Tom Quirk plays a lot of video games, but when he isn't, he is reading fantasy novels and watching way more television than is healthy.
Next year’s E3 is going to be one for the history books. For the first time in the event’s 24 year history, PlayStation will be skipping the Electronic Entertainment Expo. Each year, E3 brings game publishers and console manufacturers together to promote and reveal their latest products. This time, it will be without any presence from Sony.
Sony announced this via a statement released to Game Informer. “As the industry evolves, Sony Interactive Entertainment continues to look for inventive opportunities to engage the community,” stated the company, “As the industry evolves, Sony Interactive Entertainment continues to look for inventive opportunities to engage the community. PlayStation fans mean the world to us and we always want to innovate, think differently and experiment with new ways to delight gamers. As a result, we have decided not to participate in E3 in 2019. We are exploring new and familiar ways to engage our community in 2019 and can’t wait to share our plans with you.”
They also seemingly confirmed that they will not hold their own event adjacent to the E3 event, similar to EA, stating that “We will not activate or hold a press conference around E3.” This news is in addition to the announcement that they will be skipping their exclusive fan event, PlayStation Experience (or PSX) this year as well.
Notably, this is not the first time that a major console manufacturer has been a no-show at E3; Nintendo in 2013 declined to attend in favour of online Nintendo Direct videos. Whilst Nintendo have had booths at all the E3 events since, they still make many of their announcements via Nintendo Direct. Still, Sony’s conferences and game announcements have often been the highlights of E3, and it will feel like a very different show without PlayStation’s presence.
We have yet to find out what kind of “new and familiar ways” Sony will engage with the community next year. It is possible they are working on their own event to be released at a different time of the year that suits them better, similar to Blizzcon for Activision-Blizzard. However Sony may also go the Nintendo Direct route and move most of their announcements online, allowing it to promote its products more globally.
Whatever decision Sony makes regarding E3, it certainly won’t be the same show without them.