Paris Games Week was held recently from October 28 through November 1st, 2015. It was the 6th iteration of the show and took place at the Paris Expo fairground and was the largest one since it began, with over 300,000 attendees. All of the major game companies were in attendance, including Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Riot, Square Enix and more. However, the big takeaway from the event was the major press conference held the day before by Sony.
Sony Press Conference
Sony was relatively quiet during Gamescon this year, but decided to unleash a flurry of news and announcements in Paris this year. One of the biggest announcements was the unveiling of a release date for No Man’s Sky, which will ship in June 2016. No Man’s Sky has been a popular game at trade shows for the last few years, scooping up multiple “Best of Show” awards and dazzling audiences with its procedurally generated galaxy. It is being developed by Hello Games, a studio based in the UK who is famous for the Joe Danger franchise.
Another major announcement from Sony was another installment of the Gran Turismo Franchise, titled Gran Turismo Sport. This game will be one of the first franchises on the platform to support the Sony VR headset known as Playstation VR. Playstation VR, formally known by the code name Project Morpheus, is designed to be used with both the Playstation 4 and the Playstation Vita. Playstation VR is the latest in a series of VR helmets that are being developed by several different companies.
One of the other major features in Gran Turismo will have two sanctioned FIA Championships running. Those FIA events will feature actual prizes at the end of each series. FIA has been the governing body of multiple autoracing events. Polyphonal Digital, the studio behind GT, has also announced that beta testing will begin for the game in 2016.
Sony spent the majority of the rest of the conference announcing a few new titles, including Nier 2, and a new title called Detroit, from designer David Cage of Heavy Rain and Indigo Prophecy fame. They also showed expanded footage from games they had revealed earlier in the year at E3 including Wild and Uncharted 4.
The Show Floor
With over a quarter of a million attendees, the show floor was a major attraction at the conference. The entire week saw E-sports tournaments from League of Legends, Counterstrike: Go, HearthStone, TrackMania Turbo and Just Dance. Major tournaments went on throughout the 5 days for show goers to attend, including the grand finals of the League of Legend’s women’s tournament. There were also many pavilions set up for show goers to get their hands on demos for a ton of games. Each of the big three console manufacturers had large booths on the main floor, showing off the latest unreleased titles from various studios.
One of the biggest attraction of the show was the various virtual reality devices. A lot of them made their major debut at the show last year, but this year it was all about the Playstation VR. The other major competitor in the VR market, Facebook owned Oculus Rift, surprised many by not attending the event at all. Last year they had a huge presence at the show, but decided to skip the show this time around. This left a huge window for Sony to expand its market share by showing off some its newer titles running on the new hardware.
Another attraction of the show was the museum-like corner dedicated to gaming history. Popular with the kids, the classic game corner gave them an opportunity to play consoles the way their parents did during the 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s. Getting to play the N64 on a small CRT television is something that most of the kids never got to experience, as the system is nearing 20 years old.
No trade show would be complete without cosplay, and this year was no exception. Thousands of attendees dressed up as their favorite video game characters with elaborate makeup, costume and props. Game’s like Assassin’s Creed, Halo and other major franchises provided many fans with opportunities to be extremely creative with their costume designs.
Paris Games Week is the last major show of 2015. Now game companies will turn their attention to 2016 and CES, which is held annually in Las Vegas.