So I’m actually going to run to Sony’s defense on this one, since I thought their last two pressers were some of the best I’ve ever seen.
I can’t argue that they don’t have at least some history of revealing games that won’t come out in the following year. However, I’m not sure if I’d define them by it. Like Patrick says in the article, they’re certainly not the only ones that do this– Microsoft’s 2014 press conference alone had Crackdown, Phantom Dust and Scalebound, among others. Ubisoft often announces games 2+ years before launch. The Fractured but Whole is coming up on its 3rd E3. Hell, EA is even willing to show conceptual footage just to fill time.
Additionally, lot of the games that he lists in the article were third party titles. Things like Final Fantasy VII Remake and the Shenmue III kickstarter would have been revealed elsewhere if Sony didn’t pick them up, so I can’t really blame them for deciding that they were better off adding these “hype-inducing” reveals to their lineup.
As for the first party titles– despite the games not releasing for over a year past their launch, Sony seems pretty reserved about this compared to other companies. Games like Uncharted 4, Infamous: Second Son, LittleBigPlanet 3, The Order: 1886, Ratchet & Clank, and Horizon: Zero Dawn all went through at most one more E3 after they were revealed before release. Hell, even The Last Guardian, despite a decade of development hell, released within a year and a half after being reintroduced.
And there are definitely exceptions. I thought showing off a concept trailer for Death Stranding just for the memorable Kojima reintroduction was probably a terrible idea in the long run. It wouldn’t surprise me if Dreams is going through development hell right now simply due to SIE not being entirely sure on how to sell it as a game. But again, I’m just not sure I’d agree that these kinds of too-early announcements are a trend to categorize Sony’s press conferences by.
But we’ll have to wait and see. It wouldn’t surprise me if God of War, Days Gone, Detroit, Spider-Man, and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy all release between fall 2017 and spring 2018. Even if they all don’t, at least they’re still selling a stacked lineup for their consoles– which… well, that’s basically all that matters.