What does Sony have in store at E3? What’s worth watching for? As it turns out, a lot.
It’s that time of the year again, folks. No, not the time where you buy a bunch of games off Steam and leave them to rot in your library for all eternity. We’re talking about getting hyped and not totally believing every single in-engine trailer that’s thrown your way. The time to wrestle with expectations, tempering them accordingly lest people make fun of you for getting too excited (how were you supposed to know that Mass Effect: Andromeda would be “meh” anyway?). It’s E3 2017 speculation/preview time!
The focus is on Sony’s E3 presser which takes place on June 12th at 6 PT. After shipping some 60 million units, dominating the year with some solid exclusives and prepping several more for later, Sony has definitively reaffirmed its pack leader status. How could you top a period that had Horizon: Zero Dawn, Tales of Berseria, Gravity Rush 2, Nioh, Yakuza 0 and Persona 5? You can’t. There isn’t a quarter for any platform in recent memory that’s been as chockfull of high-quality titles as Q1 2017 for the PS4.
"Now Detroit: Become Human? Forget about that in 2017."
With its E3 presser, however, Sony will be looking forward. Though Guerrilla Games has confirmed that a story expansion is in development for Horizon: Zero Dawn, it’s not likely to be seen. The announcement of a name and a projected release date seem realistic though. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy will have more gameplay footage and since that’s out roughly two months after E3, it wouldn’t be odd for Sony to start hyping up their next major AAA story expansion early. We are also expecting that Sony will be showcasing Gran Turismo Sport as its big PS4 game for this year’s Holiday and it’s a fair assumption that the press event will end with some footage from The Last of Us: Part 2. We are also likely to see Sucker Punch’s new IP in some form at the conference.
Sony has this weird relationship with release dates where everything showcased looks great but is often a ways off (or dated at other places like PlayStation Experience or, well, the PlayStation Blog). That being said, I fully expect the next God of War to finally be – after all these rumours – confirmed for a 2018 release. They might even throw in something like “mid 2018”. Time will tell but considering the impact that the initial trailer had, I wouldn’t put it above Sony to start getting fans hyped for it. Expect more gameplay, especially another trailer that will be more dazzling than the last.
There hasn’t been much word on Days Gone since it was announced last year. My gut tells me its early days yet and we won’t see it till next year. However, I think Sony will drop a ton of information on the game and release it in time for the Fall deluge. The logic is this – Days Gone is a relatively new IP and nowhere near as epic (at first glance, at least) as something like Horizon: Zero Dawn. However, if it’s out this year, it provides competition for State of Decay 2 on the Xbox One, potentially siphoning interested consumers away with its own zombie motif. It’s not the best logic but hey, Days Gone can also add to what currently looks like a lean Fall release schedule for PS4.
Now Detroit: Become Human? Forget about that in 2017. Quantic Dream’s David Cage has already talked about how massive an undertaking this game is. When you consider how long it took for, say, Supermassive Games to bring out a decision-based cinematic adventure game like Until Dawn, Detroit: Become Human has very little chance of arriving this year. Yes, they’re very different circumstances but regardless, next year seems more reasonable for Detroit.
"I fully expect Red Dead Redemption 2 to make an appearance at Sony’s conference if only to confirm it’s release date."
What exactly is going on with Media Molecule’s Dreams though? Well, the beta will be happening this year so E3 will be the place for Sony to announce it. Maybe even launch the beta on June 12th itself. That’s all that’s going to be happening with Dreams this year it seems.
There are several wild cards in play as well. Knack 2 has been getting some positive impressions lately so more gameplay at E3 (and a possible release date) sounds fair. Death Stranding will probably get a new trailer, though Kojima and co. still seem a ways off with gameplay. I fully expect Red Dead Redemption 2 to make an appearance at Sony’s conference in some form. It’s something that happened with Grand Theft Auto 5 at E3 2014 when Rockstar announced that it would be arriving on current gen consoles. Spider-Man PS4 could receive its official name though any potential gameplay might still be in-engine. Then again there have been rumblings of a 2017 release date. Maybe we see some actual gameplay and it actually releases in early 2018? As for Kingdom Hearts 3…well, all we can do is pray at this point. Maybe Michel Ancel’s Wild will make an appearance as well because what else has he got to show?
Activision being Activision means they’ll unveil Call of Duty: WWII’s (along with Star Wars Battlefront 2) multiplayer at Sony’s presser. Single-player footage is also expected since it adds to the glitz and glamour and we fully expect to hear of that same 30 day DLC exclusivity agreement. PS4 first, Activision and Sony are friends, blah blah. I also expect a trailer for Destiny 2 to appear along with some footage from multiplayer. Bungie will likely allow competitive multiplayer to be played by outlets on E3’s show floor, thus allowing for a wide dissemination of positive opinion as opposed to a brief look that could cause doubt. But yes, look out for that PS4-exclusive content to be showcased as well because Bungie doesn’t miss Microsoft and isn’t trying to stick it to them. Not at all. Nope.
"Somehow, I feel like Sony will finally tell us when PS4 games will be coming to PlayStation Now."
I’m actually curious to see how Sony handles its PlayStation VR showcase this year. The second year is usually important for technology of this kind and since it’s apparently been doing well, there should be a few announcements. Like last year, I doubt it takes up too much time on stage. Ditto for the PlayStation Vita. Sony’s support for the handheld is actually pretty understated and while it will continue to receive games, it’s doubtful that it will have much presence on stage beyond “X indie game coming to PS4 and Vita”.
Somehow, I feel like Sony will finally tell us when PS4 games will be coming to PlayStation Now. Again, this would be more of an encroachment on Microsoft’s terrain than anything else. With all the talk of integration and unified platforms that Microsoft’s been on about, it wouldn’t be weird to see Sony try and take a piece of that cake. Or maybe I just really want to know when I can play PS4 games on the PC.
Finally, with Project Scorpio out this holiday season, the time feels ripe for Sony to cut some prices. It could be the PS4 Pro for a limited time or even PlayStation VR. Either way, Sony has a very comfortable E3 ahead of itself. If it sticks to its biggest names, announces a few new titles and presents a compelling Fall to Holiday 2017 schedule (and if Knack 2 doesn’t completely suck like the original) then this could be the best year yet for PS4 owners. Keep those “Remember: No Preorders” memes ready just in case though.
Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to GamingBolt as an organization.