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PlayStation briefing a response to "shallow" E3 press conferences

Sony Worldwide Studios' Michael Denny addresses disappointment over this week's more focused showcase

PlayStation has said its unorthodox E3 2018 press conference was an attempt to break away from the usual, "shallow" formula seen at such events.

Despite the platform holder reigning in expectations as far back as a month ago, viewers (including members of the GamesIndustry.biz team) expressed disappointment about the structure of the show.

The event focused on four titles - The Last of Us 2, Ghost of Tsushima, Death Stranding and Spider-Man - with intermissions and 'ad-break'-style trailer reels to share third-party reveals.

For those actually attending the event, it began in a recreation of the church seen in The Last of Us' trailer, followed by themed areas for each tentpole game, such as Japanese gardens for Ghost of Tsushima.

"At PlayStation, we do like to do things different, push some boundaries here and there," he said. "This time, we did want it to have a focus on the big four exclusive titles and go in-depth more on those games.

"In the past, I think these press conferences can be a bit shallow, just going from one [game] to another then another. And we were trying to give it more of a community with the themed element, particularly with The Last of Us 2 and then following into the themed areas.

"It was a different approach. It was about letting the games speak for themselves."

Part of the disappointment stems from Sony's definition of 'in-depth': all four spotlights essentially boiled down to extended trailers, cutscenes or gameplay footage, without the blow-by-blow narration usually accompanying a 'deep dive'. For example, Nintendo's Smash Bros-centric direct spent around half an hour going into extensive detail about all the game's features.

"Yeah, I understand that but most of the games we showed and went in-depth to, it was fairly okay to work out what was going on in those games," Denny acknowledges. "There was maybe one game that was a bit more esoteric in its nature, but we're trusting the creators to put their content forward for these shows.

"We don't try to put too many spins on its from a marketing perspective - it was what the creators wanted to put on and show from their games. So in the long-run, more will become apparent - certainly on a game like Death Stranding."

Sony's showcase was also used to announce a number of third-party games, including Resident Evil 2, new Remedy IP Control, and Squanch Games' Trover Saves the Universe.

You can read a full round-up of the announcements here.

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