Our apologies for the delay, there were some minor issues that took a bit of time. Continuing with the trend of E3 2017 speculation, we have another batch of predictions. Yesterday was focused on Nintendo, predicting game announcements, secret projects, and even firmware updates. Today our focus shifts over to Sony and their PlayStation brand as we look at what possible announcements could come from their media showcase. Sony has had a few interesting moments in the past couple years since our last predictions. They’ve released the PlayStation 4 Pro, quietly swept the Vita under the rug in North America and even innovated by releasing a dedicated console VR headset. What their future has in store for them, we’re not entirely sure, but we have a few predictions to consider. Here are our predictions for Sony at this year’s E3.
1. PlayStation Vita Games Available on PlayStation 4
This one is a bit of a stretch, but Sony probably isn’t very happy with the performance of the Vita in European and North American markets. It still does fairly decent in Japan and other Asian territories, but that’s mostly thanks to obscure and niche Japanese releases. Surprisingly, many of these games are still being localized for other regions, despite the system itself being discontinued with most retailers. While it’s too late to try and make a new Vita to recover from this, Sony can still salvage the hardware effort and try a different approach.
While it may be a challenge on the hardware aspect, Sony might be able to make the entire PlayStation Vita catalog playable on the PlayStation 4. While it’s not exactly identical, the touch bar on the Dualshock 4 has been proven to work as a touch screen for various games already, even in some of the Vita cross-buy titles. The triggers could also substitute for certain touch functions to replace the reach touch panel. Several PS4 games are already Vita ports, so it wouldn’t be too unusual. This would allow Sony to capitalize on their large PS4 audience to make up for the failings of the Vita’s numbers. The PlayStation 4 itself could basically be the new PlayStation TV at the same time.
2. New Sucker Punch Title
We made this prediction back in 2015, and to our surprise, Sucker Punch has still been pretty quiet. Even though there have been no announcements, there have been recent rumblings to support the idea. The developers behind the Sly Cooper and InFamous series have posted various job openings not too long ago, which suggests a new project. The rumor is that it might be a new IP, which seems pretty likely given the Sly Cooper series is currently being handled by Sanzaru Games, and InFamous is sort of in a franchise limbo at the moment. Given that Sucker Punch has only had two Sony franchises, it seems the time is right for them to create something new.
InFamous: Second Son and InFamous: First Light were a couple of great early games on the PlayStation 4, though fans of the series were a little disappointed with some of the finer details. Perhaps Sucker Punch will take the moment to learn from the feedback and focus on something that will branch outside of their comfort zone. It seems to have worked for Guerrilla Games with Horizon: Zero Dawn, so maybe it will work for Sucker Punch.
3. New Ratchet & Clank Title
While Insomniac Games is known to be the developer behind the upcoming Spider-Man PlayStation 4 title, they’re well known for another franchise. The Ratchet & Clank series is one of the most iconic franchises on the PlayStation platform since the PlayStation 2 era. The most recent release was last year, with a title based on the movie of the same name (which in turn was based on the original 2002 game). While Insomniac isn’t exactly a Sony exclusive developer, they’ve had most of their success with the company and they’ve been known to do multiple projects at a time. Considering Spider-Man is the only announced one in the works, it’s likely that they have another project up their sleeve.
A new Ratchet & Clank game makes sense, but at the same time, it might be difficult to figure out the direction. The company could easily continue from the foundation their PS4 reboot created last year. Considering that it was the best selling entry of the series, it would make sense to continue with the story that way. Some fans however, might wish for a continuation from the furthermost story in the franchise, Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus. While it isn’t an immediate need, a follow up would likely do well again, and E3 2017 would be a great time to announce a return for the Lombax and his robotic pal.
4. Spyro The Dragon Trilogy Remake
Speaking of Insomniac, they were the original developers of the Spyro the Dragon franchise. While it used to be a Sony property, the series has been traded around from company to company until it ended up in the hands of Activision. Sound familiar? A certain bandicoot has undergone a very similar transition, and just at the end of this month, a remake of the first three Crash Bandicoot games will be releasing in one nice package.
While it might be a little early to declare Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy a success, it can’t be denied that the appeal is extremely high. Activision tried to reboot Spyro with the launch of their successful Skylanders franchise, which while popular, many forgot it was actually a Spyro game. Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure soon led the little purple dragon into obscurity, and now the series doesn’t even reference him (despite being a playable character). It would be great to see Activision work together with Insomniac to recreate the first three Spyro games from the ground up on the PlayStation 4.
5. PlayStation 4 Pro Game Bundle
It’s a little surprising but the PlayStation 4 Pro has gone without an official game bundle for quite some time. Usually companies make bundles for their hardware as early as six months in, but Sony seems to be doing a different approach. With a powerful system on the horizon from a competitor, it may be wise for Sony to try and increase the value of their premium system. With visually stunning games like Horizon: Zero Dawn and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, it would be easy to pick a game to bundle with the system. Obviously it can’t just be any game, as it would need to take advantage of the Pro hardware enhancements. It makes sense that Sony might announce an official bundle for the system at this year’s E3 to push hardware. It might even be late enough for them to offer the bundled software at no extra charge.
6. Twisted Metal Reboot
This one may be another stretch, as Twisted Metal, an iconic Sony franchise, was already rebooted in 2012. While it was initially received well, lack of support and the use of a required online pass negatively impacted the game. It was also a very different direction for the series, making it so characters could change vehicles rather than be tied to a specific one. Considering the series has yet to make an appearance on the PlayStation 4, this seems like a candidate for release on Sony’s successful system.
While a reboot may seem like an odd direction, it would give a fresh face to the vehicular mayhem series. Maybe going back to the series roots and have more characters and vehicles, obviously upgrade the visuals and apply new features overall. A reboot may not be the plan, but if not that, then at least a sequel to the 2012 reboot. A sequel could definitely fix any issues fans may have had with the last release. Regardless, five years without a Twisted Metal game seems like a long time.
7. Killzone Spin Off
RIGS: Mechanized Combat League may have been a nice little PlayStation VR multiplayer title, but the efforts of Guerilla Cambridge seem to be underutilized. The developers of the fantastic Killzone: Mercenary could really bring the series back into the spotlight with a PS4 spin off. Considering the team at the main branch of Guerilla Games is busy working on more content for Horizon: Zero Dawn and even Death Stranding, the Cambridge studio would be a great choice to keep the series going. Killzone: Shadow Fall was the most recent entry in the series, being a PlayStation 4 launch title. While it wasn’t a bad game, it wasn’t the killer app that made people need a PlayStation 4 system.
If Guerilla Cambridge were to make a new game in the series, maybe it would be great to see a full sequel to Killzone: Mercenary. Being on the PlayStation 4 would give it a wider audience, and if our first prediction ever becomes a reality, then the first game can even be available to play for PlayStation 4 owners. The PlayStation Vita, while excellent hardware, just didn’t have a large amount of solid software to keep it alive against Nintendo’s 3DS family of systems. It would be a shame for great titles like Killzone: Mercenary to go unnoticed.
8. PlayStation Franchise VR Game
The PlayStation VR has been mildly successful for Sony, just recently surpassing one million units sold. This number, while not low, could’ve been higher if more were produced during the holiday season. The hardware has been of great interest to consumers, but given its $500 price tag and waning AAA support, Sony might need to put in some more focus. Farpoint just released for the system and while a lot of current owners were looking forward to it, it wasn’t doing what Resident Evil 7: Biohazard was doing for it months before. The PlayStation VR needs another game release to really create interest for the hardware. Sure, there is Ace Combat 7, but that can be played without VR, so there needs to be something that is exclusive to the VR hardware.
Sony will likely announce a new PlayStation VR title that uses one of its popular franchises. Perhaps we’ll get a game dedicated to just one franchise, or perhaps a sort of PlayStation VR Worlds with several franchises brought together (sort of like the EyeToy game Sega Superstars). Imagine exploring a temple ruin in VR as Nathan Drake, or catching apes as Spike. This could even be combined with our previous prediction and we can have a full VR Killzone experience. Either way, the PlayStation VR needs a new AAA killer app, and Sony hasn’t really been using their franchises with the hardware like they should.
Sony isn’t always the company to have surprises in store, having well known big projects on the horizon, but they might have something on this list. Last year, Hideo Kojima walked out on stage and announced Death Stranding, which was a huge surprise for fans around the world. They probably won’t have anything that can easily top that, but who knows for sure? Sony’s media showcase will be broadcasted live at 6:00PM PST on Monday, June 12th. This covers it for our predictions, but maybe you guys have some? Feel free to speculate in the comments below and stay tuned for our Microsoft predictions coming soon!