Last year’s E3 saw a showdown between upcoming consoles. Microsoft and Sony had each done a sort of pre-reveal, giving basic details for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 respectively, but E3 was the main event with millions of eyes tuning in to watch. At the time, Microsoft had some controversial policies planned that included mandatory online check-ins and used games restrictions.
These policies would be reversed shortly after E3, but Sony took advantage of their unpopularity during the show, ending their presentation by assuring gamers that PlayStation 4 would not have any of the same restrictions. As it turns out, this section of the presentation (which was by far the most applauded moment of the conference) was added in last minute.
Speaking with Eurogamer, Sony Computer Entertainment head Andrew House revealed that he re-wrote sections of the E3 2013 presentation shortly before the event out of concern that gamers were expecting Sony to implement policies similar to Microsoft.
“It made us feel a little bit clearer about our message. When a lot of the negativity was emerging around DRM issues and used games. I remember reading an article literally the weekend before E3 that was basically saying that this is the direction Microsoft was taking and that it was only a matter of time before Sony adopts the same approach.
“That sort of put me on the back foot and I went and re-wrote portions of my E3 presentation script that weekend and we re-crafted the presentation because there was now an onus on us not to be seen to be going down the same path. All it did was make us come out and state very clearly ‘the status quo has been good to us, consumers like the choice and the balance that achieves.’ It wasn’t a shift in strategy, it was just a feeling of a necessity to go out and communicate something that we just took advantage of.” — Andrew House
While Microsoft would eventually reverse these policies, essentially rendering the end segment of Sony’s E3 conference a non-issue, it was hugely popular at the time and helped Sony establish their place as the early favorite.