Sony Has Mastered The Art Of Holding E3 Conferences

Sony Has Mastered The Art Of Holding E3 Conferences

Sony’s E3 conference was near to a master class in how to ‘do E3′. Games can thick and fast, nothing outstayed its welcome and there was little to disrupt the flow. Social media is the best way to measure the success of a E3 conference. While it may not truly reflect how well/badly the products will do upon release, it’s perfect to ear mark general reaction.

Other companies have tinkered and meddled with their E3 conferences. Ubisoft have doubled down on ‘zaney’ humour and celebrity appearances, along with last minute reveals. It’s been successful for the last few years, even though it has became predictable. Established franchise entry, lengthy demo, another franchise, another demo and then some new Ips. It works.

Microsoft adhere to their layout. Supported by exclusives, Microsoft prop up their lesser known games and new properties. There’s always at least a fairly lengthy segment focusing on hardware and talk of ‘pushing boundaries’ along with some indie coverage. Exclusive, new games, exclusive, indies, new tech and close. Efficiently paced, even if it does fall into a predictable pace.

Bethseda is still the new kid on the block, allowing them to flow more freely. Last year they impressed. Dropping game after game, while showing more of what people wanted to see. This year was a little more contained, mostly to include titles like Elder Scrolls Legends and the various VR reveals. While Skyrim Remastered will wrongly take the headlines From Dishonoured 2, Bethesda are still finding their style conference style.

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EA is corporate to the core. They front the products that will sell while reminding us of what they already offer. The Star Wars license is a big deal of EA. It’s hugely profitable while packing universal appeal. They know it will sell, even if the quality of the product is questionable. Sports is key to their yearly profits, meaning FIFA/Madden will also take centre stage. As for Battlefield, their master marketing plan has finally paid off, expect more chest pounding every year.

Sony have became the masters of E3. Each and every year they seem to streamline and tinker with their conferences. Going last has its perks, Sony make sure they take advantage of each and every one. Live orchestra to play through the whole conference? A simple but great touch. Like it or not, but it adds drama and grandeur. Sony fired out game after game after game. Most of which were exclusives.

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That wonderful little e word, exclusives, it carries so much power in the modern market. With both the PS4 and Xbox One not packing as many must play exclusives as their predecessors, exclusive games are gold. The way in which Sony bombarded the conference with exclusives produced a sense of volume. Each game was different, from spectacles like God of War to Detroit: Become Human, the variation was impressive.

This kind of pacing and presentation leaves the viewer feeling almost overwhelmed. Social media reflect this, people couldn’t react fast enough. As soon as one game was impressing, the next would appear. Sony then dropped the oldest trick in the book , nostalgia. If there’s one way to get a cheap pop, it’s by bringing back a classic franchise. In steps a remastering of of the first three Crash Bandicoot games.

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Sony learned from their flirtations with gimmicky hardware and multimedia, refraining from taking the focus away from video games. In light of Microsoft’s new Xbox One, this felt like the best step forward. How do you manage to not be overshadowed by new hardware? Simple, showcase plenty of games on your current system. There’s confusion around the Xbox One S, Sony kept it simple.

VR had a place, but not a huge focus. The one sour note was the lack of pricing information when it comes to Sony’s VR products in Europe. $300 does not mean £300 (and euro equivalent) in the Europe, leaving a number of people worried for a price hike.

E3 was a strong outing for all involved. Each company had plenty to show and plenty to sell. Sony merely showed they had perfected the craft of holding a conference. Plenty of games, good pacing and pops from nostalgia, pricing and Kojima result in the most impactful conference of E3 2016.

Sean Halliday


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