He Said, Tee Said – Regarding Sony Skipping E3 2020
He Said, Tee Said is a monthly article highlighting a hot topic as they crop up. The voices may object or they may agree but they will give you two points of view. Join us as we discuss Sony skipping E3 2020. Previously, we discussed Crackdown 3
HE SAID (Leo Faria):
Nintendo did not reveal the Switch at E3. They threw a trailer on their YouTube channel, then set up their own private reveal show in which anyone could watch it on the internet. Nobody would be crazy enough to call that strategy a failure: Nintendo has proven that their Directs can easily target as many potential consumers as any other E3 presentation at a fraction of the price.
You can either pay for a fancy open space in Los Angeles, plus the added costs of hiring staff, renting electronic equipment, ordering custom decoration props, shipping fees, gifts for invitees, and the additional ludicrous fee charged by the ESA for a booth at their show. Or you can simply come up with a simple and no-nonsense internet stream, full of trailers and the technical specifications people want to hear. What Sony is doing is smart and cost-efficient. They don’t need E3. They will live on without E3, and E3 will live on without them. There’s no need to panic.
Although Microsoft is still going to attend E3 2020, they didn’t use that show to unveil their next console either. Sure, their VGA reveal wasn’t as huge as your average E3 bombshell, but they still used an alternative event in order to unveil their console to the world, and everyone paid attention to it. There used to be a time in which all you had to unveil new games was either E3 or Tokyo Game Show. In this globalized day and age, in which news fly at the speed of light, every single announcement in any random day can be as impactful as E3. Deciding not to attend one event out of the dozens held around the world at any given year doesn’t hurt at all.
TEE SAID (Todd ‘Tee’ Eggleston):
I agree. Sony is skipping E3 2020 and the fans are rabid. How can Sony not show off their new hardware? They don’t care about the fans! PlayStation has nothing to show!!
Change is neither right or wrong simply for being change. In fact, evolution demands it. Nintendo backed away from E3 years ago. Xbox took their event off-site. Yes, I understand that the difference is that Xbox still has a show and Nintendo still has a floor presence, but my point is that these moves are being made for a reason. Remove the level of change, and the common denominator is still “change”.
People wanted to assume that Sony skipped E3 2019 because of a lack of content when it was fairly obvious that Sony is trying to figure out how they want to deliver their message and branding without E3. I am sure it made the choice easier since this generation is wrapping up, but yesterday’s news simply cements this notion. Especially because it is during a console launch year. Trust me, PlayStation has a lot to say in 2020. More importantly, they have a lot of people that want to listen.
E3 has definitely evolved to meet this changing trend. Hell, even the name evolved from Electronic Entertainment Expo. E3 was simply a trade show. It technically still is, but in a much more WWE kind of way now: the flashing lights, the character entrances, the orchestras and sports cars. Phil Spencer, the Ubisoft of E3 presenters, walks out every conference leading with “this ‘open world’ show will be our ‘largest yet!’” with fog and lasers all around. It’s great! We want more of it, but in the end, E3 is fighting against the main streaming platforms, Youtube and Twitch. Even the Video Game Awards are starting to feel like a better place to get new reveals and trailer drops these days. E3 feels more like a battle royale, pitting studios against each other, where we care more about grading the presentations than enjoying them. Who won E3 2019? Who will win E3 2020? That’s all we care about.
For most of us non-streamer types, we consume E3, BGS, Paris, VGA, Gamescom all the exact same way… by logging into YouTube and playing the conference on our time, not theirs. A few of us watch them live, but the majority watch the replay where we can push away from our work desk and get a coffee or watch after classes end. So if you aren’t physically present or you aren’t watching live, then why is the “where” and “when” important? This is what Sony is asking and what they will need to answer. Maybe a revival of PSX? Maybe Sony is done with large conferences altogether, in favor of their State of Play shows? Is a State of Play enough to give the PS5 that needed pomp and circumstance? I don’t have that answer but I am willing to guess that Sony does and I can’t wait to listen… wherever it is.