Sony finds itself in an awkward spot: the PlayStation 4 is on fire and there are several exclusives lingering tantalisingly on the horizon that we’re all dying to learn more about. The problem is that the likes of Spider-Man, Death Stranding, and The Last of Us: Part II are all known quantities at this stage, and while we’re desperate to learn more about all of them, E3 2018 threatens to be Groundhog Day. Last year’s showcase – a decent press conference in isolation – was let down by the lack of any meaningful first-party surprises, and next month’s briefing threatens to be the same. But with Worldwide Studios pretty much entirely accounted for, could the company even have any new exclusives up its sleeve?
In this article, we’re going to consider a handful of Sony published titles that could make the cut at E3 2018 next month. This is all based on rumours, speculation, and a hearty helping of educated guesswork. We’ve tried to keep this article grounded; Guerrilla Games probably has started work on a sequel to Horizon: Zero Dawn, but it’s far too early for it to be revealed yet. As such, we’re focusing on titles that genuinely could be announced in Los Angeles next month. Let’s get into it.
Manchester Studio – New PSVR Game
Let’s begin with the newest team in Sony’s stable, Manchester Studio. Originally named North West Studio, this English ensemble was assembled a few years ago with the goal of creating something original for PlayStation VR. With the headset in need of a new round of exciting exclusives and the first stories about the developer circulating all the way back in 2015, it seems likely that E3 2018 will mark this outfit’s coming out party.
New San Diego Studio – Uncharted
The rumour mill went into overdrive recently regarding a job listing for a new Sony studio, which will be part of the company’s Visual Arts Service Group. The close proximity to the platform holder’s VASG division – which specialises in motion capture – plus confirmation that the new team will be collaborating with a “major Sony development studio” believed to be Naughty Dog suggests that this recently established group will be taking the reins of the Uncharted franchise. It’s probably too early to hear anything just yet, but the project apparently has a “clear vision and plan to release”. Assuming that the Japanese giant really is planning to continue the Uncharted series, it may want to get the news out there as soon as possible, detailing the direction it intends to take.
Impulse Gear – Farpoint 2
Similarly to the situation with Manchester Studio, Sony finds itself in a position where it needs to restock PlayStation VR’s catalogue and commit to the headset’s future. Farpoint is one of the better first-party exclusives that’s released for the accessory since launch, and developer Impulse Gear has all of the building blocks and knowledge to create a killer sequel. The team has been hiring and played a key role in the creation of the PlayStation VR Aim Controller, so while this rumour is more based on educated guesswork than the previous two, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Farpoint 2 appear at E3 2018.
Japan Studio – RaySpace
No one quite knows what RaySpace is, but Sony filed a trademark for it earlier in the year. There are all kinds of theories about this game; it could be connected to an old Taito franchise of a similar name or it could be some kind of PlayStation VR release. One recurring suggestion is that it may be a role-playing game from Japan Studio, but that sounds more like wishful thinking than reality from where we’re sitting. Either way, we assume we’ll find out exactly what this is at E3 2018.
From Software – Bloodborne 2
There’s a new game in development at From Software, and some believe it’s going to be Bloodborne 2. To be fair, the teaser trailer that debuted at The Game Awards last year certainly gave that impression, so if it’s not that we can foresee some disappointed faces. Assuming that a sequel to one of the PS4’s beloved games is in production, then it’s almost certain that Japan Studio will be collaborating on it, and it’ll be exclusive to Sony’s system. It’s definitely a possibility, but there are still question marks surrounding this one that need to be answered before we can get too excited about it.
Bluepoint – Demon’s Souls Remake
Sticking with the Soulsborne theme, Bluepoint has already started work on another major remake following its excellent work on Shadow of the Colossus. This new project is apparently bigger in scope than the aforementioned, and many believe it to be related to Demon’s Souls. There are a few reasons for this: the Texas studio has a longstanding relationship with Sony; the Demon’s Souls intellectual property is owned and maintained by the platform holder; the servers for the PlayStation 3 version were shut down earlier this year, and most pertinently; PlayStation famously decided not to publish the game in the West – despite it going on to become a cult hit. It’s a move that the likes of Shuhei Yoshida have said the organisation regrets, so what better way to put things right?
Gen Design – New Fumito Ueda Project
With The Last Guardian finally done and dusted, Fumito Ueda’s free to work on something new. A few pieces of artwork have graced Gen Design’s website, showing some kind of Beauty and the Beast-esque experience. Sony’s said that it will be happy to work with the ICO director again, and it’s hard to imagine many other publishers giving him the creative freedom and technical support he needs to succeed. Fumito Ueda’s games don’t exactly set the sales charts alight, but unique imaginative projects have always been a part of PlayStation’s DNA – and the auteur guarantees that with virtually everything that he touches.
Do you think there are any other brand new first-party announcements that PlayStation could make at E3 2018, or do you think this year’s show is going to be a re-tread of previous reveals? Think long and hard in the comments section below.