
10). A PS4 Pro Price Drop
Sony’s press conference is almost a day later than Microsoft’s which offers them something of a window of reactivity to their competitors inevitable info-bomb on Project Scorpio. The probability is that Sony are weighing up their options – If the Scorpio comes in at a competitive price with a slew of system selling games, Sony can react by dropping the price of their own 4K capable machine, the PS4 Pro, at E3. If Microsoft’s machine is relatively expensive, I’d still expect a reaction from Sony but probably not with an immediate price drop.
Probability – Dependant on Microsoft and Project Scorpio
11). A selection of re-visited classics.
Sony have set a precedent by reinvigorating some of their criminally underutilised back catalogue during their press conferences over the past few years. LocoRoco, Parapa The Rapper, WipEout and Crash Bandicoot are just a few examples and it’s reasonable to expect more at E3 2017. G-Police? Syphon Filter? Sly? SOCOM? Resistance? Ape Escape? Warhawk? Remakes and Remasters seem to be pretty popular with Sony at the moment but maybe we’ll see some reboots here too.
Probability – 50/50
12). A new IP from Sony Japan Studios.
There are a few games in development at Sony Japan Studios at the moment – What Did I Do to Deserve This, My Lord?, Knack 2, DLC for Gravity Rush 2 and Everybody’s Golf – but it appears that not all of Japan Studios are being utilised on these projects. So, what are they up too? Unconfirmed rumours on the grapevine are saying that they have a new action/adventure RPG in the works.
Probability – Low to middling.
13). Monster Hunter 5 on PS4
A rumour originating on 4chan (of all places) has indicated that Sony might have splashed the cash to secure exclusivity of Monster Hunter 5 on PS4. Now, I don’t normally put much faith in anonymous 4chan rumours but the tip comes from a user that has been on the money about Monster Hunter games before. The tipster explained the MH5 would feature “open world gameplay to give it more Western appeal, getting rid of the timer and missions”. This deal seems to exclude other Monster Hunter games so the portable games would still continue on other platforms including The Nintendo Switch. Business wise, if Sony have snagged exclusivity for MH5, it’s a master stroke. This series is a system seller around the globe and might stem the tide of players buying the Nintendo Switch over the PS4 in Japan. Do I believe this rumour? Yes, yes I do. I’ve heard rumblings of Monster Hunter games coming to PS4 beyond Frontier Z and Capcom confirmed in November 2016 that they were looking to expand the series in the West by aiming for a big console release.
Probability – Mid to High.
14). Bloodborne 2
It feels like a weekly occurrence that I stumble across some poorly photoshopped art pretending to be Bloodborne 2 key art but none of it has been real. There’s a real demand out there for a Bloodborne sequel and if Sony were smart, they’d have been banging on the door the day after the original game released asking to pay for another. From Software director Hidetaka Miyazaki confirmed that they are working on several new projects in March 2017 and that Dark Souls 4 might not be one of them. So, could Bloodborne 2 really be in the pipeline? Well, remember that “Action RPG” I mentioned above being worked on by Sony Japan Studios… Maybe that’s a collaboration with From Software…
Probability – 50/50
15). PSVita 2 – Project Trinity
Ever since the successful release of The Nintendo Switch, I’ve been seeing rumours that Sony might be gearing up for an announcement of the PSVita 2 in order to compete. A lot of these rumours stem back to 2016 with the Project Morpheus (PSVR) & Neo (PS4 Pro) codenames suggesting that there might be a third – Project Trinity – to complete the trio of main characters from the Matrix films. The evidence behind these rumours is circumstantial at best and isn’t backed up by any recent events. Sony have been making a concerted effort to bring more of their franchises to mobile phones (as either stand alone games as with No Heroes Allowed or connected apps to their PS4 games) and that doesn’t seem like the actions of a developer that’s gearing up for the release of a new mobile console.
While the Vita has been soldiering on admirably in the East, sales have slowed dramatically in the West and I personally don’t think it’s a market that Sony want to reinvest in any time soon. It’s a massive gamble given how well the PS4 is performing for them.
That being said, Nintendo helped port Mario and Pokemon to mobile phones before they launched the Switch and, well, stranger things have happened.
Probability – Slim to none
16). Read Dead Redemption 2 Game Play and Exclusive Content
Sony managed to money hat the marketing rights to another of this years biggest upcoming titles – Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2. While Rockstar are infamous for avoiding big announcements at E3, we can expect at least a trailer at Sony’s presentation as well as confirmation on what makes PlayStation the “Best place to play” this title (HINT: It’s exclusive/timed content).
17). A new Days Gone trailer
We’ve seen nothing of Sony Bend’s zombie survival shooter since the game was shown running at 4K during a PS4 Pro event. You can expect at least a new trailer or game play segment at E3 2017.
Probability: Mid to High
18). A Spider-Man Release Date
At the time of writing, Insomniac’s Spider-Man game doesn’t have a release date and if I’m honest, I expect it to have been dated a few weeks before E3. My spidey senses think his would be to take advantage of the wave of PR coming alongside the release of the Spider-Man: Homecoming movie. If it’s not dated before E3, expect a game play demo and a release date live on stage,
19). A Knack 2 Release Date
The game that was described as “the sequel that no one asked for” is being referred to by some outlets as an “atonement” for the flaws of the first Knack game. If Knack 2 turns out to be as positive as the previews are saying, we might see some game play, a trailer or a release date at E3 – if not on stage during the presentation, during one of the live streams during the weekend.
Probability – High
20). A Dreams Release Date
It feels like Dream has been in development for an age and any early hype that the LittleBigPlanet successor had built up has waned. The issue that Sony and Media Molecule have is that Dreams is a hard game to “sell” on stage. Rather than a live demo, I expect a quick trailer and an open Beta announced and dated.
Probability – High to Middling.
21). Confirmation of Horizon 2
Right, this is on this list to put this to bed once and for all. Yes, we are likely to see a sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn. No, We’re not going to see it at E3 2017. It has been literal months since the release of the first game and while I have no doubt that discussions are taking place about the possibility of a sequel, I can’t imagine pre-production has ever begun yet. Let’s put this rumour to bed for a year shall we?
Probability: More chance of punching fog
22). Until Dawn 2
Supermassive Games have been hiring up for a “AAA Experience” built in Unreal 4. While that doesn’t mean anything concrete, it has lead to some hope building for a full sequel to their narrative horror game Until Dawn. The original was something of a sleeper hit even with Sony scrimping on the PR and advertising so there might be some future to the series.
Probability: Outside chance
23). GT Sport Release date
Gran Turismo Sport is currently in Beta and is closing in on a release date. It has been a long time coming and you can expect further details to be revealed at E3 2017 – if it’s not on stage, it’ll be revealed at some point during the weekend.
Probability – Dead Cert
24). The PlayStation 5
Why are we talking about the PlayStation 5 so soon? Well, Hideo Kojima was spotted on twitter wearing a t-shirt with an unknown logo on it and on the back of the t-shirt is “It’s a Sony” repeated 5 times. Either this is a total balls up by Kojima-san or it’s for something else – a camera, TV or new Walkman perhaps. The logo on the shirt has no relation to that of PlayStation (a logo which is instantly recognisable the world over) so I highly doubt it has anything to do with a 5th PlayStation. It’s just too early for Sony to be announcing another home console.
Probability: None. Zilch. Not gonna happen.
25). A New Character For Death Stranding
With each trailer that Hideo Kojima and his production team release, so does a new cast member of Death Stranding. First it was Norman Reedus. Then it was Mads Mikkelsen and Guillermo del Toro. But who’s next? Well, the rumour mill suggests the next character to be revealed for Death Stranding will be a woman and it might just be Stefanie Joosten. Joosten has worked with Kojima in the past (she played Quiet in MGSV) and Kojima-san does have a habit of returning to talent that he has worked with before.