Unlike Microsoft, which was unfortunate enough to suffer loads of leakage in the run-up to its E3 conference, Sony managed to keep everything pretty much under wraps. The show started at 2am UK time, and we got about an hour of new games, including several for PSVR. (Notably, and as expected, there was no mention of Sony's more powerful PS4 model.)
Here's everything that happened.
-There is, for some reason, an orchestra front-of-stage, replete with choral accompaniment. A woman beats a shield and makes guttural noises into a microphone. Don't actually know what this music is from. Is it from anything?
-Aha. Turns out it's for a new God of War, featuring an aged beardy Kratos shouting at a wee boy with scars, who it eventually transpires is his son. The rumours were true: it's a Norse mythological setting now. You may be pleased to know it's still quite extraordinarily gory - but also surprisingly affecting. Here's the reveal video (it's a long one - ten minutes):
-Evidently the orchestra was playing all of that live, according to friends in the room. Reckon they'll keep that up for the whole thing?
-Here's what Bend Studio has been up to: a post-apocalyptic Sons of Anarchy, it seems. It's called Days Gone, and here is what it looks like:
-Next up: The Last Guardian, which still gives me chills. We see another cat-bird-thing for the first time: unfortunately it does not look friendly. And there's a release date: it's out October 25th this year! Praise be. Still won't believe it until I see it.
-Horizon: Zero Dawn gets a generous gameplay demo, featuring more hunting of imposing machine-creatures. This still looks kind of like a robo Monster Hunter to me, except with a narrative. And you can RIDE the monsters. Yeah, I'm on board.
-Time for Quantic Dream's latest: Detroit: Become Human. David Cage will probably be out to talk about emotions in a minute. Looks like a good old-fashioned thriller centred around friction between humans and androids, which is good news, because Quantic Dreams has tended to overreach when it aims for anything else.
-Some chat about PSVR now, which Sony America's Shawn Layden reckons is a landmark moment for VR. More than 50 games will be available for it by the end of the year (it's out in October). We're going to see a few of them.
-The first looks pretty impressive visually: it's Farpoint, in which you explore alien planets. Then there's a Star Wars space combat game: a new Battlefront spin-off, X-Wing VR Mission. Thirdly: Batman Arkham VR, which comes as a genuine surprise.
-Another showing from Final Fantasy XV after its Xbox conference appearance. This trailer is considerably sillier and more energetic, with fighting, Chocobo riding and strutting in equal measure. And it's also got a VR component that lets you play as Prompto: not quite clear how it fits into Final Fantasy XV itself.
-Another space-combat game next: it looks a lot like EVE Valkyrie, but more polished. Hold the phone: the player just jumped OUT of the spacecraft and onto a giant ship, and is now shooting things. It's Call of Duty Infinite Warfare. This low-gravity combat looks like great fun. It's followed by a quick look at the remastered Call of Duty Modern Warfare.
-Is this... is this a new Crash Bandicoot? It bloody well is! Well, sort of. Crash, Crash 2, and Warped are all being remastered for PS4 - but not before Crash himself appears in Skylanders Imaginators in October.
-The new Force Awakens-themed Lego Star Wars game gets a cute new trailer - did I mention the live orchestra is still accompanying all of this? Anyway - there's a demo available right now on the PlayStation store, and the game's out in two weeks.
-Andrew House is on stage to welcome Hideo Kojima, who hysterically appears with all the fanfare of a late-stage X-Factor contestant, flashing lights and all. So glad to have him back. We're about to see the new Kojima Productions game, which might as well be called A Giant Fuck You to Konami. There is... a naked man having an electronic baby? The naked man is Norman Reedus! He is crying, and now the baby has turned to sludge. Now there are dead whales. I have no idea at this point. It's called Death Stranding. See for yourself:
-Insomniac is making a new Spider-Man! This was rumoured, but given that Activision has always had the Spider-Man license... oh man, this could be GREAT. And it looks like it is PS4 exclusive.
-Finally, here's a long gameplay demo of that zombie Sons of Anarchy from earlier, Days Gone.
And we're done! That's it for the E3 2016 conferences. I was very entertained by this hour or so of Sony stuff: we saw lots of new games, some promising VR, and the conspicuous absence of its recently-confirmed more powerful PS4 model. And, uh, release dates for most of what was shown. Stay with us for more from E3 throughout the week.
Catch up on E3 2016: