Expectations for Leipzig 2008
What has Sony got in store for us in Leipzig?
As you all know, the biggest game convention in Europe is starting shortly and I thought it would be interesting to write a short piece on what I expect (and don't expect) from Sony during this outing.
There have been intense rumours going about, especially after the less than stellar showing at E3 this year which gave us little news apart from MAG and a God of War 3 we already knew had to come. SCEE (Sony Computer Entertainment Europe) themselves with David Reeves at the head have teased us further by promising "lots of announcements" at GC '08.
There are a few things that I expect, and some I don’t expect but wish for. I will detail them all below. And please remember that these are all my very personal expectations for the show, I am basing it simply on my gut feeling.
Things I would expect
Since David Reeves has stated this himself I would expect some form of announcement regarding the "next generation" of SingStar, when I first heard this I must say I was a bit frightened...I thought I just spent almost 200 euros so far on the "next generation" of SingStar. But I’m looking forward to whatever announcement it will be, I’m sure it won’t be something that will wreck the SingStar franchise as it stands now as that would be a social gaming suicide for Sony.
Perhaps wireless microphones, perhaps the possibility to use your mp3player or files in SingStar but I doubt the latter. The functionality would be too limited in my opinion, it would be like singing in the shower...but in your living room. Not as fun without the video and the lyrics on screen (or the water running down you for that matter...)
Of course there will be LittleBigPlanet stuff going on at Leipzig, what did you think? Since Alex Evans (Media Molecule developer) chat with Eurogamer last week when he said he’d "like to make another announcement", I think everyone is keen to know if he’s just being nostalgic about GDC 2007 or if he actually has an announcement up his sleeve, and if so, can the world handle anymore LittleBigPlanet announcements?
Resistance 2 & Killzone 2
I’d expect these two too square off yet again for the title of best shooter on the PS3, a title that was firmly held by Killzone 2 but has slipped more and more in the favour of Resistance 2, I still think Killzone 2 will come out on top in the end. Since the public has access to the Leipzig convention it should be interesting to find out what the public at large thinks about these two competing titles.
Could Leipzig be the venue Quantic Dream have chosen for unveiling their upcoming Heavy Rain, little is known about the title, except universal acknowledgement that it will look great. It would be very interesting to get more information on the game and to see if this was the game that so amazed a BBC reporter when he was shown a "secret game in production". Since Quantic Dream is based in Paris we could all hope that SCEE has saved them for Leipzig instead of going full out at E3.
Twisted Metal PS3
This classic needs a remake and we’re more than certain that it will have one on the PS3; the only question is when…I think Sony might shed more light on Twisted Metal PS3 during the convention in Leipzig.
Of course they’re going to be talking about Home, but what will they say…a release date? An open beta date? Your guess is as god as mine. There will be Home, but what will it be about.
I think there will be at least one new gadget announcement, or an announcement regarding something new you can use your PS3 for, such as the PlayTV hardware expansion we saw last year.
Life with PlayStation
Since Life with PlayStation should go live roughly around the time of the Leipzig convention I would expect some form of announcement regarding it, perhaps even a repeat of the E3 announcement of the video store a´la "it is available right now on your PS3".
Things I would not expect, but wish for!
Team ICO announcement
I know everyone is clamouring for an announcement on the new Team ICO game. I personally don’t think we’ll hear anything about it for one big reason; Sony Japan will want to keep any Team ICO announcement until the Tokyo Game Show later this year.
There has been at least a semi-confirmation from Naughty Dog that Uncharted 2 is in development(as if we didn’t know already), but what is it about, are the old protagonists still there, what environment will we get to hunt treasures in this time, what does it look like? Feel like? Play like? Yes I’m excited, I love Uncharted.
God of War 3 in-game video / playable
I think we might get another GoW3 trailer but I don’t think there will be any in-game video or playable material this time around.
I think what Zipper showed at E3 is basically what we get from MAG right now, hopefully a name change will come around soon, probably something involving SOCOM, but we’ll see when the time comes.
Syphon Filter PS3
I’d love to see a Syphon Filter game on the PS3, I played them all on PS, PS2 and PSP and enjoyed them immensely, the story, the characters, everything was great in those games; it needs to be on the PS3 as well. But…I don’t think we’ll get an announcement on it this time around.
Video Store announcement
David Reeves has stated himself that this will not come to Europe until early next year, so I doubt they will talk much about it during this year’s convention. There could however be some announcements about European TV / Movie makers that have come on board since the E3 announcement (if any)
New pricing schemes
I doubt that Sony would discuss any new pricing schemes right now; they seem to be happy the way things are going, especially with them finally making a profit again from the PlayStation division. If they do decide to lower the price this year, it will probably be closer to the Tokyo Game Show and expect an announcement there in that case.
New colours for PS3
I don’t think there will be any new colour announcements considering it took so long for the PS2 to get a colour remake in Europe and we still only have the PSP in black & silver(also yellow & red if you buy special bundles) but it’s not enough, colour is fun!
Come August 20th, we’ll all see what gets announced and what stays put in Sony’s closet of secrets. I would love to hear what expectations you might have in the comments section!