As E3 winds down to a close we look back at the most talked about press conference of the entire week, Sony. Our editors give their take on Sony's press conference, and what's in store for the Playstation 4.
Did what really happen, really happen? Did Sony just deliver the knockout punch of this or just about any generation past? There were cries of shots fired when Jack Trenton came out on to the stage for the second time and started throwing hard body shots directed right at Microsoft, but with the great diversity of games put forward during their show, and their stunning ending reveal of a price ($399) a whole hundred dollars less than its competitor, I find it hard to say anything but DONE. We won’t know for sure until the sales start coming in, but for pure message, for pure PR, Sony put its boots to Microsoft’s mid section and didn’t let up until the only things left were chunks and goo. Bravo, Sony. BRA-f’n-VO.
By Brian Tyler
Sony press conferences always make me wary. The PS3 has been my de-facto console choice this gen, and the executive roster they’ve employed to share their new announcements in recent years is as charming as they come- meaning I tend to take a soft line to their shows instead of being as incisive as I could be. Last night, while watching intriguing new trailers for things like The Order 1886, Infamous Second Son, and live demos of their murderer’s row of Indie titles, I was careful to remind myself to “stay on target,” to be mindful of the areas in which Sony needs to improve, namely, infrastructure and coherent, reliable interface design.
All my efforts to remain an unbiased observer were outright shattered in the last 15 minutes of the conference. Here’s what’s most important about all of those announcements: the PS4 is subservient to players’ interests, yes, but it’s also making a bold statement about game preservation. With no restrictions, no authentications, and ostensibly no risk in seeing a game die because of an online server getting its cord cut, the PS4 isn’t just going to be popular among the property-rights crowd, but will still live on long after it’s been supplanted by ‘Stations 5 and 6. For that reason, I’m only too happy to overlook the wispy Vita showing, the delay of Gaikai’s streaming service, and the early over-reliance on trailers rather than demos in the first half. This was handily the best, most zeitgeisty and masterfully orchestrated presser I’ve seen at E3. I can only hope that the hubristic cycle doesn’t repeat itself.
By Adam Condra
Wow! I really can’t say enough about how well Sony has brought it this year! They were the first to announce their next gen console (sorry Nintendo) and they not only stole the entire show at E3, they destroyed Microsoft in the process. While they did announce a lot of really nice looking and interesting games, they perfectly balanced the game talk with the console talk and came at Microsoft HARD at the end. Jack Tretton We left with a price and a firm business model that has a lot of positive response and shows that Sony knows what video game people want versus Microsoft going for the media end of things. Sony has me pulled in as a gamer and told me that they care about gamers. It’s easy to see that Sony could take this generation but it will be really interesting to see what the first sales numbers look like on both sides. While they did bring it hard and strong there were a few slip ups such as the subtle slip in of online multiplayer being behind the PlayStation Plus paywall and the contradicting next day reports on the game license stuff. Overall Sony won E3 in my eyes and is leaps and bounds ahead of having the chance to take this generation but only time will tell.
By Jeremy Meyer
Much like Nintendo last year, all eyes were on Sony. After Microsoft's stumble and subsequent PR dissonance, everyone hoped that Sony would come out looking like the good guy. And did they ever. A solid price point and a point by point smack in the face to the Xbox One endeared the new console to a sea of supporters both new and old. This was a thoroughly public beat down and it was hard not to give in to the huge sense of relief. But enough about the console itself, how about the games? Lots of good stuff but to be honest, when Kingdom Hearts 3 was announced, I forgot everything. A series near and dear to my heart, to see it come back and on songs new machine absolutely made my day. Good on you Sony, you've shaken off your arrogance and are poised to deliver a thoroughly entertaining new experience.
By Allen Kesinger
Sony did exactly what I was hoping they would do when they directly attacked Microsoft’s DRM policies. The pricing came in at an acceptable number. But the press conference wasn’t perfect to me. Why, you ask? I was highly unimpressed by the new Triple-A intellectual properties. We still don’t know a lot about them, but when it comes to those games, I think that Microsoft quietly won this round. The attention paid to the indy developers was nice, but every one of those games is likely going to be available on other platforms. The press conference cemented my pre-order, but at the same time, I was a bit disappointed that it didn’t get me excited about what the next console generation is going to do.
By John K
Sony had this in the bag from the get-go, all they had to do was execute with precision...and that's what they did. They came out talking about their commitment to the PS3 and Vita, and then got right into the PS4. Games, games, and more games. Some people might not be impressed with the PS4 lineup so far but I have faith that the lineup will continue to expand as time goes on. Announcing Kingdom Hearts 3 was a damn good way to get me fired up about the PS4 as it's an old favorite of mine. Games like the new Killzone and The Order did a lot to impress, even if the latter was only a CGI cut scene.
What really blew me away, and has since day one, is Sony's commitment to indies on the PS4. While many of the titles mentioned at the press conference will be available on the PC as well as the PS4, having the group of developers stand on stage in a lineup and play their games under the banner of the PS4 was quite the image. Also, the idea that a PlayStation Plus account will be linked to getting you many of those awesome indie titles for free each month has me onboard with the $49.99 a year price. Yes Sony said that Plus will be needed for online, but that was only a matter of time and it's not nearly as bothersome as some other company's issues. Hearing Tretton badmouth Microsoft directly at the end led to some exciting, albeit unnecessary, applause that had been missing from E3 for a long time. Good on you Sony, I think you've figured this bit out quite well.
By Jon Fisco
Sony had a massive advantage with the insane amount of momentum they had going in. Microsoft has essentially been wrapped in negativity for the last few weeks, so Sony really didn’t have to do much to be the superior show. Despite that, I really didn’t expect them to have as stellar of a presentation as they did. Sony’s first party launch window looks incredibly strong. Killzone Shadow Fall, Knack, DriveClub, and inFamous Second Son might not be revolutionary, but they look like incredibly strong titles that have great developers behind them. Ready At Dawn’s The Order 1886 was a bit expected from leaked trademarks, but if that cutscene was truly real time, consider me impressed. We knew that FF Versus 13 would likely be reintroduced as FFXV, but the reveal was still an amazing moment, and the game itself was fast, frenetic, and more exciting than anything from the franchise in a while. Kingdom Hearts 3 is another long awaited reveal that was great to see, if only to finally have it out in the open. Adam Boyes’ indie section was surprising, bringing a ton of new games on stage that normally wouldn’t get the time of day. Destiny of course looks like a ton of fun, and Sony is smart to let recently disappointed Halo fans know that Bungie will be on the platform. Sony definitely doubled down on their commitment to consumer friendly practices, and Jack Tretton’s point-by-point breakdown of what is essentially the same DRM policy as the PS3 was an E3 moment that will be remembered for a long time. While it’s a bit sad that those things needed to be said, it’s great to know that Sony won’t be following Microsoft’s obstructive route. Of course, the $399 price reveal is what sealed the deal. It’s the perfect price for me and it’s likely as much as I would pay at launch.
As someone who’s had every console and a PC in the last generation, Sony made an incredibly compelling argument for a day one purchase. The focus on consumer trust, great first party titles, punctuated by a great price, was hammered home by Andrew House’s emphatic closing message. “Is Playstation the best place to play?” While I still can’t confidently say yes, they certainly made an incredibly strong argument.
By Joseph Bustos
I want to give Sony mad props for not going the way of Microsoft. Not because I think Microsoft is evil or somesuch, but because the system they have come up with for used games and sharing is confusing and convoluted. Given that, I have a hard time praising Sony when all they are doing is maintaining their current course. If they had games that I HAD to play and couldn’t get anywhere, then maybe I would be a little happier with their conference. But as is, every single next gen title that truly want to play will be available on PC. For cheaper. And will look better. Sure there are games like The Order: 1866 that I find intriguing and will definitely keep an eye one but there is nothing that remotely warrants a system purchase. If anything, the greatest praise I can give Sony is their embrace and elevation of the indie crowd. But other than that, they haven’t done anything to impress me. They just haven’t pissed me off.
By Jonathan Miley
We only have one conference to grade left, and that is Nintendo. Make sure to check back later today for our thoughts on their Nintendo Direct. While you wait make sure to check our grades for Microsoft, EA, and Ubisoft.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.