News Article

Feature: Five Things That Sony Should and Shouldn't Do at E3 2013

Posted by Sammy Barker

Press conference commandments

In a little over ten days, the gaming industry will descend on Los Angeles for this year’s E3 – the most important exposition in interactive entertainment. While the convention itself is undeniably the hottest attraction – quite literally, or so we’re told – it’s the pre-show press conferences that ordinarily bring the biggest surprises. With new consoles on the horizon, this year’s round of corporate back patting looks poised to be most important in excess of a half decade. But as Sony and Microsoft prepare for a console clash of the titans, what does the Japanese giant need to do to ensure that its press conference delivers without a hitch?

Do put the spotlight on PlayStation 4 games

Sony’s billed the PS4 as a system for gamers and it’s absolutely imperative that it maintains that narrative at E3. The word coming out of Microsoft’s camp in the wake of last week’s blunderous Xbox One unveiling is that it will be targeting the core market hard during its 90 minute presentation, and we expect the company to deliver. But there’s absolutely no reason why the PlayStation maker can’t match its closest competitor toe to toe in this area, as long as it doesn’t do something silly and start talking about entertainment experiences and Netflix. There’ll be plenty of opportunity for that in the run up to launch.

In truth, we’re expecting some big next generation content from the platform holder. Killzone: Shadow Fall, DriveClub, inFAMOUS: Second Son, and Knack are all certain to factor, but we reckon that the firm will have a lot more to offer than those four games. It strikes us that this is a do or die year for The Last Guardian, and Square Enix is also rumoured to be revealing Final Fantasy XV (formerly known as Final Fantasy Versus XIII). We already know that Bungie will be demonstrating Destiny on stage, and we wouldn’t be surprised if either Watch Dogs or Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag showed up too. But Sony needs to unload everything that it has: Uncharted 4, The Order: 1886, and more. Honestly, the more game announcements, the better.

But don’t spend time on family friendly titles

There’s nothing wrong with motion controls and casual games. We’re big fans of Sports Champions and adore the PlayStation Move more than most – but there’s a time and a place for everything. Last year, Sony completely killed the pace of its press conference by demonstrating Wonderbook: Book of Spells in between a cavalcade of big PlayStation 3 titles. The move actually secured the platform holder a slew of mainstream press coverage, but any benefits were severely undone by the online backlash to the reveal. The manufacturer needs to understand that no matter how important these titles are, there’s no room for them in a livestreamed press conference.

We’re sure that the PS4 – along with the PS3 and Vita – will have plenty of these types of releases in the pipeline (Invizimals: The Alliance immediately springs to mind), but the company simply must restrict any family titles to montages at most. The firm can ensure that the media sees the games by inviting them to closed door sessions and ensuring that they’re playable on the show floor. But for the main press conference, if the platform holder wants to maintain the gamer friendly moniker that’s served it so well over the past few months, it must keep these titles out of the spotlight during its pre-show briefing.

Do share the limelight with the PS3 and Vita

It’s fairly obvious that the PS4 will be the star attraction during Sony’s press conference, but that doesn’t mean that its existing platforms should get overlooked. With the likes of Gran Turismo 6 and Beyond: Two Souls right around the corner – and The Last of Us just days away from release at the time of the event – we think that it’s important that the manufacturer spends a moment to reiterate the ongoing relevance of its current console. We’re not expecting many new announcements, but a montage certainly wouldn’t hurt in this area.

As for the Vita, we think that it’s important that the company gives the handheld some airtime to prove that it hasn’t forgotten about the machine. Time will be of the essence, but there’s no reason why the organisation can’t roll off several big game announcements and trailers in fifteen minutes or so. With Soul Sacrifice already on store shelves, there are only really three tent pole first-party titles announced for the fledgling system – Freedom Wars, Killzone: Mercenary, and Tearaway – so the firm needs to make a commitment to the console in a big way. A new title from Sony Bend as well as a Gravity Rush successor would be ideal.

Don’t talk too much

One area in which Sony’s press conferences frequently fall apart is their emphasis on lengthy introductions and public relations spiel. Microsoft almost always makes better use of its stage time by cutting out the crud and getting straight into the action. Dimmed lights and a big game demonstration will always make a bigger impact than anything Jack Tretton has to say about the popularity of the PlayStation brand. We understand that dialogue is necessary, but the company needs to treat its briefing like a rock concert – the most powerful moment at its presentation last year came when it showed The Last of Us and God of War: Ascension in quick succession without any breaks for talking apart from the odd mention of a game title or a release date.

And trimming the fat from its press conference will give it so much more time. With three platforms to cover, in addition to the unveiling of a piece of hardware, it’s going to have to be exact with its scheduling, and there just won’t be the opportunity for too much chatter. If it’s planning on culling some trailers in order to fit in more words, then it really needs to reconsider. A video or demonstration of a game – no matter the scale – will always have a bigger impact than anything an understandably nervous mouthpiece has to say. Let the quality content do the talking, and keep it coming in a breathless cadence.

But do show plenty of live demonstrations

The balance between these last two points is paramount. While we think that it’s extremely important that Sony cuts chitchat down to an absolute minimum, we reckon that it’s equally imperative that the platform holder puts its biggest developers on stage and plays as many games live as possible. Trailers are great, but if a title’s far enough into development, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be getting a short playthrough. We think that inFAMOUS: Second Son and DriveClub are absolute locks in this department, but we sincerely hope that the company has a lot more content to show than those two titles.

In the case of speculated (but oft delayed) releases such as The Last Guardian and Final Fantasy XV, proving that they are legitimate products may be essential. The re-announcement of Team ICO’s first-party exclusive will garner attention in whatever guise it’s shown, but in order to avoid jokes regarding its development status, it’s important that the company proves that the adventure's an actual game after over four years of delays. Bringing legendary director Fumito Ueda onstage and putting a DualShock 4 in his hands will help to quell scepticism should the hotly anticipated exclusive make an appearance at all. And the same applies to the next iteration in Square Enix’s enormous JRPG series.

Are there any other things that you think that Sony must abide to during its E3 press conference? Do you disagree with any of the above points? Let us know in the comments section below.

Which of the following do you think that Sony most needs to do at E3? (50 votes)

Put an emphasis on quality PS4 games


Avoid any casual or motion control titles


Share the spotlight with the PS3 and Vita


Keep any talking segments clear and concise


Show lots of content live on the stage


Please login to vote in this poll.

User Comments (39)



Sanquine said:

Soo uuhmm.... There is nothing in the poll about vita...? Spend some time on it sony... And not the 15 min you are proposing sammy. Otherwise a event for the vita apart. Why should i have this stupid handheld if sony does nothing to convince me to buy more games for it. I love soul sacrifice but i think they need to release every month a game for the vita. For the ps3 there are almost 5 games released every month. Vita sometimes 1 often zero...
Sony do something otherwise you are losing a loyalist here.... Im also considering why i should buy a ps4 if sony is letting his handheld to die...



get2sammyb said:

@Sanquine There is an entry about Vita: "Share the spotlight with the PS3 and Vita". I think 15 minutes on the system would be fine, and certainly much more than last year. The reality is that this conference is going to be predominantly PS4, though. As it should be, in my opinion.



Jaz007 said:

I think if they are planning to not have any used game blocks on PS4, announcing there won't be any of it at the beginning or end of their E3 conference would be a good way to keep the pace going and steal some spotlight from Microsoft.



Sanquine said:

@get2sammyb 15 minutes of 2 hours? .... Sony is going to F*** vita owners again. There is something called wonderbook that had 30 min of the whole presentation

@get2sammyb Ps4 is getting enough attention ^^ It will get its attention but what about the vita? Have i bought paperweight? Do they not care? Nintendo gets it... OWN direct video all about 3ds..



charlesnarles said:

@Sanquine lmao I agree with your sentiment completely. There's seriously no games I actively want to purchase; with Vita it's always "well, what's available to me? Oh, an old PSP game I own on disc... Maybe it'll be better with two sticks... Nope, I wasted my money again." And that's a sad thing to have keep happening to us. If there were a Mass Effect/KotOR style game or something normal, I'd be so happy! Touch/tilt stuff for minigames like theirs are obviously a perfect match too. Anyhow, moar Vita stuff!!!



Sanquine said:

@charlesnarles I will cry of happiness if they announced a port of.......... The elder scrolls oblivion ( If the vita can handle that)..

I think it is not that difficult to have a second E3 conference just for vita and ps3.. Than you have the big conference for the ps4 alone... But people need to know sony is still supporting. Nintendo is the best in this part. They do a stream just for the 3ds. They will do @ Nintendo direct just for Wii U As i should be if you have 2 or more products on the market. If sony does not do it they should leave the handheld gaming business Because they cant even convince there first party studio's to make a vita game .... Only media molecule those guys build tear away with 15 people ... Santa monica has 200 people working there.. Same goes for guerilla and Naughty dog? They have no time for the vita at all ... Sony has a lot to learn from Nintendo



InsertNameHere said:

I think 15 minutes would be a good amount of time to focus on the Vita, while also spending 15 on the PS3 - Or they could do some kind of Sony Direct where they talk about the Vita exclusively. Either way, they need to show that the Vita is still being backed. Sure they're pushing remote play, but that isn't good enough, they need to put more games out because Studio Japan can't continue supporting the Vita alone.

The PS4 seems set in the software department, so i'm not worried about that. Sony just needs to clean up this used game DRM mess, save applications for a later date, and keep any talking to a minimum. If they do that, then they should be fine.

@Sanquine With the way they're pushing remote play, I doubt Sony would leave the Vita hanging. Although I do agree with you on the Wonderbook thing, they really shouldn't have let that go on for so long.



Sanquine said:

@TheRealBatman Wonderbook..... That's fun for parents with children.. NOTHING to do at E3. Sorry for my tone but i really get pissed off. I pre ordered a Playstation 4 and i know that they need to do everything to blow microsoft to pieces , but please do a second conference/ Sony direct for the vita.... The ps3 has its momentum and doesnt need the time. The vita is tanking... Vitanic



ShogunRok said:

I think you've nailed it with keeping things clear and concise. Given the amount of content Sony has to show, they really need to hit a brisk pace and not let up. Any downtime will be detrimental to the overall show, and that's something they can't afford.

It's simple: don't slow down.



InsertNameHere said:

@Sanquine I understand where you're coming from. While I don't own a Vita yet, it does feel like Sony isn't really putting their weight behind it. But that's why this mandatory remote play is such a good thing, it shows that Sony does have big plans for the Vita.



Sanquine said:

@TheRealBatman Yet? Thats the word i first saw. You are waiting for a reason to buy one. The first reason is remote play I know the libary of the vita is big now ( for someone who is buying it now) but for the early adopters its just waiting for every good game to release. I have played persona 4 300 hours in total.. Gravity rush maybe 80 hours and now soul sacrifice 100 hours i think... But that is because i havent anything else to play... Already played almost every vita game.



InsertNameHere said:

@Sanquine I actually have many reasons to buy one, but between saving up to move out, helping out with rent, and now helping to get my sisters car fixed - I have almost no money. It took months to save up enough to pre-order The Last of Us which is only $80, it'll take even longer to save up for the $250 for a Vita and the extra $40 for a game to take home with it.



Sanquine said:

It's also funny that sony has almost 12 own studio's How many are working on vita ? 2 ! Just makes sense to let your handheld die



rjejr said:

I think if it just goes smoothly they should be ok. Nintendo isn't even having one this year, and MS will be busy trying to recover from the last presentation. Ild like PS4 pricing but I know that won't happen. Maybe dates? Maybe Vita and PS3 price drops?
Hopefully they actually show a real copy of the PS4.



MorriganIsHot said:

Just focus only on the PS4 since $ony does not care for the vita. I hope the vita is their last handheld.



Sanquine said:

@MorriganIsHot You did not bought one did you? You weren't talking like us vita owners But maybe you are right. Maybe this is their last handheld ever. Funny that you write Sony with $

OOOWH i looked up some comments you made The vita hate is strong in this one:)



InsertNameHere said:

@MorriganIsHot From what we've been hearing lately, it looks like Sony does care for the Vita. I know i've used this already, but the remote play push is evidence of that. There's also the fact that they're always going on about how they have plans for the Vita.

Sony just needs to put out a system seller. It would be crazy if at E3, they announced that they had acquired the rights to Crash, and his first few new games were Vita exclusives. Even without something like that, I doubt the Vita will be theire last handheld, but it's fine if you want it to be.



Aj_Dono said:

only to ease the tension for ps4 buyers, by the clarity of used games etc. at least 3 minutes for that. then games,games oh and games
ps3 will sell itself and unfortunately vita go fu$k itself. sony should leave handheld to nintendo... end of



Scrible said:

Vita owners ducked themselves by buying a portable game system, haven't you heard ds and phones have that category on lockdown, besides, you never buy anything on launch, wait and see what it does, and in this case, you would've saved money like me



sajoey said:

I'm most excited about the live demos, because those were what absolutely stole the show for me at their announcement in February. Even just seeing Knack run in real time on the UI and the Vita was absolutely fantastic. Plus, it'll give them a chance to show the true power of the PS4 in action. Heck, maybe they'll even be able to show the transition from 4 to Vita, see how quick it is and how the graphics and gameplay fair, specifically on games like Killzone: Shadow Fall and inFamous: Second Son.



Sanquine said:

@Aj_Dono no, why should the Vita **** itself ? Maybe you should have some symapathy for vita owners . Bunch of hypocrites on this site . Go back to NL nintendo life
@i have no chrystal bol ...



Cowboysfan-22 said:

I bought a Vita and the only good game I've found so far for it is Persona 4 Golden.. Honestly tho, if you would've told me Persona 4 was as good as it is I would've bought a Vita just to play it.. Amazing game



Gamer83 said:

I went with keeping talking points clear and concise. They have to address the used games issue at E3 and whether the news is good or bad, the message has to be conveyed so that there is absolutely no confusion about what the plan is.



MorriganIsHot said:

@Sanquine I used to own a vita and liked and played it more than my 3DS, yes the thing have games people just have bad taste or just ungrateful. Reason I no longer own it due to it launch problems the thing had. I still kept uncharted, AC3L and GR a long with the 32gb and will buy a vita again soon. I will not make that same mistake again with the PS4 and just wait months after it release.



MorriganIsHot said:

@TheRealBatman Other than japan, they didn't bother to drop down the prices else where. 32GB shouldn't cost $100 that is ridiculous and not really enough space. Plus Gravity Rush should've been their system seller but no one bother to give it a chance due to stupid reviews like gamespot and destructiod gave it 6.5 and turned everyone off.



Squiggle55 said:

I think ps4 and vita will both get the attention they deserve without a doubt, and I have faith in Sony to show off some great games. The only thing I fear is they will be tempted to show off some family friendly move things again, so that's what I voted for. I hope they decide that quality titles like Knack is all the family friendly stuff they need. And of course I hope they come out and say "we won't block used games at all". If they don't say this clearly in the presentation, to me that obviously means that they will.



get2sammyb said:

@Sanquine I love your passion, man, just be careful with the swears. I'm not going to have a hissy-fit over a bit of bad language, but would prefer if we could keep it to a minimum.

Thank you very much!



chazaroonie said:

@Sanquine I own a Vita and I'm currently looking at launch games I missed first time around due to the lack of new games that excite me. Guacamelee! Was pretty good but it's not a AAA title, more a bit of fun for half an hour here and there. I'll probably only buy one more ps3 game too (the last of us) as I'm waitingfor the ps4. Yes I want to hear all about the next gen system but I want more Vita titles. I'm blown away by the hardware and there are some great games for it, but we want more Vita announcements!!!



chazaroonie said:

@TheRealBatman Have you considered a pre owned vita, or sharing one with your sister. I don't regret buying my vita one bit. I love it, I'd just like it to receive the support the system deserves. I hope Killzone: Mercenaries is the title it looks like it will be.



Gamer83 said:

I get a kick out of some of the Sony doesn't care about Vita comments. Aside from cutting the price Sony has done as much as it could up to this point. They've provided good games out of first parties, particularly Japan Studio, and there have been many great downloadable games. The real issue is not being able to get the big third parties on board and there's not much Sony can do about that. I don't see Capcom, SquareEnix and others jumping on with great support until Vita starts selling better, but sales won't pick up until those developers deliver games. It's a tough situation, hopefully $ony opens the checkbook for Rockstar in the West and Capcom in Japan.



JavierYHL said:

its depends on what u my country vita is more popular than 3ds...we friends gather around every week playing earth defense force,ragnarok odyssey and now ss...its tons of fun and our 3ds is gathering dust...i dun think sony should leave the handheld provide something different from ninty portables...with toukiden,dragons crown,god eater 2,freedom wars,phantasy star online 2 and maybe an upcoming soul sacrifice 2...i think we will play more games on vita than maybe even more than ps4...bottomline is dun judge a console should continued or not in your country only...for example nobody wants a xbox 360 here in our country...ps3 is king should microsoft leave the home console business?



Solatorobo said:



Seriously, not everyone who plays games as a hobby only play FPSes, many play a wide variety of games and don't care what age it is, only the quality of the product.



Slapshot said:

Sony has this next generation of the "gaming" industry sitting right in front of itself for the taking if it plays its cards correctly. Microsoft is clearly wanting to play more of a back-seat role with the Xbox One, much like Apple does with its platforms. Sony has the perfect opportunity to win over the vast majority of the gaming community with the PlayStation 4, which will only be done if it does just as you say Sammy, by showcasing what gamers truly want: games.

Don't be surprised if the Xbox One does win over the mainstream audience and outsells the PlayStation 4 in worldwide install units, because of its non-gaming entertainment offerings. Even if it does, Sony can still retain the gaming community by keeping the games flowing.



rjejr said:

Is it too late to add "clarify if the Eye is bundled or not?" I really think we should have a definitive answer to that tomorrow but if not it certainly cant linger over E3. Yes or no or both. Though we'll probably have to wait until E3 if the answer is both.



Madd_Hatter401 said:

I'd like to know if a mic is bundled with the ps4..I have turtle beaches but it would be nice if more PS gamers had mics (minus the annoying children lol) also I'd love to see some vita titles and know how exactly the vita and ps4 will interact.



Aj_Dono said:

@Sanquine , what i mean is in essence, sony has not done anything great concerning the longevity of any of its handhelds. i even imported the japanese psp to get it early, that was left to rot. so i learned that sony is only really capable of supporting household console models. didn't mean to get your back up. but i would advise not investing in the next one. that is if sony can be bothered. take it easy.

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