Unlike E3 and Gamescom, Tokyo Game Show caters to a different audience. Most of the titles shown during press conferences will definitely see the light of day in Japan, but it's always a question of whether or not those same games will eventually make their way to Europe and North America. Fortunately, Sony's press conference had a little of both.
Remakes And Sequels
The Vita might not be a popular choice for consumers in terms of a portable console, but it did have a few key games, most notably Gravity Rush, known in Japan as Gravity Daze. Its developers are in the works of remaking the artistically-unique game for the PlayStation 4, set for release on December 10 in Japan and February 9, 2016 for North America. The remake will also include the three DLC packs introduced in the original, as well.
On top of that, a sequel is also underway: the appropriately-named Gravity Daze 2 for Japan. It will come out in 2016, but there's no official word yet if North American and European fans get to play it. Seeing as the remake is already coming to both territories, the chances of the sequel coming as well isn't a far-fetched idea.
On another front, Sega will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the release of the first Yakuza, known in Japan as Ryu ga Gotoku (Like A Dragon), and to commemorate that event, the company is remaking the first game for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3, which will come out on January 21, 2016. As expected, a sequel to the ongoing series is also planned. Yakuza 6 will arrive sometime in 2016.
Originally released in 2012, Phantasy Star Online 2 is coming to the PlayStation 4 in 2016 as well. Its initial platform was the PC, and since then it's made its way to iOS and Android devices and the PlayStation Vita, making the PS4 the next evolutionary step in the process.
Unfortunately, it's still unclear if it will make an appearance outside of Japan. The first Phantasy Star Online game came out internationally all the way back in 2001 for the Sega Dreamcast, PC, Nintendo Gamecube and the original Xbox, so there's still a bit of hope that the sequel will eventually reach a worldwide audience.
For the Dragon Quest fans, there's another spin-off introduced called Dragon Quest Builders. Set in the kingdom of Alefgard, the same location as the original Dragon Quest game, the world is now made up of blocks, and the hero must use the blocks to build a path to victory. The idea is interesting, yet reminiscent of a certain popular game called Minecraft. We'll see how it sets itself apart from the building-block giant when it comes out on January 28, 2016.
Capcom also showed up and talked about the upcoming 20-year anniversary of its Biohazard series, more commonly known to the world as Resident Evil. However, its latest franchise entry is a far cry away from the beaten path. Umbrella Corps is a team-based, multiplayer, shooter game where players use the environment (yes, that includes the zombies) as well as tactics in order to defeat the opposing team. The game is set for release in 2016.
The popular Danganronpa series from Spike Chunsoft also returned for a third installation. The murder mystery/school-based thriller will make its way to the PlayStation 4 and Vita at some point. The game was a surprise hit for Western audiences, with the first two games in the main series seeing a release in North America. With enough attention, the third game could also see a North American release at some point.
In the same vein that Japanese games appeal to other international players, games made in Europe or North America can do the same thing for Japanese fans. Ubisoft made an appearance at the Japanese-centric event to show off two of its titles. For Honor, which we tried at E3, was up first to show off a second class of samurai warriors called the Oni. Also, the company saved a bit of Assassin's Creed: Syndicate news for the show as well, showing a brief trailer of upcoming DLC for the game, which involves the notorious serial killer, Jack the Ripper.
From Software's ever-popular Dark Souls III had a brief appearance, but it announced one piece of crucial information: the game's Japanese release date, set for March 24, 2016. It was prominently shown at various game shows this year, but a release date was never revealed. The March date doesn't necessarily indicate that it will launch at the same time worldwide, but at least it gives fans an idea of when to expect the latest in the punishing series.
The same development company also showed a trailer for the first expansion for its PS4 exclusive Bloodborne, titled The Old Hunters. The characters were briefly mentioned in the main game, but they're finally getting more limelight with a completely new experience. It comes out on November 24 for $19.99.
Koei Tecmo had a long project on its roster titled Ni-Oh, which set to release in 2006 as part of the first waves of games for the then-new PlayStation 3. However, it never came to fruition and was sent to the back burner for quite some time, until now. A new trailer and gameplay footage showed the game with updated graphics for the PlayStation 4, with an updated release window set for 2016.
As expected, Square Enix showed a mix of minor and notable franchise games, and we expected to see more news regarding Kingdom Hearts III. The presenters did in fact show Kingdom Hearts footage, but it wasn't for the the third major installation. Instead, it was Kingdom Hearts 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue, a collection of three games — an HD version of Dream Drop Distance, which initially came out on the Nintendo 3DS, Kingdom Hearts X: Back Cover, and Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep: A Fragmentary Passage. Unlike the previous collections, Kingdom Hearts 1.5 and 2.5, this will be on the PlayStation 4, adding the final layer of backstory needed before players embark on Kingdom Hearts III.
Hardware And Pricing
There were also a few updates to the console hardware itself. The company announced new color variations for the HDD bay cover on the PS4. The new covers will be available on November 6, but fans can begin pre-orders on a few choice colors now. Each cover is priced around $21.
A new set of DualShock 4 colors are also available: gold, silver, steel black, and crystal. Gold and silver controllers will be available for purchase in North America and Europe at some point, but Sony has yet to reveal a date. As for the steel black and crystal, which is more of a see-through version of the controller, it's unclear if those are coming to the West.
The Vita continues to get a little more love with a set of three new colors set for release on September 17. Considering that the Vita is a more popular device in Japan than in other parts of the world, they might only be available in Japan at the moment.
Finally, Sony issued a price drop on Japanese PS4s. The new price is set at 34,980 yen, which rounds to about $292, compared to the current price of $399. However, this price drop is only for Japanese customers. If the price changes in North America and Europe, Sony will probably share the news a few weeks before the holiday season.
All For Now
With Tokyo Game Show starting in two days, there's more news that's bound to surface from Japan's notable publishers and developers. As for Sony and PlayStation, the path is set for the upcoming year, not just with third-party titles, but also with some games created in-house, as well as continued support for the PlayStation 4 through HDD covers and controllers.
The company didn't hold a big press conference at Gamescom like its Xbox rival, and chose to pick its moment wisely, by holding an event where it would attract its biggest audience — Japan.