Why Sony's Perfect E3 2017 Press Conference Left Me Cold

Why Sony's Perfect E3 2017 Press Conference Left Me Cold
Call Of Duty: WWII multiplayer is the focus of E3 2017, but a Private Beta comes to PS4 Aug. 25. The action features tanks and planes from the real-world conflict. Call Of Duty: WWII comes to PS4, Xbox One and PC Nov. 3.
Call Of Duty: WWII multiplayer is the focus of E3 2017, but a Private Beta comes to PS4 Aug. 25. The action features tanks and planes from the real-world conflict. Call Of Duty: WWII comes to PS4, Xbox One and PC Nov. 3. Sledgehammer Games/Activision

It would be hard for Sony to top 2015’s E3 , where they announced the Final Fantasy 7 Remake and induced a trance of delirious ecstasy whose remnants echo in the hearts of the faithful even now. Sony presents a clean press conference every year, and 2017 was no different, except….

Where were the indies and the new IPs? Where was the magic of the never-before-seen? I don’t mind an extended look at a game that’s been in development for a few years. I don’t mind all-new cinematic trailers for new titles. I definitely don’t mind remasters or remakes that bring iconic classics up to the modern age. I love seeing new entries to beloved franchises, games that take the best of what came before them and reveal creative twist after creative twist.

I don’t go into press conferences wanting to be a curmudgeon. I don’t watch beautiful trailers for games many people are anticipating eagerly or new entries in beloved series and look forward to taking a big ol’ steaming dump on them. But I do expect at least one golden egg in each press conference, an entirely new IP or a wildly fun and creative take on new series entrants, and it just doesn’t feel like we have that. Here’s a detailed look at Sony’s E3 2017 press conference to explain exactly why I left the presentation with a lingering sense of disappointment.

We have an expansion for Horizon: Zero Dawn called “The Frozen Wilds,” which promises to be a fantastic look at new facets of an engaging, exciting world...

…. A world we have already seen, because Horizon: Zero Dawn came out earlier this year. It’s great, and the trailer is cinematic and beautiful, and it’s really, really nice and all, but not only is it not a new IP, it’s not even a new full game. At least it’s coming out later this year, though.

We’ve got Uncharted: Lost Legacy :

Looks fantastic, like every Uncharted game. There are already four existing Uncharted games and a bevy of other spin-off media, so this is not exactly dipping a toe into a vast pool of untapped potential. At least it’s out Aug. 22.

We have Days Gone:

This year’s Sony press conference gave us an extended look at Sony Bend’s upcoming zombie game… whose disquieting, tense look at these inhuman swarms was a highlight from last year’s E3 . I don’t want to see things I saw hyped up last year come back with longer trailers or more emphasis this year. I want to see the game and then play it a few months later so that next year’s press conference isn’t just raising hype for a game they’ve already raised hype for. Is this so difficult? What am I missing here? Perhaps we should stop making trailers for games who are only barely past the “Wouldn’t this be cool?” stage and save them for later in the development cycle.

Shadow of the Colossus:

Again: looks gorgeous and epic…. and is a remake (of a beloved, proven classic that has stood the test of time, to be sure). But when do I get a chance to love something new? Why did Sony go into E3 2017 without a new IP that might have the chops to become a modern classic? Something new for a fresh generation to hang their hearts on?

Call of Duty: World War II:

Call of Duty is going to make money for Sony until the end of time, but that still doesn’t make it fun or exciting to see the forty-seventh trailer for the billionth entry in the series.


Final Fantasy 15 fishing? Skyrim on its eightieth platform?

At least Moss looked cute and fresh:

However, VR doesn’t exactly have a low barrier to entry, especially since many people still suffer from motion sickness while playing. VR might be the future, but the future is not now.

God of War:

I know so many people love these games, but we saw a gameplay trailer for God of War last year. How many titles from last year do we have to see again in one press conference?

Detroit : Become Human:

I’m personally looking forward to this game because I mourn Almost Human like a lost son, but we saw it last year, too. You could make a supercut of Sony’s E3 2017 press conference using only the titles seen at E3 2016 and not miss much.


It looks good. It looks slick. It looks like it has all the fun of the Arkham games married to the freewheeling sense of movement you absolutely need to have for a good Spider-Man game. But I am so inundated with superheroes at this point that I can barely tell all their series entries apart. Miles Morales, though! That woke me up.

There was also a sprinkling of Destiny 2 , an announcement that Undertale was en route to both PS4 and Vita, and a new game (!!) called Hidden Agenda …. which is a co-op mobile horror game. Okay.

Overall, it feels like tons of Sony devs are working incredibly hard and doing exquisite, detailed work on a wide, varied bunch of expansions, sequels, remakes and reboots. Consumers get on Hollywood’s case for unoriginality, citing the very same boredom and fatigue that I felt during Sony’s E3 2017 press conference, so why should Sony’s gaming division be exempt? Bring me the indies. Bring me what’s new and unique. Don’t just reinvent the wheel, Sony.

Let’s wake us all up in 2018.

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