Sony Needs to Differentiate Its State of Plays From Nintendo Directs

While E3 was once the one-stop-shop of video game announcements, the need for a weekend-long event has been largely suppressed by the efficiency of social media. Developers, publishers, creators, and marketing companies have moved away from the Electronic Entertainment Expo to form their own method of news delivery, making the annual event feel smaller in comparison to previous years. sony was a staple of the E3 festivities until 2019, when it instead opted to host its own event, which put E3 in the firing line of one of gaming’s giants.

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The storied past of both Sony and Nintendo make up much of the foundation of the video game industry today. Both companies are blazing the trail of modern hardware, and providing hours of enjoyment through first-party studios and IP. Though the creativity of Nintendo and the consistency of Sony allows the two to coexist with one another, naturally there are going to be some similarities between brands and each’s marketing. The often sporadic Nintendo Direct presentations are some of the industry’s most beloved events through the year, and while Sony’s State of Play’s are informative, it needs to offer something different to truly stand out.


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State of Play Has Much To Learn

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With the recent Nintendo Direct wielding an impressive slate of upcoming releases, the State of Play that took place just seven days earlier was overshadowed by the announcement of titles like Nintendo Switch Sports, Xenoblade Chronicles 3, and Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes. Sony’s presentation was impressive, though, providing an in-depth look at Gran Turismo 7, the latest iteration of the veteran racing franchise. The issue arises when both companies conduct their announcements in such a similar way, that each are always going to be compared to one another.


Nintendo have been hosting Direct presentations since 2011, and in that time have mastered the pacing, tone, and content that makes each one a relative success. While not every Direct is a home run, the lack of quality is almost always to do with the games on offer. With the eclectic range of franchises, studios, and creators under the PlayStation umbrella, Sony have the games to support a strong method of announcement, yet the State of Play events are rarely cause for similar excitement.

The Direct Influence of Nintendo

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Sony has occasionally walked safely along the trail that Nintendo had blazed previously, with new PlayStation products and services being some variant of what Nintendo had done previously; from the PlayStation Classic to the relevant-once-again Move controllers. Flying under the wing of one of gaming’s most iconic brands is a comfortable place to be for a while, but with the huge success of both the PS4, and PS5, as well as the critical and commercial acclaim of titles like The Last of Us Part II, gold Horizon: Zero DawnSony are no longer in a position to take inspiration from anyone else.


State of Play is a step in the right direction from the largely outdated E3 model. Evolving with the times is important, so hosting a short, concise event, and uploading a condensed version of the announcements to social media is an effective way to not only relay the news, but to ensure that audiences are more familiar with the brand. The model works but, like many instances, Nintendo got there first.

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Sony’s Console Dominance Deserves Better

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With Sony’s list of owned developers seemingly getting stronger by the day, the PlayStation brand is as appealing as it’s ever been, and the company is in a perfect position to take a commanding hold of the current console generation. The copy-and-paste mentality with the State of Play events is one of the few thorns in Sony’s side, even if the underwhelming nature of them doesn’t have a significant impact on the anticipation for each upcoming release.


The PlayStation 4’s impressive lineup of first-party games largely consisted of new beginnings, and the sequels that are coming to PS5 can utilize a fanbase that has its roots in the previous generation. God of War Ragnarok, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, and Horizon Forbidden West are all going to benefit greatly from the successes of their predecessors, so the way in which they are announced doesn’t matter as much as if they were brand-new properties.

As the PS5’s life cycle continues, and new games enter development, eventually sony will no longer have that luxury. It needs a new, unique way to handle its game announcements, and disassociating the State of Play events from Nintendo Direct presentations would be a suitable first step.

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