There's no denying that Sony is on top of the industry. Sure, the Xbox One has made some headway, and Nintendo is getting ready to launch some new hardware early next year, but the PlayStation 4 has been absolutely dominant during this current console generation. It's almost unparalleled - for a full price console, the PS4 has been outselling just about every other similar piece of hardware that came before it.
E3 2015 was a high point for Sony. Again, its competition had some noteworthy moments, but the games revealed at last year's show are still being talked about today. Shenmue, the Final Fantasy VII remake, The Last Guardian - these are games that came to define the show, and all of them were a part of Sony's show.
So, how do you follow that up? Well...nobody really knows.
Sony's been awfully quiet with their E3 2016 plans. Rumblings of a God of War debut have been circulating for some time, and everyone's hoping to see more of Final Fantasy XV - otherwise, there's really know telling what Sony has up its sleeve. The PlayStation 4 is the best-selling console in the world right now - hopefully, the publisher behind it has a few games planned for later this year.
God of War
It's been years since fans have last seen Kratos - and, given his fate at the end of God of War III, he's in remarkably good shape. Sony opened their E3 2016 press conference with the return of God of War, though fans of the original games will have a lot to get used to.
The demo opens with a relatively intimate look at Kratos' current life. Accompanied by a young boy (who may or may not be his son), the God of War demo followed Kratos through a seemingly normal day. Of course, when you're the former God of War, a typical day is usually filled with fighting off giant monsters with giant magical weapons.
Speaking of fighting, the look and feel of the series has undergone a radical transformation - gone are the open arenas and fast-paced brawls, replaced with a closer, over-the-shoulder camera and heavier blunt-force weapons. Kratos weilds a magical axe with devastating force throughout the demo, and it noticeably slows the pace of the game: this isn't the same high-flying, combo-spewing demi-god you remember.
There's also the change in scenery: considering that he's slain most of the Ancient Greek pantheon, a move to Norse mythology makes sense. That being said, Sony snuck in a few hints that seemingly prove that this new Kratos is the former Ghost of Sparta - save for his iconic appearance, a prompt for 'Spartan Rage' appears during the demo. Given the new Norse setting, the idea of anything based on Greek legend would be out of place...unless this is indeed the original Kratos.
All in all, the demo looked good. The visuals were astoundingly detailed, as were the animations and environments, but the change in mechanics will likely be a hard pill to swallow for some. Add to that a lack of any formal release date, and God of War still has a long ways to go before gamers accept that the franchise is back.
You'd be forgiven for thinking that Days Gone was The Last of Us 2.
Originally shown as a simple teaser, Sony's latest new IP features a very similar look and feel to that of Naughty Dog's action-adventure triumph. At first, it almost feels derivative: a man fueled by tragedy works as a gun-for-hire, scrounging for food and ammunition wherever he can find it.
And then, Sony came back with a playable demo. Days Gone may look like The Last of Us, but there are some big differences between the two.
The environmental interaction shown during the demo was fantastic. Players may not do anything all that interesting - you can climb ledges and create makeshift blockades - but the way the enemies move is something unlike anything else in gaming. Mobs of enemies push over reinforced doors, tear holes in walls and generally overwhelm the environment itself. If they're as dynamic as the demo suggests, it's something that fans simply haven't seen before.
As if that wasn't impressive enough, the demo showed literally hundreds of these sub-humans crawling throughout the environment. It's as if the shambling mobs of undead in Dead Rising suddenly had purpose - and an innate desire to see any living being wiped out.
It'll take more than a short demo to convince gamers that Days Gone isn't as derivative as it looks, but there's definitely potential there.
The Last Guardian
While The Last Guardian served as one of the major surprises of last year's show, Team ICO's latest took at backseat at E3 2016. A short teaser trailer did make an appearance, and confirmed that more (seemingly evil) members of the titular Guardian's race would appear.
Of course, the trailer will be remembered for its final reveal: The Last Guardian is due out on Oct. 25, 2016.
Horizon: Zero Dawn
Horizon: Zero Dawn may have been delayed until 2017, but that didn't stop it from being one of the prettiest games on display at Sony's press conference.
To be fair, most of the demo focused on aspects of gameplay that fans have already seen: there's still a big focus on stealth, ambush tactics and hunting, though these mechanics have been fleshed out since last year's debut. Players can now craft traps and ammo from the parts of fallen foes, and combat has been greatly expanded with the addition of different enemy weaknesses and elemental ammunition.
One thing that did stick out was the animation. For the most part, the game looks absolutely fantastic - and then people start talking and the whole thing falls apart. It's something that could easily be improved upon, especially with the extra development time granted by the delay, but such lackluster facial animation really stuck out against the rest of the package.
Sony did re-confirm that Horizon: Zero Dawn is due out on Feb. 28, 2017 - hopefully, any rough edges can be ironed out before then.
Detroit: Become Human
Anyone who's ever hoped for a true successor to Heavy Rain should definitely check out the latest trailer for Detroit: Become Human. The trailer at Sony's press conference didn't reveal much about the overall story, but more of the mechanics were on display...though the video shown didn't necessarily clear up much confusion.
With Blade Runner as a clear influence, Detroit: Become Human is promising that player choice is at the center of the experience. Quantic Dream has made similar promises in the past, but the short teaser on display seemed to hint at more possible outcomes than ever - including a number that included the player-character dying.
Sadly, not much else was shown - and the fact that there's no solid release date for Detroit: Become Human still stings.
Resident Evil VII
Yes, Resident Evil VII is real - and this is not the same zombie-killing horror-fest that players remember.
The shift to first-person isn't just some arbitrary change to bring the series in-line with the hugely popular P.T. - Sony confirmed that the entirety of the game would be playable with PlayStation VR. Not much of the game was actually shown - most of the video was made up of a slow walk through a decrepit house - but the fact that the game is due out in January 2017 certainly helps.
Oh, and for those who simply can't wait, a demo is available for PlayStation Plus members, with a general release scheduled for June 16.
Unsurprisingly, PlayStation VR had its own showcase during last night's press conference. Sony kicked things off with the virtual reality headset's final price point and release date - $399 and Oct. 13 - and then immediately dove into a slew of different games and 'experiences'.
First up was Farpoint, a futurist, sci-fi first-person shooter. The teaser was short, but showcased the game's subtley stylized visuals and VR-powered controls - otherwise, there wasn't much on offer.
Next was Star Wars Battlefront: X-Wing Mission VR - which, aside from having one of the longest titles in gaming history, seems to be a pretty straightforward flight sim powered by PlayStation VR.
Batman: Arkham VR was just a teaser trailer, but anything with Mark Hamill as the Joker is more than enough to be excited about. Oh, and there's the fact that Rocksteady is helping produce the game. That's good, too.
Finally, Sony debuted a new mode in Final Fantasy XV, dubbed 'VR Experience'. Gamers take on the role of Prompto, the pistol-wielding member of Noctis' crew - though it looks to be in a very, very early state. Still, for anyone who's wanted first-person shooting in Final Fantasy, it could be a nice bonus.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
Call of Duty demos used to be one of the highlights of E3 - but, given the relatively tepid reception of this year's Infinite Warfare demonstration, it looks like those days might be behind us.
To be fair, the demo presented during Sony's showcase wasn't bad. Building off the initial reveal trailer, here was a big focus on ship-to-shop combat, as well as zero-gravity gunfights. New gadgets, such as a zero-gravity grenade and a grappling hook, also made their debut - and the gunplay looks just as solid as every other game in the franchise.
However, with Titanfall 2 offering much of the same in addition to its giant walking tanks (and a much warmer reception), one has to wonder if Infinite Warfare could signal a turning point for the franchise. Only time will tell if the hate the game has been getting is warranted - but the fans really didn't seem all that interested in last night's reveal.
Hey, at least PlayStation 4 fans will get the Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Remastered campaign a month early!
After a few years of sitting on the sidelines, the first-ever PlayStation mascot is ready for a comeback...that being said, it looks like Sony isn't quite ready to show him off.
As part of a partnership with Activision, Sony confirmed that HD remakes of the first three Crash Bandicoot games would be making their way to the PlayStation 4 sometime in the near future. Sadly, nothing from the remakes was actually shown - in fact, the only thing featuring the bandicoot was a short Skylanders teaser.
At the very least, Crash will be playable in this year's Skylanders release...but a full return will likely have to wait until next year.
Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Just in case there were some gamers out there who didn't know that a new Lego Star Wars game is on the way, Sony included a short trailer as a part of their press conference. It was short, didn't feature anything notable and only served to announce a playable demo.
All hail Kojima Productions!
Personal bias aside, the debut trailer for Death Stranding is certainly a...curious piece of work. The appearance of one Norman Reedus seems to suggest that this is Kojima's successor to P.T., though the actual content of the trailer was vastly different from anything present in the Silent Hills demo.
As if the trailer itself wasn't confusing enough, there's no mention of a release date anywhere in the video. Given how recently Kojima Productions was re-formed, that's not too big a surprise, but the lack of a '2017' means that fans could be waiting quite a while for Hideo Kojima's next big game.
Look, plenty of people have tried to make Spider-Man work. Save for Ultimate Spider-Man, the last several games have been relatively hot garbage - and, after 2011's Spider-Man: Edge of Time, the wall-crawler has been largely absent from video games.
Then again, if there's one studio that can do the high-flying, fast-paced acrobatics of the web-slinger justice, it's Insomniac Games. Following the inFamous franchise, the studio is well-versed with open-world superhero games, and the new suit definitely has a bold presence...but it looks like gamers will have to wait a little while longer to get a better look of the game in action.
One last thing...for whatever reason, the game didn't mention anything about the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming. That's not necessarily a bad thing - but given the timing, one would assume that it at least has something to do with the wall-crawler's true return to theaters.
Sony certainly had one of the most lavish press conference in E3 history this year, but it's just one of many! For everything E3 2016 related - including our in-depth recaps of each major press conference - make sure to check out our ever-expanding coverage hub!