The E3 press conferences have been and gone and honestly this year was a mixed bag, from silly musical numbers, bad jokes, wasting time on a single game, to South Park: The Fractured But Whole receiving a release date and a funny trailer, the announcement of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim for the Playstation 4 and Xbox One which was great because I have never played the game. But overall as I saw all the announcements that came from the likes of Bethesda, EA, and Microsoft I was left wondering is that it? They tried to show a few things, they showed the occasional interesting point for certain games, but half the time they were just there. Things got better with Ubisoft in some ways, but it was Sony that knew how to do their conference right.
The question to ask is what is E3 about? If you answered games then congratulations, and I admit most of these did have games to show but for the most part these were simple rehashes of things we had already seen and did not care about. Between each of these they often then had terrible banter that left many of us bored and wondering is that all? I know that is how I felt, and I feel this is something that Sony actually understands, and for their conference they did away with the banter, they did away with the repeated showings of the same thing and made it all about the games, and often these were just new projects.
Where most of the conferences were concerned it seemed more about talking about a game in length, for some instances this was fine, the presenters were amusing and genuinely had something interesting to say about their game, once again I will sight South Park: The Fractured But Whole as one of the better examples. However, most of the time it was people making pointless conversation, and even worse they wasted time sharing details on additional content for games that they could have simply announced at random.
This was a common problem I saw with all the first four conferences, and this is where Sony demonstrated how to do a conference, what you need to show, and what you need to do. E3 is about the games and Sony knows this, for their conference we actually rarely saw anybody, and when someone showed up it was literally for a minute to announce a major project, or critical piece of information such as that Crash Bandicoot is coming back (hooray). Then as fast as they arrived they were gone, but yet these people were not annoying they shared the details and moved on, and what followed was what we wanted, trailers.
At least 95% of Sony’s conference was trailers or actual gameplay demonstrations and for the most part these were interesting. It seemed the minute something finished suddenly a new project was being shown, so there was always something going on. This then leads into another point as well none of these trailers outstayed their welcome either, they would show what was important and be done and move onto the next point, unless they were gameplay demo’s these naturally took longer but were acceptable.
Another huge point that needs to be made about Sony’s conference was the content, where other companies like EA and Microsoft pretty much just showed games we knew about, Sony rarely did, they put a raw focus on showing new projects that demonstrated the company’s future. It was only on the rare occasion that they showed a game that we knew about, and I personally was fine with this, as a key example they showed a small trailer for The Last Guardian, and as exciting as this game is they never dwelled on it. The Last Guardian was huge in 2015 so this year all they needed was a few odd scenes and then the release date which we got, this project that we were previously aware of was given enough mention without droning on and boring us.
But it was the rest of the time that Sony focused on new games, whether this was for Playstation VR or typical Playstation 4 they focused strongly on just these simple games and provided enough information in the trailers that no more information was needed then. We got to see Resident Evil 7 be announced, we got a spooky trailer that felt unsettling and this was all, and yet it got us excited and quickly we moved on to something else. Rocksteady was bringing Batman to Playstation VR, not much information was shared but it got us excited for the possibilities, a virtual reality Star Wars was announced, Final Fantasy XV with Virtual Reality components, these were simple but the quick paced nature kept us amused and glued to every detail.
Sony also proved themselves in how they opened the show, there was no messing around and no pointless teasing, just simply we got a game we wanted, God of War. This immediate start showed the pacing of Sony’s event as we saw gameplay and interesting ideas shared in the trailer, then even with a quick intermission for an opening introduction they were quick to get to the next game, Days Gone, and once again got us excited as we moved on at the brisk and enjoyable pace. The companies only got an hour and Sony assured they had as many announcements as possible thrown in from Hideo Kojima’s Dead Stranding, to official gameplay and outcomes for Quantic Dream’s, Detroit: Become Human, and they assured that everyone was constantly entertained, and there was something for everyone.
What I have written may seem hectic but this is precisely what Sony’s conference was and this was great, they showed how you keep everyone busy and you satisfy fans. You don’t waste time with extensive conversations, and you don’t waste time on a single game for more than necessary which for the demonstrations they had for Horizon: Zero Dawn, Days Gone, God of War, and Call of Duty Infinite Warfare they didn’t. Sony showed the perfect example of how to do a conference and keep people amused even with things they don’t care less about, and going forward all the other companies need to follow Sony’s example, games and more games, hopefully then we won’t have dull showings when E3 rolls around in 2017, and Bethesda won’t waste twenty minutes showing us 2017’s version of Dishonored 2.
I admit I couldn’t have cared less for Resident Evil 7, God of War, or even the Crash announcement for Skylanders Imaginators but yet I was never bored, Sony knew how to make a good conference, and I always knew something else was around the corner which was thrilling.