E3: Sony Stands Firm

Here’s Real’s thoughts on the Sony E3 conference. Have at it. – Jerz

FYI: I didn’t watch the entire Sony press conference, I just watched the five minute wrap-up so I’ll be talking from a strictly games standpoint.

Another year, another E3 conference from Sony discussing the health of the system and the upcoming games to look forward to in both 2014 and 2015. Sony, seemingly riding off its momentum this generation, gave us a different conference from last year. Looking back on Microsoft’s presser from last year, it seems that Sony took that route when choosing what to focus on this year. Outside of the 90 minutes of games (which I’ll get to in a bit) Sony wanted to flex a bit more with some of their moves outside of gaming, and I have to admit, not much excited me on that front.

Sony had plenty of info to give with respect to the number games companies like to play into. There was talk of the percentage increase in PS Plus users, as well as the number of times the share button was used on the PS4. Sony is clearly enjoying being the frontrunner this generation. They didn’t seem to have any qualms about pumping their chest out a bit so everyone knew who was the “big dog” in the room. I would prefer that they left that type of talk for press releases personally. Still, E3 is as much for the stockholders as it is for the gamers, so I’m sure that potion was necessary. I just didn’t care for it.

Sony did manage to pull out a couple of surprises though. For starters, the PS TV peripheral that was only available in Japan will be making its way stateside for $99. We also got a release date for the Playstation Now open beta (July 31st). I actually got into the beta for PS Now and I’m impressed with it so far. I played a couple of games and it most certainly didn’t feel like I was streaming them in terms of performance. I’ll be interested in seeing how it all plays out once the servers are done with millions of people logged in. But I’m happy to report that so far, the vision Sony laid out with the service is coming into fruition just fine.

The most important portion of the conference was the games, however, and Sony did a great job in getting folks excited for what’s coming down the pipeline. LBP3 was definitely a surprise, as we hadn’t heard much on the LBP front since the last release. Uncharted 4 looked beautiful, as did The Order. Bloodborne (formerly known as Project Beast) was rumored for a while and I was surprised to find out it was a Sony exclusive, given that it’s developed by a 3rd party. Ditto for Let It Die, which looks bananas. A host of indie games were also shown, with No Man’s Land causing the most fervor post announcement, as well as a Grim Fandango remake. Shout to @DukeOfZamunda, who “prophesized” the release of GTA V on current gen consoles. Most of the other 3rd party games Sony showed touted exclusive PS4 content and gamers were treated to an early round of the Destiny alpha (which was f*cking amazing).

What I didn’t see from Sony though, was any recognition of it’s struggling handheld, the PS Vita. I definitely would have liked to see what their plans were or it, and I feel like every year it gets ignored on a stage like this, it’s just going to suffer more. Don’t be mistaken, with all those indie games that are becoming available, not to mention titles like Freedom War, the Vita is still kicking. With that said, I can’t help but wonder if the industry’s lack of love for AAA titles on the system isn’t a direct causation of Sony’s negligence on a grand scale.

Playstation fans shouldn’t fret one bit about the future of Sony’s console. There’s plenty coming down the pipeline and 2015 looks to be a huge year in terms of exclusive games coming to the console. I did notice some complaints about Sony’s run time being over two hours (my internet went down during the conference and I definitely wasn’t about to spend two hours on another day to watch it). Hopefully next year they will trim the fat like Microsoft did and just focus on what it is that everybody wants to the see.

Games. Games. And more games.

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