In a post on the official PlayStation blog, Naughty Dog's Arne Meyer said that The Last of Us Part II had entered the "final stretch of production" as the studio was putting finishing touches to the game.
"The end of development puts us one very large step closer to launch," said Arne, acknowledging the patience of fans who've had to wait for years (alongside multiple delays) to see and experience Ellie's story in the sequel, which carries on her life events five years after ending the long, treacherous journey with Joel.
Naughty Dog will also be returning to PAX East, scheduled later this month in Boston, US, where attendees will be able to play a new section from the game called "Patrol." The demo takes place in "an early area of the game where Ellie and Dina must venture out of Jackson into the surrounding areas to clear out infected." said Meyer, adding that the hour-long gameplay session will provide "just a small glimpse into what awaits you in the full game."
An unfortunate turn of events mean Ellie will have to switch her guitar for a machete
The studio had gaming merchandise announcements as well, including a new 8-inch "Ellie with Machete" polyresin statuette, an 8-inch PVC version of the "Ellie with Bow” statue and a new set of concept art prints by Cook and Becker.
On the digital side of things, Naughty Dog published a new set of wallpapers, alongside another Dynamic Theme for the PS4 that switches between Ellie's peaceful day and scary night based on the console's system clock. While the theme may stay exclusively on the console, rumors regarding a PC version of the game appeared last month when the studio posted a related job listing.