The Annual E3 Sony press conference thread, 2020 edition

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by Barrabas, Jan 13, 2020.

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  1. fehu

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    Probably they will let leak something to steal some attention from the competitors.
    Anyway in my country, and lot of others, sony's so strong that they would be able to overclock the pro, sell it as a full price ps5, and still beat any other console.
    At this point, they really don't need any help in news coverage.
     
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  2. Xbat

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    What? So there biggest earner isn't important?

    This isn't them not thinking PlayStation is important it's them thinking E3 isn't. Suits me, I don't have to wake up at 4am to watch the show.
     
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  3. iroboto

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    Yea but at the same time I can’t see how doing E3 would harm them either. So they either don’t like the format or the goal is to switch to a grass roots model of some sort.

    I really don’t know.
     
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  4. PSman1700

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    There are markets that can grow bigger, much bigger then a games console. With mobile on the rise (and even streaming sometime), i can imagine that in the long term the current model isn't going to last forever. Their games and services, but the PS hardware console itself.
     
  5. Xbat

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    Yes so don't support the console that is absolutely critical at this point in time in building there network. I'm sorry but this makes no sense to me.

    E3 is not as important anymore with everyone being on the internet these days in fact it probably turned into a pain in the arse for devs trying to get things ready for it and it just isn't worth it anymore.

    Now they don't have to spend resources and crunching like mad to get something ready for E3 which probably actually set them back in the final product.
     
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  6. iroboto

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    The only concern I would have if I were Sony is their 3P strategy. I know a lot of people look at what Nintendo has been doing and saying that Sony can follow suit; but Nintendo does not have a 3P dependency like Sony does and in no way do I believe that Sony can make it without huge 3P success.

    E3 still is that 'stage' for 3P game studios looking to get their name out. Sony and MS stages were big stages in which 3P games could really get their name out there. I get most people will say 'whatever', it's cross platform everyone knows it will be on both and that's a fair statement to make, but that's a statement of doing the absolute bare minimum for your 3P partners. It's the type of scenario where MS says; yes; come to our stage and we'll show your product for 2020/2021 but it's gotta be fully XSX enhanced. Use all the goodies, showcase the power we have. Or get it on gamepass on this date. which I suspect MS cares a shit ton more about than exclusive content Etc. And they can make those demands because realistically there is only so much available show time and slots for 3Ps at MS conference.

    Sony's only real play here is 3Ps would be more interested in doing business with them over MS (who will be at E3) for a new console generation. Which is to say, Sony wants their 3P to do their own marketing via youtube.

    It's a bold strategy because if they did show up at E3 it would make this a moot discussion; 3Ps would actually be in the position to negotiate against Sony and MS because they would pit the two against each other for coverage of their title.
     
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  7. Shifty Geezer

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    I disagree. Sony can show just as much 3P in their own event as they could at E3. Same for MS if they choose an XB event instead of E3. Just as many eyes will be looking for a new hardware announcing show.
     
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  8. iroboto

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    I would think that it would be less eyes actually. All the publishers are going to fly to E3 to show off all of their titles. Whole teams are being sent down to showcase a variety of titles - it is much more cost effective and a higher bang for buck for companies at E3. Publishers aren't going for only -1- thing. They can have their products be shown at MS stage, and be played on the game floors at E3 and have the rest of their titles on their own smaller stage. It's an effective way for their 1 game to cross marketing for their smaller titles.

    IE Division 3 on MS stage for Ubisoft and then to have it on the game floor with the rest of Ubisoft's other titles.
    That won't happen at Sony's reveal. I don't think there was even a show floor for the PS4 reveals. We saw 15 seconds of Mass Effect and that was about it - journalists weren't treated to the other things Ubisoft was working on.
     
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  9. iroboto

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    Following my thoughts on the cross marketing bit. Once again from a Sony perspective. This could be the year we see Half-Life Alyx show up at E3. And it's going to be a VR title and VR is the type of game that needs to be experienced to truly understand and be overwhelmed by it.

    And Sony has this massive PSVR play here and those titles need to be supported, they need to be marketed, they need exposure as well. What better place to showcase those PSVR titles than to show them at a place where everyone is going to E3 to see Half-Life Alyx, and then go, oh man that's amazing, lets head over to the Sony booth to try out even more VR.

    And PSVR is where the whole streaming trailer conference strategy fails for them. VR is very much hands on. VR is very much a personal experience. VR is something that very much will be written about because you can't get those feelings from watching. The VOID Room VR experience for starwars was incredible. Best VR experience I've ever had. It was simple in nature, but the experience to just not feeling sick, walking around, being able to interact with objects in the game world and mixed with the physical world is something that cannot be described by watching. You had to be there when you stepped out on to the platform. Or to sit on a seat. To Pull a lever. It's hard enough to describe the wonder in words and talking about it; even harder to just show a trailer of it.

    I feel like Sony needs to keep hammering home about VR. And just keep hammering it.

    MS has been hammering the Game Pass. And it's getting stuck in peoples minds. It's Game Pass this and that. It's now XCloud that is also being hammered into peoples minds. And I have to say, IMO, I think people are starting to forget about PSVR. They are starting now to focus back on PSNow.

    And if I was a studio making VR titles specifically for PSVR; I'd be pissed about this decision. You want to attract the widest population possible and not just the people that want to see PS5.
     
    #49 iroboto, Jan 14, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
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  10. Shifty Geezer

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    The problem there E3 has tiny footfall versus other shows. If you really want to reach people with one event, pick Gamescom. E3's history was similar to film festivals, where creators would run around meeting and schmoozing trying to get coverage or publishing deals etc. Isn't it only open one day to the public? So far something in the region of the same level of investment, go to Gamecom and get 5x as many people visiting that you can try to reach. I suppose on a national level, E3 is the biggest show in the US? So for a US audience, you want to be there?

    It can even be argued that a better investment would be sending kit to 'influencers' who reach tens/hundreds of millions of people with exaggerate screams as to how awesome something is.
     
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  11. iroboto

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    That's a pretty valid point. If you had to choose just one; that makes sense. But Sony has money so it begs to ask the real question of why not all of them this year? It's a launch year. This is the most important year for marketing for Sony. I can't see the reason (being so far ahead in leadership, and having so much revenue) to skip E3. It can't be that expensive and honestly I feel like they can't do any wrong. They got away with charging for PS+ to do network play when it was originally free at the last launch. Less media features. They launched with few exclusives.

    I think this article touches on it well; your point at least; you don't need the media and you don't need E3.
    https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2020-01-13-is-playstation-right-to-leave-e3

    But he does go to point this out
    And I think this aspect is important, even more so for fans looking to try VR. If they have a new PSVR2 or any major VR titles that's going to change the game; you're going to want that at E3.

    Last quote here; wish this aspect could be discussed further
     
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  12. AzBat

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    I would disagree with that. The press get a lot of credit for it, but there's not 60K+ press there. It's a show for the industry. That's channel partners, retailers, etc. I covered it 20 years ago for a market research firm. I doubt the make-up has changed much since. I would reiterate iroboto's comments. That's more inline with my experience there. But I will add the show is uniquely US targeted. Yes, there's a lot of non-US folks there, but I can see why Sony might not want to even bother with the other shows available around the world. They're in a better position to have things on their own terms. So it makes sense they would not attend again. My thinking is that Sony wanted more of a Gamescom event that has hundreds of thousands from the public. The ESA being the way they are I can see them having a problem with that. They never let fans in before. You basically had to become a web "journalist" to get in, but they cracked down on that eventually. Microsoft got them to relax on that with the Fan Fest lottery, but even then that was only a couple hundred fans. I suspect Sony wanted more, but the ESA wouldn't oblige. Also, with Microsoft Theater & Xbox Plaza next door the convention center Sony had to get creative with their venues. Their last one was in 2 different places(an outdoor tent & the Los Angeles Center Studios). The latter is 1.5 miles or a 30 minute walk from the convention. In 2017 I believe they were in the Shrine Auditorium & that's about the same distance away from the convention. As you can see, Microsoft has their own venue closer to the convention & more of a reason to continue their presence. With Sony's continued absence I fear more about the ESA's relevance than I do about E3 continuing. Kind of sad. :(

    Tommy McClain
     
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  13. Shifty Geezer

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    If I were to hazard a guess, their first-party devs making next-gen games don't want the hassle of creating bug-free demos for E3 and they said they'd prefer to just be left to create the games in time, couldn't Sony show a bunch of videos instead.

    Very good numbers on the videos. Good case for E3 presence. Weren't there numbers last year showing Sony's own video coverage was solid though?
     
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  14. iroboto

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    Their state of play videos? I don't think they hit the multi-milllions. May was their closest state of play to E3.

    Had less than 1 Million views. They skipped E3 state of play accroding to this (i forget tbh)
    https://www.shacknews.com/article/112341/where-was-the-sony-ps4-state-of-play-at-e3-2019

    This is the official youtube channel:

    https://www.youtube.com/user/PlayStation/videos

    most non-event videos have dismal views.
    TGA ones netted them about 1 Million views
    some quick eyeballing - most state of plays are < 1 M averaging between 500-700K

    I'll be honest, I don't want to waste my time going through all of these. Hopefully another member can chime in on the activity around state of play during E3.

    And even then, I still think being present at an industry event is important. If studio heads are seeing HL:Alyx and saying yea I see the formula we're missing with VR. But they don't see PSVR, then maybe they feel Sony won't support it or whatever and the game isn't going to get made. Or it's going to be on PC etc. I still think an industry event is critical for the industry to figure out their technologies, see what others are working on and seeing how to leverage what they see for their own work.

    The console reveals are going to be mainly for Sony's benefit here. This E3 event is still very much an industry event supporting deals etc. MS is going to be shopping their Game Pass and XCloud and whatever else they want to move on. Seems like a critical thing to do before the launch of a new generation but perhaps I'm wrong.
     
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  15. upnorthsox

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    That's good info about the MS/xbox plaza, it even makes more sense now from Sony's perspective.
    Still, the execution is horrendous and it looks awful from your biggest market. Fine, you want to abandon E3 for 100's of smaller events, but in doing so you don't tell anyone where they are or what will be there. Where the list of events? Where the website with all the info? Where's the campaign kickoff? You throw out one event, that starts in......24 hours.....that even the locals don't know about....and that's it....and you expect people to show? Is it even an event or is it a Playstation semi-trailer rolling around from between empty Best Buy parking lots? This should've been started at CES with a major rollout, instead we got some guy I've never seen before telling us "hey look how great we used to be, now let's move on to something else". Great strategy Sony.
     
  16. DSoup

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    E3 begun the switch from press to public years ago and this was the exact reason Shawn Laden gave in 2019, which I'll repeat because Sony's message is consistent:

    In quite a lengthy answer to the publication's question regarding E3, Layden explains the trade show used to be for trade; retailers and journalists would flock to Los Angeles to learn about new games on the horizon for their respective fields. Nowadays, Sony has its own February trade show called Destination PlayStation, informing retailers of the platform holder's plans for the year. As for games media, the internet has lessened the impact of reporting from E3. In other words: "the trade show became a trade show without a lot of trade activity. The world has changed, but E3 hasn't necessarily changed with it."

    Another point Layden makes is that Sony simply doesn't want to falsely build expectations when it's focusing more and more on fewer, higher quality games. "And with our decision to do fewer games -- bigger games -- over longer periods of time, we got to a point where June of 2019 was not a time for us to have a new thing to say. And we feel like if we ring the bell and people show up here in force, people have expectation 'Oh, they're going to tell us something."​

    There used to be no public presence, then there was more and more. Last year there were 15,000 public access tickets to E3, this year there are 25,000. You do not need E3 to talk to the press, E3 is the worst environment to engage with the press. But if you want to get the widest amount of gamers, skip E3 and head to gamescon which in 2019 had 370,000 visitors.

    Every conference you attend, with your devs, is another one-to-five days they are not working on their games and these things are in no way a holiday or even a welcome break. As I posted last year, when I worked in aerospace as an engineer, conferences were absolutely loathed by everybody apart from PR and marketing. They are a huge distraction from projects and are days of long hours, often in poor environments.

    Conferences have their place for products or services that you can test, buy and talk over complex issues. They have little relevance to the games industry given how easy it is for consumers to keep up to date with developments.
     
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  17. Shifty Geezer

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    No, the viewing figures for specific game trailers like the Spider-Man trailers. These got great coverage IIRC.
     
  18. PSman1700

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    Ok didn't think off it that way, would make sense. For most people i think it sounds strange Sony omitting E3 the year they launch a new console. It sure is their first time in 25+ years not attending when launching a new console that year.
     
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  19. iroboto

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    Individual videos did significantly better.
    Unfortunately we don't have access to the same source (https://www.fancensus.com/)

    Paid source for analytics that he used for the article.
     
  20. Silent_Buddha

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    I think that's one place where E3 still shines. E3 generates a lot of consumer consciousness in the largest console market in the world (NA) while bleeds into other regions as people around the globe associate announcements with E3. Especially when it came to the large publisher conferences.

    While Gamescom and other shows draw significantly more attendees, media views across the globe are significantly smaller than those generated by E3.

    That said, over time, as more publishers start to eschew E3 in favor of smaller but more numerous appearances, that effect of E3 is likely to fade as well.

    While E3 has done what it can to mitigate the lessened importance of print media by opening up the show to limited numbers of the general public, the fact is that information is widely available and easily accessed in this day and age. And media and thus the need to disseminate information to media at special media events is less important.

    While E3 continues to have the largest impact on concentrated views of reveals and announcements that coincide with E3 taking place, many publishers and developers may feel that the cost of attending (all the work that goes into preparing for E3) and showcasing games or products may not be worth it. Especially if the timing isn't convenient for showcasing or announcing what they are releasing or are working on.

    For myself, I still like E3 because I don't generally have the time to follow numerous events and media sites, so almost all of my attention is focused on the time around E3. For example, I didn't follow any of the Sony events (or any other publisher events) and even though MS has had numerous Xbox events, I've only seen one of them. And that was only because it just happened to coincide with a time where I just happened to have some free time.

    I guess to put it another way. I'll make time once a year to just indulge in game news and that happens to be E3 because so many announcements have historically been concentrated around that time. In the past there was another event in Las Vegas that died quite a few years ago that I also used to watch. Once E3 dies, I don't know if I'll bother to make time to follow or view announcements from other events.

    I guess I'm now much more aligned with how your average family/consumer takes in gaming news now than the "core" console gamer.

    Regards,
    SB
     
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