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Sony E3 2017: What to expect

It’s going to be all about the games

Annual E3 Gaming Conference In Los Angeles Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Sony has long had some of the best press conferences at E3, and that history has been helped by the fact the company doesn’t mind taking the time to slam Microsoft when the opportunity arises. Those chances are going to be harder to find this year — Sony even handed a talking point to Microsoft this week — but the PlayStation 4 family of consoles will likely stick to what it does best: Games.

Still, hardware is a thing

A gold PlayStation 4 will be on sale for $249.99 during the show itself, and it wouldn’t be shocking if that price drop was made permanent during the press event.

Sony will have to compete with the more powerful Xbox Scorpio in the future, and a good way to fight back would be to cut the price of the PlayStation 4 Pro console. It’s possible Scorpio will launch at $500 — $400 is less likely — so any downward price movement from the PlayStation 4 consoles will make Microsoft’s new hardware look even more expensive by comparison.

PlayStation 4 Pro / launch PlayStation 4 Scott Nelson/Vox Studios

It’s possible we’ll see a PlayStation VR price cut, but it’s more likely we’ll get a $399.99 bundle that comes with the camera and some premium games. Don’t expect a lot of focus to be put on PlayStation VR games in general, since VR titles are hard to show off in the press conference environment. There will be one or two titles, enough to show that Sony is still supporting the hardware, but it’s unlikely that PlayStation VR will be a focus during the event.

If anyone says the word “Vita” at all, drink. Expect sobriety. What else are we excited about?

Death Stranding

We still don’t know what this game is, last year’s presentation was pleasantly inscrutable and it was fun trying to figure out what the hell is going on. Expect more of the same this year, although it would be great if we had some hint about kind of game it actually is.

On the other hand, it can be more fun to be left speculating about whales. The conversations and social media jokes about Death Stranding will likely be more enjoyable than the game itself — hold those tomatoes — and it’s neat to have a game with so much fan interest that carries so few expectations with it.

Shenmue 3

This isn’t a PlayStation exclusive, but Sony is providing marketing support and launched the game’s Kickstarter onstage in 2015. It’s been pretty quiet since then, so a new trailer or any new information would be very welcome.

Days Gone and God of War

Expect lengthy, in-game demos of both games, and expect them to look great. Sony is also likely to lean into just how good both games will look on the PlayStation 4 Pro, yet another reason to upgrade into the newer system after they announce that price drop we speculated about before!

The biggest one: Surprises!

This is what we expect from Sony, and this is how Sony makes the biggest possible splash in 2017. We know we’re going to see a bit more Spider-Man in action, and that’s probably going to look great. But more detail about games we knew existed aren’t what get people standing in the aisles. You need surprises for that, and Sony tends to deliver them.

Remember when Last Guardian came back? Do you remember that first Resident Evil 7 reveal? Sony has delivered more amazing surprises at E3 than perhaps any other platform holder, and the company is very good at making them stick.

And that’s why Sony may be the most exciting of the press conferences to think about; we don’t know what we don’t know about, and Sony always makes it feel like anything could be on the table for a reveal. The surprises are the best part.

Jumping Flash VR

Hey, I’m not hurting any of you by hoping, so leave me alone.

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