In 2013, we live in an age of information, an age of connectivity, an age of connected people, thoughts, and ideas. But it’s not an age where hardware is revealed at E3.
With Sony hosting an event on February 20th, it becomes more and more likely that both Microsoft and Sony will be revealing their latest hardware at their own events, keeping the spotlight to themselves. But don’t think this will take away from the buzz that is E3. They’ll just spend more time talking about the games featured on the systems during the show instead of the systems themselves.
Those of us who remember the announcement of the Xbox 360 back in 2005 know that Microsoft has been down this road before. Instead of an official unveiling during their press conference, they aired a special on MTV prior to E3, allowing them to have most of their focus during E3 be on the games. After all, games help sell systems. Sony’s press conference that year was all about the games as well, showcasing trailer after trailer of impressive gameplay for their upcoming system. People were buzzing at the show. Sony’s following year, when they actually showed off the PlayStation 3 console? Yeah, they’d like to forget that presser. And the first year of the PS3.
Flash forward to 2012, last year’s E3. This was Nintendo’s time to showcase the games they’d be releasing for the Wii U. Their press conference came and went. Sure, we (finally) heard about Pikmin 3, but the biggest announcements for the Wii U’s lineup could come through episodes of Nintendo Direct, not their personal press conference when the entire gaming world was present. So while they left fans buzzing with excitement and anticipation last month with their game blowout during Nintendo Direct, they fell behind the noise and hysteria that was E3 after their press conference.
This is the risk Microsoft and Sony run by announcing their new consoles during their press conferences. Never mind the fact that it’d not only be happening during the same week, it’d be happening on the same day. The spotlight would not be theirs and theirs alone, meaning one company would miss out on potential coverage from some of the smaller media outlets.
That’s why they’ll both be officially announcing the details of their console before E3 2013 kicks off this June. Key word: officially.
We’re 90% sure they’re coming this year. We’ve seen leaked specs, submitted patents, and details for the consoles. Yet neither company has made any sort of official announcement just yet. Again, this is 2013. Things get leaked. Remember back when Nintendo unveiled the DS? Well, the handheld was outed before their official announcement, a fact admitted by Reggie when he said “I know you haven’t seen this yet” as he showed off a Game Boy Micro.
And this isn’t a fact exclusive to gaming. Lance Armstrong’s public confession to PED usage was confirmed before his interview aired. In an age of information and connectivity, it’s hard to keep secrets.
Think about this for a second. Imagine if Sony and Microsoft did wait until June and use their press conferences to talk all about their upcoming systems. Now look at me with a straight face and tell me the details won’t get leaked beforehand. Also tell me how one unveiling won’t overshadow another. Finally, enlighten me how they’ll fit in time to also talk about all the new games that’ll be coming for these systems. Yes, new systems tend to mean new IPs. That’d be a lot of information to both talk about and digest. It’d only make sense that the hardware gets its own spotlight before the event. That way, the hype is built as E3 approaches, and our appetites are fed with games, games, and more games.
After all, if Apple gets to announce hardware on their own terms, why can’t Sony and Microsoft?
Date: February 4, 2013