Yes, Sony nailed E3 once again this year. Before going at length on the various reasons as to why I think this is the case, I wanted to highlight a few things. Sony remains to be the one, out of the big three hardware makers, that possesses what may be some of the most exciting upcoming and best-looking exclusives we had seen in a long time. What I mean is that, while most people were demanding new games from both Microsoft and Nintendo, the same wasn't the case with Sony. Everybody instead, for once, wanted Sony to show more of the previously announced games: God of War, Spider-Man, Days Gone, Detroit: Become Human, etc… So in other words, it's like as if Sony had E3 already in the bag just as long as they showed more footage and info on these highly-anticipated titles. Alas, I perceived that there was a general disappointment following Sony's presser. However, the reason for that seems to have had nothing to do with what was shown or missing as far as I'm concerned, but rather due to the lack of release dates and the unfortunate push of these stunning looking games into 2018. I will admit, I had expected God of War or Days Gone to be hitting 2017. So all these fine looking games are heading over to 2018 and slip away from our grasp once again. As disappointing as that may be, it still does not cost Sony their otherwise new triumph at E3 2017. So without further ado, let us explore why Sony won big time this E3.
I'm sure that many reading this article will be shocked to learn the amount of news and details that Sony had released just prior to their E3 2017 press conference. For starters, they showed off a new IP called Hidden Agenda which is being made by Until Dawn creators Supermassive Games. It's part of a new Playlink initiative from Sony where players can play as a team and make game choices to follow via their smartphones. The new game is very much like Until Dawn as you control a number of characters from a brand new serial killer thriller. Also like Until Dawn, the characters you control in the game may all live or all die based on your choices. As the cherry on top, the game was announced to be releasing later this year.
Also in the pre-show was the first ever gameplay reveal of Housemarque's upcoming old school shooter Matterfall. The game showed some sweet rapid-fire old school gameplay in 2D very reminiscent of Resogun. The game is set to release digitally only, at a price of just $19.99 in the U.S., on August 25th, 2017. Newer trailers of Gran Turismo Sport and Everybody's Golf were also shown along with a release window and actual release date respectively for each of these. Other exciting news, included a new Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy trailer were it was revealed that Crash's sister Coco will be a playable character on all three games of the collection. Also revealed was some significant news surrounding Knack 2. The game was given a release date of September 5th and will cost just $39.99. The final piece of news I will also lump it here as well even though it was neither part of the pre-show nor the actual press conference. Sony just announced in fact a new PS4 remaster for PSP Classic Loco Roco 2.
So between the pre-show and the post show announcements we got a new IP coming 2017 (Hidden Agenda), a new PS4 Remaster (Loco Roco 2), a first-ever gameplay reveal trailer (Matterfall), two exact 2017 release dates and pricing (Matterfall and Knack 2), and two new game trailers for two additional upcoming games (Gran Turismo Sport and Everybody's Golf). Clearly not a small amount of news for quite a number of upcoming PS4 games. I'm sure many may be shocked to learn about this vast amount of news and details that was kept from the actual press conference. If you think that Sony missed an opportunity here to strengthen their presser, I would have to agree. I'm not sure what they were thinking. Why they thought that it wasn't worth it to share details on a new IP or the release dates of other upcoming games previously announced at E3 or Gamescom, is really beyond me. Yet these announcements were made during the days of the E3 gaming convention and so should really count as part of Sony's E3 reveals. As a result, the first party exclusive game line-up was strengthened for the rest of the year. Now releasing in the remainder of 2017 will be:
1. Matterfall (Aug 15th)
2. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (Aug 22nd)
3. Knack 2 (Sep 5th)
4. Hidden Agenda (2017 window)
5. Gran Turismo Sport (2017 window)
Truth be told, Sony held little surprises at the actual press conference. Yet, I think that once again the general consensus prior to it was that people would be generally happy if they were shown more of the previously announced big titles as well as release dates for them. So, anything new would have been welcomed but would not have been as demanded this time around. The big surprises were (if we ignore VR which I will do) mainly the Shadow of the Colossus Remaster and Monster Hunter World.
The Shadow of the Colossus remaster came as a huge surprise to many. I think that few could have predicted it. I myself, predicted mostly a Spyro trilogy which I still think will come eventually and even more so now that this other game was announced. This is because the Spyro franchise on the PS1 days was a much bigger deal commercially and sales wise than Shadow of the Colossus ever was for its PS2 generation. Therefore, if Sony is willing to remaster what many call a niche title, then I think Spyro, Medievil and past God of Wars will definitely be remastered eventually. I don't mean to say that Shadow of the Colossus is bad, it's actually one of many favorite games of all time. It did, however, have poor controls and if they fix that and I'm sure that talented developer BluePoint Games will probably do just that, it could become the definitive version to have.
Monster Hunter World being announced for PS4 is another big deal to consider. The Capcom monster-slaying franchise is nothing short of huge. In Japan it's a huge sales magnet of considerable proportions with more than a decent western following. Sony seems to have decided to wrestle franchise control from Nintendo and have earned their first victory. In fact, as far as we are concerned it's going to be the first entry of this big franchise to skip a Nintendo platform in a long time if I'm not mistaken. It would be good not to underestimate the impact that Monster Hunter can have for the PS4's continuous future successes.
STUNNING NEW TRAILERS THAT WE WANTED TO SEE
Let's be honest, the trailers for these four games were mind-blowing. I think that words can hardly describe what they brought to the table. With Detroit: Become Human, we learned of two additional androids that are on a quest to end the slumber of those androids being used for a live of servitude toward humans. Once again, the wide variety of choices and consequences were put on display. God of War showed more of the inner and outward struggle inside Kratos as he tries to learn what fatherhood is all about. This further shows that story is shaping to be deeper than previous entries. The close-up brutal weapon melee combat was breathtaking and showed a legion of monsters and foes that will cross Kratos' path.
Then, Days Gone showed that human factions are as much of a danger as the freakers (zombies' new fancy name) and even the infected wild life. It was too bad that the blood-thirsty bear encounter couldn't be shown further. The post apocalyptic game showed how strategically one can use the various dangers of the world in your advantage. Finally, Spider-man's trailer might have arguably stolen the show. The multi-use of Spidey's web to control and use the environment during combat was a joy to behold. The variety of things to use gave this new Super hero open world quite an expanded arsenal of ways to approach enemies and defeat them. The chopper fight and chase scene also showed that this upcoming Spider-Man adventure might just end up having Uncharted-like spectacular action set pieces. I encourage you all to re-watch these impressive trailers and tell me below in the comments, if you dare, that these are not the best-looking exclusives coming to any console.
Share your thoughts below. I'm eager to see what you think of this argument presented.
The thing about Sony is that it made too many mistakes. Yes, lack of release dates was a main thing, but there is the fact that their three main games (God of War, Days Gone, Detroit) were already shown with gameplay at the last E3. And they showed pretty much nothing NEW on those games.
Yes, the trailers look good. But there comes a point where you’ve seen ENOUGH of the game, and just want to play it, not be shown even more. We don’t need to be further spoiled on the stories of these games. And there were no new significant mechanics added we didn’t see last year.
Spiderman was the big one, but as nice as it all looked, it seemed far too scripted. Whether that’s because it was designed like that for this show, or that’s how main missions of the game play out, its not that great. The fact is so far off gives more credence to the fact this was too scripted, specifically to wow us.
And then Shadow of the Colossus? Just a remake/remaster, with no new content. I could tell that much from the trailer, and it was indeed confirmed later.
The pre and post show was nice, but its clear they were throwing the less consequential games in there.
Microsoft had a better trailer show, to tell the truth, even if it was mostly for multi platform titles. But given the releases left for this year, neither Sony nor Microsoft convinced most people to get their system this holiday just for them. Either you had it already and were convinced by past releases, or you are getting one next year, when the big games shown are coming.
I felt Nintendo did the best at convincing people to get their system this holiday. From now till end of the year, you get ARMS, Splatoon 2, Mario and Rabbids, Pokken Tournament, Super Mario Odyssey, Fire Emblem Warriors, and Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Those are all big AAA titles, and outside Pokken being an enhanced port, and Fire Emblem Warriors getting a New 3DS release too, you need a Switch to play all those. Add in the portability, and access to the best reviewed game in years (Zelda Breath of the Wild), and is looking pretty attractive, I think. And all those games are completely different genres.
I’d say out of the big three, Nintendo tried their hardest. And are delivering their content NOW, not next year. Well, also next year, but that’s a different matter.
Nintendo did well. Yet I’m still more attracted to the big guns the PS4 has coming. We needed gameplay for Spider-Man that shows it’s going to be different than other open world games. Days gone showed that zombies are not everything with infected wildlife and dangerous human factions. All these things add to what may have been perceived of each of these two games. I agree that God of war and Detroit didn’t need to show more trailers. Hopefully they all mostly release before next year’s E3
And also of course. That Sonys games can only be played on sonys console.
Considering MS brought to the table their titles : Crackdown, Sea of thieves and State of Decay 2. Which regardless of preference they are clearly the ones people wanted to see more of at their conference. Along with Ashen amazing gameplay, Cuphead and Ori sequel announcement. And since you brought up Monster Hunter as an announcement. MS brought Anthem gameplay which blew people away. I dont think Sony won by a huge margin. That said. Overall Sonys was on top because of the graphical fidelity, impact and trailers shown for their games. There are always some preshow and after show announcements which sometimes should have been in the actual conference. Knack, Hidden Agenda and matterfall shouldve been in the actual conference.
Microsoft needed newer games to compete with the likes of God of War, Days Gone and Spider-Man to say the least. These are arguably much more impressive looking games. Microsoft should have much more AAA exclusives to show off the new Xbox One X instead of the litany of indies that don’t usually make use of graphical horsepower or performance.
Did Sony have lots to show off the ps4pro? Besides their normal announcements I don’t think they focused too much. They reshowed Horizon in dynamic 4k but that was pretty much it if I recall. I agree. But they showed the games they have releasing within a year it seems. And phil seems adamant about not making new announcements of games that are too far off. AS far as the graphics conversation. How exactly could they graphically enhance a game like Ori or Ashen which are more artistic. They showed Anthem and I believe that was meant to make the horsepower clear. They shouldve shown crackdown multiplayer to at least show the destruction aspect.
And that’s my point. What they put on display were mostly indies. When you want to show new hardware, AAA is what you show it with. Sony did just that on their individual PS4 Pro conference. Crackdown was underwhelming only Forza did the job. More games were needed.