Some members of the Sly modding community recently got hold of a bunch of documents from the original pitch for Sly 4, giving us a rare glimpse behind the scenes at how developers are able to get approval/money from big companies like Sony to make their games.
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time was eventually released in 2014, for both the PS3 and Vita, but this presentation dates all the way back to 2008-09. It focuses solely on the handheld version, whose platform at the time is simply referred to as the “NGP” (the original working title for the Vita before Sony finally settled on its name).
The main point of interest is a 6-minute video presentation, which goes over the history of the series, outlines why the Vita would be such a perfect fit for its gadget-heavy gameplay, then has to lay everything out in about the simplest terms imaginable so that PlayStation can be convinced to formally greenlight the game.
The team really went to lengths—with video capture spelling it out—to show that the Vita’s niftier features, like its touchscreen, motion control and rear pad, could be used for all kinds of in-game systems, from moving Sly around to driving to performing hacking minigames.
Because this game did eventually come out, seeing early footage of it isn’t as important as, say, seeing a pitch document for a game that never came out at all. But there is loads of interesting footage to be seen of the Vita’s earliest days, when it was basically just a huge black lump of prototype, with wires and ports all over it.
Also included were some screenshots and, better still, concept art:
Alongside the main pitch video, there are also a number of smaller, commercial-like demonstrations of some of the game’s more cutting-edge features, including a QR code idea where users would have been able to scan a code from the PlayStation Blog to then unlock items in-game.
If you want to download the archive and take a look yourself, you can find the files here. Which includes this intro description showing that the game’s original release schedule was...just a little off.