The world’s largest professional game development event, GDC, witnessed more than 200,000 people attend the conference, including 23,000 industry professionals, in San Francisco's Moscone Centre. It was a five day event which kicked off with two days of tutorials and summits about emerging platforms and technology. The main conference began on Wednesday and included the Game Design Challenge, for which this year’s theme was “Humanity’s Last Game.” Moreover, several exciting details were shown off at this year’s event for platforms and devices including Epics’ Unreal Engine 4, Crytek's CryEngine 3 and Sony’s highly anticipated PlayStation 4 next-gen console.
Here are the top five announcements and unveilings at the conference:
PlayStation 4 Details
Some good news for PlayStation fanatics – according to Chris Norden, Senior Staff Engineer at Sony, the PlayStation 4 will use both real names and PSN handles, while DualShock 4 controllers will also charge when in standby mode. The Ps4 will also include a headset in the box, which was not available with the PS3. Users will now also be able to see information about the game – such as the latest updates, comments from other users, and available downloads – before opening the game fully. Norden also revealed that users will be given a choice to link their account with Facebook and instantly share real names and profile pictures. Otherwise only the PSN name will be used, where users will still be able to share real names, only by mutual consent to exchange details. User accounts will also be independent of the console while the 100 friend limit of the PS3 will be relaxed. The new DualShock 4 controller will feature a two-finger sensing touch-pad, a share button for instantly uploading recently grabbed screenshots and video clips, while on the back is the light bar.
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One of the most highly-awaited games of the year, Battlefield 4 will be launched later this year, with the latest rumours indicating an October 29 release date. The game will be available for PS4, PS3, Xbox 360, and PC. Last week at the conference, screenshots and trailer video of the game leaked, which triggered excitement among fans. This video will give you more than a sneak peak at the single player campaign,with all its wonderfully destructible environments and non-stop gunplay, perfectly capturing the essence of the Battlefield experience, and underscoring the many ways the FPS franchise is in a league of its own. It seems like the game could still have some finesse, but at this stage, we can expect some rough edges. The environment is stunning and scenes are huge, and the lighting is amazing, so there is a lot to look forward to.
Unreal Engine 4 and CryEngine 3 Tech Demos
It was an experience to finally check out a new video of Epic’s Unreal Engine 4, showcased at GDC. The video is a tech demo of Epic;s UE4 technology and you can bet it looks out of this world. It's called Infiltrator, and bolsters what Unreal Engine 4 can achieve with visuals. There’s no doubt this will be an evolution of visual quality with the new hardware. Comparing the first PS3 and Xbox 360 games to ‘The Last of Us’ and ‘Halo 4’, just gives us an insight as to what hardware technology can do. Epic has given us all that and much more with Unreal Engine 4 tech demo. However, there is some sad news for Wii owners, as Epic Games' Unreal Engine 4 won't support the Wii U.
Just as Epic Games showed off a demo reel for Unreal 4 Engine, Crytek has also released one for the CryEngine 3 engine, with a different objective. Crytek's CryEngine 3 has already been used for titles such as Far Cry 3. The goal of Crytek's video is to show the game engine’s application for online titles and versatility for games that are less demanding on the hardware.
Metal Gear Solid V
Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima also displayed gameplay footage of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, where he revealed the earlier footage of Ground Zeroes. The Phantom Pain will be an open world game. The demo revealed at GDC opens in a hospital, it happens that Big Boss has been in a coma for nine years, and as a result has lost the use of his legs temporarily. A fellow patient, whose voice over sounds suspiciously like some Hollywood dude, helps you to escape the hospital as an unknown enemy attacks it. Big Boss’ movement is very seamless and fine, and the Fox Engine pulls off some wonderful animation. Characters’ faces, too, look exceptional. At first, the enemy only seems to be the military, but in fine Metal Gear style, things soon start getting complicated as a floating child ascends through the ceiling and a burning man exits an elevator and approaches the player amid an inferno. Konami and Kojima also revealed that the two separate projects initially announced, Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain, are both in fact part of the single game, Metal Gear Solid V.
Bungie showcased more details about Destiny during their GDC Panel, called "Brave New World. Bungie's New IP". Bungie's next big game is expected to release later this year. The images cover all aspects of the game's pre-production from designing worlds to characters. Now Bungie has posted the teaser video online. According to the former Halo developers, the video "provides a rare glimpse into the character art, development and design of Destiny – from early sketches and concept art, to animation and in-engine 3D character models. A video was released focusing on the character development in Destiny. While taking a look at the three currently available player classes, we also got a look at Hive, Fallen, Vex and Cabal in the video.