PGW 2017: Sony Press Conference Recap And Analysis
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At Paris Games Week, Sony held a press conference that got a bit more hype than expected for such a small affair. Instead of taking it easy leading up to PSX, Sony took the brash route of launching a slew of announcements and trailers for upcoming games on the PS4 and PlayStation VR.
Though there were no major game reveals coming out, a lot of the spotlight was given to independent game studios and the new games coming to Sony’s PSVR. In a market dominated by sequels and remasters, the nod towards new and innovative concepts was a refreshing break. Sure, Sony took the time to remind viewers of Destiny’s expansion, Call of Duty coming out soon, and God of War still being a thing, but at least the whole show wasn’t devoted to those big titles.
Interestingly the first hour, which was covered by a panel of PlayStation-oriented personalities, was almost entirely dedicated to VR games. Up until this point, the VR space has felt all but dead in the water, with no major releases having come to Oculus or Vive in ages. Instead of backing down though, Sony took the chance to push their peripheral even further, announcing numerous third-party games coming to their platform in the near future.
Some of the properties felt a bit forced, like Final Fantasy XV spin-off Monster of the Deep, which just focuses on the fishing portion of the main game. Other games, though, demonstrated that perhaps Sony knows what they want to do with VR. Blood and Truth was a particularly intense trailer that showed some first-person VR action that didn’t look stiff or clunky, as VR is wont to look. Though I didn’t feel any of the games were major selling points for the VR set, Sony is demonstrating that they are still very much behind this technology moving forward. Perhaps VR still has a chance to break out and be something this generation. Or not.
Of course, with any big press conference, you have to remind the audience of all the games coming down the line, and Sony handled that in spades. Some of the time was given to the very-near releases of Call of Duty: WWII and Star Wars: Battlefront II, which was unfortunate. These games have had their betas already, so there’s really nothing to be surprised about when the trailers are more of the same.
We get it, they’re big releases across all systems, and you have to pay service to the companies behind them, but let’s not shove it down our throats too much. New trailers were released for God of War and the Shadow of the Colossus remake, two highly-anticipated products that absolutely delivered the hype necessary in the short gameplay shots.
For me, it was Concrete Genie that delivered something truly original. Coming from the makers of Entwined, Concrete Genie looks like a game that takes art to an interactive and accessible level for all, using the PlayStation controller as your paintbrush. The paintings come to life, illuminating a relatively dark city into something of an urban paradise while looking at the concept of bullying and its effects on a young boy. There’s a lot going on, but it looks like a game I could certainly get behind.
The main controversy from yesterday’s conference came from The Last of Us: Part 2. The trailer was objectively vicious, featuring two women being put through some serious pain before a shadowed figure takes care of the abusers. Yet, it’s in poor taste to show such heinous violence against women with no real objective behind it. The trailer was brutal for the sake of brutality, pulling in the viewer through depravity rather than actual story or intrigue. For me, I thought it looked awesome, but I could also completely understand how it may be offensive or unacceptable. Maybe these trailers are getting to be a bit too real.
All in all, Sony’s showing at PGW 2017 pretty solid press conference held for a show that is generally nothing special. The line-up looks to feature some impressive indie games, with a good mix of major titles coming up soon. One might even hope the VR is still in the growth phase, with bigger and better games just around the corner.