I think it’s safe to say that Sony surprised quite a few people, including us, during their E3 2013 conference. The event covered a wide variety of topics, including cloud gaming, PS4, PS Plus, and PS Vita, and how each works within the Sony ecosystem. For starters, the PS4 will have no restrictions regarding used games, no online authentication requirement, and will launch this holiday season for $399.99. PS Plus will function as it does now, with game giveaways and special discounts, but it will also be required to play games online; however, it will not be required for streaming media from such services as Hulu and Netflix.
A one-month PS Plus membership for $9.99 has been introduced, no doubt to ease in newcomers, which joins the $17.99 three-month plan and $49.99 year-long plan. To kick off the release of the PS4, PS Plus will allow access to a special PS Plus Edition of #Driveclub, as well as rotate one free digital title each month after launch, which will include several of the upcoming indie releases on display at the conference (Outlast, Secret Ponchos, and Starve). PS Plus will also support cross-game voice chat, game broadcasting and spectating, and the ability to join in on others’ games in-progress.
On the game front, PS4 has 30 exclusive titles in the works, including Killzone: Shadow Fall, The Order: 1886, and Infamous Second Son, with 20 of them (12 of which are new IPs) slated for release during the first year. PS Vita will have around 85 titles for 2013, with the remainder including Batman: Arkham Origins, The Walking Dead, and God of War HD 1 and 2. As mentioned early by Sony, the handheld will also stream PS4 titles via wireless networks for remote play.
Cloud gaming is expected to be available in early 2014 in the US. The service will initially launch for PS3 and PS4, and then afterwards for PS Vita. According to Sony, the titles “will be streamed using Gaikai’s proprietary network technology to deliver amazing gameplay that is fast and responsive.”
The PS Vita will be receiving a bundle for The Walking Dead, which will come with a 3G/Wi-Fi unit, the first season of The Walking Dead game, Season One of 400 Days, and unspecified bonus content. The seven-year-old PS3 will be available in a Grand Theft Auto V bundle, and itself still has several titles in the works, including Beyond: Two Souls, Rain, Gran Turismo 6, and Batman: Arkham Origins.
Official Site: US.PlayStation.com