One of the most talked about things from Sony’s E3 2015 Press Conference was the unveiling of a Final Fantasy VII remake. But it wasn’t the only thing that happened during the 90 minute presentation, honest! Let’s take a look at all the promises from last year, and see if Sony and their development partners delivered.
Did Sony meet their E3 2015 promises? Some, yes. For many, it’s too early to say. There were so many exciting teases for stuff that isn’t out yet. Games such as Dreams seemed to speak to an inter-connected gaming community. Others such as The Last Guardian gave us an emotional narrative, if the trailer was anything to go by. The announcements of Shenmue III and Final Fantasy VII were crowd-pleasers. Some may look forward to the anticipation. Others’ hype may lose steam.
Sony’s E3 press conference was held on the evening of June 15, 2015. It began with a video montage of some of the company’s well-known franchises and new games.
President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America, Shawn Layden, took the stage first, to lay out the plan for the press conference. Their goal was to “show how games, some familiar and some entirely new, are taking advantage of PS4’s powerful technology to create indeed, the best place to play.”
And then the announcements began.
The promise: The evening’s first trailer showed The Last Guardian. It has been in the works since its announcement at E3 2009. Gameplay footage showed the two main characters working together to traverse some tricky platforming sections, which we’re supposed to experience for ourselves when the game releases in 2016.
Did they deliver? Not yet. The 2016 window is still listed on Sony’s website, with no specific date tied to it.
The promise: Guerrilla Games unveiled a new PlayStation exclusive called Horizon Zero Dawn through a trailer they said was captured directly from a PS4. It’s a game with giant robotic dinosaurs. Sony announced that it would have a 2016 release window.
Did they deliver? No. Guerrilla recently delayed the game to February 28, 2017.
The promise: Square Enix and IO Interactive showed a world premiere trailer for the newest in the Hitman franchise. The game would be headed for console and PC, leading with a digital release. As a pre-order bonus, PlayStation 4 owners would get a beta, where the game could be played first. PlayStation 4 owners would receive six unique contracts throughout the year following the game’s launch.
Did they deliver? Mostly, though there was a delay. Hitman was originally slated for a December 2015 release but was pushed to March 11 of this year. Since then, three episodes have been released, the most recent on May 31. The beta of the game’s opening sequence was available first on PS4 from February 12 to 15, and then on PC from February 19 to 22. The six unique PS4 bonus contracts are part of a mission called, “The Sarajevo Six,” with the first released alongside the game’s episode 1 launch, the second released with Episode 2, and the third released with Episode 3.
The promise: Street Fighter V would be an exclusive for PlayStation 4 and PC, with the first public beta access exclusive for PlayStation owners beginning July 23.
Did they deliver? Yes and no. Street Fighter V since released on February 16, 2016 but the first beta was pulled at its launch an hour after going live, and delayed until it actually worked. That led to an August 20 stress test for certain regions, and did not count towards the promised five-day beta. Eventually, an August 28 date was announced for the official beta, which ran until September 2.
The promise: Hello Games’ No Man’s Sky showed off some gameplay footage of what creator Sean Murray called a “universe-sized sandbox” that included fully destructible planets. The game’s creator visited an undiscovered solar system during a live demo.
Did they deliver? At the time, no solid release date was given but one was promised to be announced in the near future. Eventually, that date was revealed to be June 21, 2016 but has since been delayed to the recently announced release date of August 9, 2016.
The promise: A new title was unveiled from Media Molecule called Dreams. It would be a PlayStation 4 exclusive, with more information promised to be revealed at Paris game show. Creator Alex Evans said they were “building a place where you go to play, and explore the dreams of others, and then create and share your own,” where players would be able to “get lost for hours, exploring, journeying through the imaginations of thousands of PS4 gamers.” The game appeared to offer a shared experience based on community creations and interaction. The developers said it was a hard game to classify into a specific genre.
Did they deliver? Not yet. A new developer video following a Paris Games Week demo gave some further insight into. There’s a fully customizable imp creature who players will control. It affects the dreams. And there’s heavy community creation involved. Hrmm. It’s also been revealed that there will be a beta in 2016 but no word on a solid date yet.
The promise: Campo Santo’s Firewatch, would be making its console debut on PlayStation 4.
Did they deliver? Yep, they did. The game was released on February 9, 2016 on the PS4, PC and Mac.
The promise: The Taken King, Destiny’s expansion would be released on September 15, 2015. And there would be even more Destiny on PlayStation including new gear, a multiplayer map, a co-operative strike and new content would be made available exclusively on The Taken King’s scheduled release date on Day 1.
Did they deliver? Sorta. The Taken King did get released on that day on PS4, PS3, Xbox One and Xbox 360, and PlayStation did get exclusives, but the fine print on the official Destiny website says they’re timed exclusives until at least Fall 2016.
The promise: Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate would get exclusive content on PlayStation 4 with “The Dreadful Crimes” mission.
Did they deliver? Why yes, but, again, with the caveat of being a timed exclusive for the PS4, until March 31, 2016. This DLC got released on PC on April 11, 2016. They haven’t come to Xbox One, unfortunately.
The promise: Some itty-bitty heroes arrived in a world premiere trailer for the newest game in the Final Fantasy franchise, World of Final Fantasy. The game would be released exclusively and playable first on PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita, in 2016.
The promise: (And the crowd goes wild!) Square Enix’s Final Fantasy VII Remake was announced via a trailer, and it would be coming first to PlayStation 4.
Did they deliver? Haaaa...not yet. There’s no date announced but what we know so far is that the game may be split up, looks cool and Schreier theorizes it’ll be out sometime 2123 or so.
The promise: Publisher Devolver Digital got their own spot, and showcased four upcoming titles which would make their console debut on PlayStation 4–Ronin (PS4 and PSVita), Eitr (PS4), Mother Russia Bleeds (PS4), and Crossing Souls (PS4 and PSVita).
Did they deliver? ...no, and not yet. Ronin is available on PC, with PS4 and Vita dates marked as 2015 (but are currently unavailable on those platforms). Mother Russia Bleeds currently has a release window of 2016 for PC and PS4 but is not yet available. Eitr has a release window of 2017 for PC and PS4. And Crossing Souls is currently listed as coming to PC, Mac and Linux with a release window of 2016.
The promise: The announcement of the Kickstarter for Shenmue III shocked lots of people. The game was pegged for PC and PS4. The Kickstarter went live right on stage, and was counted down by the game’s creator Yu Suzuki.
Did they deliver? Yes on some things, and not yet on others. The game did go live on Kickstarter during the conference, and met its target of $2 million in 8 hours, while racking up a total of over $6.3 million by the close of the funding period. So far, the game has an estimated release date of December 2017 and is still slated for PC and PS4.
The promise: The trailer for the release of Batman: Arkham Knight was shown next. The game would get PlayStation 4 exclusive Scarecrow missions, Batman Classic TV series and Batmobile skins, plus a Justice League Batman 3000 skin. The release date was given as June 23, 2015.
Did they deliver? Yes. Arkham Knight released on June 23. The Scarecrow missions and the skins have remained PS4 exclusives.
The promise: The head of all things PlayStation, Andrew House, put the spotlight on the VR Project Morpheus. He talked about virtual reality games having primarily been solo experiences but promised Morpheus “...can best realize the connection friends and family love about PS4 and the ability to play together. Imagine playing a Morpheus game while four of your friends are inside the same virtual world, playing alongside of you with Dualshock 4s on the couch.” He promised that aspect of Morpheus would be available for a hands-on experience at E3 2015. He also unveiled the VR multiplayer virtual sports game RIGS, created by Guerrilla Cambridge.
Did they deliver? Work in progress. On the show floor, we used the Morpheus to get a taste of what it’s like being a flying horse. We’d later spend some time in a mech with RIGS. A few things have happened to Project Morpheus since then–for one it got a new name, and is now known as PlayStation VR. The virtual reality device is set to launch this October at a $400 price tag (however, PlayStation Camera is required so the total cost would be in the range of $460). Pre-orders went live on March 22 and included a bundled package for $500.
The promise: There was a brief mention regarding the partnership with Spotify for the rebranded PlayStation Music. House then discussed new plans for the PlayStation Vue streaming TV service which would launch that night in San Francisco and Los Angeles. A la carte channels would become available nationwide beginning in July, letting users pay for individual channels instead of bundled packages. The service would launch with Showtime, Fox Soccer Plus and an exclusive channel from Machinima, with PS+ members promised discounted subscription rates.
Did they deliver? Yes. Since then, PlayStation Vue has expanded to more cities and has new pricing on some packages.
The promise: PlayStation and Activision partnered for the Call of Duty: Black Ops III world exclusive premiere on PlayStation 4, and the trailer showcased four-player co-op. PlayStation owners would be first to play all the map packs and would be first for multiplayer beta access in August. The game was set to release on November 6, 2015.
Did they deliver? Yes. The beta initially opened on August 19th for PlayStation 4 users for those who pre-ordered the game, then opened to all PlayStation 4 users on August 21st through 23rd, with PC and Xbox One players getting the beta on August 26. The game did meet its release date.
The promise: A video reel showcased a bunch of announced games, including Metal Gear Solid V, Mad Max, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Until Dawn, Ratchet and Clank, and Tearaway. A PlayStation Vita (hooray!) video reel showed off Persona 4: Dancing All Night, and Severed, among others.
Did they deliver? This was a really fast showing of many game clips, but of the ones mentioned in the previous paragraph, they’ve all been released as of this date except Deus Ex: Mankind Divided which had a February delay and is now scheduled for an August 23 release.
The promise: Lucasfilm and PlayStation partnered and would release Star Wars to Disney Infinity 3.0 with playsets for Twilight of The Republic (covering events of Star Wars Episodes 1 through 3), and Rise Against the Empire (covering Star Wars Episodes 4 through 6). An exclusive, limited edition Star Wars Saga PlayStation Disney 3.0 starter set of the two aforementioned playsets, as well a Boba Fett figure included, would be made available a month before becoming available on other platforms.
Did they deliver? Yes. The bundled play-set for PlayStation was released on August 28, 2015 alongside the game including Boba Fett as promised. Boba Fett was released as a standalone figure on March 15, 2016. Unfortunately, Disney recently decided to end development for the Infinity franchise.
The promise: Lucasfilm, EA and PlayStation partnered for Star Wars: Battlefront. The trailer presented gameplay footage for co-op play. Release date: November 17, 2015.
Did they deliver? Yes. The game released on November 17 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. The game’s multiplayer mode is fun but can feel a little bit repetitive.
The promise: PlayStation 4 exclusive Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End got a demo with live gameplay footage. The demo briefly froze, a moment that has now been immortalized as a stage fright trophy. The new release date after a first delay from 2015, would be spring 2016
Did they deliver? Yes but after some further delay. The original spring 2016 date was narrowed down to April 26 but received another delay. Eventually, the game released this year on May 10, 2016. And there’s just been so much to talk about ever since.
That’s it for Sony’s E3 promises of 2015. Stay tuned later in the week for a breakdown of Nintendo’s E3 2015 digital event.