Another year, another E3 and all the anticipation that comes with it. Though some of what will likely be big news at next week’s event in Los Angeles have already been reported on (or otherwise heavily hinted at) – Sonys upgraded PS4 Neo, a ton of new VR announcements and the first real look at Zelda, to name a few – there are still a lot of unknowns that could show up.
Before last year’s show, I wouldn’t have put my money on anything like the re-emergence of The Last Guardian, Shenmue III or, even more incredibly, a remake of Final Fantasy VII, but all three actually happened (albeit one of them through crowd-funding). In that spirit, here are a few announcements that should be at E3, even if the probability of them actually happening may be more wishful thinking than reality.
PS3 backwards compatibility on PS4
This one is really a no-brainer. Given that Microsoft has been trouncing Sony on this front by releasing frequent updates to their roster of Xbox 360 playing on their current-gen hardware (and more to the point, making all of said titles available for digital download), Sony would do well to take the bullet for PS Now, their streaming PS3 rental service and announce that PS3 games are coming to PS4.
The PS3 had a strong life, but trying to go back and play anything on it today is not easy – particularly when a late-cycle triple-a game of around 12 gigs takes upwards of five minutes just to process before you even start downloading. If rumors of Microsoft’s new Xbox upgrade are true – and there’s little reason to think there wouldn’t be – keeping parity with Microsoft on the backwards compatibility front would be a very smart play. Unfortunately, I don’t think Sony is willing to either sacrifice PS Now or let it co-exist with backwards compatibility, so I wouldn’t hold my breath.
Uncharted: Golden Abyss remaster
Uncharted 4 reportedly sold 2.7 million copies in its first week of sales and, despite what Naughty Dog says, it may not end up being the last game in the series; Nolan North has already said he would be happy to come back as Nate Drake again for a fifth game, should Sony decide to do another with a different studio, and the in-development-hell movie is still technically on the table even if it shouldn’t be. (Seriously Sony, don’t bother unless it’s a CG film with North – audiences won’t accept anyone else as Nate.)
Before any decision is made, Sony could, without too much effort, bring Drakes Vita adventure Golden Abyss to PS4, whose absence fans already wondered about for last year’s remastered trilogy. With the Vita-specific design tweaks it might be a little wonky, but if it worked for Tearaway it could work here, and fans clearly don’t seem to be done with the series.
Asssassin’s Creed Collection
Ubisoft appears to be skipping this year’s E3 without much mention of Assassin’s Creed, not counting anything related to Fass’ upcoming film adaptation and their VR title Eagle Flight, which seems very clearly inspired if not directly related to the series. That’s what the company’s official line is, anyway. Yet back in December Ubi registered a trademark for an “Assassin’s Creed Collection”.
It could be nothing, since companies register domain names all the time (Take-Two just re-filed a trademark on Agent, and that game has less chance of still being alive than Duke Nukem assumedly did before 2010). Hideo Kojima did something similar while he was still at Konami, though the so-called Metal Gear Solid Collection turned out to be, in unsurprising fashion, a fashion line. Still, a set of upgraded remasters of the original Assassin’s Creed games from the original to Assassin’s Creed Rogue – would be a nice surprise. In any case, I doubt it’s a collection of cowls.
Evil Within sequel
Shinji Mikami’s post-Capcom studio Tango Gameworks has been quiet since their first game, the RE4-meets-Saw-styled Evil Within, was released in 2014. At the time Bethesda announced that it sold quite well, and sure enough, earlier this week a rumor popped up that a sequel would be revealed at the publisher’s press conference on Sunday.
Given the relative dearth of survival horror these days – even on the more action-y end of things – it would be great to see a second game in this series, even if the first one was very clearly evidence of the kind of insanity that happens if a creative director is allowed to make something without restrictions. Let’s hope that rumor is true.
Last year, Sega took a public vow to be better again. For longtime fans of the publisher/developer, this was amazing news. And to make good on their promise without much delay, they announced that Yakuza 0, the PS4 prequel and second latest game in the the company’s long-running living-in-Japan sim series which also happens to be about gangsters, would be making its way west.
For background, Yakuza 5 came out for the PS3 in 2012; Sega finished translating it for a western release last year. (Yakuza 0 was released in Japan in early 2015). Point being that these are huge, text-heavy games of a certain niche, so it make sense why localization is often slow. That said, the fans who love Yakuza really love Yakuza, and it would be amazing to see Sega commit to bringing the recently-released 6, the PS4 remake of the original game or even the 19th century-set Ishin stateside. Did I mentioned that 6 also stars Japanese film legend Takeshi Kitano? Yeah. Though 0 won’t be out here for a while, fingers crossed for some other Yakuza news this year.
Dragon Quest XI coming stateside
Like Yakuza, Dragon Quest is huge in Japan but has been considered more of a risk in the US for the past several years. With recent news that the Minecraft-esque Dragon Quest Builders is getting a western release in October though, maybe Square Enix will go ahead and announce the next numbered sequel will make it here on PS4. Really, those slimes have never looked better.