SCE Japan Press Conference Recap

They are playing the most serene music in human history before the stream – it’s making me sleepy, and given that it’s starting at 2 AM, that’s probably not a good thing. It sounds like stuff you’d get to help you relax at night – I half-expect random nature noises soon. No nature – just a set of giant screens. The English translation is kind of hard to hear due to the translator’s voice being a bit low compared to the main audio. PS4 news for Asia will be discussed, as well as stuff for the Vita and PS3.  The Vita starts things off PSO 2 and Soul Sacrifice are credited with helping the Vita out in Japan. A snazzy white Vita is shown off, along with a slew of other colors including pink yellow, red, light blue, and “cock block”, or black as it’s sometimes known. The new Vita is a bit thinner and lighter than before – it also comes with ONE WHOLE GIGABYTE of storage. The battery life has been expanded to allow for up to six hours of gameplay, and a micro-USB port will replace the proprietery one on the bottom.

This system goes on sale on October 10 and a 64 GB memory card will be introduced tomorrow.  Soul Sacrifice and Dragon’s Crown were shown off in a quick video. Now a man is in a samurai helmet to hype up Co-op Collaboration Battle.  Gundam Breaker is shown off, and looks basically like an MMO version of Virtual-On. A limited edition Vita will be released with a Gundam on it, a plastic model of a Gundam, and the Gundam Breakers game. That trailer had the best wacky music ever. God Eater 2 is shown off, and will come out in July. It will also have a bundle with it and it’s got a bad-ass grey Vita with a sweet camo pattern. Soul Sacrifice is getting a follow-up on March of 2014. Inafune is up to talk about Soul Sacrifice Delta. It is not a mere update, with new monsters and magic – it will have brand-new elements, items, and battles between three forces. This was made to seem like a battle style, although the translation doesn’t make that very clear.

Mr. Sakai from Sega is up. Phantasy Star Online 2’s faulty PC update was cited and he apologized for it. PSO 2 will be updated, and this stream is fascinating because you can hear the translators flip through pages as they’re talking.  Phantasy Star NOVA will be exclusive to the Vita. You will face a huge enemy – GIGANTUS! The game comes to the Vita in 2014, and will keep the same world as PSO 2 and can be played single-player or in 4-player co-op online. Tri-Ace is developing it – YAY! More will be shown at TGS. PSO 2 is the flagship game, while NOVA is a side project. Beyond Monster Hunter clones, the Vita has other games too. Including School Idol Paradise. Hyping it up by showing dancing schoolgirls is far from the worst marketing strategy in the world. This will be a rhythm game with schoolgirls, so I’m sure it will come to the Vita in North America at some point.

Sengoku Musou 4 is coming in 2014. Terraria is also being shown off, with an in-game world shaped like a Vita! Now there are underage-looking schoolgirls playing sports, and a demonic robot bear being shot. And eating a schoolgirl. Yup – that is definitely going to do well. Sweet School Life, Amnesia, and Diabolik Lovers are coming in a special bundle pack. They will give you “wonderful time”. TIDUS! FFX and FFX-2 HD Remastered are shown off for the Vita, but without release dates. Some new stuff was shown off, including an action game, Tearaway, the FF X games, Soul Sacrifice, Schoolgirl Paradise, Project Diva J2, PS NOVA, Freedom Wars, 575 (WITH SCHOOLGIRLS), wacky robo-bear game, and Terraria.

It’s PS3 time. Many publishers are happy with the PS3, and the system has 71% of the marketshare for software. JoJo All-Star Battle is doing very well – selling more than 500,000 copies. An air fighter, Rain, GTA V, Tales of Sympnia, Beyond: Two Souls, BlazBlue, Book of Spells, Rocksmith 2014, a strategy game, Monster Hunter Frontier G, Lightning Returns: FF XIV, a mech fighter, The Walking Dead, Arkham Origins, , Dragon Dragoon 3, Ace Combat Infinity, an bbrawler with 4 in the title, J-Stars, and Dark Souls II were highlighted to show that the PS3 still has some life in it.

A rep of Polyphony is up to talk about GT 6. A new simulation engine was created for the game, and high-res models were created for all 1,200 cars. Online functionality will be easy to use, which presumably means that the menus will actually be possible to navigate now. GT 6 stuff can be accessed on your computer, tablet, or smart phone. THE GAME HAS OUTWARD ENERGY, including Vision Gran Turismo – a project celebrating the franchise’s 15th anniversary. 22 companies have provided concept car designs. This hype video is outstanding – showing off nice close-ups of real cars, then them being formed bit-by-bit in pixel form. These concept cars are dead sexy – even Nike has one, as does Jordan. The song playing for the gameplay appears to be ripped from a mid-aughts college rock station in the US – it’s bizarre. A 15th anniversary edition of the game will be released, along with a PS3 bundle with the game available.

PS4 is up. It has high power and makes available high-value entertainment experience. 2-22-14 is the Japanese release date, and it will be available with or without the PS Camera. The date was spun as being a great way to ensure that top-quality NA and EU releases will be ready, along with games only for Japan. Publishers apparently had a say in this. I’m sure they did – in the sense that they said they wouldn’t have stuff ready until then. Japan gets the FIRST LIMITED PACK and a download code for Knack. The price for this will be the same as the other version, which I would assume is the one lacking the camera since it wasn’t shown in the graphic. Four disc-based games and four online ones are coming from Sony to be released by the spring of 2014. Flowery is one of the games shown – I’m not sure if that’s just a different name for the original or a sequel. I would assume it’s just hte PS3 game since it’s got the same logo.  Crash Bandicoot and “Ratchet and Crack” are showcased as past games the presenter has made. Knack is shown off – he can grow in size by collecting parts. And if you suck at games, you can play as a support character. The actual storyline is narrated, and sounds absolutely ridiculous. More games should have their silly plots explained so plainly – they sound so absurd.

Knack is full of PS4 appeal, and everyone who buys the system in Japan will get Knack…so that bundle doesn’t quite seem necessary then. Playroom is shown off, and that looks like a ton of fun – sort of like what you’d imagine a next-gen version of Wii Sports as far as appeal. A kid is shown popping a virtual cork for champagne, which certainly wouldn’t fly in the U.S. AC IV Black Flag, Killzone Shadow Fall, something with Universe in the title, something starring schoolgirls, Driveclub, Knack, NFS Rivals, something with Four in the title, Battlefield 4, FIFA 14, Honokun (or something close to that), Resogun, Infamous Second Son, Wolfenstein: The New Order, Psycho Break, Thief, Strider, Dying Light, A Realm Reborn, The Witcher 3, Watch Dogs, Kingdom Hearts E, The Crew, The Order: 1886, FF XV, and The Phantom Pain were shown off with elevator music.

 

The beta test for A Real Reborn will be available at launch for the PS4, and PS3 owners can play with PS4 users. Watch Dogs and Psycho Break are going to be shown. THIS IS SAFE WORLD. More wacky gaming plot narration being played completely straight. DO YOU NEED A HELP!? I don’t need it. I love this. That was definitely a Watch Dogs trailer, but nothing that screams “buy it on PS4 instead of PS3”. The English voice work was shown, and it sounds really good. Surprised to hear the f-bomb on an official Sony press conference. Facial models look good, but not perfect – still very video gamey. Psycho Break features an Inspector Zenigata clone from Lupin III coming into a building and doing whatever he can to find out who is murdering people in a house.  The shadow work is extraordinary, and he’s doing battle with a gaint crazy spider monster! That certainly looks interesting.

Koei-Temco is up with a game coming to the Vita, PS3, and PS4 in Dynasty Warriors – so it will coincide with the system’s launch. The PS4 can show off more character models, and has more dynamic lighting effects.  Slicing and dicing on horseback looks fun, but the game itself doesn’t look like a very impressive PS3 game – let alone PS4. Some of that could just be due to them shootinig the video wall and not using direct feed.  This new DW will let you throw a dozen or so enemies into the air at once and slam them to the ground – neat. Mr. Nagushi from Sega is up, and has a tremendous haircut with the sides of his head shaved. The Yakuza game set in the Edo period is shown off with a lot of slicing and dicing. The translator is now just saying exactly what’s being said in the game in Japanese. There’s a ton of bloodshed in this. And a gun! Nice character models, but they still look very plasticy in CG. This will be the EIGHTH Yakuza game released in Japan. Wow. A Yakuza Ishin voice actor is appearing, and says the game isn’t true to history. Hell of a sales pitch there. Yakuza Ishin can be played on the PS4 and Vita and launches on PS4 and PS3 on 2-22-14.

GungHo and Grasshopper are showing off Lily Bergamo – a mech battle game. Amazing dark blue and light blue checkberboard suit on one of these guys. GungHo and Grasshopper are showing off Lily Bergamo – a mech battle game. Amazing dark blue and light blue checkerboard suit on one of these guys. THIS IS LIKE FINISH HOLD IN THE PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING! IT IS SUPREME ACTION GAME. There will be a smartphone companion app for the game. A smartphone can be used to play the game…maybe. I wouldn’t put much stock in this translation. The release date will be at some point in 2014, and more details will be given at TGS…maybe. This is a disaster.

A gorgeous song is playing to showcase Natural Doctrine for the PS3, PS4, and Vita. Arc System Works is showing off Guilty Gear X3rd! That isn’t nearly as absurd as past titles. Level 5 is showing off a PS4 game…with chibi graphics that look quite silly. The dragon is at least adorable though. Wonder Flick is quite an absurd title, but looks quite good. It’s a PS4 game, but can be played on the PS3, Vita, and on a smartphone. A timeline of mech and human battles are being shown for EDF, coming to PS4 at some point. D3 is showing off a game with Not Michael Jackson and super-busty chicks for Dream Club. Namco’s showing off a ton of mech battles, which means MORE GUNDAM. Mobile Suit Gundam hits PS4 in 2014. The Idol Master comes to the PS4 at some point as well.

Deep Down will be shown off with a new video. It’s got an interesting mix of club fare and classical in it. A playable demo is up – I like the detailed walking animation. The game takes place in 2094 in New York, which we’re told over and over again. You play a person. A person who reads memories from past items. PS4 Hearts Indies, including Galak-Z, Octodad, and Pavilion. Buying PS3 versions of some games can give you discounts on the PS4 versions – just like in North America.  PS4 Music Unlimited is hyped up by the group Uverworld. THANK YOU VERY MUCH UVERWORLD PEOPLE.  Video Unlimited will be released alongside the PS4’s launch. PS4 pre-orders are announced, and you can pay it off in 24 payments if you so desire.

Andrew House is out with the most ominous music ever. They’re showing off a little box alongside the white Vita and some swank white PS3 pads. PS Vita TV is shown. It looks like the OnLive console and is really tiny. It works with a controller to play Vita games on your TV. It will also have Hulu and Niconico. The PSP and Vita libraries can be enjoyed with a Dual Shock 3 pad now, and the PS4’s remote play works with it as well. It will be released in Japan on November 14, and will be available in a variety of prices, including a package that includes an 8GB Vita card and a controller. Well, I think that was a pretty big deal right there. The ability to play Vita games on a TV may just be enough to help its hardware sales. The show concludes with a nice Sony system family highlight video, and a cute redheaded actress playing a schoolgirl. Some Japanese hipsters are playing Tekken and chatting about Killzone.  And going to a party to project PS4 videos. Because that’s something that would happen. That took over two hours, but was an absolute blast between the wacky videos and translation silliness.