In a surprising turn of events, Sony Interactive Entertainment has announced it will not be attending E3 next year. Sony has been a major player at E3 since the annual conference started in 1995. Next year will mark the first time the Japanese company will be absent.
"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," Sony said in a statement to Game Informer. "We are exploring new and familiar ways to engage our community in 2019 and can’t wait to share our plans with you.”
Considering the statement Sony provided, the company is planning some sort of event for 2019. Unlike Electronic Arts, there aren't any plans to host an E3-adjacent event.
"We will not activate or hold a press conference around E3," PlayStation senior vice president of communications Jennifer Clark confirmed.
This announcement comes out of left field, considering how big Sony's E3 presence has been in recent years. This E3 cancellation is coming after Sony also canceled this year's PlayStation Experience, a fan event the company has used to reveal first- and third-party titles. YouTube channel Kinda Funny, led by former IGN editors and producers, is filling the void by hosting its own showcase.
Sony has already revealed major upcoming PS4 titles, including The Last of Us Part II, Death Stranding, and Dreams. PSX was canceled because there wouldn't be enough to share about these titles to meet expectations, according to Sony Worldwide Studios Chairman Shawn Layden. While not attending E3 could be a concern, Clark reassures Sony fans that it's a matter a timing.
"We are looking at events as a whole and how we can speak more to our fans and continue to wow them. The timing of PSX and E3 didn't allow for that," she said. "But lots of exciting things to come, and we hope to share shortly. Some of our biggest games will have key milestones next year so we will work hard to blow those up."
Coincidentally, more rumors have been spreading recently about Sony's next-generation machine. It's no secret that the company is working on a PlayStation 5 (or whatever they decide to call it). Reports have even been floating around about backwards compatibility for the ninth-generation console. Aside from its upcoming games, Sony could be preparing for its own major event to celebrate a new console.
Quick TakeWhile it's crazy to see a huge change in the E3 lineup, we have to remember that this is an ever-evolving industry. Nintendo has consistently been doing its own announcements for years thanks to its own outreach. Sony has enough clout to get the word out on its own if it ever holds its own press conference. To break away from E3, however, is a sign that something big is in the works — like PlayStation 5 levels of big.
What are your thoughts on Sony not going to E3? What do you think Sony will do instead? Let us know in the comments below!