Another year goes by and Sony has made the PlayStation experience an annual event for all gamers to look forward to. With so many titles scheduled for 2016 and Sony targeting the VR market, on could only make an educated guess that we would see some VR announcements in this year's PlayStation experience event. This year's event took place in San Francisco, and regretfully enough I was unable to go given the high volume of work that needs to be completed at the end of the year. That being said I was still able to watch the live stream online (thanks IGN).
Now let's talk about the actual experience, although there were many announcements I feel this year there were not that many first party games being showcased by Sony. We had the expected list of games, Uncharted 4, the annualized MLB game but I expected to see more of a Sony presence in this year's show in comparison to last year where it felt as if they had a much stronger presence.
That being said, it has been a good year for Sony and the time not filled by Sony was filled by other publishers that had a, for lack of a better word, "good" lineup. This year wasn't "great" and this may be contributed to a lack of focus on some of the announcements. Several parts of the show felt like filler and in the end hurt the overall show rather than help it. This year's PSX had some surprising announcements and trailers. Square Enix showcasing the Final Fantasy VII Re-make was remarkable in of in itself, however trailers being shown of things we had already seen, like the Call of Duty Black Ops 3 DLC trailer toned us down.
So what else was great about the show? Sony hit Virtual Reality hard in this show, and there were many interesting demos, some of which showed the potential behind a VR experience. I was personally excited with trailers showcasing the new Psychonauts and Rez properties. I was pleased with these two announcements since Psychonauts was a great Double Fine game that I enjoyed thoroughly on PS2. And REZ was fun without VR, I can imagine just how much fun this would be using Sony's VR console. I called it a console for a reason. It seems Sony is pitching VR as a separate console. Now, I'm all for an enhanced experience but most of the demos I saw showcased did not seem to fully explore the possibilities available through a VR only experience.
If Sony is to go the VR route they need to commit and not stop half way like they did the PlayStation move. Sony needs to get more talented developers like Double Fine to develop experiences people want to be part of for their new VR console. Only then will it be taken seriously.
Last but not least let’s talk about my favorite reveals; Sony showcased Uncharted 4 and what seemed to be a dialog tree during gameplay. I don't know what this was about but I think the Naughty Dog team is ready to take their storytelling to the next level with the Uncharted series. I did not want to see more of Uncharted, usually I like when developers just provide small bits and pieces of the game. Then we saw a glimpse of Ni No Kuni 2, which melted my heart. I’ve never been a fan of Pokémon but did I play Ni No Kuni. This collaboration with Studio Ghibli looked superb and what’s even better is that it’s coming to PS4 and I can’t wait for them to continue showing more trailers for this beautiful game.
So in the end, was I happy with what was showcased?
I would say I was very happy to see some announcements. However, the rush for a fresh and innovative new PlayStation experience was quickly extinguished by other announcements I personally found did not add any value to the brand. If Sony decides to do this again next year they should really focus on making a focused show that showcases the great set pieces and leave the filler out. I would’ve been more impressed if the show did not take as long as it did and if it showed their biggest releases for 2016 and maybe 2017.
In comparison to last year I would rate this year’s overall show a 6/10 given that I know Sony could’ve executed a better show.