Sony's E3 2018 Conference Designed in Response to "Shallow" Events in the Past

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Sony did things very differently this year during E3 2018. Not only did they have a much smaller showcase than usual, they made it interactive for attendees to enjoy. From the low-lit "church," to the stunning walkway to immerse one's self with the environment of Ghost of Tsushima, it was a very hard pivot from their usual (though we thoroughly enjoyed it!). Because of the changes, however, many were wondering why the sudden change? According to Sony, it was in response to their "shallow" previous showcases.

Sony Worldwide Studios' Michael Denny recently sat down to talk about their showcase with GameIndustry.biz and he mentioned that the entire goal was to strive for something "different." He stated, "At PlayStation, we do like to do things different, push some boundaries here and there." He then added, "This time, we did want it to have a focus on the big four exclusive titles and go in-depth more on those games."

Speaking of their "shallow" conferences in the past, Denny talked about how the sequential showcases tended to hurt them of just "back-to-back," "... and we were trying to give it more of a community with the themed element, particularly with The Last of Us Part 2 and then following into the themed areas. It was a different approach, it was about letting the games speak for themselves."

Being there in person, I will say that once we moved out of the initial "church" area, the immersion was immediate. When we first walked in, pretty much everyone there was confused and more than a little cramped. That unfortunately hindered the enjoyment of the initial The Last of Us theme being played, but with how gorgeous that gameplay trailer was - the discomfort was promptly forgotten. Once we exited that area, we were guided into an outside area molded to that of Ghost of Tsushima, which was so serene and absolutely perfect. From there, it was onwards to the second, and final, part of the conference where everyone was comfortably seated and ready to be blown away.

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In person, it was a change but one that was worth it. That being said, it didn't translate that well to those watching from home and a lot of what made it immersive was lost. But they tried something new and if they continue to tweak upon that, I'm confident that they can find a healthy medium between new and old.