Episode 207: What Went Wrong with Sony’s E3 Press Conference This Year

Hiya!

I don’t want to think of myself as a Sony fangirl but I have to face facts. I probably am. I grew up with the Sony PlayStation and it was my gateway to the world of gaming. I’ve forsaken other game consoles like the Xbox and even Nintendo’s latest consoles because I can’t see myself playing other games other than the ones that come from Sony very own console. I’m probably a Sony fangirl but even I have to admit that their E3 presentation for this year wasn’t all that great.

On paper, their plan looked really great. Sony went on a really different direction from what everyone else had been doing in E3. Instead of them getting the developers to preen about how awesome their latest game is going to be, they just kept on showing trailer after trailer after trailer. And the trailers were actually really good. They showed a nice balance of story and gameplay so we knew what kind of games we were going to get. After all, why would we want to see some guy on stage talking about the game when it would be better if we could see the game in action?

Here’s the thing: I actually missed the people preening about the games they made. It’s weird, right? It turns out having some guy or gal talk about the games they’re making is a big part of what makes these presentations exciting to watch. There was no one on stage to say that their game runs at a blistering 60 frames per second. There wasn’t someone to tell us that what we’re seeing is just a small part of a vast, open world that you can explore at any time. There wasn’t any of that and it turns out we needed to hear all that drivel because all those little buzzwords add to the hype and the excitement of the games. Without anyone on stage pumping up the people to get excited for the future, the entire presentation just fell flat. I mean, if showing off game trailers is all it takes to pull off a good E3 show, then all one has to do is generate a YouTube playlist of upcoming game trailers. And this is pretty much what Sony did this year.

Another big problem with Sony’s E3 presentation this year was the lineup of games shown. There were a lot of really cool looking trailers that appeared in the show to be sure. But there weren’t any humongous reveals this time around like in the previous two years. Remember all the excitement they generated when they showed the first trailer for the Final Fantasy VII Remake? Or when the head guy from Valve proclaimed that they were partnering with Sony? Or remember when people got excited for a Kickstarter campaign? Well, that happened because that game was Shenmue!

Yep, no moments like that here!

Sony’s show was simply devoid of any surprises that would amp the crowd. I actually think Sony was aware of this coming into E3. I think they didn’t really have any big announcements ready. Either that or they decided to clam up with all the secrets and plan to reveal them later in the year when they’re all good and ready. And what’s this I hear about Sony’s upcoming PlayStation Experience fan convention that’s supposed to pop up in December? Even if they are just saving it all up for later in the year, Sony should have given us a little taste of what’s to come.

However, the biggest issue I had with Sony’s E3 show this year was the lack of blockbuster games. Okay, there were some really sweet games shown this year. The new Uncharted looks really good and is sure to sell a million copies when it’s released. Detroit: Become Human is going to satisfy those Heavy Rain fans and those who want extremely non-linear storytelling in their games. The upcoming Spider-Man game that mixed Batmat gameplay mechanics with a much lighter tone and levity looked like a whole lot of adrenaline pumping fun. Oh, and the new God of War looks much more brutal than the original games because all of the action is now up close and personal this time around.

But I was definitely expecting more. Much, much more.

As cool as those games looked, there were so many more games that I wanted to see. There were two specific games that were conspicuously missing from Sony’s show: The Last of Us Part 2 and Death Stranding. These were probably the two games that people wanted to see in the show this year. We wanted to know a little bit more about what Joel and Ellie have been doing for the past few years after going on the run. We wanted to know just a few tidbits regarding their story and how, if any, the gameplay has changed now that Ellie is bigger and Joel is, presumably, much older and weary. We didn’t get that.

And what about Hideo Kojima’s mysterious Death Stranding? We haven’t really heard anything about the game for a while now and E3 was the perfect venue for Kojima and Sony to re-whet our appetites regarding this surreal game about… does anyone really know anything about this game? I really wanna see what the game is going to be all about! Is it an adventure game? It is something like what Kojima’s vision of Silent Hills was going to be like? And what’s with Guillermo Del Toro carrying a baby in some chrysalis? Tell me, Sony! Tell me!

This year, Sony tried something new and tried to give fans what we thought we wanted: wall-to-wall trailers of upcoming video games. It turns out what we wanted wasn’t. As much as it hurts this fangirl’s heart, Sony definitely did not win this year’s E3.

Better luck next time, Sony! And you guys better pull off a damn impressive show during the PlayStation Experience later this year!

What did you think of this year’s Sony’s E3 presentation? Let me know in the comments section below!

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2 thoughts on “Episode 207: What Went Wrong with Sony’s E3 Press Conference This Year

  1. I think you hit literally every note correctly. It was clear to me that Sony was holding back a ton of info for upcoming conventions (PAX, Gamescon, and especially PSX). Which would be fine if they communicated that to fans beforehand. Had they just said “No Last of Us or Death Stranding yet), people would be less upset.

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