Sony's PlayStation Experience 2016 press conference has come and gone, and now that we've had time to process the action-packed hour and a bit, we're here to put our thoughts into writing. Seriously, that was one heck of a ride, wasn't it? Below, you'll find the reactions of editor Sammy Barker and associate editor Robert Ramsey.
Sammy Barker, Editor
There can be no questions anymore: Sony understands its audience to a tee. The company's PSX 2016 press conference, much like previous iterations, was a tailor-made love letter to fans – it's just figured out that good presentation go hand-in-hand with great content. This was a barnstorming briefing taking inspiration from its lightning fast E3 showcase earlier in the year; there was no need for narcissistic chatter or awkward on-stage exchanges – just games.
No more was this evident than the opening: a new Uncharted adventure starring Chloe Frazer, which kept everyone guessing. And the tone didn't change from there: the obligatory co-marketing partnerships could have dampened the pace, but the platform holder even managed to get through a Call of Duty: World League reveal relatively unscathed. And that left time for the things that we care about: Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy is looking great; WipEout Omega Collection is a dream.
A presser with those two titles alone would be considered a win, but Sony was on a roll tonight: PaRappa the Rapper is back! Patapon is back! Locoroco is back! They may just be remasters, but the manufacturer understands that these brands mean something to fans. Knack may not have the same legacy, but who's to argue he can't build it with a much better looking sequel? And yes, I know that it's fun to laugh at the mascot, but the sequel does look like a sizeable step forward.
The main difference this year, pacing aside however, was the inclusion of a knockout conclusion: The Last of Us: Part II. Some may argue that it's a sequel that doesn't need to exist, but given how much buzz it's already created, Naughty Dog would be fools to leave Joel and Ellie to wilt in the apocalypse like cordyceps-afflicted otherbeings. The older looking Ellie, coupled with some pretty dark dialogue, suggests that this is going to be an emotionally trying title – and we can't wait.
If there's any complaint you could point at the presser, it was the company's inability to breathe fresh life into PlayStation VR. But that doesn't mean the second wind isn't coming, more that the manufacturer didn't feel like this was the right venue for that. It probably made the right decision in that regard, and it delivered a ding-dong presser as a result. The real knock-out, however, was the sheer scale of the variety in the PS4's library.
The best place to play may be a marketing slogan – but it feels unerringly accurate tonight.
Robert Ramsey, Associate Editor
Now that's how you do a press conference. Sony crammed so many games into that hour and ten minutes that when it ended, I had actually forgotten about half the cool stuff that was shown. Seriously, I had to re-read all of our own news stories just so that I could recall what happened – and if that's not a sign of a presser packed to bursting point with reveals and announcements, I don't know what is.
I mean, when you can kick things off with some crazy looking standalone Uncharted adventure before rocketing straight into the PlayStation 4 rebirth of WipEout and Crash Bandicoot, you know sh*t's going down. The PlayStation Experience has always been billed as a fan-focused event, and I think Sony nailed that aspect of the show better than it ever has done. Almost everything on that stage was a crowd pleaser, from the aforementioned titles of the apparent PSone resurgence all the way through to the catalogue of niche Japanese titles that were casually thrown into the mix.
And that also highlights just how diverse the PlayStation brand is these days. There's no other company in this industry with a portfolio as varied as Sony's, and that's something that should be celebrated. There really was something for just about about everyone at this year's event.
Overall, I thought this was brilliant conference. Announcement after announcement, reveal after reveal, and it had a kind of casual, comfortable air to it that you just don't get at shows like E3 – and that's arguably the real strength of a targeted media blowout like the PlayStation Experience.
At the end of the day, we're here for the games, and that's exactly what Sony forged ahead with, from beginning to end.
What did you think of Sony's show? Were you left as impressed as we were? Feed us your thoughts in the comments section below.
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