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The E3 2017 Game Plan: Sony – E3 2017

The E3 2017 Game Plan: Sony – E3 2017

Each year I struggle a bit in coming up with a semi-cheesy way to introduce E3 season.

Last year, I think I talked about father time continuously pushing the calendar, time marching on, or something along those lines.

This year let’s just cut to the chase, shall we?

It’s FRIGGIN E3 SEASON!

masterchiefhappeninggif

If you are playing games and somehow don’t get excited at the prospect of what could go down at the annual super-gathering of the industry’s insider’s, then what more can I say?

You kinda stink.

For the rest of us, E3 represents a gaming Christmas: a potential bonanza of dreams becoming reality.

Last year there was a ton of uncertainty. Would Sony be able to top their now legendary “E3 of Dreams?” Would Microsoft really announce multiple new iterations of the Xbox One? Would Nintendo be competitive with their decision to showcase a single game?

Now as we enter E3 2017, the tables are turned, and each of the big three have new stakes riding on the big show.

Sony – Can they remain the undisputed king and keep excitement high for the PlayStation 4?

Microsoft – Will Project Scorpio revitalize Xbox One development, or is this a desperate last stand?

Nintendo – Now that the sleeping giant has awoken, how much steam will the Nintendo Switch really have?

These are all fascinating questions that will play out over the next several weeks, and we here at Nerd Bacon will be on hand to bring you the answers.

Recently, we began our annual series with Nintendo and explored the possibilities in store for the Switch’s E3 debut. We then took a hard look at Microsoft, and examined what they have on the line on their journey to E3 2017. Today we finish our series with a look at Sony. Will they try to shock the world again at E3 2017? Or do they even have to do this year?

Please keep in mind that this article is based solely on my opinion and speculation. I don’t have any inside info on what may or may not be presented at their respective conferences and I may be entirely off-base on my predictions, however if I somehow manage score at least a 90% on those predictions, I respectfully request that you honor my mental acumen by sending me a box of cookies.


sony

Sony’s undisputed success this generation has been so absolute, it’s as if they have received a divine mandate from God.

Yes; that is a ridiculous statement to make, but hear me out. Name a single mistake that Sony has made, from the conception of, to the launch of the PlayStation 4?

Yeah, can’t really think of anything either, can you?

So let’s give credit where credit is due; Sony has learned from the mistakes of their arrogant launch of the PlayStation 3, as well as mistakes made by Microsoft prior to the launch of the Xbox One, and has delivered a clear and consistent message that has resonated with the market.

Their patience in allowing their internal studios to ramp up development, along with smart strategic alliances with major third-parties, has resulted in a bountiful harvest of amazing titles – all of which are exclusively available on the platform.

Horizon: Zero Dawn, which launched in February, is simply one of the best games on the PlayStation 4

Horizon: Zero Dawn, which launched in February, is simply one of the best games on the PlayStation 4.

In this first quarter we have seen a beautiful and charismatic platform game in Gravity Rush 2; we saw a brand-new, major franchise debut with Horizon: Zero Dawn; and we saw a plethora of third-party exclusives with: Persona 5, Nioh, and Nier: Automata.

Any one of these games could win a game of the year award handily, so it’s extraordinary to see all of this arrive on a single platform within the first three months of a year.

The rest of 2017, into 2018 look similarly bright. God of War is on the horizon, as is Spider-Man, Dragon Quest XI, Knack 2, Gran Turismo Sport, and a host of others. Future games like Death Stranding and The Last of Us: Part II will ensure that excitement continues to surround the PlayStation 4 well into 2019.

As far as their past E3 presentations are concerned – there really are no concerns.

Spider-man is one of the myriad of titles that are on the horizon for PlayStation 4.

Spider-Man is one of the myriad of titles that are on the horizon for PlayStation 4.

Sony has figured out that E3 press conferences can no longer continue to be carried out in the same way that they have been since press conferences began. That is: a bunch of dudes in suits pretending to be hip and blabbering on, when all you want to do is see game footage.

What Sony did with their E3 2016 event was transform it into a sort of performance piece. Cut to a bare minimum were the exec’s (Although to be fair, I will greatly miss Adam Boyes, who left Sony and is now with Iron Galaxy) in suits – in their place was a live orchestra accompanying trailer after trailer of game footage, beginning with the glorious introduction to God of War.

Sony even succeeded with their launch of the premium version of the PlayStation 4 hardware: the PlayStation 4 Pro.

This was again, a fantastic example of clear messaging, as there was no confusion over what the system was, and any fears about the company foolishly fragmenting their user base ala Sega, were alleviated.

There are only two stumbles we can really see in Sony’s performance this generation.

First, is their abandonment of the PS Vita.

While the Vita was a really amazing little device, it became another in the long line of well-intentioned devices that broke like waves crashing into the stone wall that is Nintendo, and their 3DS.

The other stumble has been the PlayStation VR, which, while being nice piece of affordable technology, lacks a compelling reason for people to own, other than the novelty of its being a virtual reality device.

RIP

It’s a cool piece of technology, but there is still no killer app for the PlayStation VR.

As disappointing as the Vita’s failure to endure is, it’s hard to place blame squarely on Sony’s shoulders. The fact is Nintendo has owned the handheld space ever since the created it with the Game Boy, and that iron grip shows no signs of relenting now that the Nintendo Switch is in the wild.

As for VR; Sony still has time. A couple of well-placed games that take full advantage of, and push the boundaries of what can be done with VR, and that peripheral will be back on track.

But these minor stumbling blocks are merely ancillary to the PlayStation 4 story. Sony’s dominance this generation has been as absolute as Sherman’s march to the sea. As of December of last year, there have been 50 million units sold, and while Sony is conservatively estimating that sales will begin to slow, there is really no reason for that to occur. As long as Sony continues to generate excitement with their software, prospective players looking for the best home console experience will continue to flock to the Sony brand.

While Microsoft will no doubt generate a ton of headlines at E3 2017 with their debut of Project Scorpio, Sony won’t have to worry much about dealing with that machine head-on for a little while.

Scorpio’s market will be towards the hard-core enthusiast crowd; the crowd that most likely already owns a PlayStation 4. Where Sony will succeed is in further price reductions of the base PS4 model, which I fully expect to happen this holiday. Once the PS4 comes down to the $199 price range, it becomes an impulse buy item – something a more casual player looking to tool around with a game once in a while can purchase rather comfortably.

The bigger question is what kind of an impact will the Nintendo Switch have on the casual audience?

Switch’s novel approach of being a portable home console gives it the type of hip edge enjoyed by brands like Apple. If Nintendo is able to continue to produce enough units, games, and hype, it might erode the casual audience that Sony hopes to attract with their lower price point.

Nevertheless, it’s been a great ride for the PlayStation 4. As long as they continue to stay on-point with messaging, software and value, it would be easy to see them reaching 60 – 80 million units sold range by the end of the year.


Predictions

Sony has spent the last two years astounding the gaming world with their E3 presentations.

E3 2015 was dubbed the E3 of dreams; bringing a trio of announcements once thought impossible. Their follow up in 2016 was a graceful transition into the realm of performance – one that shows the company truly understands the value of approaching the annual E3 confab as a piece of entertainment, rather than an info dump.

As we head into E3 2017, I actually expect Sony to have the more conservative showing of the big three console manufacturers. They simply don’t need to have any mega-ton announcements this year. That’s not to say I expect their conference to be bad, it’s just that what I’m expecting is that they follow up on the foundations of the past two years, and tie up the lose ends of “coming soon” software with solid release dates.

We're going to get a ton more God of War at E3 2017.

We’re going to get a ton more God of War at E3 2017.

We know God of War will be returning at E3 2017. There is a huge ad for the game going up on the side of a building in Los Angeles in time for the event. Expect a nice gameplay demonstration (okay.. really nice!) and an early 2018 release date.

We will most definitely get an extended look at Insomniac’s Spider-Man game. I actually think that’s the title that will open the show for Sony. With a huge Marvel Universe cinematic debut this summer, the logical bet is that Spider-Man leads the PS4’s holiday charge. Look for a September date.

Let’s not for get that Gran Turismo Sport is right around the corner too! We’ll get another trailer and a release date, probably in October.

This year we might finally get a clue as to why Norman Reedus is walking around buck naked in Death Stranding

This year we might finally get a clue as to why Norman Reedus is walking around buck naked in Death Stranding.

Hideo Kojima will be back with the first gameplay demonstration for Death Stranding. While I don’t believe that it will be out until 2018 at the earliest, it will still be nice to get a clue as to what the hell is going on with the plot of this title.

This year’s shock announcement was supposed to be that The Last of Us: Part II teaser that we got at PlayStation Experience in December, but hey – we got it early! That’s cool. Unfortunately, I don’t feel that TLoU:II will be at E3 2017. That’s going to be a late 2018 – early 2019 game.

Two years ago we did get a shock announcement of Final Fantasy VII: Remake, however, not much has been heard about the game since. It’s time for Square Enix to remind us of why we want this thing so badly. So watch for an extended gameplay trailer! While I’m still holding hope that this episodic release will see its first part released by the end of the year, (to mark Final Fantasy VII’s 20th anniversary) things aren’t looking good. Square Enix took part of the development away from third-party developer CyberConnect2 and moved it in-house; which means things aren’t progressing as quickly as anyone wants.

Still holding out hope we will see this before the Lord Jesus returns

Still holding out hope we will see this before the Lord Jesus returns.

The big question a lot of people are asking is: where the hell is Kingdom Hearts III!?

While there’s no way we will see a 2017 release at this point, it would be nice to get some idea of what is happening with the game. I still believe in a Switch port for some stupid reason, but I’m not ruling out at least a trailer for the game. Odds are 50/50.

Speaking of third-party’s, let’s talk about Capcom.

Poor, crazy Capcom is either riding high with brilliant games like Resident Evil VII, (I keep having to remind myself that it came out this year. There’s just been so much amazing stuff this year, it’s hard to keep track) or they’re wallowing in the depths of despair with Street Fighter V.

If Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is bomba, well, Capcom's screwed.

If Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is bomb, well, Capcom’s screwed.

Capcom will for sure be around to show off Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. Hopefully that game will turn out great, but after the problems surrounding SFV, I’m keeping my guard up.

Speaking of Street Fighter V; rumors are starting to float around that we WILL get an upgrade to Super Street Fighter V this year. This supposed upgrade would include an Arcade mode, a new Story mode, and a lot more. Best part about the rumor is that this upgrade would be FREE for all of us who own the game. The question will be: is it too little too late?

That’s not all that will be coming out of the Capcom camp this year. Expect the revival of one their classic franchises to be announced at Sony’s event!

Right now the smart money is on Devil May Cry 5. While that would certainly be cool, I like to think outside the box.

Isn’t the time right for the rebirth of Mega Man? After all, there is a new animated series coming out.

Or how about looking at the success of Nioh? Capcom renewed their copyright on Onimusha last year. Wouldn’t it be wild to see a reboot of that franchise in the style of Nioh/Dark Souls? I don’t think any of those are out of the realm of possibility.

Its not impossible! We could see a return of Onimusha at E3 2017

Its not impossible! We could see a return of Onimusha at E3 2017.

Bottom line is: One of those three title mentioned above is going to come back, and it’s going to happen this year!

Let’s end with some wild speculation.

There is a void in all of our hearts that was left when Konami decided to go insane and drive Kojima Productions, along with Metal Gear, from their ranks.

Twenty years ago, there used to be a series that could have been considered the Sony-led alternative to Metal Gear.

You know what I’m talking about!

Syphon Filter!!

I’m going to make the bold and baseless prediction that a Syphon Filter reboot is in the works, and that Sony will show it off this year as their shock announcement.

We may never get a real Metal Gear again, but I think chances of seeing Syphon Filter again are better than we think!

We may never get a real Metal Gear again, but I think chances of seeing Syphon Filter again are better than we think!

Yeah, it won’t be as cool as FFVII: Remake; but hey, it’s something.


There you have it – my thoughts on what we might expect from Sony at E3 2017.

Make sure you join us live on Twitch.tv/nerdbacon for our live coverage of Sony’s E3 2017 event. You’ll be able to interact with and watch us react to all the announcements live!

Our coverage kicks off Sunday, June 12th at 8:00pm EST.

And of course, let me know what you think about my predictions in the comments section below.

Written by The Watchman

The Watchman


The Watchman is a journeyman gamer who has seen and played a good chunk of gaming history.
He’s also an actor, a reporter, a pro wrestling connoisseur, and some say he’s a cat whisperer.
If you have any questions or just want to drop me a line, hit me up at thewatchman@nerdbacon.com
Or follow me on Twitter @DavetheWatchman
You can also game with me!
Look me up on Xbox Live @ DJKhadoken
Or on PlayStation Network @ Eaglevision_dl

 
 

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  1. Nerdberry
    Nerdberry says:

    You aren’t kidding about the $199 price point being a draw for casual gamers. I haven’t played a game in like… 3 months but I would buy a PS4 if it were marked down that cheap.

     

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