Sony & Microsoft unveil new games at Electronic Entertainment Expo

Tuesday 10 June 2014 16.31
Electronic Entertainment Expo video games convention in Los Angeles started last night
Electronic Entertainment Expo video games convention in Los Angeles started last night

PlayStation maker Sony has laid down a challenge to rival Microsoft by introducing a TV streaming box that will allow users to play games on a TV that is not connected to a games console. 

The company made the announcement on the opening day of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) video games convention in Los Angeles last night.

Called PlayStation TV, the device will look to take on the entertainment centre that is part of the Xbox One's interface, as well as other streaming devices like the Apple TV and Google Chromecast that lets users stream content from other devices to their home TV.

The device will let users play games on a different TV as long as they have a controller to use with the box. It will also stream TV shows and movies.

Sony is looking to build on a successful start for their latest console, which had sold two million more units than the Xbox One as of May. 

In what looks like a direct challenge to services like Netflix, Sony also announced plans to create a host of their own produced TV shows that will be exclusive to the PlayStation TV.

The first of these shows, a sci-fi crime drama called Powers, will appear at the end of the year.

The company also spoke about the platform's "commitment" to free-to-play games, promising "more than 25 over the next 12 months" for users to download for free.

In terms of games, Sony also managed to draw several big cheers from the crowd with the titles they previewed. Xbox had set an impressive tone earlier in the day with a conference that included a string of new titles for their own next-generation console.

Among the games to receive the best reaction from the crowd included an extended look at the futuristic Destiny, which is seen by some as a challenger to the popular Halo franchise on Xbox. The next Batman game, Arkham Knight, was also previewed, complete with an impressive light show and pyrotechnics.

Meanwhile, Microsoft gave the world a sneak peak of its upcoming games, including the latest Call of Duty and a new Tomb Raider.

Head of Xbox Phil Spencer said the purpose of the E3 event this week is to work with rivals Sony and others to "showcase the fastest growing entertainment industry - games."

At last year's convention, Microsoft and Sony unveiled their new consoles; the Xbox One and Playstation 4, meaning this year is the focus on the games. Microsoft embraced this message by not talking about hardware at all.

Top of the bill at the Xbox briefing this year was the latest title in the Call of Duty franchise; Advanced Warfare. In a short preview of the gameplay, the auditorium was treated to a look at one of the game's levels, which involved a large scale helicopter crash and rescue mission, showing off the next-generation graphics.

Living up to the game's name, there was a huge array of futuristic weapons and scenery on show.

Call of Duty is one of the biggest video game franchises in the world, with the previous game in the war series, Call of Duty Ghosts, making more than $1 billion on its first day of sale last year.

The biggest cheer of the 90-minute briefing however came for Halo, an Xbox original game that is launching its fifth instalment next year. A new collection of all the previous four games in the series shown off for the first time, which will be released ahead of Halo 5.

Players will now be able to play all the games on a single disc, as well as create 'mission playlists' of all their favourite levels from across the games.

A live action TV series, in development, was also previewed, which Ridley Scott is set to produce. A teaser trailer for a new Tomb Raider game, where players take control of British explorer Lara Croft was also shown.