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Shenmue III hits $2m Kickstarter target within hours

Shenmue III Kickstarter Image copyright KICKSTARTER
Image caption The fund-raising campaign was quick to get fans to pledge cash

A campaign to raise $2m (£1.3m) on Kickstarter to help fund the making of video game Shenmue III hits its target within hours.

The countdown to the start of the fund-raising campaign took place on stage during the Sony press conference at E3.

The press event also saw Sony announce that long-awaited game The Last Guardian would soon be released.

Open world action games Shenmue I and II are well-known among gamers and are often on lists of all-time best games.

Creator Yu Suzuki appeared on stage at the Sony event to say that he chose to crowd-fund the project to let fans have more of a role in bringing the game to life.

Planet fall

Other well-known games also featured during the press conference.

Many were surprised to hear that The Last Guardian was almost ready for release as it has been under development for almost a decade.

It is being put together by the team that worked on the widely praised Shadow of the Colossus, and involves the adventures of a young boy and a giant bird/cat hybrid creature called Trico who must escape from a derelict and dangerous castle.

Footage from the game showed Trico and the boy working together to solve puzzles and overcome obstacles as they make their way through the castle.

Sony also generated much comment among attendees by announcing that Final Fantasy VII: Remake will be coming first to PlayStation 4. The game will be a complete overhaul of the original that was first released in 1997.


Image copyright Solfar Studios
Image caption Godling is being developed for Sony's Project Morpheus

Analysis by Dave Lee at the E3 show

Maybe the expectation was too high. Maybe it's being saved for another special event.

Whatever the reason, the VR -shaped hole in Sony's PlayStation conference will perhaps go down as something of a disappointment.

Andrew House, head of Sony Computer Entertainment, came on stage to announce that Project Morpheus - its VR headset - would allow multiplayer.

That means several people can sit in the same room, each with a headset of their own, but all playing with each other in the same game.

And that was it.

Imagine playing Morpheus with friends, Mr House said - except very few in the room could, as the gaming public hasn't yet experienced Morpheus without friends.

The headset will come out in the first quarter of next year, we're told, but we're still yet to get a firm date, or, crucially, a price.

But to be fair to Sony, we don't know for sure when we'll see VR headsets from anyone, be it the Oculus Rift or Valve's Vive (although they've promised this year).

VR gaming is coming, just not yet. The tentative steps made by all the major players suggest it's a technology all are nervous about unleashing to the public - an atmosphere of managing expectations.

Sony's game line-up was impressive, if a little light on genuine exclusives - save for exclusive add-ons, or extra content only on PS4.

The undoubted high point was the announcement of a remake of Final Fantasy VII. The room went utterly bananas.

British-made No Man's Sky - a "universe-sized" epic where thousands of worlds are automatically generated to be discovered - was staggering in its ambition, but the challenge will be in making it not feel repetitive.

The BBC will have its hands-on with the title later this week.

Follow Dave Lee on Twitter @DaveLeeBBC


There was also news about an expansion for role-playing shooter Destiny called The Taken King. that pits players against a new powerful foe called Oryx and introduces new character classes. It is due to be released on 15 September.

Media Molecule, best known for Little Big Planet, unveiled the game it was working on called Dreams that lets people collaborate to make games or interactive stories.

The conference involved an appearance from the UK's Hello Games which said its No Man's Sky title would put players in a "universe-sized sandbox" throughout which players could explore and fight.

Image copyright Sony
Image caption Strange cat/bird hybrid Trico features in The Last Guardian

In a demonstration, the firm gave a sense of the scale of the game by showing space combat between rival factions, the map of the universe in which it was set, exploration of a previously unvisited system and planetary landing.

There were also a series of entirely new games on show during the press conference.

Horizon: Zero Dawn is a survival game set in a post-apocalyptic world in which all wild animals are strange robot hybrids.

In addition, Agent 47 will also return in a new instalment of the Hitman game that will be released on 8 December.

The press conference ended with a six-minute game play clip from Uncharted 4: A Thief's End which sees Nathan Drake make a hair-raising escape by driving a jeep through a busy town set on a steep hillside.

You can follow all of the BBC's coverage from E3 2015 via the hashtag, #e3bbc

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