News Article

Talking Point: Why Sony Should Hold a Second PS4 Event Before E3

Posted by Sammy Barker

Chugging along

Buzz is an important thing in this industry. Publishers invest millions of dollars into marketing teams, community managers, and press events to ensure that their games launch with the maximum amount of excitement surrounding them. New hardware releases tend to manufacture that anticipation all on their own, but just because the fervour surrounding the PlayStation 4 is already at fever pitch, doesn’t mean that Sony can afford to take its foot off the gas. And that’s why a second media event makes a lot of sense for the manufacturer.

Word leaked out this week that the platform holder is planning to hold another press conference for its impending next generation hardware before E3. Despite the source being relatively reliable, the rumour was promptly debunked by some pundits, with the insinuation that the PlayStation maker is set to stay tight-lipped over the next two months. But we think that’s a mistake: Sony needs to ensure that the PS4 is the main focus of the specialist press all the way up to launch, and if that means regular media events throughout the year, then so be it.

Of course, with GamesCom and the Tokyo Game Show all on the horizon before Christmas, it’s only really the coming months that need filling. April and May are traditionally dry spells for the industry, and with PAX East and the Game Developers Conference already a distant memory, the manufacturer needs to find the means to keep the excitement surrounding the PS4 ticking until E3 this summer. A second event would almost certainly achieve that, and it wouldn’t necessarily need to detract from the company’s big showing in Los Angeles.

We’re not talking about a media circus on par with February’s colossal PlayStation Meeting, but perhaps something a little more personal, with content that may not earn a place on the schedule at E3. While we’re sure that the company’s next generation hardware will top the billing during its pre-show keynote, it will almost certainly be forced to share the spotlight with the PS3 and Vita, and with press conferences limited in time, the company may find that it doesn’t have the room to touch base on everything that perhaps deserves a mention. So, why not arrange a separate event to keep the hype rolling, and also make sure that all of the system's upcoming content gets a chance to shine?

Specifically, we’re speaking about titles such as Primal Carnage: Genesis and Blacklight: Retribution – releases that deserve mentioning, but are never going to sit above the likes of Naughty Dog and Quantic Dream in a press conference timetable. If the PS4 is proving as popular amongst developers as the industry is indicating, then we’re sure that the platform holder has a dozen similar scale titles that it would love to reveal to the media and fans. And, honestly, we can’t see any studio refusing a seat aboard the next generation hype train.

But there are other areas that are worthy of discussion beyond games, too. It’s unlikely that the company would show a detailed demonstration of the next generation console’s user interface during any of this year’s main press events, but it seems like an area that Sony could focus on during a separate conference prior to E3. It’s true that these features may not be finalised yet, but the organisation used GDC last month as an avenue to show off some elements of the dashboard to developers, so it’s fair to assume that much of the functionality is close to being complete. While such a presentation is unlikely to appeal to more casual gamers, we suspect that anyone reading this article would get a kick out of learning how the ‘Share’ button actually works.

And then, of course, there’s the elephant in the room: Microsoft. The firm is expected to announce the Xbox 360’s successor before E3, too – reportedly in late May. While there’s very little that Sony can do to turn the media’s attention away from the machine – it will have its moment in the spotlight whatever the platform holder does – it can still make sure that the PS4 remains a pivotal part of the conversation. Showing new footage from titles such as Killzone: Shadow Fall, DriveClub, or inFAMOUS: Second Son would help to swing the pendulum back the other way, and would make for great attractions at a second press event without squandering precious ammunition that’s being saved for E3.

The company needs to strike the perfect balance, but it can’t afford to let the buzz surrounding the PS4 flatline. Anticipation on websites such as this one will remain high until launch, but we represent enthusiasts, perhaps even fanatics, rather than average consumers. Whenever Microsoft decides to announce the next Xbox, Sony needs to ensure that it has content to counter. Whether it’s just a new trailer, or, as suggested, a second, smaller press event, it must keep anticipation high over the coming months – and it will need more than radio silence to do that.

How do you think that Sony can keep the PS4 in the headlines in the run-up to E3? Do you think that a second press event would make sense? Let us know in the comments section and poll below.

What would you like to see at a second PS4 press event? (24 votes)

I'm only interested in the games, games, games


Show me the UI and how the 'Share' button will work


I'd love to see some unique uses of the DualShock 4


Something else


Please login to vote in this poll.

User Comments (15)



Epic said:

Like I said before in another talking point:
I want to know what's going to happen with Playstation Plus and How much are they going to plan to charge for using Gakai cloud service?
Or maybe are these 2 related ? O_O



Sanquine said:

GAMES and like epic said playstation plus. I think PS plus is a huge sellingpoint for playstation



ShogunRok said:

While I'd love to see games as much as everyone else, I would like some info on the UI and how all this 'share' business works. If Sony can show us an attractive system with attractive features/services and attractive games, we can't really ask for more.



brendon987 said:

The timing Is very interesting. Xbox might be online only, and with an reported asking price off 500$. It could be Sony way off saying to the consumer that we are the right console this time. With Xbox 720 being announce on the 21th May, it Sony saying its a better produce. Time will tell.



InsertNameHere said:

I'd love to see what else Second Son, Knack and Shadow Fall have to offer. Other than that, I'd love to see the UI and more of the DS4's features.



rjejr said:

I'ld like to see the PS4 - which wasn't an option in the vote.

E3 is supposed to be all about the games - you don't want everybody talking about how your system is too fat or to big or too heavy or too shiny or too round or too square - b/c whatever the system looks like people are going to complain b/c that's what people do. You want E3 to be all about the games, so Sony should show the PS4 beforehand, b/c you don't' want E3 being all about what your console LOOKS LIKE, you want E3 to be about the games. It's already the elephant in the room, they need that elephant gone before E3.



hYdeks said:

I'm kinda bummed out that the next system is boringly called PlayStation 4, and all the DualShock 4 is a sleeker DualShock 3 with a laptop touch pad at the top (though it is a slick controller) I want to see what the 3rd party have to say about the system, cause to me, there opinion on the console, and their support, is what will make me buy the system, not much else The first party games looked good, but nothing that makes me think I need to run out and buy it day one :s

If I don't hear from 3rd parties, I would like to see the console and hear the price. At this point, I'm getting a bad feeling the Sony hasn't learned, and that the PlayStation 4 will probably be like $500+.



Sanquine said:

@hydeks Why would you think that? Even sony president Shuhei Yoshida confirmed they do not make the same mistake again ( with the price point).



rockman29 said:

Show me everything the same way as PS Meeting! There's a reason I fell in love and it's the whole package and direction Sony are taking PS4

Thank God for Cerny!



Paranoimia said:

I'd like more on the UI and features.

The games are going to look like PC games, that's a given; as for the content of those games, I know there'll be lots worth playing because it's an area where Sony and their first-party studios excel - it's why I'll always buy a PlayStation console regardless of what anyone else is doing.

I'm not particularly bothered about what the console looks like, as that's pretty irrelevant; it's what it does that counts. That said, Sony rarely produce ugly electronics, the only possible exception being the PS3 super-slim; even then it's not really 'ugly', just not up to the usual standards. But the super-slim is essentially a late-life budget version of the system - PS4 will be prime new electronics, so should be pretty sexy.



Scrible said:

Who cares what it looks like, a pile of crap, an overweight jellybean, all that matters is the games and interface, looks have nothing to do with performance



SkullHydra said:

I'd say they need to save the big games for E3. Use this earlier event to show some of the more hardcore nerds in-depth system specs, the UI features, some Dualshock 4 things, etc.

E3 is when the main audience is going to be watching, and that's when you need the megatons.



Reverend_Skeeve said:

I'd love to see another event before E3...just because I can't wait to soak up more PS4-goodness! I'd like to see more of the interface and such...and I'd like to see what the console looks like. True, form has nothing to do with function, but Sony has a history of designing sleak devices (except the latest PS3 which looks just ugly, imoho), so I want to see what they come up with. But if they show the case at E3, that'd be early enough for me. Just give us more trailers and cool game infos, please!

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