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

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

204 Comments
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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 sladakrobot
sladakrobot

Sorry but imo,anyone who misses the E3,misses a big stage.

Nintendo left coz they didnt the hardware and games to compete with Sony and MS.

Avatar image for Xristophoros
Xristophoros

@sladakrobot: how can you defend nintendo leaving e3 and still doing very well without it, and go on to pan sony from doing the exact same thing? huh? what does graphics have to do with it? lol

Avatar image for sladakrobot
sladakrobot

@Xristophoros: they left coz the WiiU was a weak hardware back then and it was clear that Nintendo will never come back as they dont want to push the hardware like Sony and MS does.

Nintendo still has not the hardware (Switch) to compete against the Xbox or the PS and a direct competition would look bad for them.

And a direct comparison of graphics at the same show of same 3rd party games would look badly for the Switch.

Avatar image for Shinobi120
Shinobi120

@sladakrobot: You don't have a clue what you're talking about.

The Switch has already sold 32+ million systems worldwide within a two year period.

https://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/finance/hard_soft/index.html

Graphics don't exactly sell consoles; Otherwise, nobody would even buy a Switch to begin with.

Avatar image for sladakrobot
sladakrobot

@Shinobi120: the sales numbers has nothing to do with it. Its still underpowered and the games look worst on it in comparisson. They better be on a separate show with no other competiton

Avatar image for Shinobi120
Shinobi120

@sladakrobot: Again, you don't have a clue what you're talking about.

You think that Nintendo is going to skip E3 or "be on a separate show" just because of Switch "being underpowered"? No. Plus if history is anything to go by, graphics alone never sells platforms; Games, price tags & advertising does.

Plus sales numbers has everything to do with it: It's about how popular the platform is. Get a clue.

Avatar image for sladakrobot
sladakrobot

@Shinobi120: funny how you miss my point completely and focus only on salesnumbers lol

You can defend the salesnumbers as much as you can,the games look and run worse than on the competition consoles. The Switch costs more than a Xbox or PS and the Nintendo games will traditionaly almost never go down in price. Whats left is a gimmick of a hybrid console and few Nintendo games which would run and look better if they were also on a Xbox or a Playstation...but hey,you can only play Zelda,Mario Kart,Smash Bros or Tennis on the Switch and ones have no choice.

Avatar image for Shinobi120
Shinobi120

@sladakrobot: Must I keep repeating myself? Graphics, graphics, graphics; That's all you talk about, are graphics & how the games look. I was more than talking about the sales numbers. Did you even read what I said? I bet you haven't.

Plus news flash, only the hardcore cares about graphics. The average consumer doesn't care about that shit. All they care about, is having a good gaming library, a decent price tag, & a very good reception of the platform.

If graphics on games are all that & if people truly cared about how the games look, then they would've been gaming on PC's, not consoles.

Now, don't bother replying back to me with your foolishness again.

Avatar image for sladakrobot
sladakrobot

@Shinobi120: did you bother reading my op?

Avatar image for Barighm
Barighm

@sladakrobot: Uh...the Switch can't compete? Dude, it's the fastest selling console in North America. It's blowing the Xbox away.

Avatar image for sladakrobot
sladakrobot

@Barighm: yep,its no competition in hardware...salesnumbers has nothing to do with my comment.

Avatar image for lostn
lostn

@sladakrobot: Nintendo are still at E3. They still have a booth and you can play their games. So your 'fear of comparison' argument is bunk.

Avatar image for sladakrobot
sladakrobot

@lostn: very shy attempt

Avatar image for Xristophoros
Xristophoros

@lostn: i think he was referring to the "e3 press conference" aspect of the show... but yes, you are absolutely correct that they still have a presence on the show floor. in any case, ninendo does not need to show its face at all at e3 and it would be just fine. sony and nintendo offer a product that speaks for itself (and they have the sales to prove it). a sony video direct every 3 months is all i need from sony.

Avatar image for neurogia
Neurogia

Nintendo has foregone E3 for the last few years now, and nobody bats an eye.

Avatar image for TrueLink
TrueLink

@neurogia: Because Nintendo only fake left. They left their physical presence but still do a large Nintendo Direct at the time. It's similar to how Activision left for a few years, but just held an event elsewhere in the city.

Avatar image for Brettsky128
Brettsky128

@TrueLink: They still have a physical presence too on the floor. They just don't do a big live conference.

Avatar image for kgsg-19-2
kgsg-19-2

I hope e3 can get their stuff together, change it up and modernize. Not as excited as a I usually am for this year's e3 w/ no sony. Still looking forward to ms though.

Avatar image for Barighm
Barighm

@pcgamer2019: How come this troll hasn't been banned? His post history is just an endless series of insults.

Avatar image for Xylymphydyte
Xylymphydyte

@Barighm: That's the Gamespot target audience.

Avatar image for gamingdevil800
gamingdevil800

This practically confirms when we'll get a PS5 announcement in February 2020.

Avatar image for jako998
Jako998

Lol this sounds like complete damage control no matter what he says. Point is, is that sony dont have anymore games to show or release and they played all the cards they had to early and the games they showed (which were good btw) they are probably still at 1 9r 2 years out f4om release( 1 year at most)

Avatar image for Barighm
Barighm

@jako998: Days Gone, The Last of Us 2, the plethora of PS4+PC titles, third party games...

But yeah, sure, Sony has nothing to show.

Avatar image for sealionact
sealionact

@Barighm: They said it themselves....nothing to show, apart from games we've already seen.

No need to leap to their defence.

Avatar image for Archangel2222
Archangel2222

@Barighm: he is right though. how many times can they show death stranging, days gone, last of us 2? I mean thatll be what 3 e3s in a row? they need to change it up or its just the same showing as the previous ones. Those games you mentioned wont wow the audience at e3 who want to see something new

Avatar image for chubby170
Chubby170

Sony has gotten very arrogant with this generation. When they were behind the Xbox, they were really trying and doing a great job. I loved the PS3 and the games that came with it. The PS4 was a flop to me for many, many years and has finally gotten better..

Now that we are starting to look at next gen systems, Sony better have theirs backwards compatible this time around.

Avatar image for lostn
lostn

@chubby170: Not enough people play BC for it to be worth the investment (only 1% btw). They could do it if they find a way to do it cheap. The way Xbox did it will not be cheap.

Avatar image for skot_free
SKOT_FREE

@chubby170: no actually Whether you believe Layden or Not He is absolutely correct in saying E3 has become outdated. All the reasons he stated are valid. One of the important points he raised is that with 24/7 access to gaming news there are no surprises at E3 anymore. Not only that As Nintendo has proven with its Nintendo Directs there are much better ways to engage fans. Just my opinion tho

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

We've gone through this cycle a couple times already. The publishers start claiming E3 is "outdated" and distance from the show, then once no one is at the show, they all come back hoping to steal the show for themselves, and then the others fly in unwilling to let the others be the only ones there. Repeat.

Avatar image for Barighm
Barighm

@Thanatos2k: YouTube and online announcements weren't quite as big a thing back then, though, and desktop ads aren't as easily avoidable as they were during the PS3/360 era. Nowadays, you can get by on huge digital announcements alone. Frankly, I've learned about more interesting looking new games from Sony's YouTube channel than anywhere else. Even E3 is fairly limited to the mainstream with only the odd niche game.

Avatar image for jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

@Thanatos2k: Agree- "E3 is irrelevant and dead". Business is bad or they desperately need to push some crap, "Hey! we are back at E3 and we are hoping you will come and see us!!!"

Avatar image for jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

For the last 20 yrs E3 has evolved, devolved and evolved again. Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, all of the major publishers, and whatever flavor circus in town- seemed to show up for E3 each year. And like other industry trade shows, all of the big players have tried to move away from E3 to get more coverage for their games. All of them have complained about being buried in the sea of neon or next gimmick, wasting million of promo dollars.

Meanwhile the trade show part has went behind doors for private showings way back in 5th gen, as throngs of: gamers, 'internet' journalist, B-celebs and swag merchants converged on E3 making lines long, crowds huge, and business secrets impossible or convoluted with speculation. Compared to decades ago when it was just the E3 trade show, you now have a calendar so crowded with different trade shows that E3 of old has much less impact on the industry.

When business is good these publishers/platforms forego E3 and call it out as no longer relevant-- One nice thing though, When business is bad - Sony will have a booth at E3 with all smiles and booth babes.

Avatar image for WarGreymon77
WarGreymon77

Bad decision.

Avatar image for mistertech
MisterTech

Ps5 is thier future.. and they want to announce it the best they can.. hopefully they have games and all to show. I think it makes sense.. "hey, we are in the middle of a transition and we dont want to dissapoint people... so.. when we are ready.. we will make ya proud"

Avatar image for friggan
Friggan

As much as I loved Sony back in 2013 at the PS4 reveal, they have really lost touch with the things that gave them the edge. Their stance toward their customers is sliding and I don't see that going away.

A few things I don't care for. (again, my 2 cents)

1. No cross platform play.

2. Anti mod stance (somewhat amended but still limited)

3. Censorship (WHY!)

I am sure we will be seeing PS5 things before too long, but I think Sony needs to reel it in.

Avatar image for firedrakez
FireDrakeZ

@friggan: You should also mention that Sony has stopped adding features to the PS4 post launch while Xbox One has added a lot like a 4K HDR blu ray player, back compatibility(540 Xbox 360 titles and 33 OG Xbox titles and rising every week), gamepass(includes launch titles), enhanced games(higher resolutions up to 4k and framerates for previous and current gen games) on the One X, Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, DTS-X, Play Anywhere(play same game on PC and Xbox One with one purchase), Free Sync(Variable Refresh Rate), HDMI 2.1 support, Auto Low Latency mode(reduce input lag), Xbox Skill(Alexa and Cortana voice control), keyboard and mouse support, cross play with other platforms, and Mixer and Discord social media integration between PC and Xbox One. None of these are available on the PS4.

Avatar image for doremonhg9x
doremonhg9x

@firedrakez: You gotta give it to them for the Microsoft to add all these gimmicks into their "gaming console" while they have nothing interesting to go along with it. Sony is bad but Microsoft looks like it's not even considering the XOne as a gaming console anymore. And if I want any of that above mentioned features, a PC got me covered...

Avatar image for firedrakez
FireDrakeZ

@doremonhg9x: I am primarily a PC gamer myself as well. Many of those features which you call gimmicks like back compatibility, Free Sync(Variable Refresh Rate), Dolby Atmos, Auto Low Latency mode(reduce input lag) and keyboard and mouse support were pioneered on PCs and are taken for granted by PC gamers themselves, so it is nice to see them on the Xbox One console as well. Plus they added even more features that will most likely be added to PCs in the future like 2.1 HDMI support, Dolby Vision HDR imaging, etc.

I understand that most 3rd party games are also found on PC's but there are many notable console exclusives that I can't play on PC like Red Dead Redemption 1 and 2, Halo MCC, Halo Reach, older Gear of War games, Fable 2, Too Human, Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey, Infinite Undiscovery, Battlefield Bad Company 1, Project Gotham, The Darkness, Condemned 2, Saints Row 1, Ninja Gaiden Black, Crimson Skies, Panzer Dragoon Orta, Destroy All Humans, Medal of Honor Frontline, Medal of Honor European Assault, Call of Duty Finest Hour, Call of Duty 3, Call of Duty Big Red One, Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow, etc.

There also also many delisted PC games that you can still buy from the Xbox store or get discs for on console like Fable 3, Chronicles of Riddick, Quantum of Solace, Bloodstone 007, Nightfire, Ghostbusters(2009) etc.

And then there are the bad PC ports that are best played on console like Silent Hill Homecoming, Saints Row 2, Devil May Cry 3 SE, etc. because they are so problematic to run on PC.

Many of these games are back compatible on either Xbox One (542 Xbox 360 titles and 33 OG Xbox titles and rising every week) or the Xbox 360(478 OG Xbox games) and are enhanced with higher resolution up to 4K and increased framerates on the Xbox One X.

Having said that, most of my games are on PC and many of those are PC exclusives from genres like RTS or Flight simulators that are not available or cannot be played on consoles, so PC gaming is still my favorite platform. But my Xbox One X is a great supplemental platform that not only has many games not found on PCs but has many features that PCs don't usually have like 4K HDR blu ray player, Xbox Skill(voice control), HDMI 2.1 support, Dolby Vision HDR imaging,etc.

Finally when it comes to new first party launch titles, MS has started or acquired 5 or more studios this past few months(including rpg veterans Obsidian and InXile) and will continue to add studios moving forward. I have read their goal is to eventually release a first party title every quarter if possible to entice gamers to sign up for their upcoming live streaming Netflix like (with download option) subscription service for PCs, consoles, android, and IOS codenamed Project XCloud or buy their games outright.

Avatar image for Barighm
Barighm

@friggan: I don't care about that stuff, but their customer service does suck, so I'll still give you a like.

Avatar image for gamerforlife96
Gamerforlife96

@friggan: and let me guess you love Microsoft

Avatar image for friggan
Friggan

@gamerforlife96: Not at all, I returned my xbox 1 because it wouldn't load discs(without a few tries, or they wouldn't eject, etc ) . I have a PS4 & a switch. (as well as Vita and 3DS) , I like the games, but you don't need to be a fanatic to see they are sliding downhill in terms of customer service.

Avatar image for pcgamer2019
PCGamer2019

Sony are trying to avoid bad press as they know MS are coming with the big guns and they have nothing so to avoid being shamed and laughed at they are just leaving the scene. Which is probably wise although greatly dissapointing foir their fans, but again 4theplayers was nothing but a stupid joke that never became a reality at any point right up to to today whilst they block cross play and backwards compatabilty increase plus to £50 and remove most of the games etc, they have sunk quite low

Avatar image for mistertech
MisterTech

@pcgamer2019: I disagree with most of this. Sonya sales and games speak for themselves. I do agree however that they want the focus on them.. so creating psx makes thier message more impactful and not lost in the hype of e3.

Avatar image for pcgamer2019
PCGamer2019

@mistertech: Your nieve and your the kind of guy they bank on

Avatar image for gamerforlife96
Gamerforlife96

@pcgamer2019: hey its our troller friend 7tizz

Avatar image for aross2004
aross2004

@gamerforlife96: Sevenizz is actually the 7tizz alt account. This chump is just another master race troll boy that you can feel free to completely ignore as well.

Avatar image for gamerforlife96
Gamerforlife96

@aross2004: if you notice he doesnt shit on Mirosoft

Avatar image for Barighm
Barighm

@gamerforlife96: Really? But this guy is shitting on consoles in general. That would include the Xbox.

Avatar image for soliaired50
Soliaired50

@Barighm: Have you been looking at his comment history? From what I can see, almost every one of his comments are anti PS/pro Xbox. It's pretty inflammatory to the point where he deserves to be banned.

Avatar image for gamerforlife96
Gamerforlife96

@pcgamer2019: hey its our troller friend 7tizz

Avatar image for mistertech
MisterTech

@pcgamer2019: I'm a gamer.. not dedicated to one platform. If you think Sony (just about at 100 million consoles sold) doesnt know what they are doing.. then thata just being ignorant. Just as xbox has done a great job kinda turning around thier image in the past 12 months... and Nintendo just on fire right now... .. success is there for a reason. Saying I'm naive based on one comment that's positive, based on a successful video game branch of a company is just trolling. But if that's your thinking then yes, I'll buy the next xbox, ps, Nintendo product and will upgrade my pcs graphics are when needed... I'm an early adopter of tech.. when I feel its smart... so far so good