Talking Point: Why Sony Should Hold a Second PS4 Event Before E3
Posted by Sammy Barker
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
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