In an unprecedented announcement today, it looks like Sony is skipping the enormous, annual E3 event in Los Angeles, CA for next year. The expo has been around for almost 25 years and Sony was one of the major players in its creation as a spin-off from CES. This is the first time Sony has not attended.
According to Variety, they found out about this news deep within the Entertainment Software Association’s 2019 expo announcement. Not only will Sony not host a press conference at E3 2019, but they are reportedly not “showing up at all” during the show.
In September of this year, Sony also canceled its PlayStation Experience (PSX) event that it had hosted for the past several years as well. Interestingly enough, these moves don’t seem to be happening due to anything negative. On the contrary, 2018 was one of the strongest years for the PlayStation brand ever with huge platform exclusives such as God of War and Spider-Man leading the game of the year discussions, PS4 surpassing 80 million worldwide units, and PSVR surpassing three million.
Sony still has several major exclusive titles left to release for the PS4 before moving on to the PS5 though, including Days Gone, The Last of Us 2, Ghosts of Tsushima, Death Stranding, and Resident Evil 2 Remake. It was shaping up to be a quiet year for PSVR after the monstrous time it’s had in 2018. Whether or not Sony will go the Nintendo Direct route and host a remote, video version of a press conference remains to be seen. Reports do seem to point towards a 2020 launch for the PlayStation 5.
Regardless, this is huge news for E3 and the show floor won’t be the same without the giant, blue booth.
Update: The following two paragraphs provide further details from a Game Informer article:
“As the industry evolves, Sony Interactive Entertainment continues to look for inventive opportunities to engage the community,” the company told Game Informer in a statement. “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.”
When asked if Sony would push its event off-site, similar to how Electronic Arts provides a show adjacent to E3, PlayStation senior vice president of communications Jennifer Clark elaborated further saying, “We will not activate or hold a press conference around E3.”
We’ve reached out to Sony for further comment.