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E3: Sony unveils The Last Guardian, Final Fantasy VII remake and Shenmue 3 Kickstarter

A trifecta of announcements at Sony's PlayStation press conference stole the show at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo.
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      This year's E3 gaming conference started off with a bang.

      The giants of the video game industry showed off the latest trailers and videos of their upcoming games at their yearly press conferences, each trying to outdo the other and elicit rabid reactions from fans watching around the world.

      Nintendo, Microsoft, Electronic Arts and Ubisoft all impressed with newly revealed games and gadgets.

      But it was a trifecta of announcements at Sony's PlayStation presentation that stole the show.

      Sony Computer Entertainment America's boss Shawn Layden began the show by revealing a trailer for The Last Guardian, a touching and mysterious game starring a young boy and his pet, a giant feathered flying beast. It was the first new look at the game since E3 2009.

      Gamers and commentators have speculated at the game's development for the last six years, to the point where it became a running joke that they would never see it released, let alone at an E3 press conference, again.

      Later in the show came a trailer for a remake of Final Fantasy VII, the classic 1997 role-playing game by SquareSoft (now Square Enix). Fans had been clamouring for a remake of the game for years.

      Sony still had more shocks for longtime gamers. Almost immediately after the Final Fantasy announcement, gamers saw an announcement trailer for Shenmue 3.

      Released in 1999 for the Sega Dreamcast, the original Shenmue was one of the first games to popularize open-world gameplay and life simulator features that would later become standard in industry favourites like Grand Theft Auto.

      Shenmue creator Yu Suzuki appeared on the stage to announce a Kickstarter fundraising campaign for Shenmue 3. It reached its goal of $2 million less than 12 hours later — but not before a deluge of traffic shut down Kickstarter's website for several minutes.

      Gamers could barely contain themselves after the three surprise announcements. One YouTube video in particular showed the panel from Gametrailers TV collectively lose their minds at the Shenmue 3 trailer.

      What these announcement actually mean is still up in the air. The Last Guardian isn't scheduled for release until 2016. The Final Fantasy VII remake has no release date, but is likely set for 2017, to coincide with the original's 20th anniversary. And a Kickstarter campaign for Shenmue 3 likely means years more to wait before a finished product.

      For one day, though, the hype was enough. Sony had won.

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