Sony’s State of Play livestream is currently being bombarded with dislikes, which is just about as predictable as the sun rising tomorrow. In this instance, however, it feels just a teensy bit unfair, because the platform holder put together a broadcast that actually exceeded my admittedly low expectations. It’s really no wonder the manufacturer has been cancelling press conferences and keeping its collective trap shut – it seems the company can do no right in the eyes of insatiable fans.
Look, I understand that today’s stream was light on the biggest of blockbusters, but when we’re predicting literally minutes of Sid Shuman playing MLB The Show 19 ahead of time, then how can you really be disappointed with this swift look at the PlayStation 4’s next three months? Clocking in at 20 minutes, this was a beat-by-beat replica of the Nintendo Direct format – a positive when you consider how the House of Mario has its communications mastered to a fine art these days.
I really enjoyed the speed of the announcements, and how each title was given an equivalent amount of time to shine. Save for a PlayStation VR montage – look, sceptics, the Japanese giant continues to support its fledgling virtual reality platform – each title was given a couple of minutes in the limelight, before it was time to move on to the next thing. There was definitely an emphasis on upcoming titles, with Concrete Genie being the only real release coming towards the end of the year.
And considering that Sony is paying the price for early announcements in the past, it’s reassuring to see it focusing on the present. Iron Man VR was perhaps the biggest “surprise” reveal, and while it didn’t look great, it’s since emerged that this is Marvel Games and PlayStation’s latest project – a fruitful relationship which resulted in the excellent Marvel’s Spider-Man roughly six months ago. Let’s give everyone involved in this project the benefit of the doubt for now, shall we?
I think you’ve got to hand it to the platform holder: each time the PSVR well looks dry, it refills it. Blood & Truth looks like a genuine stunner, with first-party production values above and beyond anything we’ve seen on the platform to date. But there’s tons more to look forward to with Trover Saves the Universe and Everybody’s Golf VR also on the way. And let’s not forget the Five Nights at Freddy’s and No Man’s Sky announcements – big news for the headset.
Of course I do recognise that not everyone’s interested in PSVR, but it’s perhaps time you got the message that this is an important product for Sony and it’s showing no signs of relegating it from its portfolio. As a big fan of virtual reality, I’m personally pleased that it continues to invest heavily in the device – and I can’t help but feel that the same people complaining about the product’s role in today’s stream would be the first to stick the boot in if the platform holder wasn’t paying it as much attention.
And that’s why I hope the manufacturer is putting the overwhelmingly negative feedback to this first State of Play through a filter. There are things that it can improve, and the content will no doubt get better as the format becomes more established – but it’s got something here. Yes, it’s heavily inspired by the Nintendo Direct – borderline plagiarism, in fact. But it can work: this is a great way of getting information out, and assuming it sticks with it, I’m already looking forward to the next instalment – even if I am on my own.
What did you think of State of Play? How do you think the format could be improved, and what kind of realistic content would have made tonight’s stream better for you? Don’t dislike the article in the comments section below.