E3 2016 - Sony Predictions

Phew...turns out doing this whole daily prediction thing instead of just spitting them all out there at once saved me on one of my predictions. I was going to predict that we'd see the PlayStation NEO and get a pricing announcement (as I alluded to in the Microsoft predictions). But this morning, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Andrew House confirmed that there is a "high-end PS4" in development and it will not be unveiled at E3. So I get a free prediction back. Hurray! And this is after they already gave me a #TrevorWasRight on my prediction from January that Horizon Zero Dawn would be pushed to 2017.

All told, Sony is probably the publisher I am the most familiar with - the first PlayStation Experience really helped set me down this path of whatever it is I'm doing - so I have a ton of thoughts on their ecosystem. The biggest #TrevorWasRight moment I will probably ever have was accurately predicting the Final Fantasy VII Remake at last year's Sony conference. Narrowing it down to five predictions will be tough but here goes nothing.

1. PlayStation VR shows off at least three new previously unannounced titles. And you can demo PS VR yourself at your local Gamestop "starting tomorrow." With PlayStation VR set to launch right around the corner in October, it makes sense that it would be the highlight of the show (especially now that the PS4 NEO is off the table). I don't think they'll devote too much time to it though because it has been so notoriously difficult to show off, instead being one of those "you really have to experience it for yourself" kind of things. As a result, they'll show off at least three catchy games that will get a pop from the crowd like 100FT Robot Golf did at PlayStation Experience but they really won't take up too much time with it. And if No Man's Sky happens to be one of them, I'm not going to count it as one of the requisite three here because I've already made the prediction that it'll be VR compatible and I don't want to double dip on it. Instead they'll encourage people to experience it for themselves at their local GameStops, probably starting the Tuesday following the conference (based on the Fortune report back in April that announced GameStop would have PS VR in stores across the country starting in June).

2. Activision will basically get a mini-conference within the Sony one. For years, Activision has gotten by without their own conference, instead partnering with Microsoft and Sony to showcase their latest Call of Duty and other titles. That trend will continue this year with Sony being the spot for Activision to spotlight Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and the latest Destiny expansion Rise of Iron. Bungie already devoted their own stream to reveal the expansion but as with every other Destiny release, they'll use this opportunity to showcase the PlayStation exclusive gear and probable strike mission (most likely with Destiny superfan Adam Boyes leading the charge). Lastly, Activision will announce that Crash Bandicoot is coming back...in a PlayStation-exclusive Skylanders pack as has been rumored this week.

3.  The Last Guardian release date set for August 30. Assuming the promise of last year's E3 is true: that The Last Guardian is finally coming out in 2016, I imagine at this point it releasing one of three ways. 1. It's available digitally immediately following the conference. 2. It's put out to pasture as a December game. Or 3. It get's the tiniest bit of marketing push and releases between now and the holidays. So I'm banking on that third option for this prediction. They don't make it an "available now" title and they don't put it in the December death slot because they've invested way too much money into the nearly ten years of development to not trying and recoup the cost. But it's also an incredibly niche game so putting it up in the throws of the fall season could kill it too. So I predict they try and get out ahead of the big Triple-A titles and launch it at the end of August.

4.  Tim Schafer Entertainment Block. Tim Schafer has become a staple of the PlayStation Experience keynotes and I think he'll come out during the Sony conference to plug Psychonauts' release on PlayStation 4 this week, show off the Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin VR title and Psychonauts 2. And he'll probably also plug a new game being crowdfunded through his Fig crowdfunding platform that is co-sponsored by Sony. Maybe a sequel to Brütal Legend with Jack Black set to return.

5.  Final Fantasy VII Remake new trailer shown. Part One of the multi-chapter game will center on Midgar and release in 2017. If I end up being right about this one, we might as well call me the Final Fantasy VII Whisperer. I accurately guessed the announcement of the game last year. And I predicted that the PC port would be released at PSX alongside new footage of the game. So yeah, I'm going big and bold here. They show off more of the opening portion of the game and announce that Part One will launch in 2017 to kick off the 20th Anniversary celebration of the game.

So those are my big five predictions for the game. I didn't even get to predict something like a throwaway mention in the conference about Shuhei Yoshida finally letting people change their PSN names. I didn't touch on a new rumored God of War game or whatever Sony Bend is working on. Final Fantasy XV will almost certainly get a good showcase piece with it's launch finally near. Sony has let people down in recent years (I'm looking at you Alex O'Neill from Irrational Passions, calling the Sony Conferences the "Boulevard of Broken Dreams"), but they've also had some of the most exciting possibilities as the leaders of the pack this generation. Let's see which Sony decides to show up Monday, June 13th 6PM PT.