Sony is usually the master of ceremonies when it comes to E3, having created some truly memorable moments in the past few years, whether it was their Xbox One roasting of 2013 or their Shenmue 3/FFVII/Last Guardian tri-reveal in 2015. This year, however, things were a bit…off.
At the outset of the show, fans were promised that the night would be “all about the games.” A welcome promise at a games show that has often been hijacked in the past by other concerns, but what followed was machine gun fire of one trailer after another with no context and few breaks.
Sony’s show barely ran an hour, far shorter than their usual, and was punctuated only be brief appearances by one man, Sony Interactive president Shawn Layden.
What were arguably Sony’s biggest games of the show were ones that were already featured last year, God of War, Days Gone and the big closer, Insomniac’s Spider-Man. The Last of Us 2 didn’t return.
From Software was nowhere to be seen. There were really no actual surprises. The only thing that might count is the unexpected appearance of Monster Hunter World on PS4, but it’s also coming to Xbox One.
It was a very un-Sony-like show. There were no jaw-dropping reveals, no pointed jabs at Microsoft.
After the debut of Xbox One X at $499, it seemed like Sony could have twisted the knife with a year-later price cut of the PS4 Pro to $349, but I suppose with Sony’s huge lead and the $100 disparity already in place, there’s really no reason for them to bother.
This was an unusual year in that Microsoft actually but on a better show than Sony for a change, but both were not particularly great and weirdly, so far, Ubisoft seems to be winning E3 with big moments like the reveal of Skull and Bones and Beyond Good and Evil 2.
The problem is that even if Sony’s show was relatively subdued this year, what they do have on deck is still more than Microsoft can claim.
The biggest games of Microsoft’s show were Assassin’s Creed, Shadow of War and Anthem, cross-platform games, with Sea of Thieves looking like a pretty niche title, Crackdown 3 barely featured despite being a 1X launch title, and Forza being…Forza, looking undeniably pretty.
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