It’s fair to say that the last two State of Play livestreams from Sony have been the most successful ones for a variety of reasons. They are more focused and, as a result, able to be more detailed on a particular game allowing us to get a delightful meaty look at a bunch of aspects of it. The games being showcased are also top-tier AAA titles that anyone who owns a PlayStation 4 would be interested in.
The State of Play livestreams which aired last year were mostly uneventful 20 minute long showcases with one or two interesting announcements spread out by a smattering of indie games or updates that weren’t particularly interesting, such as a new trailer or just a little gameplay clip. Even those big announcements that were featured felt far less eventful or exciting because they were tied to all the less interesting stuff that came in the stream.
But with both of these streams passing more than 1 million views on YouTube, and being the only State of Play livestreams to do so, it is clear this is the most successful structure of the show and the future of the format.
But, it is a long time till we see the next PlayStation exclusive, which will likely be at the PS5 launch. Sony shouldn’t stop until then though. It should work to get third party titles showcased in the same format, allowing us to get a deep dive into some of the biggest games of the year in a way that we never usually do. Triple-A games are usually showcased with sporadic trailer drops and gameplay deep dives that come and go with the wind and don’t have any kind of excitement built up for them before release.
State of Play solves that. Announce the showcase two-to-three days before it airs and let the gaming community and websites like us build up excitement for it. But, Sony and these publishers will need to commit in a similar way to what we have seen in May. These State of Plays will need to be extended deep dives breaking down aspects of a game, even with narration if possible. They can’t just be an extended gameplay demo or trailer without showing off and explaining any mechanics from the game, or else it isn’t any different to a trailer just dropping on its own.
What if we got a Nioh 2, Resident Evil 3, and Final Fantasy 7 Remake State of Play back in January, February, and March, properly delving into these games and explaining upgrade systems, showcasing combat, and revealing new areas of the game. And, if Sony were to continue this format into the future we could say deep dives into titles like Marvel’s Avengers, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2, Watch Dogs Legion, and more.
Heck, maybe even spice it up every now again with a PS5 showcase, which is currently rumoured for August, or an indie-focused State of Play.
The last thing Sony should do now is go back to the old formula, one that was trying to copy Nintendo Direct briefings but wasn’t nearly as interesting or well put together as they can be. It has carved its own unique place in the online digital showcase space, one that is unique, interesting, and offers a deep look at games in a way the public rarely ever gets.
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