As Microsoft rattled off an unprecedented number of third-party announcements last night, I turned to the Push Square team and I said: Sony really is focusing on the big four. And then I had a quick browse of my favourite forums in the aftermath of it all, and rolled my eyes at the ridiculous speculation still going on.
Ever since the Japanese giant announced that it would be doing “deep dives” on four of the PlayStation 4’s biggest exclusives, I’ve been working really hard to make sure expectations are properly aligned. We’d planned out prediction articles for the Sony press conference; we had other build up content in the pipeline. And we cancelled all of it.
Why? Because, in an unprecedented move, the platform holder told us what it was going to show – and we took it at its word. The problem with E3, and it happens every single year, is that outrageous expectations inevitably lead to bitter disappointment. Last year’s show is a good example: it was perfectly adequate – nothing less, nothing more.
So when Sony came out and said that its focus would be on Death Stranding, Ghost of Tsushima, The Last of Us: Part II, and Spider-Man, I told you exactly what it was up to: managing expectations. But that didn’t stop forum posters from expecting the world from the show; Devil May Cry 5, for example, was widely expected to be at the PlayStation presser.
But I think what we saw last night from Microsoft was proof that the Japanese giant really is focusing on four games. A lot of the games that debuted last night don’t appear to have any particular ties with the Xbox at all really; there was no indication of marketing partnerships or a deeper relationship with any of them.
They needed a stage to be announced on and the Xbox press conference guaranteed them eyes. Normally the third-party announcements would be shared out between the Sony and Microsoft briefings, but like I said at the start of this article: it proved to me that PlayStation really is focusing on its big four.
Whether this turns out to be the right or wrong strategy we’ll debate in the aftermath, but I think it’s time to accept this now: you’re not going to get much more during Sony’s briefing tonight. I don’t care what the PlayStation Blog says and I don’t care what insiders say; you may get a Call of Duty trailer as well if you're lucky.
But listen to me, I can't say this any clearer: if you’re expecting more than the big four from the PlayStation press conference, then at this stage, I’m afraid you’ve only got yourself to blame.
Have you finally accepted what Sony’s E3 2018 showing is going to be all about, or are you continuing to mismanage your expectations? Prepare a post-press conference rant for the ages in the comments section below.