In a somewhat surprising move, Sony has announced that they are skipping E3 2019.
“As the industry evolves, Sony Interactive Entertainment continues to look for inventive opportunities to engage the community,” said Sony in a statement to Game Informer. “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.”
Sony also stated that they are exploring “new and familiar ways to engage our community in 2019 and can’t wait to share our plans.”
The idea of Sony not being at E3 is certainly odd. Not only is the first E3 ever that they will not attend, but Sony is responsible for some of the greatest highlights in the show’s history. Indeed, their recent press conferences have generally been seen as the gold standard of E3 presentations. Of course, not everyone was on-board with their elaborate (but tedious) multi-stage set-up at E3 2018.
Interestingly, that presentation may have been the key factor in Sony’s decision to skip E3 2019. It was clear that Sony was thinking beyond the limits of the E3 event and perhaps even beyond the limits of their own shows (remember that they’ve canceled this year’s PlayStation Experience event). Of course, that does raise some questions regarding what Sony will replace these events with. The obvious answer is that they will run a single event that may even run against (or around the same time of) E3. We’d be shocked if Sony skips events altogether.
However, we wouldn’t be shocked if Sony goes the Nintendo route and starts hosting Direct-style announcements online. Not only are such announcements cheaper and arguably further reaching, but they have the added benefit of being extremely controlled. In other words, they’re free of any live presentation errors. It’s also possible that this decision has something to do with them wanting to have as much control over the PS5’s reveal as possible.
It’s also worth noting that Microsoft has taken this opportunity to announce they will still host an E3 2019 conference. Suffice to say, they’ll be drawing a lot of extra attention at next year’s show.