COMMENT: It really did not matter that Sony did not join E3 2019


In November 2018 we were told that Sony was not looking at the E3 fair in Los Angeles in 2019. This was an even smaller shock for many, mainly because Sony has participated since E3 was conceived in 1995. The event of one game show can be safely described as the most significant game event of any year. So it's been a long time, and it really did not sound good when the decidedly market leader in front of the console and one of the industry's leading gaming companies chose to separate their brand from the whole thing.

Now that developer secrets have become widely known and release dates are highlighted in the calendar of interested players around the world, it's time to talk about those who have chosen to decline E3 2019.

Bad losers

The Last and Us Part 2 is apparently released in February, without this being confirmed one hundred percent Photo: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Many may have the impression that the role of the Electronic Entertainment Expo as one of the leading gaming industry institutions was fading, and that Sony was only the first of the largest to choose to leave the ship before it expired. After a few months, it was clear that this really did not fit, as many other players, such as Microsoft, Nintendo, Bethesda and Electronic Arts, were getting ready to take advantage of Sony's absence and hit everything they found exciting. adverts.

My first personal impression when Sony refused to come was that the company tried to avoid a defeat of another type. The fact that the PlayStation bosses were cowards for lack of news, and that they dislike the warm response of E3 2018. The criticism was that Sony passed last year's presentation as an opportunity to explore quieter forms and creative ways of setting up a press conference. with a recipe that consisted of live music, candles, a church and a banjo.

Shawn Layden – Former President and CEO of SIE Image: Creative Commons

The response from the journalists was not ideal because many were annoyed that Sony forced them to switch stores in the middle of the conference because of a cheap gimmick that was creative but ultimately extremely unnecessary. Fansens also believed that the PlayStation had few games to attend compared to Microsoft because Sony decided to focus only on its four biggest games in the long run – Death Stranding, The Last of Us Part 2, Ghost of Tsushima and Spider-Man , which has not yet been released.

When Sony released a press release four months after E3 2018, the company would try new and more innovative ways to satisfy its players because "the industry has evolved" and E3 was no longer the ideal arena for their ways of doing . Things about – I interpreted as a sign of weakness on their part. It seemed that Sony ran away with his tail between his legs because of criticism of last year's events.

I think the E3 period this year showed us the opposite. It is not almost a sign of weakness in general, but a sign of strength. A possible demonstration of power and a seemingly strategic mentality that proved to be successful.

A sign of wisdom and lack of games

So Sony lost a bit of getting away from E3 2019. Someone there suggested to Sony something very wise: if you have nothing sensible to say, you better shut up. Instead of putting together a useless and empty conference, Sony was able to settle for the fact that they simply had too little iron in the fire to satisfy everyone who waited an hour and a half for fun in their scene. Someone should have told Bethesda and Electronic Arts about the same thing, but that's a chapter to yourself.

Now that Days Gone is finally on the shelves of the stores, and Hideo Kojima recently chose to share a long Death Stranding trailer with a top-notch release date, it's not much more Sony can give us at the moment. And while this undoubtedly reduces their visibility and presence in the media, I would say they made a wise choice.

Detroit: Become Human is one of the best exclusive games on the Sony console Photo: Alexei Smirnov /

Not that Sony is completely helpless, of course. They could show more surreal scenes in Death Stranding, cut and paste another midway sequel to The Last of Us 2, or they had a samurai head-to-head in Ghost of Tsushima, but that's exactly what made E3 2018. Instead, they chose to keep the consumer on the torch in the hope that Sony would have some big ads up its sleeve instead of revealing that the company is empty of ideas and that more or less everything they are working on now will not end sooner on the next generation console.

Some may argue that this is precisely what makes Sony look like it's haunting the process, as they are not enough to keep the "PlayStation" brand in the spotlight. The fact that you skip E3 and show no more than sixty games – like Microsoft just happened last week – is a big mistake in itself. I disagree.

It should not be forgotten that this company has been releasing an exclusive title to another for several years. To the point where I was constantly surprised that production lines did not stop before 2018. Whether for God of War, Bloodborne and Horizon Zero Dawn or Spider-Man, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End and Detroit Become Human, both internal and external game companies worked hard to launch dozens of quality titles in the PlayStation names.

Microsoft is on the rise for the first time in a long time because they have acquired developers like Obsidian Entertainment, Ninja Theory and Double Fine Productions – which is an incredible betting area and the root of why they have so much to advertise at the moment – that Sony just takes a deserved free year so they can come back stronger than ever when it's time to introduce the next generation of consoles all the way, not just in service like this year.

Phil Spencer did a great job as usual Photo: Microsoft

Stuck sticks on wheels for Microsoft with minimal effort

And when we talked about the generations of consoles and Microsoft: One of the things I thought would happen when Sony entrusted E3 to the other participants was that Microsoft was exploring the opportunity to dominate the industry now that its main competitor was offstage. But was this really what happened?

With a good press conference, lots of interesting announcements about games and some news about your new console, I'd say they favored me positively for their contributions, yes. But I really doubt the same impression would have been impossible with Sony in the next room. I'm also not sure that most people have noticed particularly well that this was the year that Microsoft made the extra effort to dominate the E3 trade show.

The green team undoubtedly had a solid presentation, but that's how the vast majority of the biggest games were marketing for Sony almost as much as for Microsoft. Because much of what was shown is multiplatform games. I also do not want to put it on the edge, because of course you will not leave Microsoft having several great exclusive games like Halo Infinite and Gears 5 in this year's scene (where will the Fable's people be?). At the same time, there is a calculable effect in which large segments of the public will connect a lot of future great games like The Outer World, Psychonauts 2, The Elden Ring, Jedi Star Wars: The Fallen Order with Microsoft after this year's E3.

Still, most of us who follow what's behind the scenes are well aware that most of these games could have been on the Sony program if it happened in any other year.

Outer World is still coming to PS4, although Microsoft has bought Obsidian Entertainment Photo: Private Division

So it's also true that the way Sony chose to announce the details of its new console just a few weeks before E3 paved the way for Microsoft's press conference to be a little less interesting than it would be without Sony's intervention. The details of Microsoft's "Scarlett Project" were really insufficient for Microsoft to create a distinct image of what the console is going to be, or how it really differs from the PlayStation 5.

In fact, more than anything else, I realized that everything, from the technology functionality on both consoles, will be quite similar. Both can handle 8K, both have internal SSD memory, both support "ray tracing", both contain AMD hardware, and the similarities do not stop there. Perhaps Sony was fully aware of what the rival machine would offer, and seized the opportunity to pre-launch Microsoft by investing in a short and effective release just before E3.

I would almost say Sony made the magic look like Microsoft was following in their footsteps while doing Sony's work for them. Any talk and article that talks about "Project Scarlett" is almost exclusively comparing it to the PlayStation 5. Anyone who writes and talks about games like Cyberpunk 2077 after E3 will mention that the game will also be available on PlayStation 4. This mix with the rich presentation of the highly desired game of Hideo Kojima Death Stranding, which had a release date, which the exclusive PlayStation 4 Final Fantasy VII Remake apparently received more attention than any other game in this year's E3, as well as that the big sale Sony's annual PlayStation Network was also started in line with the E3 show – you can almost say that Sony made a small one, but gave an insignificant impression on the E3 show this year, without being present once.

Keanu Reeves and Cyberpunk 2077 stole the show at the Microsoft conference, but both are still on PS4, whether Microsoft wants it or not Photo: Microsoft

The market-leading attitude

Initially, I mentioned that Sony is the market leader in front of the console. If you take a quick look at who has the best selling consoles and the strongest exclusive game titles in the console market today, it quickly becomes apparent that this status can not be reduced to tile picking. Sony has won more or less all competitions and clashes with other "first-party" companies Nintendo and Microsoft since 2014. Their decision not to follow for E3 can be interpreted as a demonstration of power, and I think it's something like that .

There is something called "too big for E3". Companies like Rockstar, Blizzard Entertainment and Valve have practiced similar approaches for almost every year. In fact, with Sony PlayStation, we're talking about a huge, successful department in an even bigger global technology company, owned by an important and functional brand that has kept Sony at the top of the gaming industry for the past twenty years . Of course, both Nintendo and Microsoft deserve to be mentioned in the same category, but unfortunately their products do not sell as well now.

Death Stranding is released on November 8th Photo: Kojima / Twitter

As market leaders, Sony is acting as someone with the ability to choose without thinking too much about the consequences and just playing ball if they are confident of a clear victory where they avoid incurring many criticisms in the same vein.

Not unlike how Blizzard has BlizzCon, I think Sony has chosen to invest in something very own by the end of 2019. That way, they can cut the middleman and create their own headlines that do not disappear from the news feed ten minutes after publication of the article. By avoiding E3, they can get several gaming journalists, general social media activity, as well as all gaming and technology sites to devote their full attention to Sony's custom program. The company is also fully aware that both Microsoft and Nintendo make advertising as good as the reputation and advertising of games, and can avoid comparisons competing on their own terms.

It had not been the first time anyway. Sony has hosted its own conferences outside of E3 previously. Like when they revealed in 2013 what was then the brand new PlayStation 4. Similarly, they adopted the regular live broadcasts from Nintendo which they called the State of Play, where March 25 and May 9 of this year announced future games like Predator : Hunting Grounds and a re-creation of MediEvil. And even if the company has avoided putting together something similar in late 2018 as a result of the lack of new products, Sony usually hosts the PlayStation Experience call in December 2014. This is a very similar event to the typical E3 show. The fair, in the sense that it's about marketing, is open to PlayStation fans and is exclusively dedicated to everything related to gaming on Sony's machines.

That way, one hundred percent makes sense that Sony skips the E3 2019. Not because they are in a weakened position, as I thought, but because they need to save on the gun if they want to be able to broadcast multiple episodes of State of Play, or Make a explosion of a PlayStation experience later in the year.

Here they can enter all future plans, including what we have not seen since E3 2018, such as The Last and Us Part 2 and Ghost of Tsushima, with associated release dates, additional details and a release date for the future PlayStation 5 But not least, a front line on what your subordinate game studios are working to complete the next generation of consoles.

Ghost of Tsushima will appear around December in the Playstation Experience Photo: Sucker Punch Productions / Sony Interactive Entertainment


In short, I think it was a good and tactical decision on the side of Sony not to go to E3 2019, as they had more to lose appearing. The Internet had torn the company into pieces of cloth if they had tried the same old games and an uninspired conference before the storm. In that case, Sony also tolerated being compared to Nintendo and Microsoft at the height of the fans' anger, which could give them a bad reputation on the impact of the current generation of consoles. Both competitors gave us competent conferences with lots of legal game ads, after all.

As the situation is now, I'm not even sure that most people realized that Sony was away considering how little has been discussed about this before and after E3. Most of the ads that deserved to be shown probably found new homes in the scenes of others. Sony really only maintained the status quo without taking any active action when it could easily be at a disadvantage if it tried to manipulate a scene in Los Angeles this year.


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