No PSX this year bums us out, but may be the best move in the long run.
For the last several years, PlayStation has found a way to continue the conference hype of E3, Paris Games Week, and TGS months after the fact, with PlayStation Experience serving as another home for big reveals. And while the confirmation that there will be no PSX 2018 is a bummer for PlayStation fans, myself included, Sony’s behavior over the last year is indicative of the fact that they don’t need PSX to deliver important news or celebrate big releases.
While PSX allows fans to come together and demo tons of upcoming and recently released PlayStation games, its place as a centerpiece for the entire PlayStation community is waning given Sony’s recent strategy and last year’s underwhelming show.
PSX 2016 opened with the announcement of Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, months before its release, and closed with the room-shattering debut of The Last of Us, Part II. These announcements capped a year of reveals — Death Stranding, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Days Gone, and God of War among them. There is arguably no better year of announcements this generation than PlayStation’s 2016, which painted what Sony’s landscape for likely the rest of the PS4’s life would look like.
Because that year included so many debuts, subsequent shows couldn’t quite live up to expectations. PSX 2017 didn’t have the same waterfall of jaw-dropping announcements. The opening show keynote highlighted big Sony marquee games, but almost everything — save for Concrete Genie and a MediEvil remake — was already a known quantity. The pacing felt off, like it was filling for time, and subsequent panels retread familiar territory.
Following the huge slate of announcements from combined showings at Paris Games Week 2017 and this year’s subdued E3, Sony has had to largely rely on showcasing the same stable of titles. And not having yet another showcase before these games launch is the best thing Sony could do right now to not overplay its upcoming titles.
There’s no need to stretch productions thin, and we’ve already seen plenty about The Last of Us Part II, Death Stranding, Days Gone, and Dreams. Trotting them all out again to show — and possibly spoil — fascinating parts of these games could lead to more fatigue than excitement.
Sony’s behavior over the last year is indicative of the fact that they don’t need PSX to deliver important news. God of War’s release date was announced in a blog post in January, and Spider-Man’s date similarly debuted in April. More recently, most of the world got the TGS announcement of the PlayStation Classic from Twitter. Sony has found success in offering some of its biggest games individual spotlights throughout the year, allowing them to not just dominate the discussion two days out of the year, but a dozen.
It’s a shame to not have that end of year experience to look forward to, but we still have The Game Awards. (Given its slate of announcements last year, I’d expect we’re in for something even bigger from TGA this year.) And whatever PlayStation has to come in 2019 and beyond, we’ll likely find out when it’s ready to be revealed, and not just when Sony has rented out an Anaheim conference center.
Jonathon Dornbush is Tech’s News Editor and PlayStation Lead. He hopes he can eventually attend PSX one day. Talk to him about what he’s playing on Twitter @jmdornbush.