And just like that, another slew of E3 press conferences have come and gone. Sony's own show ended just a couple of hours ago, but what did we think of it? As is tradition, we've got editors Sammy Barker and Robert Ramsey together in order to share their thoughts, both positive and negative, on the PlayStation maker's most recent event.
Sammy Barker, Editor
The problem with setting the bar so high is that, inevitably, there comes a point where you’re not going to be able to clear it. Sony’s been bouncing from brilliant press conference to the next these past couple of years – be it PlayStation Experience or E3 – so I guess we should have expected a comedown at some point.
Tonight was that comedown for me, even though it was a decent showcase all things considered. There may not have been the surprises we’ve become accustomed to, but I think Sony first-party is still firing on all cylinders, with games like God of War and Spider-Man very much in a league of their own as far as I’m concerned.
And I mean there were surprises, too: Shadow of the Colossus is getting a remake and I’m so excited I could scream – it’s one of my favourite games of all time. And Skyrim is coming to PlayStation VR: who would have guessed that? In fact, I liked the entire virtual reality segment – it’s good to see Sony continue to show commitment to the tech.
But. But! There was something missing, and it’s probably going to take me the rest of the week to figure out what it was. The press conference seemed to just fly-by, a result of Sony ditching all of the talking heads that we tend to despise. But that had the knock-on effect of making it feel lighter than it probably was; a lot of cool stuff was actually announced prior to the presser itself.
And if we want to get into the nitty-gritty, there were a lot of little technical issues that irritated me. Muting the crowd was a terrible idea, for example, because it killed the atmosphere stone dead and it came through on the stream. And while I appreciate the attempt to one-up last year’s orchestra, the on-stage theatrics designed to accompany the trailers didn’t really work.
But I also think that maybe we’re just getting harder to please? We want rid of the waffle, but we want to hear from the developers as well. We want to be surprised, but we don’t want to look too far into the future. We want to see gameplay, but we haven’t got the patience to see the demo fully unfold. We want a Shenmue III moment, but they don’t grow on trees.
I dunno. You’ve got to remember Sony holds more than one press conference a year, and its two shows in 2016 were firecrackers. It’s clearly keeping Sucker Punch on the low until PSX 2017 a little later in the year, which is fine – it’s working on something and we’ll see it eventually. I mean, we’re all sick of seeing games too early, right?
I think we all – myself included – maybe need to take a breath and figure out what we actually want.
Robert Ramsey, Editor
Sony put on a rock solid show - I don't think you can really argue against that. Right from the off, it was game after game after game, and for the most part, everything looked ace. A buoyant Shawn Layden was the only human to grace the stage over the course of an hour, and his two separate appearances were very brief. As a press conference, it doubled down on the non-stop structure that Sony introduced last year.
Once again, the PlayStation maker went in hard with exclusive titles. It opened things with a great looking Uncharted: The Lost Legacy trailer, and then followed up with the reveal of an expansion for Horizon: Zero Dawn. Next up, a lengthy look at Days Gone via a meaty gameplay demo. It was an opening that set the pace for the rest of the presser.
However, this opening would also come to highlight Sony's desire to keep things relatively safe - and that's the only real criticism I can launch at the company's show. For all of its consistently impressive first party prowess, Sony's event did little to really blow the audience away. The aforementioned Days Gone looked great, but we've seen it before and we knew that it was coming. God of War, returning for its second E3, looked bloody brilliant in its brand new trailer, but again, we knew what to expect. The same can be said of Detroit: Become Human and Spider-Man.
For the first time in a years, Sony's E3 presentation lacked any truly impactful surprises. Don't get me wrong; myself and Sammy were literally jumping out of our chairs when the Shadow of the Colossus remaster hit the screen, and Monster Hunter returning to PlayStation is a pretty big deal - but neither announcement quite lives up to seeing Cloud's remade buster sword or watching a bearded Kratos emerge from the shadows.
And that's really the other issue here: we've grown so used to watching Sony absolutely smash E3 that a conference was always going to come along sooner or later and be just a tad disappointing - and I feel like this was that E3. But hey, let's not forget: Sony now spreads its content out over several big shows per year. E3 is no longer the be-all and end-all - we've still got PlayStation Experience 2017 to look forward to.
Ultimately, I don't think this conference is going to be remembered well into the future. In fact, I don't think this E3 as a whole is going to be remembered much past the end of the summer - but I reckon Sony still put on an incredibly solid show. At the end of the day, it's all about the games, games, games, and on that front, the Japanese giant continues to deliver.
You've heard our thoughts, but what did you think? Do you agree with our editors, or do you hold a different opinion? Whatever your reaction, remember to vote in our poll and drop some megatons in the comments section below.
How would you rate Sony's E3 2017 press conference? (270 votes)
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