With E3 coming up, I've been wanting to get some of my predictions for the big show out there. Really, this is more of a wish list than anything else, but I am trying to keep it somewhat probable. If you haven't already read it, Part 1
of my Sony predictions touches on the PS4 games I'd like to see shown off at the conference. Part 2 will be delving into the Vita, along with everything else. Gravity Rush 2 (Project Siren) The first made a case for touch and tilt on Vita. Hope the sequel does the same.
A sequel to this 2012 Vita game has been all but formally confirmed at this point. We know Siren is making a new title, they put out a teaser for it without giving it a name, and studio heads have heavily implied that a sequel to Gravity Rush (known in the East as Gravity Daze) is coming. I figure two and a half years is enough time to make a follow up, so I expect to see this (at least in Japan) coming before the year is out. This will probably be the highest profile Vita game for the rest of the year, so this'll at least get a mention in a trailer reel, I'm sure. Sly 5: Master of Thieves (Sanzaru) Unlike Jak, this PS2 platformer's gotten love in recent years. Will it continue?
This one may be a bit less of a given then you might think. There were rumors that Sanzaru would either be heavily downsizing or completely shutting its doors after their 2013 Sly Cooper sequel "Thieves in Time" failed to meet sales expectations. Now it's been confirmed that they'll be working on the 3DS version of Sonic Boom for Sega alongside Big Red Button. For a team with only 60 people a few years ago, it's entirely possible that we won't be getting a new Sly game any time soon with their focus now on the Sonic reboot. If that turns out not to be the case, I'd love to see a new Sly for an early 2015 release. And if Sony's smart, they'll build the game from the ground up for the Vita as an exclusive, much as its predecessor should have been. MediEvil 3 (Guerrilla Cambridge) I know it's a pipe dream, but come on. Give Sir Daniel another chance, Sony.
So this is officially the part of my post where things start getting a little less likely. Guerrilla Cambridge (formally Sony Cambridge Studio), released the Killzone: Mercenary spin off on Vita last year to solid reviews and competent sales. But I don't think they managed to make much of a profit (if at all). Sony said it themselves: AAA development doesn't work on Vita. That's why my hope is Cambridge will get to return to MediEvil next year, the franchise they created. Stylized and smartly budgeted, this game could absolutely be profitable on Vita. And I'd love to see even a brief teaser for it at E3 this year. Ape Escape 4 (Japan Studio) The look on everyone's face who tried to play this fucking terrible spin off.
Continuing with the stylized character action platformers (they're a perfect fit for the Vita as far as I'm concerned), I think it's about time we see a return of the Ape Escape series to its former glory. The last proper sequel we got was Ape Escape 3 in 2005. In late 2010, Japan Studio put out a really terrible on rails shooter spin off utilizing the Move (pictured above). With Puppeteer and Knack being finished last year, there's no other solo projects on the table for them as far as we know. Seems like a perfect opportunity to do something cool like a new Ape Escape game, no? LocoRoco 3/Patapon 4 (Japan Studio/Pyramid) What an excellent cross over this would be. I'll settle for regular sequels, though.
While the PSP had its fair share of spin offs like God of War and Syphon Filter, it did have a number of original franchises that made it unique. LocoRoco and Patapon were two of them. Pyramid developed the latter while the former was handled by Japan Studio internally. I'd love to see a return to either of these series on the Vita, as few games I played last gen had nearly this much character. Unlike their predecessors, this would probably be best as a budget priced, digital only release. This'd probably be good trailer reel material as well. Other Playstation Vita Games:
Historically, Clap Hanz has only worked on three things: Hot Shots Golf sequels, Hot Shots Tennis, and portable spin offs of both. Hot Shots 6 (aka "World Invitational"), launched with the Vita in late 2011. It was eventually ported to PS3 in late 2012, but other than that Clap Hanz hasn't announced any new projects. With the PS4 now out I figure it's time for a new Hot Shots game (every Sony platform has gotten at least one). From the get go, I think it'd make the most sense just to make this a cross platform PS4/Vita game with Cross Buy and Cross Play. Art style. You're doing it right, Q-Games. Give more of this, please.
Q-Games is currently hard at work on Nom Nom Galaxy for PC (formerly "PixelJunk Inc"), but they haven't announced any new games for PSN. Without the PixelJunk branding, it's unknown if NNG still counts as "PixelJunk 1-6". Either way, E3 would be a great place to announce a new title in the franchise, and I think this would also make for a great Cross Buy game. Also, with Freedom Wars and Oreshika confirmed for a Western localization, it would be cool to some release dates for both at E3 as well (hopefully for 2014). Playstation Network News:
First things first: Playstation Classics needs to make a comback on PS4. Worst case scenario, they just have PS1 support, no optional upgrades, and Cross Buy with PS3/PSP/Vita as they bring them over. Best case scenario, we get PS1 and PS2 support, disc playback, HD upscaling options, and most if not all of the current catalog ready on day one. That's probably wishful thinking. For the love of god though, update the PS1 compatibility on Vita. I don't care if you have to pay for it, get it done already. And as for Playstation Now? Who knows. This seems like an inevitable disaster, but maybe they'll come out with pricing options that aren't a complete joke. I accept that I'll never get a good Crash sequel. Just let me play the old ones...
On the Plus front, I think this would be a good opportunity to refresh the Instant Collection and really show the value of the service and the system. First off, PS4 Plus needs its first retail game, as great as the digital indies have been. Launch title Killzone: Shadow Fall would be a good pick (Infamous is probably too new). On the PS3 front, replace mainstays LBP Kart, Uncharted 3, and XCOM with something like Beyond, God of War: Ascension, and PS All Stars. I'd skip The Last of Us since it's coming to PS4, and GT6 since I think it will be as well. On Vita, replace Gravity Rush, Uncharted, and Wipeout with Killzone, LittleBigPlanet, and Sly Cooper. They already did Soul Sacrifice and Unit 13, so this would be a good selection to pick from. Oh, and announce that all of these games are available today
. That would be huge.
Lastly, I think now is the time for some new bundles and pricing. Now that we're out of the greater launch window, how about that PS4+Vita bundle? The former is already profitable and the later just got a revision that cut hardware costs. Even if you gotta leave out a memory card or a Plus sub, announcing both units together for $500 would be huge. On the Vita front, they need something that will break the Western market. Borderlands and PS2 Collections won't do it. A bundle with the upcoming Minecraft port, Lego Marvel Superheroes, and a memory card for $200 would. That would sell a lot of Vitas to a lot of kids. And for the PS3, it's in end of life mode and it needs to finally hit that $150 price point for the 12GB model ($200 for the 250GB). It won't ever outsell the PS2 lifetime, but if you wanna move closer in that direction, this is how. Wanna know how you see Vita's in North America? This is it. Trust me.
That's all for the Sony conference. Figure this list is a little less likely than my last one. But hey. Maybe Sony will surprise us all, right? Who knows. Hope you've enjoyed reading these, feel free to leave your comments below and tell me what you think. Check back again in a couple days for my Nintendo conference predictions. Now that
should be quite interesting, lol.
EDIT: So I just realized I completely forgot to mention the Vita TV. That's something I really hope comes to the West this year. They could sell the unit by itself $100, then a $150 bundle with an 8GB memory card, a month of Plus, and a Dualshock 4 (now that support for it has been patched in). Thing is, they're gonna need to go back and update a bunch of Vita games to work without touch and tilt. Stuff like Gravity Rush and Tearaway would never work, but there's no reason why Uncharted can't be made to be compatible. Combine this with Playstation Now, PS4 Remote Play, and better PS1 Classics support and I can see this thing outselling the Amazon Fire TVs and Ouyas of the world. Oh yea. I almost forgot about this thing. Guess that's more Sony's fault, though...
LOOK WHO CAME: