E3 Press Conferences, What Does Sony Need to Do?

The PS4 may be going strong, but what does Sony need to do to stay ahead amid the excitement of E3?

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Sony had a strong E3 press conference last year, introducing the PS4 at $100 less than the Xbox One and taking direct aim at Microsoft's since-reversed policies on used games and online connectivity. And that PS4 momentum seems to have carried over to the current year; it's been the top-selling console in the US every month since its launch and garnered over 7 million sales worldwide.

But as we saw with the rapid, sudden success of the Nintendo Wii, a scrappy underdog can shake things up at any time. In this feature, GameSpot's editors discuss what Sony needs to talk about during their upcoming E3 press conference to ensure they stay in the number one spot for another year.

Don't Get Cocky, Kid - Thomas Mc Shea

Do. Not. Get. Cocky. Everyone loves Sony now. They've been doing all the right things, saying all the right things, and we've grown to put our trust in them. And that's a terrible position to be in. Sony is not our friend, and as we've seen in the past, it can make terrible decisions when they feel as though they're comfortably in first place. Sony has overcome the failings the PlayStation 3 went through in its first few years through hard work, and though it took a long time, all of that effort paid off. Sony has to continue down that path. And that doesn't just mean debuting more independent and AAA games.

Now would be a perfect time for Sony to cut the price of the PlayStation 4. We know they're already making a profit on the system, and there's no reason to let the Xbox One gain momentum when it reaches price parity in June. So, get the jump on Microsoft early, make the console more palatable for those sitting on the fence, and show that you're willing to cut into your own profits to keep people happy. Pair that with a new bundle that packs the PlayStation 4 and Vita together, and Sony is poised to continue the good feelings they've engendered of late.

Greatness Can't Wait, We Need to See It Now - Edward Makuch

Sony comes into E3 2014 as the top dog. The PS4 is performing above expectations with 7 million units sold, well ahead of the Xbox One and Wii U. But this isn't to say Sony can breeze through E3 and hope to stay on top. They can't. The PS4's $100 price advantage over the Xbox One is gone, and Sony needs to demonstrate at E3 why the PS4 is a better value offer than the Xbox One. They can do this by focusing on software and services.

First, Sony needs to finally give us pricing and title availability details for PlayStation Now, their upcoming streaming service expected to roll out this summer in the US. The PS4's lack of backwards compatibility was a major pain point for me when considering upgrading from PS3 to PS4. Letting users stream older games on their new box--if the price is right and the library is deep enough--could help drive further adoption of the PS4.

Also during Sony's E3 press conference, they need to give us an update on Naughty Dog's Uncharted game for the PlayStation 4. Though Sony assures us that everything at Naughty Dog is fine, the recent spate of high-level staff departures (Justin Richmond, Amy Hennig, and others) cast a shadow of doubt over the studio. That was offset by the return of Druckmann and Straley, but the negativity will be entirely erased if we get a look at Uncharted 4 gameplay and it leaves us with our jaws on the floor.

Show, Don't Tell - Dan Hindes

Alright, Sony--you're winning. Well done. Now show us what early adopters get for their loyalty. I don't want to see any Wonderbook-like nonsense or PlayStation Move-exclusive hand-waving. To use your own marketing on you--show us something for the players. Look at how you ended your 2012 press conference: the lights dimmed, someone from Naughty Dog walked on stage and played through a few minutes of The Last of Us, then walked off--and not a word was spoken. The game, in motion, was more than enough. Show us that confidence once again.

And show us what your intense courting of indie developers has produced. I don't want to see ports of PC games, or titles that will be available day-and-date on Steam. Show us why PlayStation--both the PS4 and Vita--is THE place for indies. And I want to see new games that could only exist on the Vita; games that are built FOR the hardware's unique input, not games that pay it lip service. Finally, if you don't show us that The Last Guardian still exists, then I may have to stage an editorial walk-out.

Keep It Simple - Justin Haywald

Price-wise, I think the PlayStation 4 is fine for the next year or so. What I want to see is a system for downloading digital PSN content I already own. The idea of PlayStation Now, and being able to rent PS2 games on PS4, is nice but I don't want to pay to access them again.

But if I were shooting for something pie-in-the-sky that could make the PS4 my de facto console of choice, it would be a PlayStation Now service that integrates with PlayStation Plus and allows unlimited access to Sony's previous-gen digital content. That would be a bombshell that would ensure everyone is talking about the PS4 well after E3 (and I really want a reason to finally unplug my PS3).

Where's the Killer App? - Mark Walton

Thanks to some stellar sales numbers for the PlayStation 4, Sony doesn't have anywhere near as much work to do as its competitors at this year's E3. That said, if it wants to hang onto its prime position as the best-selling next-gen console, it needs to get some games out there, particularly from its many first-party studios. Sony's lineup of indie titles across both the PS4 and Vita is great, but there's hardly been a killer app that makes the PS4 seem like an essential purchase for those still waiting to make the jump. The likes of Naughty Dog and Quantic Dream all have the design chops to produce something seriously impressive. This E3, Sony needs to show the world what the PS4 can really do.

You've read our thoughts, but what do you think Sony needs to talk about at this year's press conference? Let us know in the comments below!

And for even more E3 discussion, check out our full pre-E3 series:

And

See more coverage of E3 2014 →

Discussion

247 comments
cherublvl99
cherublvl99

They need to focus in AAA exclusives, like Uncharted and God of War, they're focusing in indies exclusives

Coco_pierrot
Coco_pierrot

If they don't show up interesting games like a new IP that has the same potential has God Of War or some RPGs, and of course games that use the stupid touch pad on the controler ... you know some stuff that couldn't be done on the PS3 ... right know this new gen just look like a polished turd.

sonic_rareware8
sonic_rareware8

What Sony needs to do is of course, buy back the rights of Crash Bandicoot and Spyro from Activision since Universal Interactive Studios (Vivendi Universal in 2002, Vivendi Games in 2006) who owned the rights of those two franchises has closed and merged with Activision in 2008.

MuffintopX
MuffintopX

Continue on the games train. I want to see more next-gen exclusives, not necessarily just PS4 ones. Start showing games that are actual next-gen and can't  run on old gen because the core mechanics depend on the PS4's power. I want to see a new MAG that actually has 256 players!

pie_cannon
pie_cannon

Honestly I love my PS4 but the one thing Sony needs to bring imo is at least one killer online MP exclusive game to E3. I love my single player games but I feel like MP games are always the one area Playstation has lagged behind Xbox on.

Zombrex
Zombrex

Announcing pricing and availability for both PS Now and PS TV should rile the crowd up. Show nothing but in-game demos of upcoming and future titles. Talk about their backwards compatibility plans. Give a preview of upcoming PS Plus titles, maybe even pick one game and announce that it is available free for 24 hours for every person that owns a PS4 as a thank you. Show the VR headset. Then when you can't imagine it getting any better, hit the crowd with something that is just truly mind blowing(pricing for aforementioned headset maybe?).

homey_d_clown
homey_d_clown

3 thing Sony should do this E3 for a WIN:


#1 Reduce the PS4 price by $50, making it again cheaper then its competitor, and it's $100 price drop obsolete.


#2 Backwards compatible with the PS3


#3 Reward all current PS4 owners with free PS+ games, and market it as a Thank you.  This is the opposite feeling current XB0ne owners are feeling  after purchasing the Kinect.

meatz666
meatz666

E3 is just for show.

Since I bought PS3 when RDR came out, I guess I can wait for another 4 years to get the PS4. Until then, PC.

straightcur
straightcur

Unless there's some big surprise in the works,  this is going to be an extremely weak E3.

kryotech
kryotech

I really hope that they bring out more games for the Vita. It's a great piece of hardware and I'd really hate to see it go for no good reason other than lack of support.

monson21502
monson21502

what sony needs to do is make sure every1 at sony HQ is up to date on their will`s and death insurance policies... because after they watch MS`s show at E3 .half of them will have a heart attack and the other half will jump out the window!

bubba_1988
bubba_1988

They need to show off some new PS4 exclusives (live game play is a must) with a near release date. They also need to show a few games built from the ground up (not ports) for the Vita. They also should make some changes to the OS (media support, external HDD etc). And maybe something that we have not heard of yet to surprise us. Sony is known for their hubris and over ambition. I fear they will spend too much time on PS Now and Morpheus making unkeepable promises and announcing ridiculous price points. If they are to blunder it will be on those two aspects.

TMK_PsYcho
TMK_PsYcho

Partner up with bethesda and announce fallout 4 exclusively for PS4 and then you're golden

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Just lower the PS4 price, destroying the Kinectless Xbox again.

megamatics
megamatics

Sony needs to invest in making some fun longlasting games that don't depend on Multiplayer or horribly boring stories like TLOU. The Movie Game era is dead, those games sell but they now leave people wanting more... You can't keep doing the same thing. 

DeadHUSKSskiN
DeadHUSKSskiN

Anyone that actually REQUESTS they show Indies! indies! indies!, needs to be punched in the belly. Indies are fine, but that isnt going to "win" E3..  I didnt spend $400+ plus for indie games.. sorry

Brando008
Brando008

Sony is gonna kill it again at E3. I feel it in my body 

darkteddi
darkteddi

2/3 of all games shown on conference to be released this year.

fredyellowone
fredyellowone

1 - Pause/resume downloads, MP3 support and a fix for the absence of AV out audio on the PS4.

2-  Kaz, PD, should be fired from GT series, and replaced with a talented team of people who will listen to the fans.

3-  Firm release dates for GTA V and The Last of US PS4 editions, without delays.

4-  A bunch of exclusives that we haven't heard before E3.

5-  Do not talk too much about indies.  People prefer mainstream stuff.  Not indies.

6-  Partnership for a new Timesplitters.

7-  GT7 will not release before it's ready.  (unlike GT6)

8-  Show us Project Morpheus.



Stevo_the_gamer
Stevo_the_gamer moderator moderator

Less montages, less monologue. Sony is notorious for both of these.

youre_a_sheep
youre_a_sheep

Show me the games, and not on the horizon.  If I buy a PS4 today, what will I have to play the rest of the year that my PS3 couldn't offer?  I fear they have no answer.

Also, it's silly to suggest a price cut now.  Nobody is going to run out and buy a PS4 today because the price dropped when there still aren't games.  Instead they should aim at giving us at least a 1TB hard drive version to add value while still raking in $399.

dalua360
dalua360

"The PS4 may be going strong, but what does Sony need to do to stay ahead amid the excitement of E3?"


Correct Answer: Just display the console, nothing else !

Killer6b9
Killer6b9

External hard drive support! MS just did it, Sony needs to do the same. Hell the PS3 did it, no excuse the PS4 can't.....

DarkJedi8_basic
DarkJedi8_basic

Then need to get off this "Delayed to 2015" bandwagon and finally start to release games...and not just Indie Titles.

Still Awating Greatness, Sony!

pharoe777
pharoe777

Just release some good exclusives already, that's all sony needs to do.

spartanx169x
spartanx169x

Does Sony have any exclusives coming out later this year? (serious question). The only one I was interested in- The Order :1886 was delayed to 2015. 

monson21502
monson21502

@kryotech sony too cheap to support any system with low install base. in japan people love handhelds and sony made mostly good games for them and left us armicans with next to nothing. 

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

@jake198624 Dear jake, you are so wrong in so many ways - but lets try to clarify. The idea that what ever company has done it longer will do it better ..,. clearly any fan of history can see where that goes wrong. MS and a war they started... really ... any rivalry between consumer products is a myth created by its customers. But one nice thing is that the gamer or consumer is winning between any product war. And while I am a huge fan of Sony playstation - they have far from kicked ass this last several years. For starters they boldly increased their licensing fees for games and peripherals to the point that pushed away third parties. They took a huge bet on the cell processort - understandable- but then also tried to push Asian architecture and coding that western developers begged them not to. With the crash of asian game development - that proved to be a hugely bad decision. 

There is a reason that last year the first thing Sony said was the message that they have made mistakes but to let everyone know (developers and gamers) we are making changes and bringing the games. 

Just like MS had to course correct, after last years crazy policies - so has sony over the 7th gen console time period.  

imajinn
imajinn

@jake198624 The same could have been said / be said for Nintendo. Never under estimate the opposition. Things can move in favor of one company to another very quickly.

onixevil
onixevil

Being proud is part of the Japanese companies.

xoextreme
xoextreme

@Killer6b9 why do you need external hard drive support when you can take the faceplate off the ps4, remove the hard drive and put an ssd or new hard drive in there? 

dalua360
dalua360

@DarkJedi8_basic I agree, but maybe this is not Sony's fault, nor Microsoft... This new gen is starting slow due to the publishers, developers and economic issues I believe ! Take GTA 5 as example, they prefered to use an old platform better known to the devs than trying something new, but in the end, the Marketing people hurried the releasing making impossible to the Rockstar people to make all the necessary tweaks ! GTA 5 should have tons of features, instead, they had to release an incomplete game due to the pressure from the "money people" ! I know that because I know people who work at the development and they tell me how much the development is compromised by marketing and investors decisions !

alaannn
alaannn

@spartanx169x driveclub and the last of us ps4 edtion there isnt alot to be honest,theres nothing i can think off for x1 either other than maybe halo 1-4 x1 edtion

Killer6b9
Killer6b9

Because I can get an external hard drive a lot cheaper than replacing the internal one, plus it is just easier to deal with. If you but a 2TB HD over the course of owning your console you will need to still need more space if these games are going to be 30GB or more I just look at whats to come.

runningman5ksmak
runningman5ksmak

@bunchanumbers @spartanx169x last of us for ps4 is not releasing next week it was only a Rumor. heck the game is suppose to release this summer and there is know actual release date for the game yet

AtomicEdge
AtomicEdge

@Killer6b9 Internal drive are always cheaper than external drives. External drives are just internal drives plus an enclosure.


Most external drives are 5200rpm (this is slow) whereas internal drives are mostly 7200rpm.