Sony’s unusual conference was a misguided stumble for the platform holder

Sony’s E3 PlayStation conference was an experiential exploration of four of the company’s new titles that will surely get swallowed up in E3’s noise and fury.

The press conference promised deep dives into four of Sony’s biggest games, and it delivered on this, sandwiching announcements and trailers into the gaps between the big events. However, the pace of the conference was sedate with the audience being shifted between different rooms for each of the four big titles.

The conference was also bizarrely Lynchian, with slow musical performances and some sort of CGI creature from Dreams, Media Molecule’s title that wasn’t mentioned in any other capacity during the show. 

It’s an unusual move from Sony, an active step away from the structure they’ve followed for the last few years in favour of this experiment, which showed us more on the heavily anticipated Death Stranding, The Last of Us: Part II, Ghost of Tsushima and Spider-Man, but for the final big conference of the event it felt strangely anticlimactic.

The highlight of the muddled show was The Last of Us Part II’s opening, which showed a kiss between protagonist Ellie and a character called Dina. It’s a huge step forward for mainstream video game LGBT+ representation, and hopefully is a sign of more to come in a year when we’re starting to see female protagonists taking the lead in more and more big franchises, including The Last of Us Part II, Assassin’s Creed, Gears of War and even Wolfenstein’s new DLC.

The conference closed out with an audible groan as the audience realised there was no big secret surprise, and that Sony were playing it straight, and while it was an interesting idea, it’s definitely come across as the weakest conference in several years for the platform holder, with the pace failing to hold interest during its many lulls. 

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