Sony E3 2013 Roundup: No Online DRM, Allowing Used Games, $100 cheaper and More

Being the last of 1st day E3 conferences, Sony’s presentation seemed to start slow by retreading old grounds, but then it picked up steam in the middle with reveal of the actual console design as well as several game trailers and announcements and then the company ended its press conference with a pointed attack on their main competitor which promises to change the scope of console gaming for the coming future.

The show opened with Sony showing off what they still have to offer for the PS3, with platform exclusive content for the third party titles like Arkham Origins. They also expressed intentions to continue supporting the Vita platform, which included the next chapter of Telltale’s Walking Dead game.

Moving on to the PS4, Sony showed new videos for the exclusive games that were previously announced in the February console launch conference, including Killzone: Shadow Fall and inFamous: Second Son. There were also new trailers shown for Assassin’s Creed IV and Watch Dogs.

The conference went on to emphasize self publishing aspect of PS4 for the indie game creators and highlighted several indie developers that are partnering with Sony for the PS4, including a remake of Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee; titled Abe’s Oddysee, New N’ Tasty, Octodad and Outlast and lastly game by SuperGiant games, the creator of Bastion, who are bringing their next title; Transistor exclusively to the platform.

Things took a detour when Sony went in to talk about leveraging content from Sony entertainment for Movies, TV and Music related content for the PS4.

The presentation moved into high gear with a set of announcements by Square Enix, including reveal of Final Fantasy XIV coming to PS4 as well as Final Fantasy Verses 13 turning into Final Fantasy XV for the PS4. Then SE went in for the kill and gave us reason to “please be excited for E3” by blindsiding the audience with the announcement of Kingdom Hearts 3 for the PS4.

Sony then revealed new titles like Mad Max and Elder Scrolls Online PS4 exclusive beta as well as new exclusives in shape of Quantic Dream’s The Dark Sorcerer and Sony Santa Monica’s  new IP called The Order 1886 which is set in a 1886 London and involves some steam punk elements combined with gameplay that apparently involves hunting monsters.

Aside from these sets of trailers, Bungie and Activision demoed their latest game; Destiny, live on stage where they participated in multiplayer FPS action that could be described as a cross between Halo and Borderlands.

After all the game announcements were done for. Sony executives took the stage and systematically went in for the kill by announcing that PS4 will not only allow used games and player ownership over the game but there will also be no online DRMs for running games on the PS4.

While the crowd was roaring with approval, Sony went in a described its plans for PS+ service and quietly slipped in that while the subscription service is not required for online features, it will be required for online gaming on PS4.

And before the crowd had time to digest this information, the conference ended with a bang by the announcement that the PS4 will be arriving this holiday season at a price of $399, a full $100 and 20% cheaper than its direct competitor; the Xbox One.

On the whole, Sony were a bit light footed in terms of announcing new exclusive games for its platform, however what they lacked in titles, they more than made up for by directly addressing the gaming community’s concern by putting a more consumer friendly approach on the table and thereby essentially changing the landscape of gaming future from what many thought was an inevitable future of publisher control and abandonment of rights of consumer to own a product.