Sony started off the media showcase in a really interesting way, choosing to begin in a smaller more personal way. It wasn’t evidently clear what the purpose was until after of course. The banjo play was for the fans, as was the e3 experience those there got. So it may have come off a bit weird to people watching as that format is best for in-person. I would have liked to see video in the background to cover the streaming audience, mixed with his playing. Or even better, but more difficult, some cast from TLOU 2 dancing to the music i.e. like the cinematic. The venue made sense shortly after as it tied in with cinematics/gameplay, which seemed really cool had “we” been there. Absolutely loved the TLOU2 cinematics and gameplay, and ND gets 5 stars for “kiss realism” lol. TLOU 2 looks brutal and more fluid combat than the previous. Love the hiding under things and what looks like smooth gameplay and interesting AI. While the video did look good, the stream suffered some audio issues at times and of course the stream quality really does a disservice to this, and any of the other games. So if you want to see better, make sure to check out the uploads they do after the fact.
The transitions between seemed long, though this mainly only happened in the beginning. I completely understand the crowd had to physically move to the main theatre, but I think the choice to cut to the panel was a mistake. Instead, I would have played the short trailers they showed by themselves while people moved. Since most had already seen those, it would have filled the gap for streaming viewers. Instead, we got this awkward sort of break between the show where we expected nonstop action or viewing. Obviously hindsight is 20/20, and this was something new to try for Sony, so I do sort of understand they took a chance and couldn’t plan for everything.
New game plus was announced for God Of War, which I think everyone wanted, myself included. Call of duty old maps returning was shown, and then a really cool “available now” feature for Black ops 3 for PS Plus. This actually ties in perfect with their current $10 off PS Plus yearly promo, so good marketing there. The highlights shown shortly after were what would have filled that awkward spot perfectly. Destiny 2 footage was shown, poor Cayde. Gameplay of Ghost of Tsushima was very much appreciated; I thought it looked incredible even in potato streaming quality. After the event, the devs said that was a side quest, which seems really thought out and cool. Cannot wait for this game, which looks pretty big as well. Gameplay looked great, I’m sure the more we see the more we will understand how complex the swordplay is and I think so far it looks really interesting.
One thing I really liked was the Dreams (game) transitions; they separated the games and were really cute between. I get it is hard to show off the game without losing steam, so I thought this format and placement worked really well. Control looked really cool; they announced it with gameplay which was something we don’t usually get, so I applaud them for that.
The lead up after made me think we might get a Ratatouille game, but I suppose RE2 remastered is fine. Looked really good, definitely interested in gameplay and more info (Release date Jan 25, 2019). "Trover saves the universe" I’m not a fan of Rick and Morty, I just don’t find its humor funny, but that’s my preference. The game looked alright, but don’t really care for the show or style, so not sure I’d get it. New Kingdom Hearts 3 video shown, looked fun, such an odd game IMO though lol. Releases Jan 29, 2019. The kingdom hearts PS4 Pro looks good, though I don’t think I need more of those at the moment. An all in one package available only on PS4 was a really cool announcement, and really hopes bring all these separate stories together.
Death stranding gameplay looked great, still no idea what is going on. Nioh 2 looked interesting and was a nice surprise. Spiderman gameplay looked good and he sure does seem to be overwhelmed by bad guys, which makes for some really fun combat. There was a nice cliffhanger at the end.
Another thing I didn’t like here was that the show just immediately stopped. Generally PlayStation has a final word or maybe trailing clips/highlight reels to smoothly end the show. But this was it, Spiderman, and then back to YouTube. I would have really liked some teases, hints or even just the highlights at the end. The abrupt stop really felt premature, almost as if the show had changed from something else. Sony did promise and reiterate before and during that the show would be focused on the “big 4”, and they lived up to their promise, with some extras.
While it wasn’t the huge media spectacle it usually is, it tried to make the experience great for people there. The downside of this is that the millions watching had a different experience, and for many who can’t see all the caveats and purposes of the format, they probably took away many negatives from this show. I don’t think they did perfect, or even super well. But they did stick to their word, and tried something new. On top of that they did have some surprises and showed what many of us actual gamers, not media, wanted to see – gameplay. Many have criticized Sony in the past for just showing games with no substance, this year they did the opposite and it seemed to go against them. While many other shows simply showed a bunch of videos and highlights and were received well. So while I don’t think Sony should stop trying new things, I think implementation is important and should be worked on in the future. We gamers still want that “media showcase” and action packed show, but we also love the in depth stuff and personal attention from presenters. It isn’t an easy balance and you can’t please everyone, but we still have PSX, some other shows, and huge games coming this year. Not to mention Sony has put so much into their gaming in the last 5 years that there had to be a “bubble burst” at some point. So I am optimistic they will learn from this and that more importantly, they are working on games, which is really what this is all about.