Many gamers here and pretty much all over the place are walking away from Sony's keynote disappointed. Everyone perceives excitement and disappointment differently, but gamers in general seemed disappointed. Why? Reasons vary. Let's talk about why it disappointed: it had little in the way of big announcements (honestly, the Call of Duty/Battlefront news was pretty boring to me), VR wasn't exactly shown in a shining light, and many indies. But wait a minute...it sounds like people are upset because no real megaton announcements (subjective, and I'll get into that) were made and we didn't see any big budget titles at PSX 2015. Sounds an awful lot like we believe PSX would be similar to E3. Let's get into why that is honestly just bogus thinking.
I. E3 HAS TENURE
What's the biggest difference between E3 and PSX? Industry influence. PSX was an event Sony put together starting last year for PlayStation fans to let them know what else is coming in the near future. And frankly, placing it in December was genius. It tops off the year with some announcements that you can get excited for...or not. E3 has been around for a very long time. People get excited about E3 and is a widely sponsored event. PSX, not nearly as much. After all, this is only the second showing.
II. SONY IS NOT DIRECTLY COMPETING
Considering this is an event Sony throws together to communicate with fans and have those in attendance try out some tech and games, it's pretty low stakes. They don't have Microsoft or Nintendo to worry about. This is a laid back event where PlayStation gamers can play PlayStation and hear all about what's coming. E3 is far more competitive with everyone trying to usurp each other with big announcements. It sets aside all of the competition and spotlights Sony so they can share with their fans what's going on that they haven't touched upon previously in the year. That, and have more people try PlayStation VR. I love how PSX is about trying out their offerings, being rewarded for showing up, getting a heads up on what just became available on the PS Store mid-conference, and (a big one) providing an update on what developers have done with big games announced at E3. Last year at E3, they ended with Uncharted 4's debut and PSX showed gameplay. This year, Final Fantasy VII debuted and we saw gameplay at PSX. Remember reading your old GamePro or Electronic Gaming Monthly magazines and being happy to read each issue because it actually had information you didn't know before? You know, that time before the internet took off and was accessible to all? That's the vibe you can get from these PSX updates and it's pretty awesome. Imagine what will be shown next year after Uncharted 4 drops and there must be a new game to fill its hype. Hold on to that thought...
III. THEY CANNOT ALL BE BIG
Contrary to popular belief, Sony needs time to make the big budget games. In the meantime, enjoy these indies. And frankly, it's not a bad thing at all. Indies are often short, but there are plenty of them. There's a stigma to the announcement of indies before we even know anything about them and I don't get it. The definition of indie seems lost because of how we react to their announcements relative to AAA budget titles with publishers. Hellblade and No Man's Sky do a pretty great job of defying convention. Those are, surprise, independent titles...or indies. My point being, do you want Sony to have the money to bring you the next great AAA games or nah? Those titles cost money and you cannot, rather, ought not, sink endless gobs of money into big releases, especially if they need spaces between releases. That would be repeating another foolish mistake involving Square Enix, Bethesda, and a rival platform holder. That said, it is certainly unwise to plan to hit it out of the park with big games every conference. If you need to downsize for one, the homebrewed conference would be the one to do it.
IV. BLOCKBUSTERS: IN IMAX 3D OR ON TV?
That thought I asked you to hold? Thanks for holding. Now, what you believe to be huge announcements or not is completely subjective. But seriously, how are people NOT treating Ni No Kuni II as a big deal from Level-5? Yes, even I am a bit disheartened to know that they, to our knowledge, failed to materialize anything regarding Dark Cloud 3. Yeah, and? They just announced the sequel to a game co-created with Studio Ghibli. STUDIO. GHIBLI. They kind of made some amazing classics. You know, Howl's Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, what have you. The first Ni No Kuni showed the brilliance of their collaboration and now we get a sequel? Uh, huge win. HUGE. You simply might not know it yet. At any rate, let's talk about timing, okay? PlayStation Experience, as I mentioned, is simply Sony's time to shine and thank its fans. No fangs need baring. The event, to reiterate, shows you what's coming and give you updates. Last year had a very similar setup. Regardless, you still heard about new games, whether you know you want some of them or not. Now how about when you need to win over fans? When you need to really impress people? Do you do it at the established, long time event...or the personal show? Obviously, you go with the established event. You didn't hear about God of War at PSX. Or Sony Bend's new game. Nothing new regarding Gran Turismo. Really, no updates on Horizon? Okay, how about Shenmue III or any other left field games? You save it. You save it for the show that everyone knows and can watch in theaters where people can pour out of a theater excited as **** about what Sony has planned for PlayStation, that's what you do. And you know what? They just have to show a teaser and it'll get people excited. And then you know what? Give us all of the details at PSX. The fact that you have yet to hear much about these games should tell you now that their reveals and updates are likely to be bloody huge. And that's how you kill and wow your audience.
So in summary, Sony is very clearly planning these events with different purposes is mind. Calling PSX a disappointment because it was lacking in E3-scale announcements is a shame. I firmly believe PSX was never created to impress the same way as E3. Going forward, it's best for Sony to keep smaller game announcements and DLC deals along with game updates at PSX (unless the game is a huge deal, then an E3 update is sufficient--see Sony's use of Uncharted 4 at E3 2014, PSX 2014, E3 2015, and PSX 2015) and the new and big announcements at E3.
As always, thanks for reading and feel free to share your agreements/disagreements (civilly). If I can leave you with a few words of advice: don't be disappointed in PSX 2015 and eagerly look forward to E3 2016. I suspect it's going to be a crazy show.