PlayStation Boss Says E3 Didn't Keep Up With Industry Change

"A trade show without a lot of trade activity."

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Now Playing: Why PlayStation Is Skipping E3 2019 - GS News Update

Sony's decision to forgo E3 2019 caused waves, and the statement regarding its rationale revolved mostly around finding "inventive opportunities to engage the community" and plans to "think differently and experiment." SIE Worldwide Studios head Shawn Layden has now explained further--touching not only on what they plan to do differently in the future, but why E3 was no longer as useful.

Layden told CNet that the nature of E3 had been built up around standards that no longer apply, both for retailers and journalists. At its inception, the show had been a place for retailers to plan their stock, and for journalists to plan cover stories for magazines. In the modern era, he says, both of those have shifted.

"Now we have an event in February called Destination PlayStation, where we bring all retailers and third-party partners to come hear the story for the year," he said. "They're making purchasing discussions in February. June, now, is just too late to have a Christmas holiday discussion with retailers. So retail has really dropped off. And journalists now, with the internet and the fact that 24/7 there is game news, it's lost its impact around that.

"So the trade show became a trade show without a lot of trade activity. The world has changed, but E3 hasn't necessarily changed with it," he added.

Against all of those market forces, Sony was making a plan to do fewer and bigger games, which meant that June was no longer a good time in the year to outline its latest plans. "We feel like if we ring the bell and people show up here in force, people have [the] expectation 'Oh, they're going to tell us something.'"

The idea of setting expectations echoes Layden's rationale for skipping PSX in 2018, which was announced before Sony pulled out of E3 as well. We don't know yet when Sony will be outlining its own upcoming plans, or in what form. It follows big publishers like Activision and EA who have scaled back their E3 plans in recent years. Sony's show in 2018 was also very different, focusing narrowly on just four games.

For its part, Microsoft seems eager to fill the void left by its biggest console competitor. Xbox head Phil Spencer has said the company is going to "go and be as big at E3 as we've ever been."

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Avatar image for Rainier2

And weirdly this E3 feels like a big one for some reason; not sure what that says about Sony...

Avatar image for berrlett

We are almost at the end of this generation, they are clearly not revealing any PS5 related stuff besides, they've done all E3s through out this generation and they reign supreme over competition in sales, games and popularity. They've achieved what they set out to achieve this generation they probably sat back and watched MS going Netflex and other social media features to add to a lineup of mediocre exclusives and saw no threat. its MS turn to play it right with games this E3, no BWC no useless features no imaginary/timed exclusives no social media stuff no game pass BS just games, quality AA and potentially one AAA REAL exclusive from the studios they acquired if they want to find a way back to the console market.

Avatar image for livedreamplay

Why would they make a show?

The Last of Us already has trailer/gameplay, Ghost of Tsushima has trailer/gameplay, Death Stranding has trailer/gameplay, Wild already has trailer/gameplay, Days Gone launches until then... Santa Monica just recently released God of War, I doubt they are ready to show anything new. Unless Guerilla is ready to show Horizon 2 or something, then the E3 presentation would've been without any major titles...

Basically they have to decide between people bitching and moaning about no E3, or people bitching and moaning about the lack of games they present at E3...

Avatar image for doremonhg9x

Wait, so Nintendo has been skipping E3 for some years now and people praised them for being ahead of the curve, then why is Sony being shitted on again?

Avatar image for soliaired50

@doremonhg9x: Because it's Nintendo duh, Nintendo can do no wrong.

Avatar image for PrpleTrtleBuBum

Gaming world really needs E3. For years it was awesome to see pretty much every single upcoming game within the next 5 years listed one after one after one. No need to wait or constantly observe for private feed announcements.

Of course, Sony guy reveals the problem behind this as well. There are ways less games, at least after excluding all the shovelware mobile games and 1 dollar troll Kickstarter games. An event that size doesn't work if there are like 10 games studios want to talk about and the others are just byproducts

Avatar image for bat725

I’m curious to see exactly what M$ has planned. I was under the impression they were getting out of AAA game development, much like Konami and Disney.

Avatar image for Rainier2

@bat725: Where did you get that impression? The same place where people still refer to Microsoft as "M$"?

Avatar image for bat725

@Rainier2: I got that impression from the fact that they don’t drop any new games for their console.

But, hey...backwards compatibility! Cross-play for Minecraft and Fortnite!! Yippee!!!

Avatar image for Rainier2


they don’t drop any new games for their console

Right. Zero games. Cool down the hyperbole. Majority of the great games the past year have been 3rd party anyways.

But, hey...backwards compatibility! Cross-play for Minecraft and Fortnite!! Yippee!!!

Buy hey, PS4! No BC, no cross play! No E3!

Avatar image for Flyin3lvl

@Rainier2: yes cross play and yes playstation experience in december they dont need e3 ...... bc well for me none issue have ps1,2 and 3 still under the tv ....

and yet swtich isnt bc either and no e3


Avatar image for bat725

@Rainier2: That made me laugh.

Everyone knows the majority of great games available are Sony and Nintendo 1st party exclusives.

Go back to your Fortnite and Minecraft, kid. As for me, greatness awaits.

Avatar image for Rainier2

@bat725: Ok, seems like you're triggered. I tend to prefer 3rd party games these days. Sure, I like some Halo, Forza, Mario, Zelda and God of War etc, but I'm somewhere bored of them. 3rd party games generally push boundaries that first party titles adopt.

Avatar image for Zzshock

Sony will be there. They just won't take the stage.

Avatar image for thenephariouson

I have always enjoyed E3 and although I don't own a Sony system i always watch their shows as its great to see what they've got cooking. Competition is always healthy and is needed to drive forward.

Its a shame Sony wont be there this year, but i'm sure they have they're reasoning.

Avatar image for sleepnsurf

Sony won't show because they are working on their next movie, duh.

Avatar image for Rainier2

@sleepnsurf: Jokes aside, I would actually like to see realtime rendered movies that allow you to move around the scene. The 'controlling a puppet' if you will, of 3rd person story games leaves a lot to be desired for me. It's a loss of immersion; I'd rather just watch it play out.

Avatar image for Calix19

The ongoing evolution of the internet and content creators has changed the need for the E3. Sony doesn't need a convention thatvused to be exclusively journalists to market their games anymore.

Nintendo did great in 2018. Their dwindling participation in E3 didn't seem to hurt them.

Avatar image for egger7577

I get what Sony is trying to sell here but until somebody comes up with a better idea, E3 will continue to exist. You're now leaving the floor wide open for Microsoft and anyone else who wants to showcase something without your own thunder on display. This could potentially backfire and may not be the smartest business decision they've ever made.

Avatar image for starjay009

@egger7577: Agreed. Sony's absence should open up doors to Bethesda, Ubisoft, EA, MS, Nintendo, and perhaps another publisher to showcase more content (preferably games) to fans and the media.

Avatar image for sladakrobot

@egger7577: If MS can use that oportunity that is.

The MS shows werent bad,some was good but never outstanding in the last years.

Avatar image for bigbox

Because playstation suck, their games are way overrated but mainly they've got nothing new to show. They got no games.

Avatar image for livedreamplay

@bigbox: Don't know if you're a troll or an actual moron. xD

Avatar image for starjay009

@bigbox: Dude, I play on my Xbox One X from a console standpoint and even I can see through your fanboy douche-bagism clearly. Keep away and let mature minds comment. Btw, Playstation has some of the BEST exclusives this generation. Fair minded gamers will easily agree on that.

Avatar image for Runeweaver

The last time E3 had any effect on the console wars was MS and Sony's console unveiling, MS screwed the pooch and most of the Xbox360 fans stuck their middle digit up at MS and bought the PS4.

I'm guessing Sony knows they aren't gonna get a Perfect shitstorm by MS again so they are preparing for a fight and not showing their hand too early.

And lets be honest how many people watch E3 live, Most people just check out the trailers after E3 for any games they are interested in which doesn't take spending millions on an E3 show to give people access too.

Avatar image for sakaixx

Although I usually agree with whatever Sony is doing, skipping E3 means I will be more curious in other presentations. Not a good plan, never give competitors room to grow.

Avatar image for zyxahn

That sucks. We as fans ( at least in my case ) always look forward to E3. A big gaming party, to celebrate the industry we love. I wish they would look at it like that.

Avatar image for starjay009

@zyxahn: Exactly my feelings. E3 is the FESTIVAL OF GAMING !!! Nothing less. With SONY absent, it's like a deity missing from the Greek Pantheon of Gods. Okay.. that was a bit of exaggeration, but I am sure people will get my point.

Avatar image for Oldgun

Consider it silence before the storm. The imminent announcement / reveal of the PlayStation 5.

Avatar image for starjay009

@Oldgun: I am an Xbox and PC gamer and I am still excited to hear about SONY's next gen system.

Avatar image for tigerbalm

Another smart move by the market leader.

Avatar image for sleepnsurf

@tigerbalm: Nintendo?

Avatar image for starjay009

@tigerbalm: I guess... when you got nothing to show, why not just skip it all instead of making up the numbers.

As an Xbox fan, I think MS's job has gotten a lot more tricky. They need to really come swinging and hit it out of the park with fans and the media alike. Very exciting.