Sony has revealed that it will miss this summer’s E3 show for only the second time in its history — and a second successive year.
The Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, is one of the most significant events in the gaming calendar. It’s a chance for game companies, from hardware manufacturers down to small independent developers, to show off their wares. Many brands use it to make grand reveals ahead of the lucrative year-end release period.
Formerly an industry event, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) opted to open the show to the public in 2017. This year, 25,000 public tickets will be available for the Los Angeles Convention Center. With both Sony and Microsoft readying new consoles for the final quarter of 2020, both brands were practically guaranteed to make a big impact. However it appears that Sony has other ideas.
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, an un-named Sony Interactive Entertainment spokesperson said:
“After thorough evaluation SIE has decided not to participate in E3 2020. We have great respect for the ESA as an organization, but we do not feel the vision of E3 2020 is the right venue for what we are focused on this year.
“We will build upon our global events strategy in 2020 by participating in hundreds of consumer events across the globe. Our focus is on making sure fans feel part of the PlayStation family and have access to play their favorite content. We have a fantastic line up of titles coming to PlayStation 4, and with the upcoming launch of PlayStation 5, we are truly looking forward to a year of celebration with our fans.”
It’s a huge blow to E3. Prior to 2019, Sony had been present at every event, dating back to the very first one in 1995. In fact Sony revealed the original PlayStation console outside Japan for the first time at the first E3, while PS2 (1999), PSP (2003), PS3 (2005), and PS4 (2013) all had their global debuts at an E3 show.
On the other side of the coin, it means that Sony is missing out again on the largest single gaming show of the year, during a console launch year. Assuming Microsoft doesn’t pull a similar move, it means that the US console manufacturer will monopolize the column inches and fan chatter at E3. As with 2019, which Sony also missed, it’s likely that there’ll still be a Sony presence by way of big gaming titles from third-party publishers.
There’s also the question of how and when Sony will reveal the PS5, if not at E3. This might be sooner rather than later, with a dedicated console event known as PlayStation Meeting coming up in mid-February.