That video games lack recognisable stars is a criticism the industry often faces, but for one night in June PlayStation US CEO Jack Tretton certainly felt like rock royalty.
As much as certain forum communities may swoon over the fact that Reggie Fils-Aime’s body is ready or about Shuhei Yoshida’s Antonio Banderas impression, Tretton is not used to such adulation from the community.
Yet all it took for him to completely and utterly win over the thousands in attendance at E3 and watching across the world was to confirm that PS4 would do exactly the same thing as PS3 does – not block pre-owned and not require a persistent internet connection.
“PS4 won’t impose any new restrictions on the use of PS4 game discs.” A simple statement followed by an astonishing 25 seconds of applause.
“When a gamer buys a PS4 disc, they have the right to use that copy of the game, they can trade in the game at retail, sell it to another person, lend it to a friend, or keep it forever.” 24 seconds.
“In addition, disc-based games don’t need to be connected online to play.” 14 seconds. “And it won’t stop working if you haven’t authenticated within 24 hours.” 10 seconds.
That’s 73 seconds of adulation, through much of which Jack’s nervous and surprised giggling was genuinely endearing.
This press conference wasn’t really about Sony, of course.
It was all about Xbox One and set the tone for six months of PR U-turns, mishaps and messaging struggles for Microsoft that might yet even go on to play a part in shaping the Xbox One’s long-term fortunes.
It was a lesson in gamer power, whose applause for Sony and condemnation of Microsoft forced the latter to change its business strategy just weeks after announcing it.
And we’re unlikely to ever see anything like that press conference again.