Ever since Jack Tretton dropped the mic in 2013, there’s no question that Sony’s been the king of the E3 press conference. You could argue that E3 2014 was a lean year, but it followed that up with the Holy Trifecta of E3 2015, a briefing that few thought would ever be beaten – only for it to be pushed all the way by the theatrics of E3 2016.
The thing is that no one seems to much care about the Japanese giant’s presser this year: all eyes are on Microsoft and its mid-gen upgrade, Project Scorpio – a platform that was announced almost 12 months ago and is still yet to receive a proper unveiling. And, while Nintendo has ruled out a stage show, there’s tangible anticipation surrounding what’s next for the Switch.
And all of this leaves Sony in a position that it perhaps hasn’t been in since the PS4 launched: it’s coasting along quietly, with the attention elsewhere. This, in my opinion, is a good thing: in previous years the weight of expectation has been on the PlayStation maker’s shoulders, and it’s still managed to succeed – imagine what it could achieve when gamers sleep on its show.
Here’s the thing: we all know it’s going to have more than enough content to fill its hour-long advertorial. I mean, even if the company only showed off new God of War, Days Gone, and Spider-Man demos, that would probably be plenty for a competent presser – ignoring the fact that we’re likely to see more from Death Stranding and The Last of Us: Part II, too.
But even though people are sleeping on the show, we all know there’s going to be more. Sucker Punch, in my opinion, is a lock – and the rumour mill reckons it’s been cooking something entirely new. And then you have potential collaborations from industry favourites like From Software – I’d be surprised if its partnership with Japan Studio didn’t have another chapter yet.
And yet, part of me doesn’t want to build up too much hype because I quite like this quiet that’s surrounding Sony at the moment. It feels like, with products such as the PS4 Pro and PlayStation VR already out, there’s almost a level of ambivalence surrounding this year’s PlayStation press conference – and I think that’s a great position to be in.
The Japanese giant understands E3 more than it ever has, and last year was proof of that. So while I’m expecting its competitors to catch up both in terms of content and presentation, I think the muted anticipation surrounding Sony’s show is a potentially brilliant thing. The thing about low expectations is that they’re easy to exceed – and I wouldn’t bet against PlayStation bringing the Shrine Auditorium to its knees.
Do you agree Sony's press conference is flying under the radar this year, and is that going to work in the company's favour? Are you worried that the silence is due to complacency on the company's part, or is it just biding its time? Drop a megaton of your own in the comments section below.