Sony dropped a major announcement about its presence at next year’s E3.
Sony has revealed today that it won’t be at E3 2019. What this means in practice is that we won’t be getting the traditional press conference in June.
Sony also said it won’t be having the usual presence on the show floor itself, meaning attendees won’t be lining up to play its games in the usual way.
“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.”
The firm’s VP of communications, Jennifer Clark, confirmed to the site it wouldn’t hold a press conference “around” the event, which means nothing will be held offsite.
Sony is hardly the first major publisher to ditch E3 in some way. It started with EA, which announced in 2016 that it’ll be hosting its own event – EA Play – in Los Angeles. The event usually kicks off a day or two before E3, and continues to run parallel to the show.
As a result, EA games are only playable on the E3 show floor when they’re available through a platform holder’s kiosk, such as FIFA being playable at Nintendo’s.
Microsoft has also slowly been reducing its presence at the show. This year’s Xbox E3 conference was held at Microsoft’s own theatre across the street from the LA Convention Center, though Microsoft did maintain a presence at the show floor with its Mixer stage.
With the push towards making E3 more of a public show – or at least a hybrid like TGS, and the show’s waning relevance in games media, it’s not completely surprising to see Sony make this move. The company has no problem cancelling events when it feels there’s nothing to show, as evident by the lack of a PSX event this year.
It’s possible the platform holder is taking a year off in preparation for the launch of the next PlayStation, which is reportedly due in 2020.