Sony has vowed to continue providing gamers with what they want most. Games, more games, and even more games!
It’s no secret, Sony has literally run away with the top spot in this generations console race. Even though the Xbox One has maintained it’s pace, outselling both the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 through the first 30 months of the console generation. Sony had nearly doubled that pace with at least 41 million consoles sold compared to Microsofts 21 million sold. Let’s be clear, these are BOTH fantastic consoles and both are doing really good, Sony has just been flat out unstoppable this generation. While Microsoft came out swinging by announcing not one, but two new hardware specs at E3 this year. Sony took the opposite approach, focusing the entirety of their 75 minute show on the games themselves.
Since the consoles launched in 2013, Sony has primarily relied on 3rd party studios to provide the bulk of their premier content. Many of the biggest games this generation have been most associated with the Playstation brand. From timed DLC on Call of Duty and Destiny, to exclusives such as Street Fighter V, Tales of Zestiria, and The Witness. Sony has been the place to play some of the best games the industry has to offer so far.
This has allowed Sony the luxury of taking a step back with their First Party content, allowing those developers more time to polish their games before bringing them to the market. With the competition so far behind, Sony did not need Uncharted 4 to come out in 2015. Even with Xbox claiming the best games line-up in the history of the Xbox brand, Sonys lead was safe. This allowed Naughty Dog more time to polish Uncharted 4, and the result was Playstation 4 owners got to play one of the best games ever made. But Uncharted 4 was just the tip of the iceberg. Sony has at least 5 more mega blockbuster titles lined up over the next 3-4 years. From well known titles such as God of War(featured above) to brand new IPs from veteran developers like Days Gone(featured below) from Sony Bend, the team behind the classic Syphon Filter franchise.
What Sony has shown us these past 2 years is that they are all about the games. The diversity of their lineup, and their top of the class first party studios give them an advantage over the competition. After last years E3 where Sony dropped several megaton announcements(The Last Guardian, Shenmue 3, Final Fantasy VII Remake), I thought Sony would surely show off many of the same games this year. To my surprise I only counted 3 games that were at both E3 shows(The Last Guardian, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Detroit: Become Human). Instead we were treated to gameplay for the new God of War reboot, a new ‘zombie’ game in Days Gone, a teaser and demo for the latest Resident Evil, the original Crash Bandicoot trilogy being remastered, and an exclusive Spider-Man game being developed by legendary developer Insomniac. As if that weren’t enough, they had a segment dedicated to their new virtual reality headset and a ton of VR games. Although I wouldn’t call it a megaton, there was also one more big teaser.
If you’ve followed the events of the past year, you likely know that Hideo Kojima has signed a deal to make his first game exclusive to the Playstation 4 & PC. But you wouldn’t expect that he’d have anything to show just yet. Right? Much to the surprise of everyone, Kojima was at E3 2016. He brought a very unique trailer for his new game, Death Stranding, starring Norman Reedus of The Walking Dead and Silent Hills fame. It is believed that the trailer was actually a visual representation of how Kojima felt after his messy divorce with Konami last year. The visual of the handprints(Kojima had his handprints all over Metal Gear and other key franchises), the baby(Silent Hills), and the scar and tiny handprints(after Silent Hills was inexplicably taken away from Kojima). There is also the 6 dog tags that could represent the 6 major franchises Kojima worked on(Metal Gear, Snatcher/Policenauts, Tokimeki Memorial, Boktai, Zone of Enders, Silent Hills). And the 5 mysterious figures floating in the air at the end of the trailer which could be the 5 executives at Konami who caused all the devastation surrounding him. Regardless of your own interpretation, the trailer had some very deep thoughts at its core.
Just about the only thing that was missing from Sonys conference was the reveal for their new mid-gen console upgrade codenamed “Neo”. This is probably also why the 90 minute conference fell well short, ending just after 75 minutes had gone by. I do not believe this is as big a deal as some might believe though. Sonys response to Microsoft most likely remain the same even if the Neo is underpowered compared to the Scorpio. Continue doing what got you the lead and keep your foot on the throttle. Microsoft very well may have the most powerful gaming console on the planet by the end of 2017, but Sony will still have a stellar line-up of games to fall back on. While games are sure to look amazing on the Scorpio, I think they’ll look pretty damn good on the Neo as well. Sony literally has a ton of really awesome looking games lined up to keep gamers happy for the next 3-5 years, and will continue to shift hardware at a rapid rate for the foreseeable future. Microsoft may have thrown the ball in Sonys court, but Sony clearly knows what to do with it!
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