Sony’s Press Conference for TGS was held on 9/19/2018 @ 16:00 JST, just a couple of days before the business days (9/21 and 9/22). The conference ran for roughly 70-ish minutes and featured a plethora of titles. Some of these we already knew about, while a few were new announcements. The following is a breakdown of the show from start to finish. Note that the release dates stated here are the ones announced for Japan unless stated otherwise.
Things kicked off with a trailer/sizzle reel that was VERY Japanese that was accompanied by some hybrid of Jpop and Hip Hop. Each game got specific lyrics to. Hearing “Destiny 2” and “FIFA 18” said in Japanese were great. If featured other games like Dynasty Warriors 9, Monster Hunter World, the new Call of Duty, Winning Eleven, Sonic Forces, Yakuza, and many many more.
After that we were greeted by Atsushi Morita (president of SCE Japan) and he talked about the popularity of both the PS4 and PS4 Pro. He went on to talk about some of the games that would be coming out soon and were featured and the sizzle reel before he came on. Morita then went on to talk about a special edition PS4 that was a sleek silver and had the Gran Turismo logo on it for 39,980円 (about $358 USD). He also announced a special PS4 all dressed in green camouflage targeted at Call of Duty WWII that will retail also for 39,980円.
Next, we got to see a series of trailers which included Call of Duty WWII, Ni no Kuni 2, and Earth Defense Forces 5. The trailer for CoD WWII featured Japanese voice acting. However, for some reason, Ni no Kuni 2‘s trailer featured English voice acting. This is possibly because they’re not ready to show off the Japanese voice acting yet, but an interesting choice none the less. Earth Defense Force 5 looks like some crazy wacky kaiju killing action, and I’m pretty sure I caught a glance of a flying frog in there.
Following all that was a very interesting trailer that could pretty much be recognized from the get go…Red Dead Redemption 2! Sadly, this was no different from the trailer that was released late last year. Hopefully, this means we’re getting close and closer though. After that little teaser we saw glimpses of Dynasty Warriors 9 that seemed to possibly show off some of the open world elements, but it primarily focused on the action. Last up in this long line of trailers was the Japanese version of Minecraft Story Mode Season 2 featuring Japanese voice acting. Which, in all honesty, felt kind of weird.
Morita comes back on after that, but leads right into another trailer for Dissidia. Once again, not much new here except for….
Noctis of Final Fantasy XV fame will now join the fray. I’ve had a chance to play this a decent amount in Japanese arcades, and it’s pretty good fun if you have a good team with you. In one part of the trailer Squall is shown fighting with what seems to be Ifrit. This could mean the game has at least some kind of story mode perhaps. I mean, who doesn’t want to play as Cloud and Sephiroth duking it out 😀
Next, we got to see a bit of the Shadow of Colossus remake (remaster?). Like most fans I’ll end up getting it, but I still question whether this really needed to be done. I’d prefer some sort of sequel that wouldn’t take one million years to make like The Last Guardian.
Then Dragon’s Crown Pro was officially announced. News of this leaked a few days ago, but no one was 100% sure until now. The Japanese release date is set for 1/25/2018. I loved this game and the trailer shows that it will be cross play with ALL version of the games. Meaning if you have it on Vita, PS3, or PS4 you can play with friends. I pretty neat feature. The game tried to show the differences between the PS3 version in terms of graphics, but to be honest I didn’t see all that much of a difference.
After the Dragon’s Crown Pro trailer, another game which had been rumored just a few days ago for PS4 was officially announced. The not so beloved Final Fantasy IX. I hear a lot of hate for this game, but I liked it. My feeling is more old school FF fans seem to dig it. Personally, I really liked it. The only reason I’d probably buy it again after getting it on Steam, would be to get those trophies and the cool theme. Hopefully that theme isn’t Japan only….
Subsequent to all that, we got some very Japan focused games including an Idolmaster game and some otome games. I’m sure the latter will find their way to Steam at some point.
As a big mecha fan, one of the next games was kind of a big surprise. When seeing the trailer at first, it was hard to tell what they were announcing until the big Gundam lands in front of the character being controlled. This new Gundam game is titled Mobile Suit Gundam Battle Operation 2, and that title sure is a mouthful. This is a sequel to the PS3 game that was release in in 2013 and features not only piloting mechs but being able to move around in 3rd person as a soldier as well. The trailer features English voice acting and states are release date of some time in 2018. Considering they used English for the trailer, it’s a big possibility this could make it west.
Next up after the Gundam trailer, it was PSVR time. Morita-san came out and commented on the success and popularity of PSVR and how Sony still envisions a future for it in the Sony family. The sizzle reel started up with some odler titles we’d all seen before. Morita-san then comes back on and talks a bit, but after that some trailers start up that focus on upcoming titles. This sizzle reel had a lot of games. Here’s some of the games: 三リオンアーサー (Million Arthur?), Summer Girls, Skyrim, Ace Combat, Dark Eclipse, Gran Turismo, The Walker, Kill X, and Legion Commander.
At the end of the sizzle reel we were treated with a couple more lengthy trailers. The first featured a bunch of dinosaurs that reminded me of dinosaurs you’d see in ARK. I was right on the mark, the title is called Ark: Park (I think this correct). From the trailer it would seem that this might have 4 player co-op.
Gungrave showed it’s face again for a bit. The original was okay, but I’m curious if this is a fitting choice for VR or not.
Then A-Train Exp. Express Edition: Simulation game, Railway Management, Urban Development had a VR trailer too. Japanese love their trains, and there were all kinds of shinkansen in that trailer. I wonder if it will have the new linear motor car that will run from Tokyo to Nagoya though.
One of the last trailers they showed, and one of the biggest surprises for me personally, was a VR trailer for none other than Zone of the Enders. Some might see this game as a stain on Kojima’s career, seeing that it was basically an incomplete game. However, I really enjoyed both installments of the games from the action, to the music, to the design of the mechs. I’m hoping this will be a nice addition to the series. The trailer said that it will be in 4K and include all kinds of other enhancements as well.
The next few bits of the show focused on some entertainment focused things coming to the PS4 in the near future. Starting tomorrow PS+ (possibly Japan only) users will be able to watch a concert that featured music from Gravity Rush 2. Other services in VR included news videos via Asahi news and an anime channel that will feature broadcast as well as on-demand video.
This lead into a trailer for ANOTHER EDF game titled Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain. This title looked a little more well polished than the EDF 5 game that was shown earlier in the show.
13 Sentintenls: Aegis Rin reared its head again after all these years. The game was announced back in 2015 and very little has been seen of it since. It’s made by Vanillaware of Odin’s Sphere fame. The game looks gorgeous, but it’s still hard to get a hold on how the game will play from the trailer. The art looks amazing, and it also looks as if the pilots are…ummm…kind of naked? This looks set for release sometime in 2018.
Detroit: Become Human was featured for a short bit. This was the same trailer that was shown at E3 this past summer.
After that, we got a look at what I found to be yet ANOTHER surprise. A new Virtual On game!!! I loved playing the original in the arcade when I was a wee lad back in the day. This new rendition of the game seems to be more of a riff or spin-off. The game seems to mostly use characters from the series “Toaru Majutsu no Index” (known as “A Certain Magical Index” in the west) and each has their own mecha. Regardless of the odd choice of amalgamation here, I’m definitely up for this!
The trailer that followed this was a somewhat cryptic clip from Square’s new title Left Alive. To my knowledge, this is the first time this title has made an appearance. From the trailer and the pics below show, it looks to be mecha focused in a war-torn or post-apocalyptic world. The really neat thing is that Yoji Shinkawa of Metal Gear Solid fame, will be doing the character’s design. So if anything, at least the game will be stylish.
Lastly, and not at all surprising, was a long segment that focused solely on Monster Hunter World. If you’ve ever spent any kind of time in Japan as a gamer, you probably know this series sells like hot cakes here. The game has garnered both positive and negative attention due to the fact that it looks more “western”. I can’t really see how this is a negative thing. I’ve only played a few MH games myself, but I’m definitely looking forward to this. Some pre-order bonuses were announced, a big collector’s edition, and also a special edition PS4 Pro (49,980円).
To be honest, as a mecha fan, this show came out swinging some big robot punches. I’m looking forward to being able to join in on the festivities starting Thursday. Expect more TGS 2018 coverage in the coming days!