Sony Says That PlayStation Will Not Be Attending E3 2019
Sony has issued a statement that claims that the company will be skipping E3 in 2019 - which is quite the about-turn, given that PlayStation conferences at recent E3s have been some of the more interesting and exciting ones held during the annual Los Angeles expo.
Sony issued the below to Game Informer, confirming the company's plans for the 2019 gathering of the games industry's biggest and brightest:
"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."
Exactly what this non-attendance means is up for debate - likewise, what kind of presentation PlayStation will put on, during or around E3, as surely they won't be completely silent while the rest of the industry is showing off their stuff.
It's not like staying away is unprecedented. For a while now, Nintendo have "not attended" E3, preferring instead to run 'Direct' presentations, exclusively online, during the expo. They've also maintained a presence on the show floor, where press (and punters, these days) have been able to get hands-on with the likes of Breath of the Wild ahead of release.
It could be that Sony pursues a similar strategy - beaming their latest trailers and announcements direct to their audience, with no bells-and-whistles live show in LA itself. But one thing is for sure: there will be no formal press conference, or off-site showcase similar to Electronic Arts' 'EA Play' events, in 2019.
PlayStation's senior vice president of communications, Jennifer Clark, was blunt with Game Informer, stating: "We will not activate or hold a press conference around E3." That's us told, then.
As well as Sony's E3 no-show to come, the company has also cancelled its regular end-of-year, fans-focused PlayStation Experience show in 2018. But no PlayStation at all at E3 seems unlikely, surely. They will have The Last of Us Part II releasing in 2019, Death Stranding not too far behind that, and there's the distinct possibility of a PlayStation 5 being revealed next year, too - games are already in development for the next-gen console, if recent reports concerning new projects at Square Enix are to be believed.
But Sony's move with this statement, whatever the actual results of it, isn't a good sign for E3's future prospects. Publishers are frequently finding ways to produce their own showcases, outside of the long-running industry event, which has been held every year since 1995 (where both the SEGA Saturn was surprise-launched in the US, and Nintendo's ill-fated Virtual Boy was displayed). So might it be that E3 has run its course?