For the first time since the expo’s 1995 debut, Sony won’t be hosting its annual hype conference at E3 or even attending the convention, citing a refocus on other, for the moment unspecified “inventive opportunities” instead.
“As the industry evolves, Sony Interactive Entertainment continues to look for inventive opportunities to engage the community,” a company rep tells 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. We are exploring new and familiar ways to engage our community in 2019 and can’t wait to share our plans with you.”
The news comes several months after the company also cancelled its PlayStation Experience fan event, usually held sometime in December, because there’s not much new stuff to talk about.
“The reasons behind that really are, we don’t have — we have a lot of progress that we’re making in our games, and we’re seeing that coming out, [but] now that we have Spider-Man out the door, we’re looking down into 2019 games like Dreams and Days Gone,”Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shawn Layden explained on the PlayStation Blogcast in September. “But we wouldn’t have enough to bring people all together in some location in North America to have that event. We don’t want to set expectations really high and then not deliver on it. It was a hard decision.”
In the meantime, however, Xbox has jumped into the gap to tease its own E3 presentation, with vice-prez Phil Spencer promising “a lot to share”.
A lot to share with fans at E3 2019. Always a high point of the year to witness the industry’s creativity and the energy of the community. https://t.co/Uug2TUpxwI
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) November 15, 2018
But is E3 maybe becoming irrelevant in a crammed schedule of more consumer-oriented events like Gamescom, BlizzCon, PAX, and even things like X018 and PlayStation Experience? Nintendo has been in and out of E3 since 2013, apparently preferring its own Nintendo Direct broadcasts, and I’d expect that online streaming is much cheaper and more convenient than extravagant exhibits in LA anyway.