In a shock announcement, Sony has pulled out of 2019’s E3 event. Sony confirmed the news in a statement to Game Informer, explaining that “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”. They went on to say that they will be “exploring new and familiar ways to engage our community in 2019 and can’t wait to share our plans”.
Does this mean that we could see them move fully to their own dedicated PlayStation event like the ‘PlayStation Experience’ and forgo every E3 from now on? Or, is this just a one-off because they don’t have enough to show? Sony cancelled their PlayStation Experience event this year due to not having enough content to warrant making people travel to North America, so the latter could most certainly be true. Personally, I think choosing not to attend E3 in 2019 (and beyond) and instead focusing on PlayStation only events like the PlayStation Experience—similar to how Blizzard does it with BlizzCon—could be a good business move for PlayStation. Let me explain why I think this:
Sony has cornered the console market this year, outselling the Xbox One 2 to 1, so it’s fair to say that they have double (or even over double) the number of players as the Xbox. Because of this, it’s fair to assume that a lot of the people that tune into E3 only do so to watch the PlayStation reveals. This gives more exposure to Microsoft and Nintendo at the potential expense of Sony, but if Sony moved to solo events, the viewers for E3 would drop and Sony wouldn’t risk losing players due to announcements from their competitors.
It makes sense, right? Especially with next gen consoles in the works. But maybe it’s just me.
On the other hand, Sony has used the same announcements for the past few E3 events, so they might just have nothing to announce and will be back at the E3 event in 2020. They’ve already said they’re working on Death Stranding, Ghost of Tsushima, and The Last of Us Part 2, so maybe that’s all they have in the works and simply repeating that again next year would be a bit of a bore.
Either way, it will be interesting to see how it plays out; part of me wants them to go it solo and make a proper event out of it, the other part of me doesn’t want to see E3 become fragmented, and the final part of me doesn’t really care either way, because I prefer my One X and PC.
In other E3 news, Microsoft and Nintendo have confirmed that they will be attending E3 next year. Let’s hope they can pull something special out of the bag to keep the E3 breaking those records.
A lot to share with fans at E3 2019. Always a high point of the year to witness the industry’s creativity and the energy of the community. https://t.co/Uug2TUpxwI
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) November 15, 2018