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Sony’s Paris Games Week Press Conference Didn’t Live Up To The Hype

by Jelani James


Sony’s PlayStation Paris Games Week press conference has come and gone, and I can’t help but feeling a bit disappointed with what transpired.

After skipping out on PGW in 2016, Sony announcing that it would be attending this year had many excited for what was to come. Naturally, Sony used this excitement to its advantage and hyped up its press conference whenever it could, even boldly proclaiming last Friday that, “E3 was only half the story.”

The implications of such a statement were clear: Sony’s PGW press conference would be as “good” as the one at E3 2017. All Sony really did at E3 was showcase titles that the public had already known about, so the expectation for PGW was for Sony to show more brand-new titles that would get fans pumped for 2018 and beyond.

With such expectations, fans let their imaginations run wild over the weekend, with many tossing about expected reveals such as Bloodborne 2 or Devil May Cry 5. Granted, those expectations were unrealistically optimistic, but its not hard not to set the bar high when Sony hyped up its own event in the manner that it did.

For my part, I didn’t really care what Sony showcased during the press conference. When my titles of choice include stuff like Senran Kagura, Yakuza and Nights of Azure, events focusing mostly on titles developed by American-based companies don’t really interest me. There are exceptions of course: The Last of Us and God of War are favorites of mine, for example. So long as the reveals were interesting overall, then I would be up for anything.

However, even with such meager expectations, the PlayStation Paris Games Week press conference still managed to disappoint me a little.

The event started off on a high note, with Sony showing off Guacamelee 2 — a sequel to 2013’s Guacamelee. I was a big fan of the original and I wasn’t anticipating a sequel, so this announcement was extremely welcome. However, the pre-show could have ended right there because that was the highlight for me. Yes, Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ignis and The Gardens Between were cool, but they were drowned out by a deluge of VR titles.

Quite frankly, I’m still not sold on VR. Even after a year, Sony has yet to convince me that getting a headset would be worth the purchase. Not only is PlayStation VR expensive, but a good portion of the titles offered are full-priced ones. As far as I’m concerned, even with games such as Blood and Truth, Moss and Monster of the Deep: Final Fantasy XV, a small handful of games won’t make me want to purchase a PlayStation VR — especially if the games themselves lack replay value.

Admittedly, I might be coming off as a little unfair to Sony as far as the pre-show is concerned. I would have perhaps been more receptive towards that showcase if I owned a PlayStation VR. However, if Sony’s goal was to convince those who don’t own a PSVR to get one by showing off new games that would be arriving in the future, then it didn’t really do a good job.

When all was said and done, I just felt the pre-show was…empty. While some titles did interest me, only three legitimately excited me and that was over the course of an hour. However, as advertised, it was merely the pre-show: Sony was saving the heavy hitters for the Media Showcase.

“I own a PlayStation 4!,” I thought as it started. “This will certainly be better!”

Well, I was right…kinda.

What does Destiny 2, God of War, Call of Duty: WWII, Shadow of the Colossus, Detroit: Become Human, Horizon Zero DawnMonster Hunter: World and Spider-Man have in common? If your answer is that none of these are new reveals, then you’d be right. Outside of Destiny 2Call of Duty: WWII and Horizon Zero Dawn which got their DLC release dates announced, all of these games were shown off by Sony at one point or another and merely got new trailers.

Granted, the trailers were a treat to watch — Detroit: Become Human’s in particular. That game wasn’t even on my radar before, but it sure as hell is now.

As much as I liked the trailers, the fact of the matter is that they were still for games we mostly knew about since 2016. The excitement just wasn’t there for me like in years past.

Fortunately, Sony did show off two new games: Ghost of Tsushima and Concrete Genie. The former is a samurai-themed game developed by Sucker Punch Productions, the studio behind the Sly Cooper and Infamous franchises, while the appears to be some type of puzzle/adventure game developed by Pixelopus, the studio behind 2014’s Entwined. There still isn’t much beyond their basic concepts, but they do look promising.

Then lastly, there’s The Last of Us 2, which got also got a new trailer. Just like Detroit: Become Human, TLoU 2 was one of the highlights of the Media Showcase and in just a few short minutes, we see someone being hanged, another person getting shot in the head by an arrow and one last person getting their head bashed in with a hammer. What’s particularly important about this trailer, however, is that it revealed just how little we know about the title. Fans assumed this would be just another tale about Joel and Ellie, but now we know there are at least three more characters who will likely be important to the plot. Now the important question is whether their story will be self-contained or connect with Joel and Ellie’s in some way.

Again, it might seem I’m being a little unfair here. There is no rule that says Sony can’t release mostly reveal trailers for games we’ve seen before (and, as I’ve said before, they’re GOOD), but my issue is that its PlayStation Paris Games Week press conference didn’t meet the expectations that Sony had set for itself and I’m sure I wouldn’t be writing this if it wasn’t for last week’s announcement.

Remember, I’m more interested in the sorts of titles that would debut at Tokyo Game Show. I had no real expectations for the event outside of what Sony stated, so all it had to do (as far as I’m concerned), was show me enough to keep me somewhat excited and looking forward to the next reveal.

Unfortunately, that’s not what happened. I considered the possibility of Sony over-hyping the event and I feel like that is exactly what occurred, even if the event itself was fairly good overall.

Sony didn’t tell the second half of a story it started at E3…it just told a little bit more of the first one.

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