Sony hosted their third annual PlayStation community celebration on Saturday, Dec. 3 through Sunday, Dec. 4.
The PlayStation Experience, also known as PSX, has turned into one of the biggest annual gatherings for the gaming community.
The event for all things PlayStation included panel discussions, over 100 playable games that won’t be available to the public until 2017, news about upcoming projects, an invitational Call of Duty: World League tournament and even the “Street Fighter V” world championship known as the Capcom Cup.
Saturday, Dec. 3 kicked off the two-day expo with the PSX keynote showcase to show off to the world what they have in store for the future.
The showcase began with a trailer featuring a hooded woman making her way through the ruins of a crumbling city. She continues deeper and deeper into the city before reaching a red door. Once inside, she avoids guards by keeping behind corners and scaling ledges. It’s then that the woman climbs a ladder where the crowd gets the chance to see how truly destroyed the city is. After a brief confrontation with guards, the woman removes her mask to reveal the character of Chloe and with her the new expansion to the “Uncharted: The Lost Legacy” franchise.
“So, how many knew that was “Uncharted” when it started?” Shawn Layden, chairmen of Sony’s Worldwide Studios, asked the packed showcase floor of gaming fans. “That’s not a bad way to start today.”
Layden went on to explain that it was on Dec. 3, 1994 that PlayStation sold its first console in Japan, making the opening day of the expo PlayStation’s birthday. “We’ve been here for 22 years and we’re not going anywhere soon.”
The keynote continued the show by revealing “Marvel Vs Capcom: Infinite” with the characters of Megaman X and Ryu teaming up against Ironman and Captain Marvel. The crowd hollered and clapped as the trailer ended with a cloaked character shrouded in darkness followed by a release window that only read 2017.
The PSX showcase had a number of reveals for the near future, including “WipeOut: Omega Collection”, which will combine “WipeOut HD” “WipeOut Fury” and “WipeOut 2048” into a single bundle only available on PlayStation 4.
Fans will also be seeing games like “Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy”, “Resident Evil VII: Biohazard”, “The Last Guardian” and many more coming either the end of this year or sometime next year.
The keynote showcase closed with a final announcement from Naughty Dog – “The Last of Us: Part II”.
The trailer shows the character of Ellie, now 19-years old, strumming a guitar in what appears to be a rundown house out in the forest. As she plays, a figure is shown walking in past numerous dead bodies. It’s then that the figure is revealed to be Joel, the previous game’s prominent main character, and Ellie vows that she is “going to find and kill every last one of them.”
As the showcase came to a close, fans crowded into the Anaheim Convention Center’s exhibit hall floor, where PSX filled the compete 813,607 square feet with over 100 of the most talk-about titles in gaming.
The larger titles such as “Gran Turismo”, “Farpoint”, “Horizon: Zero Dawn” and “The Last Guardian” drew in lines that could stretch on for over an hour, while third-party and indie games made for quick hands-on time.
Though, the longest lines were for titles that incorporated PlayStation VR into their gameplay. Having just launched in October, PSVR is one of Sony’s newest developments where players use a reality head-mounted display to take them deeper into their gameplay.
“Launching PSVR was huge. We’ve worked on this for many, many years,” Shuhei Yoshida explained during while he sat down with Greg Miller, Colin Moriarty and Tim Gettys during the live panel recording of the PlayStation podcast “PS I Love You XOXO” on Sunday, Dec. 4.
When players put on the VR glasses for their chance to try out “Ace Combat 7” in virtual reality, they’re almost transported into another world. They’ll find themselves in the cockpit of an aircraft and receiving information on the radio of the enemy on their way. Players get the chance to fly across the skies in their very own search for enemy aircraft carriers while dodging attacks.
But with PSVR still being so new, the graphics are unimpressive and flatter than what you find while playing on a television. Though, there’s so much potential for what’s to come.
The highlight of the two-day expo was on Saturday night during the Capcom Cup 2016 finals. The Capcom Cup is considerably one of the premiere international fighting game events of the year.
With a nearly full house, the top-eight finalists battled it out for the title of “Street Fighter V” World Champion.
This year marked the first year in the history of any big-name fighting game tournament that two players from the United States were in the winner’s bracket.
EG’s Ricki Ortiz from Northern California and Team Liquid’s Du “NuckleDu” Dang from Tampa Bay, Florida seemed to have the whole room on the edge of their seats during their final matchup.
The crowd witness Ortiz get knocked down into the Loser’s Bracket only to fight her way back up into the final round against Dang.
But Dang defeated Ortiz in a nail-biting 3-1 during the Grand Finals to become the first North American player to win the Capcom Cup.
“It shows now that the USA can compete with Japan in games like that,” Nick Dean, who attended both days of the convention, said regarding the Ortiz/Dang showdown. “This is the first time that [the USA] has competed and beat Japan at their own game. So it’s pretty amazing.”
In case you missed the action, you can check out all the announcements, trailers and excitement that kicked off PlayStation Experience 2016 by visiting their website.