10 Almost Certain Sony Announcements For E3 2012

The 10 almost certain announcements from Sony during their E3 2012 press conference.

sony e3 2012

This year, Sony has promised to unveil the "the future of gameplay and innovation", delivering 20 game announcements at their E3 press conference. Big promises, of course, but Sony always has at least a few grand surprises at the biggest stage in gaming.

Traditionally, the PS3 platform holder reveals their upcoming games just before the conference, and 2012 has been no different. Sony has already announced God of War: Ascension and PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. Still, there's plenty of speculation about just what Sony will reveal. We analyse the ten most certain Sony announcements for E3 2012.

#10 – Sony's cloud gaming unveil/Gaikai deal or purchase

There’s been rampant speculation about Sony’s involvement with cloud gaming company Gaikai. Initial reports suggested Sony would be announcing their purchase of a "cloud gaming firm" at their E3 press conference, followed by a rumor hinting that Sony's partnership with Gaikai will see the confirmation of a return to backwards compatibility for the PS3.

Gaikai, meanwhile, invited journalists to an E3 event which promises to deliver news that will "change the future of videogames":

Gaikai has some major announcements in store for E3 that have the potential to change the future of video games, game consoles and how we play.

#9 – The Last Guardian appearance

With several delays and notable developers leaving the PS3 exclusive, it's hard to fathom that The Last Guardian will be at E3. It's unclear in what capacity Sony will show off Team Ico's next title. It's been a good few years since the game's debut and, since then, we've only seen a few trailers during TGS. However, if it does appear at Sony's E3 presentation, gameplay footage seems to be the likely option.

#8 – New PlayStation Plus features

Sources say that Sony will announce a revamp of PlayStation Plus during its E3 press conference, accompanied by the unveiling of the service's proper integration with the PlayStation Vita. To add credence to the rumor, PlayStation Plus content manager Ross McGrath stated that "now is the time" to become a member of the service if you hadn't joined already.

As for specifics, sources suggested a tiered service model. An online survey further solidified the speculation by asking users about a three-tier system for PlayStation Plus. Such options consisted of the number of new games offered per year, how often the games itself are uploaded to the catalogue, the quality of the titles and the pricing pertaining to the tier’s size. It’s a fair bet that there will be an announcement at E3.

#7 – PS3 XMB redesign

The PlayStation 3's XrossMediaBar (XMB) has been criticised for its outdated design, which Sony has opted not to change in any noticeable capacity since the console's launch some five years ago. Still, with the PlayStation 4 in the offing and indications pointing towards a late-2013/early-2014 launch, it would be the perfect opportunity and time to announce a revamp of the bland XMB.

#6 – Heavy PlayStation Vita software presence

Sony has promised 20 game announcements for their E3 presser. It’s a safe bet that a healthy proportion of that will be Vita-related unveils. We know that Call of Duty will most likely make an appearance, accompanied by Assassin's Creed 3, Ghost Recon: Final Mission and PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, which have all been outed via either job or retailer listings.

#5 – Kingdom Hearts HD Collection

A recent rumor emerged by the way of DualShockers, who received word that Kingdoms will be receiving a HD collection. Apparently, it isn’t only scheduled for release on the PlayStation 3, it's also in development for the Wii U. The Kingdoms Hearts series is one that has a considerable and loyal following, so it wouldn't be too much of a surprise if Sony does announce a HD collection based on Square Enix's action RPG franchise.

#4 – Quantic Dream's next title

Quantic Dream founder David Cage showcased the technology behind the Heavy Rain developer's next project back in April. Entitled Kara, a demo was shown running on the PlayStation 3, much to the amazement of many given how the console is still, even so late in its life cycle, having its boundaries pushed. A rumor then followed saying Cage will announce his new project at Sony's E3 presser. If Heavy Rain was any indication of what the studio is capable of, we can't wait to see what they have in store to show us on Monday.

#3 – Final Fantasy XIII Versus is now Final Fantasy XV

Recently, a video emerged that claimed to be from Square Enix's pre-E3 press briefing. In it, Final Fantasy XV is shown, but the game is actually a rebranding of Final Fantasy Versus XIII. As outed via the logos at the end of the video, the game will lose its PS3 exclusivity and launch alongside the Wii U as well. Many have questioned the trailer's credibility, but either way, it's certainly time that Final Fantasy Versus XIII is shown one way or another.

#2 – The Last of Us gameplay footage; release date

The Last of Us certainly got many PlayStation 3 owners excited upon its reveal during the VGAs last year. Since then, only a single trailer and a handful of screenshots and some concept art have been revealed. It's fitting, then, that the stage is set for developer Naughty Dog to showcase their intriguing title in action for the first time publicly. Select gaming press members have already seen live gameplay footage during a pre-E3 preview event, and even then the gameplay shown was from a build several months old. We assume the latest build will be on display at The Last of Us' inevitable E3 appearance, as well as a solid release date.

#1 – Agent

There has more or less been nothing revealed about Agent since its E3 2009 reveal. Such is the secrecy that Rockstar has surrounded the PS3 exclusive with that not a single screenshot, hint, or leak has occured. We're not even sure if the game is still in development; what we do know is that last year Jack Tretton, SCEA president, confirmed that Agent was still in production. However, he did worry PS3 fans by stating he couldn't comment on whether it was still a PS3 exclusive.

Either way, if there was any time to show Agent off, especially due to the impending arrival of the next-generation of consoles, it has to be during Sony's E3 presser. You can't help but be excited when the game is being developed by Rockstar North, creators of the Grand Theft Auto series, as well as the fact that the title will see players experiencing the world of counter-intelligence, espionage and political assassinations.