Chris and Shaun Review E3: Sony

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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

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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

5 thoughts on “Chris and Shaun Review E3: Sony

  1. It was a fine conference with pretty good showings. Most people bashing on this one IMO do so only because of their ungrounded overly high expectations and as such it would be nearly impossible for Sony to cater to their exaggerated demands. They did a good job and so did Microsoft, although personaly I’m not a fan of XBOne’s exclusives so far (I’m definitely not in their target at this point). Still, for me E3 has been won by Nintendo with the reveal of the makeover they’re putting Zelda through with the WiiU release. Nothing tops that.

  2. I spent my slow work day yesterday watching all the trailers and reading all the info I could find about the showings and revelations, and I have to say… I’m most hyped about what Nintendo’s got on the table. Which I’m very surprised about, to put it mildly.

    Anyway, all I have to say to Sony is this: Just hurry up and give me a damn Youtube app for my PS4 so I don’t have to keep switching ethernet cables between my PS3 and PS4 lol. Why couldn’t they release the basic app then patch it later with all the silly features they’re talking about later?

    1. That’s been one of the most disappointing things about owning a PS4 so far, honestly: some basic functionality that they still haven’t fixed. I found a workaround for YouTube by using https://www.youtube.com/tv in the browser — you don’t need Flash to view videos on it and you can search and all that jazz. But it’d be better if they would just release an app like you said.

      The other thing that bugs me is the inability to import your own mp3s. Used to be you could have your own music while you played PS3 games (and in some, like MLB The Show, you could use your own tracks in the game as well). Now? Clearly that feature was too complicated or something. Come on, Sony.

  3. I enjoyed it overall. Uncharted 4 and LBP3 are exclusives I am really jazzed for and I liked a few of the third-party showings (Far Cry 4 and No Man’s Sky in particular). My biggest knock on the conference was just how much it dragged in the middle. Especially when compared to the well-paced MS and Nintendo showings. I’d still put Sony’s slightly ahead of MS and behind Nintendo’s overall.

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