More often than not, you have people who attend big game shows, like the Electronic Entertainment Expo and the recent GamesCom event, talking about who "won" them. The real "winners" come from the people who attend the event, talking about the games they saw or, in some cases, the awesome swag they received.
If you're looking for a winner, we can easily say that Sony dominated the GamesCom event this year. They did pretty good at E3 with a few good reveals, but nothing could prepare us for everything they showcased at the Germany-based event, complete with new Vita titles, a business strategy called Cross-Buy that could renew interest in the handheld, and several original PSN games that are sure to become hits whenever they come out. Let's break down, step by step, how Sony dominated at the show this year.
The Little Extras
First off, Sony is getting better when it comes to relations with third-party companies. They struck a great deal with Ubisoft in two ways. First, a limited edition Assassin's Creed III Liberation bundle will hit stores when the game comes out in October. (Remember, Activision's doing one with Black Ops Declassified as well.)
Secondly, Ubi is also providing the PS3 version of Assassin's Creed III with an hour's worth of bonus content that you won't find on any other platform. That may not be quite as extensive as, say, the original Assassin's Creed being included for free on last year's Revelations release, but it's definitely something. Finally, third party characters are being added to PlayStation All Stars Battle Royale, with the latest one, Dante from DMC: Devil May Cry, joining Bioshock's Big Daddy and several others.
The fact that the company is going out and scoring exclusives for its audiences is something that you simply can't overlook. And it'll probably just get better in 2013, starting with Bioshock Infinite on PS3 including the original Big Daddy game that started it all.
Believe It Or Not, The Vita Lives On
There were some troubling reports before GamesCom that indicated that Sony's latest handheld system, the PlayStation Vita, was in trouble, and many were wondering what they were going to do to revitalize it. After this week, we can certainly say "a whole damn lot."
The company announced a new Cross-Buy feature, something that'll tie in with its Cross-Play technology. If you buy a certain PlayStation 3 game like Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time or PlayStation All Stars Battle Royale, you'll score the PS Vita version free of charge. This is a splendid deal, and gives you the opportunity to keep your play experience going, even if you're on the road.
Several games were revealed for the Vita, including the new project from the LittleBigPlanet team at Media Molecule, a spiffy platforming adventure called Tear Away. Featuring cool touch screen technology and a decorative world that reminded us of the earlier Crash Bandicoot games, this one looks amazing. We'll have a preview soon.
Other games revealed for the system include Ratchet and Clank: Full Frontal Assault (previously announced for PS3); the long-awaited Killzone: Mercenary, which was first hinted at last year but is finally coming together in a very big way; and Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified, featuring gameplay footage that actually appears like it's right up there with some of the better entries in the series. Some folks are concerned about the title being developed by the same team behind Resistance: Burning Skies (Nihilistic), but based upon what we've seen so far, there's nothing to really sweat.
Throw in PS One game support (coming on August 28) and the forthcoming PlayStation Plus program (FREEBIES!) and you've got more than enough reason to invest in a Vita. And if you don't have one yet, you can get your hands on one of the previously mentioned bundles very soon. Dibs on the limited edition white Vita!
Make It Rain On the Puppeteer Until Dawn
Sony also revealed three brand new IP's to entice gamers, each one providing a unique experience for the PlayStation 3. The first, Until Dawn, is a first-person survival horror game, where you work with fellow survivors to battle a mysterious killer in the spooky woods. It certainly looks like it'll go a lot further than Datura did earlier this year, so look out for our preview soon.
The second game is one of the latest projects from Sony Japan Studio, Rain. In this provocative puzzler, you have to find an invisible girl, but the only hints you have at detection are silhouettes that you see in a continuously pouring rain storm. This one's looking fantastic thus far.
Finally, there's Sony Japan's other big project, Puppeteer, a fun little platformer that features nifty gameplay centering around a stringed puppet battling the odds using a pair of scissors, along with his own nimbleness. We'll see how this one shapes up in the coming months.
And the Rest (aka The Last of Us)
Sony also showed off a new trailer for The Last of Us, going into a little more detail on one of the characters (he may not be as innocent as he looks) and setting the tone for more insane action from Naughty Dog. We definitely can't wait for this one to roll around in 2013.
Other games that were shown following the event were God of War: Ascension (with its forthcoming multiplayer, a first for the series); Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time (which is delayed to 2013, but still looks superb); and LittleBigPlanet Karting, a game making its rounds this November.
Overall, Sony had a great GamesCom show, even better than how their E3 presentation turned out, and certainly worth your attention as in the coming months.