LOS ANGELES -- Sony sure knows how to deliver at E3.
The Electronics Entertainment Expo juggernaut dominated with one huge revelation after another at the annual video game conference, held June 10-12, which dragged in places but was chock full of major announcements.
Its upcoming lineup includes a white PlayStation 4, the PS Now and PlayStation TV streaming box. Bungie's "Destiny" will offer the back story to what's going to be one of the most anticipated titles this year. Oddly enough, other than "LittleBigPlanet 3," it looks like the Japanese company will be relying on third-party titles for the fall and holiday season, as most of its big guns will be headed to 2015 and beyond.
In fact, the E3 news conference felt more like a briefing for games slated for six months or later. "The Order: 1886" looked better than it did a year ago, showing a more survival-horror side. Huge applause from the crowd erupted when "Bloodborne" was revealed. Rising game designer Hidetaka Miyazaki returns with what looks like a spiritual successor to "Dark Souls," set in a Victorian world. News about a remastered "Grim Fandango" drew a similar reaction from fans of the cult-adventure game.
But the biggest and most jaw-dropping reveal was for "Uncharted 4: A Thief's End." It looks like Naughty Dog is once again setting the bar for this generation of consoles with a stunning level of visual fidelity. Nathan Drake, the star of the series, looks like a real person now. This could be the game where players won't be able to tell what's reality and what's a game. The graphics look that good.
Microsoft also had a solid kickoff, with "Sunset Overdrive" headlining the first-party offerings and "Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare" leading the third-party games. But I was more intrigued with the trailers for "Tomb Raider" and "Crackdown." The biggest surprise was that renowned game designer Hideki Kamiya has a new action title called "Scalebound" in the works.
That thread continued on to Electronic Arts' gathering, where titles such as "Dragon Age: Inquisition" and "Madden NFL 15" impressed and the promise of new "Star Wars: Battlefront," "Mass Effect" and "Mirror's Edge" teased gamers.
EA also pulled an interesting move launching the beta for "Battlefield: Hardline" at its conference. The new take on the shooter is centered on cops and robbers, but it's on a much broader scale with criminals who can zip line and BASE jump across downtown Los Angeles and officers who can bring in heavy vehicles and helicopters. It's a welcome twist to the formulaic military shooters.
Ubisoft had one of the stronger outings with 2014 titles that include "Assassin's Creed Unity" and "Far Cry 4." Both games have become cornerstones for the firm and its developers, who know how to make rich, open-world games. But even Ubisoft brought an unexpected announcement with "Rainbow Six Siege," which appears to be an intense, team-based shooter focused on close-quarters fighting. The fact that players can use drones and new tech to scout foes and break through walls with precision explosives could make it a game-changer in the genre. Think of it as "Counter-Strike" on steroids.
Read more about E3 and my first impressions of "Dragon Age: Inquisition" on my blog at http://blogs.mercurynews.com/aei.