What Did Sony Show at Its E3 Conference?

Did Sony deliver a good enough show to continue its mind share gains and look strong in the face of a comeback effort from Microsoft?

Jun 10, 2014 at 7:00PM

Sony (NYSE:SNE) has thus far enjoyed the frontrunner position in this round of the console race. What did the company have to show at this year's E3 press conference? Is the PlayStation 4 in good shape to retain market leadership?

Sony E3 Recap

Screen Shot

Source: DestinyTheGame.com

Sony's E3 show kicked off with a heavy focus on Activision Blizzard's new IP Destiny. The title has exclusive content on the PlayStation 4, and a white version of the console will ship on September 9 that includes a bundled copy of the game. The conference segued into a demonstration of The Order: 1866 and followed up with the unveiling of Entwined, a currently available PlayStation Network game. This was followed up by the announcement of new, stand-alone Infamous: Second Son DLC.

The next big game announced at Sony's show was Little Big Planet 3. The game will allow users to import levels built in Little Big Planet and Little Big Planet 2. The new platformer was followed by the unveiling of Bloodborne, from From Software, the developer of the popular Dark Souls series.

A big indie focus
Even before the launch of the PlayStation 4, it was clear that indie games would play a big role for the system. This year's E3 show was packed with indie games, the most interesting of which was probably No Man's Sky from Hello Games. The title makes use of randomly generated worlds and will allow players to meet up on interstellar travels. Also notable was ABZU from That Game Company.

Exclusive content, games, and partnerships
Moving away from indies, Dead Island 2 was the next big game shown. The title will have exclusive content on PlayStation platforms. Disney's Infinity 2 will also have exclusive Avengers content on Sony's systems. The platform holder then announced partnerships with developers Paradox, DoubleFine, Devolver Digital, and Grasshopper Manufacture. Other than Bloodborne, Grasshopper's Let It Die stood as the most high profile Japanese game at the conference.

Sony takes over camera duties
Interestingly, Sony spent substantially more time talking about the PlayStation camera than Microsoft did about Xbox One's Kinect. The PlayStation camera will work in conjunction with Project Morpheus, Sony's VR headset. Talk of the camera and headmounted display segued into an introduction of the new president of SCEA Shawn Layden.

PSN, YouTube, PlayStation Now, and F2P
The new head of SCEA expressed his enthusiasm for the broader PlayStation platform before discussing the PlayStation Network. Layden promised to continue to improve the features offered on PSN and boasted that more than 95% of PlayStation 4 owners have connected to the network. He then announced that direct YouTube sharing will be coming to PS4 later in the year.

Screen Shot

Source: IGN.com Sony E3 Conference Stream

Layden emphasized that PlayStation 4 would be the premier console for free-to-play experiences, stating that more than 25 F2P new titles would be available for PS4 within a year. A sizzle reel then ran, showing off many of these titles, and emphasizing a wide range of genres and visual styles. This video was followed up by the announcement that the PlayStation Now beta will be available to North American PS4 owners on July 31. Also interesting was the announcement that select Sony televisions will be able to connect to PlayStation Now, a clear sign of the direction in which the industry is heading.

The Now platform appears to be very important for the company, and it will be a key part of its efforts to prop up its struggling Vita handheld. It was clear that new, high-profile games for the system were in short supply.

Reviving (and renaming) the PS Vita TV
Surprisingly, Sony's PS Vita TV is not dead. After posting disappointing Japanese sales, the device is coming to the West, now called simply "PlayStation TV." One major bright spot in the PS Vita and PlayStation TV lineup was the announcement of Disney's Infinity 2.

More games, movies, and original content
Layden then introduced gameplay footage for Warner Bros. Mortal Kombat X. The video wrapped up with a montage or gruesome in-game executions that seemed to get a rise out of the audience. This demonstration was followed up details about original media programming for the PlayStation platforms. Sony's first original series Powers was then detailed by Brian Michael Bendis, one of the property's creators and producers. The show is an adaptation of a superhero comic book series and seems to have some big names involved. The full run of the program will be available to all PlayStation Plus subscribers at no extra cost.

Next up was a look at the movie adaptation of Rachet and Clank. The film is set to hit theaters in 2015. Insomniac Games is also working with Sony to remake the first game in the platforming series.

Skewing mature
The conference audience next got a look at Naughty Dog's The Last of Us: Remastered and Konami's Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, two games with mature, cinematic bents. Both titles looked suitably heavy and impressive.

Take-Two Interactive's Grand Theft Auto V for PlayStation 4 was the next game to take center stage. The title is guaranteed to be huge when it hits in the fall.

The announcement of the GTA V port was followed up by a video of Warner Bros. Batman: Arkham Knight. The video featured The Dark Knight gliding through the skies before landing and cruising the streets of Gotham in the Batmobile. The game will have missions featuring the villainous Scarecrow only on PlayStation 4.

Screen Shot

Source: PlayStation.com

The Sony press show wrapped up with footage from Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, the new game from premier first-party developer Naughty Dog. What little was shown of the title looked fantastic and showcased some of the most impressive graphics yet seen on the new consoles. The conference concluded with a sizzle trailer set to a cover of The Kinks "I'm Not Like Everybody Else," a song that was once used in promo reels for IBM. 

Takeaways from Sony's press conference...
In review, Sony's press conference was not as tightly paced as Microsoft's, but its show covered a lot more ground. As the current market favorite, Sony didn't have to do anything particularly risky or face the need to substantially rework its stage format. The company delivered a solid E3 presser.

Your cable company is scared, but you can get rich
You know cable's going away. But do you know how to profit? There's $2.2 trillion out there to be had. Currently, cable grabs a big piece of it. That won't last. And when cable falters, three companies are poised to benefit. Click here for their names. Hint: They're not Netflix, Google, and Apple. 

 

Keith Noonan has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of fool.com.

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to www.fool.com/beginners, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at www.fool.com/podcasts.

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.


Compare Brokers