Remember when Jack Tretton laid the figurative smackdown during Sony’s E3 press conference a couple of years ago? That wasn’t originally planned. Despite speculation at the time, Sony never intended to mirror Microsoft’s abhorrent Xbox One digital-rights management policies – but seeing the backlash pointed at its nearest competitor forced it to make its message crystal clear.
“I remember reading an article literally the weekend before E3 that was basically saying that this is the direction Microsoft was taking and that it was only a matter of time before Sony adopts the same approach,” said group president Andrew House at the Develop 2014 conference in Brighton earlier today. “That sort of put me on the back foot, and I went and re-wrote portions of my E3 presentation script that weekend.”
House stressed that this was never a change in strategy, just a case of the company ensuring that it effectively communicated with customers its own personal stance. “All it did was make us come out and state very clearly that the status quo has been good to us; consumers like the choice, and the balance that that achieves,” he said. "It wasn't a shift in strategy, it was just a feeling of a necessity to go out and communicate something that we just took advantage of.”
And take advantage the firm did, as the overwhelming sentiment coming out of that year’s E3 was that Sony won the event hands down. Microsoft eventually changed its policies, but it’s still struggling to shake the stigma of the mishap – and that’s allowed the Japanese giant to build up an early install base lead around the world. You can relive the magic moment below – it truly never gets old.