Since former PlayStation boss Andrew House first unveiled the PlayStation 4 on-stage during E3 2013, expectations for Sony at the convention have remained high year after year. And for the most part, Sony has continued to deliver on those expectations, proof positive of the PlayStation 4’s market dominance. Expectations may have been adjusted in recent years, as Sony’s late-year PlayStation Experience event continues to grow in importance and the console generation ages, but it’s no understatement to say that Sony’s E3 2018 Showcase is often the most highly anticipated event of the convention.
2018 is no different, with Sony’s E3 2018 Showcase scheduled to begin in its annual Monday time slot June 11 at 6:00pm PT. Viewers will be able to tune in via the official PlayStation livestream, Twitch, Youtube, and Facebook for what’s typically a 60-90 minute event. Different than past years, 2018’s E3 Showcase will not feature a pre-show. Instead, Sony will be announcing a new game each day between June 6 and June 10, allowing each game an opportunity in the spotlight. As for the Showcase itself, Sony has made an effort to manage expectations regarding both hardware and software announcements. That doesn’t mean surprises aren’t in store, however.
Here’s a summary of all the news and rumors associated with the PlayStation 4, Sony’s E3 press conference, and its presence at E3.
Sony announced its return to E3 2018 by providing an “early glimpse” at what games it will feature during its press conference. Four games, including The Last of Us 2, Ghost of Tsushima, Marvel’s Spider-Man, and Death Stranding, will receive exclusive looks at the show. Nonspecific announcements from third-party publishers and indies were also confirmed for the press conference, as well as at least three new game announcements made during the Countdown event between now and E3. As far as officially confirmed plans for E3, that’s everything.
There’s a range of other possible exclusives to be shown or announced at E3, some backed by rumor and some just sensible. Days Gone and Dreams both seem like surprising omissions from Sony’s E3 line-up, not to mention the remaster of MediEvil. Other rumors, like one from 4chan claiming Bloodborne 2 and a SOCOM sequel will be announced, are much less reliable. Then there are other, smaller announcements that may be made such as localizations for the recently announced Yakuza 3, 4, and 5 remasters, or release dates for PS VR games like Blood & Truth and Concrete Genie. Finally, the long-shot rumors involve whether either Guerrilla Games or Sony Japan Studio will have something to show this year. It seems early for a Horizon 2 announcement, but who wouldn’t be excited for Aloy’s return?
Multi-platform announcements are much more difficult to predict. Sony has a number of advertising partnerships with upcoming major releases and can’t imaginably fit all of them into its E3 Showcase. The likeliest candidates include Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Destiny 2‘s Forsaken expansion, and Red Dead Redemption 2, but other major upcoming releases including CyberPunk 2077, Kingdom Hearts 3, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and even the Final Fantasy 7 remake are all possible. If there’s one rumor to watch out for though, it’s Capcom’s Devil May Cry 5. Sony’s healthy relationship with Capcom and the growing evidence of a forthcoming announcement make this one of the most reliable rumors.
Even as big as this list of games is, Sony likely has several games to show that haven’t been mentioned. Indie games especially are difficult to call out — they just don’t leak as often as AAA games do. But as should be apparent, even given the little that’s known for certain, Sony’s E3 2018 Showcase line-up is certain to impress just like previous years.
The release of a new PlayStation, a generational step forward from the PlayStation 4, is on the horizon. This is news that even Sony acknowledges, as PlayStation boss John Kodera described just weeks ago that the PS4 was in its “final phase” of life and that the next three fiscal years would see limited growth. When the so-called PlayStation 5 will arrive is a matter of some speculation, with guesses ranging from 2019 to 2021. But if Sony is to be believed, no matter when the PS5 inevitably launches, it won’t be announced during E3 2018.
Sony’s hardware rumors are quite a bit more interesting but rather less well-sourced. A rumor has gone around about an improved PlayStation VR headset being announced, but seems unlikely given Kodera has said that the VR industry isn’t growing as fast as Sony wanted. Similarly, rumors of a PS4 Pro Slim being announced along with a price drop to $350 pop up from time to time. Yet with PS4 Pro sales being what they are and Sony acknowledging that hardware sales growth is peaking, iterating on the PS4 Pro may not be considered necessary.
The hardware takeaway for PlayStation at E3 2018 remains that Sony is in a very strong and comfortable position. There’s no need to shake things up, so don’t be surprised if Sony focuses entirely on software this year — but never say never.
Expect more information on Sony’s plans for E3 2018 in the days to come, starting with the announcement of a new PS4 game with PS VR support Wednesday morning. Sony’s E3 2018 showcase begins Monday, June 11, at 6:00pm PT, and will be followed by several days of press coverage from the E3 show floor. It’s no speculation to say that few to none will walk away from E3 thinking the PlayStation 4 is in its “final phase” of life.