If you’ve followed E3 closely in the past, you’ll know there’s a different mood about the PlayStation camp this year. Historically, the Japanese giant drags the show out, using the days and weeks prior to any press conferences to release trailers, announce release dates, and sometimes even reveal entirely new games. It’s a strategy that has, in the past, baffled the forum faithfuls: “Why is Sony spoiling its media briefing?” they invariably ask.
But it’s actually something that I’ve argued in favour of – and if my Google-fu was better I’d link up long-forgotten articles I remember penning on the matter at the time. I always felt that, with E3 being such a busy period of the year for all platforms, the condensed news cycle can be a bad thing, as titles and trailers get overlooked. And I’ve always said that it’s in the platform holder’s best interests to get out ahead of that, and indulge the heightened industry interest over a couple of weeks.
This year, though: radio silence.
Well, it’s not quite been radio silence: we’ve had a spate of good interviews with bigwigs Shawn Layden and Jim Ryan to sink our teeth into – the latter’s comments on backwards compatibility keeping opinion editors in work the world over these past few days. The conversations primarily centred on business: the boring bits that have traditionally bogged down briefings until companies realised that average people don’t like looking at pie charts – unless they’re key lime flavoured.
And that’s it really. There have been a couple of indie games on the PlayStation Blog, though much less than you’d expect on an average week. And we’ve gotten details about its Days of Play promotion that got underway today. But other than that Sony’s been really quiet for weeks now; the firm’s old strategy of spreading out its reveals has seemingly been left behind. So what does that mean? Well, I think we all know what it means.
Layden’s already admitted that we’ll barely see him during the Japanese giant’s press conference next week, hinting that it’s going to rekindle last year’s format of wall-to-wall trailers, demos, and reveals. But given how quiet it’s been – and considering how much content we know the company has to talk about – we get the distinct impression that it’s going to go for the jugular this year and just show every single title it possibly can.
Here’s the thing: there’s no PlayStation hardware on the horizon. Sony refreshed its product line last year with PlayStation VR, the PS4 Pro, and – lest we forget – the PS4 Slim. So it’s not going to be spending any time talking about them. And it’s already admitted in various interviews that this year is all about PS4 software. So I reckon you’re just going to see game after game after game after game – the library should do the talking all by itself.
The first few months of this year have seen the PS4 receive more hits more frequently than I think I can ever imagine. And after a slow start where many questioned the console’s library, it feels like the PS4 has finally assembled an impressive catalogue of games – both exclusive and multiformat. So while its competitors chat new consoles and fresh initiatives, I think Sony’s going to steal the show by simply proving that it has more quality software than everyone else combined.
Are you surprised Sony hasn't spread out its trailers and announcements a bit like in previous years? Are you expecting it to go for the jugular this time – or do you think this all just a symptom of it not having much ready for prime time? Go big or go home in the comments section below.