Live: Sony Gamescom Conference Finished
Here we go then! Sony is the only platform holder putting on a big Gamescom press conference this year and with any luck we are going to learn the PlayStation 4 release date. Plus, it wouldn't be Sony at Gamescom without a bunch of weird new games to salivate over.
You can join us live from 6pm BST / 7pm CEST to watch the live stream, read through our babbling commentary and post your own reactions. Should be good.
Our live coverage has now ended. Here's what you missed: Updating...
We're just over 90 minutes away from the Sony conference start time. If you missed it, why not check out the EA Gamescom conference live blog? The announcements weren't amazing, but Ellie did a joke about the Crystal Maze.
Around half an hour to go. We have a pool going in the office on the PS4 release date. Loser has to buy the other biscuits. Anyone got a theory? My money is on second week of November...
Wes, Martin, Digital Foundry and Ian from our YouTube channel are in Germany. They'll be filing stuff from the conferences and around the show all week.
Hey everyone! Glad you liked the Crystal Maze joke. It went so well that for this one I'm thinking of doing a thing about Fort Boyard.
We're edging closer to start time. Lots of exciting clicks and whirrs on the live feed suggesting that people are doing last-minute set-up. Or that I've got an ad window open somewhere on my computer and haven't noticed.
Ain't no conference like a Sony PlayStation conference! Except for all other video games conferences ever.
Looks like it's going to be a fair few minutes 'til we kick off - have just taken my seat and people are still filing in.
I tweeted the Sony PR dude earlier to ask what time the conference is finishing. He did not reply. Am now extremely concerned about missing the start of Great British Bake-Off.
I've been told to expect a 75-90 minute conference.
And also to expect to hear all the information we want to know.
I wish Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry were drafted in to evaluate new video games hardware. "There's a lovely sheen to the outer casing, but look underneath those USB ports. You've let yourself down with that soggy bottom, Sony."
I would very much like it if that included a new launch title - compared to the Xbox One's line-up, the PS4's day one slate is looking a little thin on truly exciting games right now.
I also spotted Andrew House being all Andrew Housey outside. That was exciting.
Last year we got Rain, Puppeteer and Tearaway. Would love some similar surprises tonight.
The lights are down!
Looks like we're starting! No dubstep - stillness. A chair looking up at the screen. Person sitting in it is operating a PS4, flicking through the interface.
The new user interface looks like an evolution of the old PS3 XMB with a few more nested options.
And now he or she is watching a video recorded earlier, accessed through the game recorder.
Is that Kaz in that armchair? Fiver says that when he turns round he'll be stroking a white cat.
Ah, looks like it's Shuhei Yoshida into the chair, Blofeld style. Hopefully he's stroking a cat while he watches this video clip, which looks like Killzone.
Ellie and my jokes align.
All this mucking about with an actual console (presumably), simulating a user's experience, makes a nice change from a montage of dubstep and guns. Although, you know, he's still watching a video of some shooting.
This is awkward...
I did wonder what ever happened to Jean-Michel Jarre.
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Jim Ryan.
Not my words - the words of, er, someone.
Right, Ryan says that was the global unveil of the PS4 user interface. You got to see "the connected experience that lies at the heart of PlayStation 4".
Let's start with PS3! Oh.
To be fair, it has got lots of exciting games this year, including... Gran Turismo 6!
No bilingual intro for Jim Ryan. Remember when David Reeves used to reel off entire anecdotes in German? Then quote a Bob Dylan lyric before announcing Singstar: Turkish Edition?
Here's a brand new trailer and an Oscar Wilde quote from Ryan. Something famous the old chap said about how exclusive concept cars are great.
I really really hope there's a video of how you can change the colour of the car. I haven't seen enough of those in my 10 years of watching games conferences.
Polyphony Digital has been collaborating with lots of major car brands, Ryan said. I see Zagato, VW, Peugeot and some other famous logos swept along the side of sleek concepts.
Zagato! Bertone!This excites me and maybe me alone.
Loving the opera. Games need more opera. Imagine caning your way through Spelunky to Turandot.
Martin Robinson's hyperventilating at this point.
BRANDS HATCH! I just fainted.
Martin Robinson has done a white weewee.
But seriously, BRANDS HATCH!
Audi Etron! My god this is just too much.
December 6th 2013.
Kazunori Yamauchi's in the audience so Ryan pays tribute to him - and the other car manufacturers in the auditorium.
Dec 6th is a global launch date for GT6.
Kazunori Yamauchi and Sony Pictures are currently developing a full-length feature film based on GT. Producers Michael de Luca and Donna Brunetti.
Ryan's reeling off some of the amazing year-eight PS3 games out this year. The Last of Us, for example, or Beyond, which is due out in October.
"PlayStation continues to demonstrate its lasting commitment to the PS3 gamer."
Remember LittleBigPlanet? Ryan is announcing LittleBigPlanet Hub, a new free-to-play service for PS3 due to launch later this year.
And here's Stephen Fry's voice over the top of a trailer. Imagine lots of LBP stuff, he says, for free, and then other stuff to buy. Yep, that's how F2P works Jeeves.
Bless you Sackboy, you funny little knitted hippy.
Sounds like you'll still be able to play, create and share tons of stuff in addition to however the F2P/microtransaction stuff works.
"And finally, 2013 sees the return of Grand Theft Auto to the PlayStation 3." Indeed.
From launch, there's going to be a GTA5 PS3 bundle and a custom-designed headset.
From next week, anyone who pre-orders GTA5 from the PlayStation Store gets 75% off any Rockstar game.
Onto PlayStation Vita now.
Sony's announcing three new PS Vita Mega Packs for the Europe market. They're available as standalone software with an 8GB memory card or as part of a hardware bundle.
Now Ryan is drawing attention to Vita titles like Arkham Origins Blackgate, Football Manager Classic 2014 and... Borderlands 2.
Yep, Borderlands 2 is heading to Vita. That's cool.
Ryan's talking about Sony's commitment to the indie sector now. He's pleased to announce that Starbound from Chucklefish, Fez from Phil Fish and Velocity X from Futurlab will be coming to PS3 and Vita this year.
Fez for Vita! Gimme.
Ooh, PS Vita price drop. From tomorrow, 199 Euro, 199 US dollars.
And there will also be "significant reductions" in the price of Vita memory cards in these regions.
Michael Denny's on stage now, reminding us that he announced five new IPs at Gamescom last year and that Sony is committed to doing that stuff.
Here's seven more new and exclusive PlayStation Vita titles, he says.
I think he's recapping here - mentioning Killzone: Mercenary and Tearaway.
You can tick "Push the boundaries" off your live text bingo card. You can also tick "You can tick "xxx" off your live text bingo card" off your live text bingo card.
Here's a new game - Murasaki Baby from a new Italian studio. You take a child by the hand, navigating the perils of a nightmare fantasy world.
It takes advantage of Vita's touch controls. In the video on screen the player is using touch to clear obstacles and help walk a little kid with a pink balloon through shadowy, pencil-sketched 2D environments.
Looks 2D but with different planes of depth, I think - it looked like the player just span windmills in the background to help blow the balloon along.
"And now for something completely different," says Denny.
I'd describe this as "Tim Burtonesque" if I didn't detest everyone who's ever used the phrase "Tim Burtonesque".
Taking inspiration from music festivals, he's announcing a new F2P game called Big Fest. You create and manage a music festival.
They've partnered with some music portal with a stupid name to bring in unknown bands, who you get to manage as part of the festival you're putting on.
Looks a bit like a Tycoon game - setting up stalls, micro-managing acts, then seeing people enjoy them and tending to their needs.
Co-operate or compete, apparently.
Big Fest and Murasaki Baby demonstrate how Sony will encourage devs to bring wild ideas to life, says Denny.
The indie community has also embraced Vita, says Denny, who has in no way signed loads of cheques to encourage that embrace.
We're seeing a "conversations with creators" video where developers talk about why they're excited about Vita. One guy says that he likes not having to make concessions to other mobile platforms' limitations.
Mike Bithell on screen saying he likes having a dedicated device, rather than a device that also plays games, with cool network stuff.
Derek Yu is talking about how he likes it too. OMG SPELUNKY ON THE VITA IS OUT NEXT WEEK MY LIFE IS COMPLETE.
I might buy another Vita and Spelunky so I can play co-op with myself.
These testimonials are nice, but the games being played in the background by each of the creators would also speak for themselves. Lots of lovely stuff.
Zoned out for a minute. Is this still the Vita thing or are they talking about Barnardos?
Denny says he's going to talk about some Worldwide Studios PS4 games later.
In the meantime, here comes lead system architect Mark Cerny.
I would like to meet the lead system architect on Mark Cerny's hair.
Cerny is recapping the goals that Sony had in mind with the PS4. 10x the performance of any previous consoles, for example.
Gamers would also want the very best games, says Cerny, so they went out and asked developers what they would want in a console and a controller to get them on board.
Zoned out again. Is this still the Sony conference or a Wes Anderson film?
He's talking about the launch line-up a little now, talking about its depth and breadth, although there's no big list yet or anything.
Name-checks blockbuster games like Destiny and Watch Dogs and passionately constructed small indie titles brought in by Sony's dev relations team.
He wants to elevate these indie games, he says, supporting Unity and offering full self-publishing across all platforms, loaning dev kits and offering financial support with the Pub Fund.
"We believe that a renaissance of gaming is coming on PlayStation 4." Creative freedom and broad content.
Here's Shahid Ahmad to tell us about some of the titles coming our way on PS4.
Seriously though does anyone know what time GBBO is on? I don't want to miss the start. I heard a rumour it's macaroons week.
Ahmad says that an indie dev revolution is happening. He says he's been asking indies what it means to be an indie and their response is that freedom is super important.
Wants Sony's platform to be "the place indies want to be".
Rogue Legacy is coming to PS4 and Vita next year - a console exclusive. (It's already out on PC.)
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth on PS4 and PS Vita next spring. PS Plus subs will get it at no extra cost.
Good grief, Sony, if you like indies that much why don't you just marry the Inspiral Carpets.
N++ will feature new multiplayer modes, thousands of hand-crafted levels and lots of creating and sharing. Debuting exclusively on PS4 this winter.
Mike Bithell's new game Volume, where you can create, remix and share worlds. PS4 and Vita will be where it debuts world-exclusively next year.
Pilot airships through a steampunk universe in Guns of Icarus Online, which will enjoy a console-exclusive debut on PS4.
Wasteland Kings - "a roguelike-like" - is going to be making its console-exclusive debut on PS4 and PS Vita next year.
And finally, Dennaton's Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number will make a console-exclusive debut on PS4 and PS Vita next year.
That is quite a lot of indie games.
Ahmad says that's just some of the indie games coming first to Sony platforms in the next year.
Here comes Michael Denny to talk about the Worldwide Studios games on PS4.
All 14 of Worldwide Studios', er, studios are now working on PS4, including Santa Monica, Media Molecule and Naughty Dog.
The wide geographical and cultural spread of content is really important, as well as quantity, says Denny, highlighting Sony's connections all over Europe, for instance.
Now Denny introduces a trailer for The Chinese Room's latest game, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture.
The trailer starts with some ticker text on a computer screen talking about how it's five days since "the event".
Keep the doors shut, don't go out, says the voiceover, as we look at sepia shots of forests and gentle music plays.
I've always thought they should do a video game adaptation of Threads.
The Chinese Room's Dear Esther was amazing, and this should be "just as emotional and intense", says Denny.
Spanish studio Tequila Works' new title next. Here's some footage.
I've always thought they should do a video game adaptation of Broadchurch.
Aerial shots of a coastline. Zooming in, we see a kid in a skirt and shawl running over white sands, through trees in-land, doing some platforming in an Ico-style world of bright almost cel-shaded environments.
Then night falls and the kid waves a torch around near a fire. Then the torch is gone and something threatening appears through the mist.
Game's called Rime.
Cross-play is great, says Denny. Here's Arrow Divers, a new game from the team behind Magicka. Co-op squad-based multiplayer shooter for PS3, PS4 and Vita.
Top-down, multiple people firing guns at things. Possibly insectoid things. Rocky things. Looks a bit like Halo Spartan Assault Starship Troopers.
PS4 will also have great arcade shoot-'em-ups, says Denny. Housemarque did Super Stardust HD for the PS3 launch, for example, and the studio's new game, Resogun, will carry on in a similar vein.
Looks like a shooter where you move around the outer edge of cylindrical level designs.
Lots of lovely electric tendrils, massive explosions, thumping electronica. Sort of like a post-apocalyptic Lumines on the inside of a kaleidoscope.
Or outside even.
Here's a next-gen vision of an iconic Amiga game. Shadow of the Beast, reimagined for PS4.
This is where I show my (young) age by not recognising any of this. Sorry! A beastly looking man is slashing people up. Only on PS4 apparently.
He's got sexy claws that make him look like he's doing a GWARR gesture and yellow eyes. Now a big orc thing has leapt out of the desert and got up in his grill, so he's summoned some shadowy... shadows! Of the beast!
There, hopefully that was seamless.
Amazing! Let's hope this sets a precedent for loads of other Amiga remakes. What would you like to see, readers? I vote Thundercats and Buggy Boy.
Now let's take a brief look at WWS titles we've heard about, says Denny.
The Playroom will be preinstalled on every PS4 from launch.
The Playroom? Sounds a bit Guildford swingers' party.
You can muck around and create... stuff. Using camera and controllers to muck about with funky graphics... stuff.
Looks fun. Like a sort of EyeToy Noby Noby Boy.
Ah, inFamous: Second Son. Here's a new trailer showing the progress the game is making.
Time to punch the ground and send people flying. Some destructible scenery, too, by the look of it. Lots of jumping around on rooftops.
There we are, sucking energy out of cars. Classic.
Denny says he's "super excited" about stuff like Knack, The Order: 1886 and DriveClub, too.
And of course Killzone: Shadow Fall, "which promises to be a huge launch title for PlayStation 4".
Here's some new multiplayer footage.
That was what Yoshida was watching during the conference opening, apparently.
Looks like you can custom-define all sorts of play modes. One just now was Stealth vs. Defence, so nimble players vs. tanky ones.
"Play by your own rules" is the tagline.
15 new PS4 games announced today, says Jim Ryan, returning to the stage, all of which are console-exclusive to the PS4 at launch.
Ryan is moving on to the multimedia stuff. Sony won't place this kind of stuff behind a subscription gate, he says. For example, Twitch.TV will be available for spectating, and there are over 20 video services and applications coming to PS4 in Europe.
This conference could do with a bit more IN YOUR FACE MICRO SOFT. Come on, Jim, announced that Sony will actually be giving its consoles away for free, in boxes stuffed with fifty pound notes.
Sony's Music Unlimited service has been enhanced for PS4 with a new simpler and faster interface.
New features include the ability to listen to music in the background while playing games and an option to access a quick control bar by pressing the PS button.
Recognising the importance of smooth online gaming, Ryan says Sony is entering into strategic partnerships with the likes of Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Virgin Media and Ono to offer special broadband packages to gamers with reserved parts of the pipe for gaming and things like that. More to be announced in the coming months.
Now for PlayStation Plus. Ryan says the price of just over ?4 a month is great value. There'll be a 14-day free trial for all PS4 owners, including Instant Game Collection access. You'll be able to use the DriveClub PS Plus Edition and Resogun.
Assassin's Creed 3 is heading to PS Plus on PS3, too.
If you're thinking of signing up to PS Plus ahead of PS4, says Ryan, starting tomorrow and lasting a month, if you sign up by PSN for a year you'll get an extra 90 days free.
Ubisoft is coming on stage now to show "how these games work best on PlayStation".
These games being the likes of Assassin's Creed 4. We will get a Remote Play demo on Vita, too.
If you turn the sound down and put some Prodigy on it's like Jim Ryan has taken a LOT of disco biscuits.
Ryan sketches a scenario where one gamer plays Black Flag on PS4 in the lounge, then gets turfed out of the lounge and continues playing it on a Vita in the bedroom instead.
Right, Assassin's Creed 4 stage demo.
This is the Gamescom demo, apparently. Starts off with two pirates having a nice chat on the deck of a ship.
The deck of the Jackdaw, no less, and that was Edward Kenway and his first mate. Now we're seeing Kenway steering the Jackdaw into battle, firing on a coastal fort.
It does seem a bit like the guy in charge of videoing this conference has been at the disco biscuits.
Oops, here come some ships to cause trouble. The Jackdaw levels a broadside at one of them as the seas undulate beneath them, skewing cannon balls slightly off-course.
Basically some boats are having a punch-up.
And now we're onto Remote Play on Vita, where Kenway has left the Jackdaw and is climbing up the fort he's just bombarded from off the coast.
It's not a Vita version - it's the PS4 version running through Remote Play. Looks very slick and responsive.
The demo ends with Kenway confronting some naughty Templar.
That's the end of the Assassin's Creed 4 demo. Jim Ryan returns and says that "almost all" PS4 games will work on PS Vita Remote Play via wi-fi.
Here comes a video of an Assassin's Creed 4 level that is exclusive to PS3 and PS4 at launch.