Pre-E3 2018 Roundup: Sony’s ‘Deep Dive’ Strategy

With Xbox falling behind PlayStation in terms of exclusive games lineup and market presence, Sony has taken a different route than usual with this year’s E3 2018 showcase. The PlayStation 4 will be front and center with no new hardware being shown, and the focus being completely on four upcoming PS4 games that are exclusive and mainly being produced in a traditionally “first-party fashion”.

In this article we will discuss what to expect from Sony at this year’s E3 event and how you can watch it from home. The potential for surprises is always there, and game companies have often used misdirection in the past to catch us off guard. However, it does seem that Sony is serious about giving focus to quality over quantity with this year’s event.

It’s also important to remind readers that “in-game” or “gameplay” are heavily abused words in this industry. Just because something is said to be running “in-engine” or any other combination of such terms, it doesn’t mean that’s how the final game will actually look and perform on the console you own. It’s okay to get excited for games, but to avoid a huge letdown upon release, be sure to remember that promotional materials are often doctored up and while they do well to express the spirit of a game they aren’t able to show exactly what it’s like. False hype aside, enjoy the show!

Sony will host a Press Conference at 6PM Pacific Time on Monday, June 11, 2018.

Confirmed: Sony will be hosting a different type of event than in previous years as they’ve remade and refreshed the formula for their E3 2018 showing. Less is more has become a mantra at PlayStation while they enjoy a hefty lead over their rival Microsoft with more than double the amount of consoles sold to date and as such the company is perhaps feeling the benefits of that comfort level. Instead of a flood of smaller announcements, Sony will focus this year’s E3 2018 press conference on deep dives meant to give large amounts of information to gamers about their biggest upcoming exclusive games.

Death Stranding – Not much is known about this mysterious title coming from Hideo Kojima after a scandalous falling out with Konami and the abrupt end of his work on the Metal Gear Solid franchise. Many are excited at the scope of the project which aims to combine cinematography with gameplay in an exciting and out-of-this world experience. Norman Reedus of The Walking Dead stars in a strange world that probably takes place in a very unique post-apocalyptic future in which beings from another dimension have changed everything about life for humankind. This title is a PlayStation 4 exclusive being developed by the revived Kojima Productions and will be the main focus of Sony’s E3 2018 event. A release date has not yet been announced for Death Stranding but the game isn’t expected to hit shelves until 2019 or perhaps 2020.

Ghost of Tsushima – A new IP from the team that brought you inFamous, Ghost of Tsushima takes place in the distant past. Players will become the ghost as they must defeat invading enemy forces without relying on their samurai ways. The title was first revealed at Paris Games Week 2017 and has been in pre-development since shortly after the release of the PlayStation 4. If we’re lucky, this could be the Onimusha replacement we’ve all been waiting so long for… or perhaps something even better.

Spider-Man – The simply named PS4 exclusive collaboration between Insomniac Games, Sony Interactive Entertainment, and Marvel will be heading to a global release on September 7, 2018. Series favorites such as massive open world web-slinging, stealth scenes, and quick time event combos have returned. Fans of the Spider-Man video games are excited with many expecting this entry to be the best yet, bringing the fun-factor seen in early PlayStation Spider-Man titles back into the spotlight. New features such as parkour and gadget crafting will also breathe new life into the title as it approaches a higher graphical fidelity than past super-hero games thanks to the PlayStation 4’s power.

The Last of Us Part II – The sequel to smash hit TLOU, TLOU:P2 sees the return of Ellie and Joel in Naughty Dog’s dystopian, zombie-filled survival horror title which focuses on single player cinematic storytelling and stealth action gameplay. The game that had such an emotional impact on players, it was similar to a film in many ways, will return some time this year or next year. We will probably get a final release date during the deep dive Sony is planning, and hopefully a detailed outlook on gameplay features that will innovate the title against its competition (some of which coming from Sony itself).

Speculation: Many gamers originally expected a new PlayStation to be announced at this year’s E3. While anything is possible, this was based on PlayStation 5 Rumors revolving around pre-dev kits allegedly being received at top tier game development companies. This was likely just Sony making sure that devs have multiple years to work on launch titles for a next-gen console that we could see in 2021, according to their latest statements related to “winding down” this generation. That’s a big leap from 2018 and as far as this year goes, Sony has stated that there will not be any new hardware announcements at E3 2018. That being said, it also appears that the various New IP which have been in development for the PS4 will make the second half of this generation the most satisfying.

Sony is expected to have a few third-party exclusivity announcements, an indie games highlight reel, and outside of the press conference has already begun to show titles like Days Gone and Dreams to the public in a more detailed way. This means they probably won’t have an E3 presence this year. Some expect God of War to receive a story mode DLC, while other speculation includes a detailed look at From Software’s New IP and Fallout 4 coming to PlayStation VR. Black Ops 4 and Devil May Cry 5 are speculated to make an appearance, however minor it may be.

Some even think Square Enix will show off Final Fantasy VII Remake again, but that’s very unlikely as the project recently switched development teams and is in bad shape at the moment. Others think Rockstar Games will use Sony to show off Red Dead Redemption II, but this is also unlikely as PS4 is well ahead of other consoles and would be better off to continue showing reasons that players need a PS4 to play the best games. Sony claims their main showing will be concise and revolve around the deep dives on Death Stranding and titles listed above, but they’re always one to have surprises, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Where to watch it from home: PlayStation Website, PlayStation YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, or the PS4’s E3 App.

Update: Sony has released a new trailer for their E3 showcase:

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