Monday, June 12, 2017

E3 2017: Sony

It wasn't good.

I may be hyper critical of Sony, especially at E3, but man, Sony really does have a nice habit of being so arrogant whenever they're on top. When the PS2 was king of the world, Sony decided to announce the Ps3 for $600 with barely any games and soured its relationship with gamers until 2010 at least. Now that Sony's back on top again, it's starting to become pretty arrogant. Not allowing Playstation consoles to be included in Minecraft cross-play between Microsoft, Nintendo, Google, and freaking Apple, being open about how they think backwards compatibility is inferior to buying your old games again, and just announcing games with no true release dates just to get in gamers good graces. Bottom line, I'm pretty miffed at Sony right now, but their shoddy E3 press conference was just systemic of an overarching problem.

Now to be perfectly fair to Sony, it did show off some genuinely cool games during its press conference, We got an extended look at Spider-Man, which looks like a combination of InFamous and the Batman Arkham series, which I can dig. Plus it showed gameplay, which is always greatly appreciated. Shadow of the Colossus is getting a PS4 remake, which is a brilliant idea seeing as how the PS2 original struggled to show off the scale of the creatures you encountered, and the PS4 definitely has enough horsepower to make the Colossi appear even more spectacular. Plus there was Monster Hunter World, and while I'm not a Monster Hunter fan, I'm sure that people that lvoe the series are pissing themselves with joy over it.

For the rest of the press conference, I at first thought it was a case of "these games aren't for me, but they look nice", but then we got to see more about some highly anticipated games. Detroit: Become Human looks interesting from a gameplay perspective with its multiple routes and options, but the uncanny valley visuals that Quantic Dream are known for make their appearance again. Days Gone has interesting tech behind it, but the gameplay still looks like a generic third-person zombie shooter.

And then came the VR segment.

I don't think I'm being too grumpy and cynical when I say this, but no one cares about VR. This goes for Oculus, and this also goes for Sony. There's no killer app for either system, it's expensive, the VR exclusive games aren't compelling and just use basic 3D gimmicks, and the games that can be playable on a TV and also in VR are meaningless because why wouldn't you just play a game on a TV instead of plopping several hundred dollars for a new peripheral. Sony announced a handful of new games, one of them being a VR port of Skyrim (ugh...), but when the biggest game you're touting for VR is the newly announced Final Fantasy XV VR fishing game, there's a serious problem here. VR. Fishing. Sony has sold a little over a million PSVR's since October, and those numbers are not enough, in my opinion, to continue being viable. Hell, the damned Vita had 2.2 million units sold by June of 2012, which was six months on sale. The vita is more successful than Playstation VR.

And then we have God of War. It's The Last of Us. I'm certain of it. It's trying to combine the action and violence of God of War with the emotional weight, gameplay, and storytelling of The Last of Us. To some, that's great. To me, it doesn't look right. The action is too slow. The dialogue doesn't fit the God of War universe. The set pieces seem right, and the violence is definitely on the same levels as the original trilogy, but it just seems slower and more lethargic than ever. Yeah, the developers are probably going for a different and more mature story this time around, but that shouldn't be to the sacrifice of the series' core gameplay, aesthetic, and tone. It still hasn't sold me, and it probably won't until I either play the demo, watch a friend play it, or hear about how awesome the action and gameplay is.

I don't want to be this negative to Sony. I think the PS4 is a great system. I love Bloodborne, Overwatch, Horizon: Zero Dawn, and Persona 5. I want good games to come from it and I want Sony to do well, but this press conference was just predictable and took a lot of the steam out of Sony's sail. When Ubisoft has had the best press conference so far, you've done something wrong. We still have Nintendo's tomorrow, so maybe they can end E3 on a high note.


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