In a surprise move, Sony has announced that it’s skipping its traditional booth and press conference at E3 in 2019, for the first time in 24 years.
The Entertainment Software Association, the lobbyist group that runs E3, confirmed the news last night alongside Sony. The move has given many cause to believe that the company is gearing up for a big PS5 reveal in 2020.
Sony said in a statement:
As the industry evolves, Sony Interactive Entertainment continues to look for inventive opportunities to engage the community. 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.
Given that Sony typically has a massive presence at E3 – both in terms of their presentation and on the show floor – many fear that this represents a major blow to the annual Los Angeles trade show.
For the past five years, Nintendo has also chosen to eschew the traditional E3 show model in favour of hosting a series of Nintendo Directs and Treehouses across the event instead. This leaves Microsoft as the only one of the “big three” left to hold the “standard” E3 press conference – unless they too decide to pull out before June, that is.
Sony also announced last month that it’d be skipping its 2018 PlayStation Experience, a show that the company had held every December since 2014.
It makes sense that Sony would be skipping these shows right now, if the PlayStation 4 really is nearing the end of this lifecycle as has long been rumoured.
If Days Gone, Death Stranding, The Last of Us 2, and Ghost of Tsushima are the only big exclusives left to be released for the console, it’s likely that Sony doesn’t want to hold big shows just to highlight games we already know about, and would rather take a year out to get their PS5 launch lineup ready to show off.
Now, more than ever, it looks like the PlayStation 5 really could see the 2020 E3 reveal, (and even launch) we’ve all been expecting.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.