#Sony Beats Microsoft At E3 Once Again By Doing What It Does Best

Sony vs Microsoft Happens Every year at E3 it’s that head to head match that grabs the most attention. Sony vs Microsoft, PlayStation vs Xbox. All the other companies can freely gun for attention on their own merits, but those two will always be locked in a mortal combat by virtue of two barely differentiated platforms, with only one emerging victorious each year. This year, Microsoft walked in with a big advantage: it had Project Scorpio to show off, which we now know as the Xbox One X. But Sony, in its way, swaggered on stage and took the show again. This may not have been as strong a show as last year’s, but Sony manages to keep winning by showing off its greatest strength in the face of Microsoft’s greatest weakness.

 Sony god of war

To start with, Sony’s talent for stagecraft never hurts anything — that was evident from the first moment the sitar player started up beneath a lighted waterfall, or when the zombies started dangling from the stage. But the stagecraft wouldn’t work without games to back it up, and Sony successfully replicated its “nonstop barrage of games trailers” format by starting with Uncharted, moving on to Horizon Zero Dawn, following that with Days Gone and moving from there. There were few surprises overall, and most of the big titles were expansions of things we’ve seen snippets of before. Taken on its own, it might be considered a more lackluster performance than year’s past. But as I mentioned, this thing is never judged on its own.

Ever since 2013, Sony has managed to stay on top at E3 almost by default. It won on price in 2013, it won with sales momentum in 2014, and it’s won with exclusives ever since. It’s that last one that was on full display here: Microsoft gave a good show, no doubt. It successfully debuted the sleek little Xbox One, which is clearly the most powerful console ever made. But hardware on its own doesn’t show very well up on stage, especially iterative hardware like the PlayStation 4 Pro or Xbox One X. E3 shows are, now more than ever, about games, and Microsoft lacked a marquee exclusive to really tie the show together: the closest it got was Crackdown 3, which doesn’t quite feel ready for center stage.