Leading up to the joyous event that is E3 there’s nothing better than enjoying some of the pre-E3 hype and rumors that come out. Occasionally leading up to E3 we’re privy to finding out some unannounced details, some of which come from inside sources while others are accidentally revealed by the companies themselves (never forget the infamous PSPgo Qore incident of 2009). Usually we don’t get major E3 rumors as early as April, but a source has come forth that reportedly has the “inside” info on what Sony is prepping to unveil this year. So let us put our thinking hats on as we dissect this latest E3 2011 report and hopefully in the process we can have a laugh or two.
According to an employee of Sony’s division in France, we have some details that if they pan out they could be big. But seeing as how it’s only April and even by Sony standards stuff doesn’t come out this early, that doesn’t mean we can’t at least theorize on what may eventually happen this June. The anonymous Sony tipster made some bold claims concerning Sony’s plans for 2011 and beyond as it was mentioned that Sony has 37 titles in development spread across its key platforms (PS3, PSN, and NGP). A number like that isn’t too unreasonable to imagine being a reality and the tipster (too bad we can’t think of a catchy name for him/her like Deep throat) went on to say that most of them will be revealed later this year at a European event, which is likely to be Gamescom.
Seven of those thirty-seven titles in development by Sony will be NGP launch games, which when looking at how stacked the roster was at Sony’s NGP debut event in February isn’t that shocking to imagine. Uncharted and WipeOut are already shoe-ins to be part of the NGP launch but sadly our French friend didn’t have any details on what some of the launch games would be. Isn’t it so convenient that someone supposedly inside of Sony doesn’t know what the launch games will be but knows how many are expected to ship for the launch?
As far as the goodness that’s supposed to go down at E3 this year the tipster alluded to big things coming out of Gran Turismo developer Polyphony Digital and Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima. The reveal from Polyphony Digital is supposedly one that will please European gamers but the big thing is that Polyphony’s project is rumored to come out by March 2012. Considering that it took Polyphony nearly four years to develop and release Gran Turismo 5 I’m thinking it may be proper to call bravo sierra on this rumor as it could end up being a big steaming pile of crap. But thinking about what Polyphony has done in the past, is it possible that somehow the studio is prepping a new Gran Turismo release, similar to the GT A-Spec and B-Spec releases that came out back in the day? Or does Polyphony have their sights set on something bigger like a return of the motorcycle racing action that was offered in Tourist Trophy, which has long since remained dormant since it came out on the PlayStation 2 back in 2006.
Besides the European centric Polyphony news, Sony will also reportedly unveil two new titles after E3 that will be available in Europe later this year. Again, I don’t know if this news is entirely legit but considering that Sony has in the past unveiled major titles after E3 I wouldn’t be too surprised if we see some titles pop up in Europe first, especially if they’re for the PSN.
When it comes to the mastermind that is Hideo Kojima, the Sony tipster alluded to Kojima’s debut NGP game being a game that was already released on an existing platform, which if you think about it long enough is likely to be MGS: Peace Walker. It’s been long rumored that Peace Walker would be suitable for getting adapted to another medium whether it be via the PSN in a HD remix or something else entirely like a NGP adaptation and apparently such a thing may happen. But truthfully I wouldn’t put too much immediate stock into this so-called inside info concerning Kojima’s NGP debut. In one way it would make sense as the project would likely have a quick turn-around on the development side, but back at Sony’s NGP debut in February Kojima alluded to his project having some aspects of cloud gaming and a connection to a HD game. So unless Kojima is planning to do a new HD MGS game in a hands-on way (Kojima is simply over-seeing MGS: Rising) then I’m not sure if Peace Walker for the NGP is a shoe-in for E3 this year.
Some of Sony’s 1st party reveals for E3 this year will reportedly include the sequel to Warhawk. Now as huge as a Warhawk fan as I am (here’s an example + me being in the Top 100 rankings for a while) I’m not ready to get onboard the Warhawk 2 is happening bandwagon. I don’t know if this tipster merely meant that Lightbox Interactive’s rumored Starhawk will be shown at E3 or if this is a riff on the news that Warhawk 2 is indeed happening, which I’m not ready to believe considering the source of the news is less than legit. But for all we know maybe Sony simply has another dev team working on a proper Warhawk sequel while Lightbox is doing their thing with Starhawk, which I’m still patiently waiting for considering the game has never been formally announced.
On top of the Warhawk 2 tidbit, our friend with a leaky mouth overseas also dropped a tidbit concerning Sony being in talks with a 3rd party publisher and that Sony is in a bidding war of sorts for the project. The project that Sony is apparently in talks about acquiring or at least heavily supporting is rumored to be the new project from Bungie under their partnership with Activision. In the past Activision has always been rather friendly with Microsoft and considering Bungie’s history it wouldn’t be surprising if we end up seeing Bungie’s project get promoted by Microsoft or at least have some time exclusive content. But if the news of Bungie’s project being a MMO is true (which while it may have been “debunked” is still highly likely) then maybe Sony’s openness with their online infrastructure will seem more appealing to both Bungie and Activision. But hey, that’s just me being an optimistic Sony fan.
Just like any rumor that surfaces I think we all need to be somewhat optimistic and somewhat cautious about this news. Getting word as to Sony’s E3 presentation this early is a bit out of form considering what we’ve received in the past and based on the lack of detail presented in some of the rumors it may be likely that this is just a general collection of old rumors. But as we all know, E3 is full of surprises so for all we know maybe Polyphony Digital really is working on a new project instead of beginning the presumably six year long journey to develop Gran Turismo 6.
We still have two months before E3 kicks off but for my Sony fans out there, what sort of news and announcements do you hope Sony will make this year?