Earlier today, Sony shocked the gaming world by announcing they would not be attending E3 next year. This will be the first time Sony will miss the event since its inception in 1995. The news was first discovered in the E3 2019 announcement press release from the Electronic Software Association (ESA), the organization that runs E3, where it listed mainstay major publishers like Microsoft and Nintendo as participants, but made no mention of Sony participating. In a statement first given to Game Informer, Sony stated:
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.
Game Informer would also ask if Sony would have an event similar to Electronic Arts’ EA Play, an event held around E3 but not technically a part of E3 itself. PlayStation’s senior vice president of communications Jennifer Clark responded with, “we will not activate or hold a press conference around E3.”
This all comes off the back of the recent announcement that Sony would not be holding its annual PlayStation Experience due to not having enough to show at the event. Clark would also state that “both the timing of PSX and E3” would not allow PlayStation to “speak more to” and “continue to wow” their fans with their offerings.
The news also comes off as surprising due to E3 2018 being highly successful. The aforementioned press release stated this year’s event bolstered huge social media numbers across platforms such as Twitch, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Interim CEO of ESA Stanley Pierre-Louis states,“E3 2018 broke records, and we sold out of both exhibit space and attendee badges.” It is expected that next year’s event will prosper off the positive momentum from 2018’s event. However, even with the 2018 event’s overall success, Sony’s press conference was met with mixed reactions from fans.
All this news happens to fall on the fifth anniversary of the PlayStation 4. Also, recently, Sony’s CEO confirmed that next generation hardware is in development. Compounded with this information, the reasoning for Sony bypassing these events could mean that they may have plans to announce what the next console will be, and want to be fully prepared to show off what it may be similar to the original PlayStation 4 reveal event in early 2013.