Sony E3 2017 Conference Review

Five conferences deep (if you count Devolver) before Sony stepped up to the mound. Their competitor Microsoft did great, so did Sony meet, exceed, or fall below the bar set by the Xbox One X? We'll take a look at what Sony did that was unique, and where they fumbled.

Sony E3 2017 Conference Review
There were five conferences before Sony delivered their evening conference. Only one of those five was given by a direct competitor of Sony's, Microsoft. As we covered, the Xbox and Windows gaming parent delivered an excellent conference. Microsoft showed off 42 games, half of which were exclusive to Xbox One and/or Windows 10. So was Sony able to match that quantity, and if not, then were they able to make up for it in quality?

This year, we've seen a shift in how E3 conferences are done. In the past, the companies would trot out a CEO or developer in a t-shirt and blazer, wearing a flesh-colored mic, to talk about their upcoming game. At a point, pageantry was all the rage, bringing for on stage stunts and celebrity guests. The reaction was often negative. Viewers just wanted to see games, and more of them. Gone are the days of someone interjecting between each trailer, at least so far as Microsoft and Sony are concerned. Only rarely would a big wig come out on stage to talk about what they had just shown or what they were about to show.

Sony in no way met the bar, in terms of game quantity, that Microsoft set. However, the quality of the games show is unquestionably great. The problem with a lot of them is they didn't feel real. A "bullshot" is a screenshot or piece of footage of a game that in no way represents the final graphical and performance product of the game. A lot of the trailers shown, even though some were "captured using in-game engine" or showed off gameplay were clearly not going to be the final product. Spider-Man in particular felt scripted. Still, the hype of seeing a Shadow of the Colossus sequel (or remake?) was undeniable.

The Playstation conference was all about the intended experience. Even the audience members were witness to light shows, fog machines, and men hanging from the rafters, all to pull them into the experience the trailers were trying to convey. There's value in marketing in this fashion. That value is short term, however. This conference is meant to be talked about through Twitter. Fast and short reactions, in the moment and excited. In the cold light of day, blemishes become clear.

That's not to say the games looked bad, or what Sony did was maliciously dishonest. However, if they won't want to be accused of outright lying, and facing backlash on release day for these titles, real gameplay will have to be shown. Of course, the game has to be played on the PS4, not on a PC, as well. Still, that in-the-moment, Twitter-hyped, feeling was electric. Uncharted, God of War, Days Gone and many others looked exciting, and the hope is that the final product will look close to those trailers, and the intended experience will be felt.

There were hiccups in the presentation. If you watched on Twitch, you might have noticed the audio becoming distorted, especially the music. In the very first trailer we didn't get direct audio. Instead what we heard was the muffled theater audio, forcing many viewers to crank the volume up or see if things were better on Youtube.

It's fitting Sony had their conference in what appeared to be a theater, where plays would be performed. The whole thing was a performance, albeit an entertaining one, but the strings aren't invisible. Yet Sony presented the trailers in the right fashion: one after the other, little to no interruption. Just a playlist of the upcoming hits. There's disappointment in not seeing a Fromsoft game on stage, I'm not going to lie.

Overall, Sony's conference had more games than Microsoft that I'm looking forward to, but I can't say, objectively, that Sony's was better. The conference was empty calories. Feels filling in the moment and tastes great, but ultimately is not filling and left many wanting more. Still, at least Sony can say it got a passing grade, which more conferences than not cannot boast. B+

 + Some pageantry and flash for excitement.  – Mostly style, little substance.
 + Amazing games that many are looking forward to.  – Audio issues early on.
 + Their support for VR continues and improves.


  1. Style over substance is right.



    The worst thing is, like some previous Sony conferences, the games ARE coming, but they are not here yet. Aside from what looks like Uncharted DLC, the Horizon DLC, and some other minor games that they didn’t even include on their conference, all the good exclusive stuff is in 2018, with only God of War being “early 2018”. And the other conferences showed better the multiplatform stuff.



    And the Shadow of Colossus is a remaster, from what they’ve shown. I thought we already got that last gen, so I was a bit confused about it. Excited at first, then confused, then, for now, disappointed.

    • Is it a remaster? When I hear “remaster,” I hear some spit and polish on an old game to make it look a bit better, maybe fix some of the jankier features. This SoC game looks to have been remade from the ground up, much in the way that FF7 is going to be.

      • Sadly, it is a remaster. The creator confirmed, I think yesterday, that its the same game, same content. Nothing new added, aside from an alternate control scheme.



        If you remember the game, like I do, all the environments and Colossi you see in the trailer are the exact same, with same moves, same environments. It just looks prettier.

    • those DLC is better games then anything what opposition can to offer.



      but if we talking about PS,so Crash is coming,okey,remaster.then Yakuza Kiwami!!! then Knack 2,then GT Sport,Ni No Kuni 2 is coming too.they also has a lot of deals with other games.+ they released plenty of games in the first 6 can not expect that even they can offer you 20 exclusives in one year.look at m$,look at nintendo,no one can offer so many exclusives.

      • Don’t get me wrong. I’ll be playing quite a bit on my PS4 this year. And yes, all that stuff that is coming this year does look good.



        But the big games at the conference this year were shown last year. So I was really expecting some more definitive release dates. God of War? We got gameplay last E3, so I thought it was a done deal it was coming this year. Days Gone? We got gameplay last E3, I assumed it was coming this year too. Spiderman? Well, maybe not gameplay last year, but with the movie coming out soon, it was a no-brainer for release this year. Detroit? Gameplay last year, had really hoped for at minimum a release window…



        Yes, games take time. But it is frustrating that the really big games shown last year, are all still like a year away. God of War, the earliest one, won’t release till March (God of War month). Monster Hunter Worlds looks good too for early next year, but I really want to play Monster Hunter XX first. Seeing how Capcom treats the West with Monster Hunter, that will be easily delayed for us.



        So just overall disappointment for the most part. That’s my take on their showing.

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