This week’s coverage of E3 continues with a look at Sony’s conference from Monday. Click on the link for a look at Microsoft. Tomorrow: Nintendo.
Chris: If Microsoft was in need of a redemption story at this E3, Sony’s goal was probably just to hold serve. The Playstation 4 is pretty far ahead of the Xbox One in sales so far (although the Xbone is certainly no slouch in results either) and also in public perception.
Sony’s conference was well received overall, although there were some complaints about it running a bit too long. They had a heavy focus on games early on, then made the mistake of putting a slower section about TV and connectivity toward the end. A smarter play would have been to start with that nonsense and then get everyone excited with some of their titles, instead of breaking the momentum.
That said, Sony had plenty of strong showings. Little Big Planet 3, with four-player co-op, access to all of the LBP 1 and 2 stages, and even more options? A gameplay trailer for the absolutely gorgeous No Man’s Sky? Another entry for the overrated but still solid Uncharted series? All three might be purchases for me.
Even some games that I still don’t care about to this point, like Destiny and Far Cry 4 and The Order: 1886, seem positioned to be strong sellers for the PS4. Others, like the Suda51 title Let It Die or the Grim Fandango remake, should generate a cult following.
Microsoft showed off plenty of titles in its conference (and spent time only on games), but Sony showcased two or three times as many. Part of that is because Sony had a longer conference, but still. There were plenty of indie games highlighted in both, but Sony had so much ground to cover that a few AAA titles like Mortal Kombat X, Ratchet and Clank, and an updated Last of Us flashed by without much fanfare.
These two conferences from Monday will inevitably be compared, and a winner will be chosen. Hell, most people have already written that exact article. To me, the winner was gamers in general. This was a much better showing from the two next-gen companies. Even if there weren’t any huge surprises (and what few there would have been were leaked anyway), we have quite a bit to be excited about.
Since we have to do grades, I’ll give Sony the edge because of a couple titles I’m more interested in and a slight advantage in PS4 exclusives and total games coming down the pipe. But it’s closer than I expected. Grade: B
Shaun: Call me a Xbox Homer. Say I have a bias against Sony. Do it. But I have to say, any excitement that was generated by Sony’s show last year just went thud for me. THUD. Just like that.
I mean, some of the games are cool, but as Chris mentioned, the Uncharted series is possibly the overrated game of last generation (still good, of course, but nowhere near the hype). So Uncharted 4? Not doing it for me. LittleBig Planet? Pass. In fact, I don’t know if there’s a single Sony exclusive I’m even remotely excited for.
And then there was the bizarre decision to include “beyond gaming” functionality. Did Microsoft’s and Sony’s E3 teams switch from last year? Am I in the Twilight Zone? ONE year after stomping nearly all the life out of Microsoft by focusing on games, Sony has then made the decision to put their concentration on more functionality that, let’s face it, doesn’t belong at these expos. Fans don’t care. They want those details, sure, but not at a show infamous for big game announcements, progress reports on our favorite franchises, and new, exciting interactive opportunities coming our way.
So, I’ll compromise on my review score. I, coming from a place where I don’t give a damn about the PlayStation anymore, would give it a D. D+, why not. But, I understand that a lot of people are into what Sony’s doing, and still high on the PS4; although, let’s face, was there all that much for them to get excited about this year either? Maybe a little. They’d probably give it a solid B. I’ll stick in the middle and give a solid C. Not bad, but not good, either. And not good enough to cause me to make the transition to Sony’s camp. Me and my shoddy Kinect voice activation are happy where we are. Grade: C