When it comes to keynotes, Sony has proven itself the master of the presser, especially in the wake of last year’s incredible spectacle. The conference felt more like an onstage performance; a masterstroke of slam dunk game announcements, pausing only to plug PSVR content and tease upcoming remakes of fan favorite games. And then there was the live orchestral soundtrack… Sony knows how to play to the crowd and build hype.
Teeing up big game announcements and then delivering in quick succession this year has seen the Japanese giants continue to soar to new heights. Its momentum this generation continues to build as the PS4 moves into top gear. The challenge moving forward, however, will be to ensure the PS4’s momentum doesn’t suddenly drop off. Fans have responded well to the far-flung content roadmap seen in previous E3 conferences, but what does the rest of the year hold? Sony’s track record releasing content in the fall this generation has been woeful thus far, so this E3 really needs to focus on the next six to twelve months. In the face of Microsoft’s upcoming Scorpio console and the expected release of Mario Odyssey on Nintendo Switch, that is an especially pertinent question. Sony will need to make sure it lays down a marker during this busy period.
The other major question mark is the future of PSVR, and how Sony conveys this message will be a key takeaway at this year’s E3. How much stage time is given to the fledgling VR hardware should give an indication of just how much Sony believes in its success. Given the hardware has sold respectably but now looks to be stuttering due to a lack of content, its user base will be watching with eager eyes. Indeed, having invested so much in the technology and proudly touting its potential (VR was given plenty of attention at last year’s conference), Sony is going to seriously ruffle feathers if it doesn’t pledge major support moving forward. Potential buyers and current owners will be hoping for content beyond the tech demos and shorter experiences that comprise most of PSVR’s library.