When I headed out to attend E3 this year for the first time, I was pretty excited to check out the show floor and meet the people that I’ve worked with online for a number of years now. What I wasn’t all that excited for were the press conferences, and at this point they’re really not press conferences anymore.
As much as people don’t like when Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, EA or Ubisoft spend too much time talking about games rather than showing them at these press conferences, that’s what made them actual “press conferences.” Even covering the conferences here at home, I’d be paying attention to what the companies were saying about their games and tech, rather than just watching them.
This year was different, or at least for Sony it was. As a gamer, I certainly enjoyed Sony’s press conference the most this year. The live orchestra, the plethora of games…it was certainly a treat. But when Shawn Layden came onto the stage and said, “enjoy the show,” I knew we were in for something different. Sony’s presser was trailer after trailer until the very end, and it was awesome, but it certainly wasn’t a press conference. At least, not in the traditional sense.
It’s not a bad thing at all that companies make these press conferences / presentations more exciting for the audience. But, I think it’s about time we stopped calling them press conferences and called them what they are: showcases.
Based on the reception of Sony’s E3 presser, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Microsoft, EA and Ubisoft all follow-suit with their own conferences next year. Leave the more minute details for the blogs and gaming news outlets or their own press sites. People want to see the games at the show, not read details about them on a PowerPoint presentation.
This was my first year attending the show and when you walk in the doors the first thing you see when you head up the escalators is a stand for swag bags. It kind of made the whole experience a little odd, since I was there for work, but the overwhelmingly majority of people seemed to be there to simply play game, which is what I thought E3 Live was for.
E3 has become increasingly more geared towards the public in recent years and with the super positive reception of Sony’s E3 “presentation” this year, I’m expecting next year’s show to be even more targeted at the public rather than what’s considered as industry professionals. And maybe, that’s just how it should be.