PlayStation Won't Attend E3 2019, Sony Confirms

Sony is skipping next year's big game expo.

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Now Playing: Sony Won't Have An E3 2019 Press Conference - GS News Update

Since its inception more than 20 years ago, the Electronic Entertainment Expo has traditionally been the biggest gaming event of the year. The industry's major players, Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo, have all had a regular presence at the show, but it appears Sony won't be a part of next year's event.

The ESA--the company that organizes E3--has shared the first details about E3 2019, and Sony will not have a presence there. The publisher is notably absent from the list of companies that have already committed to the event, among them its biggest console competitors, Microsoft and Nintendo, as well as other major publishers like Take-Two, Ubisoft, Activision, and more.

Sony has confirmed it plans to skip next year's E3. "As the industry evolves, Sony Interactive Entertainment continues to look for inventive opportunities to engage the community," the company said in a statement to GameSpot. "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."

This will mark the first time Sony has opted to skip E3 since it entered the video game business in the mid-90s, although other companies have similarly begun to reevaluate their E3 showings in recent years. Microsoft notably moved nearly its entire presence offsite to the Microsoft Theater for E3 2018, with only Mixer present on the showfloor, while Nintendo has forgone live press conferences in favor of pre-recorded video presentations for the past several years. Sony, too, tried something different with its E3 2018 showing by focusing primarily on four of its upcoming games and presenting them through a "guided experience," which garnered a mixed reaction from viewers.

The ESA's E3 2019 announcement also included positive remarks from both Microsoft and Nintendo.

"E3 is an outstanding opportunity for us to share new games and experiences with fans and business partners from across the globe," said Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime. "Every year, we discuss what will be the best way for us to take advantage of the next E3 show in order to bring smiles to people's faces."

"E3 is an incredible platform to showcase the vibrancy and creativity of the video game industry," said Xbox boss Phil Spencer. "The ESA continues to expand the event's reach to fans and the industry, both in attendance and online, and we look forward to what's ahead at E3 2019."

Despite opting out of next year's E3, Sony doesn't appear to have cut its ties with the ESA. The company is still listed as a member on the ESA's website, so it is still paying membership fees and supporting the organization in that way.

E3 2019 isn't the only major event Sony is skipping. The company recently confirmed it will not host its annual PlayStation Experience this year. "We won't have it in the States this year," worldwide studios head Shawn Layden revealed on the PlayStation Blogcast. "Now that we have Spider-Man out the door, we're looking down into 2019 games like Dreams and Days Gone. But we wouldn't have enough to bring people all together in North America to have that event. We don't want to set expectations really high and then not deliver on that. It was a hard decision, but we have determined that this year we will not hold PlayStation Experience."

While video game companies may be rethinking their traditional approach to E3, the expo continues to be a major event. "E3 2018 broke records, and we sold out of both exhibit space and attendee badges," Stanley Pierre-Louis, interim CEO of ESA, said. "We are confident that, through the continued creative innovations delivered by our participating member companies, E3 2019 will deliver the same kind of excitement and energy. This year, we're looking forward to expanding E3 beyond the walls of the LACC and connecting gamers and attendees with incredible video game content throughout the entire LA Live complex."

E3 2019 takes place June 11-13. It is notably the final show confirmed for the Los Angeles Convention Center--the venue it has traditionally been held in for much of its history. Former ESA CEO Michael Gallagher had previously said the organization may pursue other options if the LACC does not modernize and upgrade the facility.

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Avatar image for luis2113

Ps5! Ps5! Ps5!

Avatar image for theKSMM

Sony will be out of the game business in six months.

Avatar image for Xristophoros

@theKSMM: pigs and donkeys will rule the earth as well. cannot wait!

Avatar image for gfantini

@theKSMM: Doesn't matter, I'll be king of Scotland.

Avatar image for kielkaiser

mmm well, if NINTENTO had done this on this year E3 rather showing nothing but smash bros, i guess i would had clap em, if SONY doesnt have anything to show is a good desition, now i feel bad to see Death stranding not gonna be done till 2020, and theres not gonna be PS5 till 2021? OR they gonna show it all on the TGS?

Avatar image for raven6666

Boycott to Trump administration policies?

Avatar image for twztid13

@raven6666: I'm sure people will say it is, regardless. Truth is relative in TDS era.

Avatar image for FreeRPGer

Actually, Sony may simply be looking into a cheaper way to get news out in the wild, something like Nintendo Direct. It is possible from what I've read. Not a bad move at all.

There are other, cheaper (and quicker) ways to get big news out there. E3 is kinda pointless, if you think about it, what with all the rumors that are always floating about, whether accurate or not. It's an expensive way to reveal things that may have already been leaked in rumors.

This could be more proof that E3 is slowly dying away.

Avatar image for Destructionzz

Not enough? 2019 is riddled with releases.

Avatar image for brinmilwaukee

What?! I like the PS4 but don't agree with Sony's decision. AT ALL. It weakens the best gaming convention of the year, and seems like a real slight to its fan base. What a terrible decision.

Avatar image for Matthew196

I personally think E3 has went belly up. First off this kinda all started with Nintendo's big dumb move to start sending E3 pre-recorded videos rather then coming out in the flesh and bone.

Now without Sony. What good is E3 without Nintendo (in the flesh and bone) and without Sony.

You know if i was a game developer I wouldn't go through the hardships or the money to go to E3 anymore quite personally because no one but Microsoft is going to be there. Everything else is pre-recorded videos because god forbid the companies head people come out to meet and greet the fans no they send videos rather than come out in person.

Its just all these moves defies everything E3 was ment to be and if i was a person behind the making of E3 id probably close it down.

Avatar image for ukgamer51

Not "For the players" ha ha ha.

Wait for it...…………… comes all the fanboys excuses saying they like this or don't need it.

Avatar image for nargg

@ukgamer51: There's only one thing worse than a fanboy, and that's an anti-fanboy.

Avatar image for bruta

well they were destroyed by Microsoft this year at E3

Avatar image for VakarianGirl

No matter what nuance we posit as the reason for all this, this is a terrible PR move for Sony and they will not easily escape the optics of this decision. Pity.

Avatar image for asnakeneverdies

@VakarianGirl: This reptile appreciates the ominousness. Keep it rhetorical, Vakarian! 🤗

Avatar image for VakarianGirl

@asnakeneverdies: I aim to please, Snake. ;-) Good to see you on here again!

Avatar image for Blaiyan

No games then adding 4k blu'ray player, BC and videos and pics would suffice

Avatar image for barcaazul

I could see them doing a PS5 reveal event before E3.

Apart from the last of us 2, dreams and days gone, I don't know what else they have in the pipe.

I could see the last of us 2 being PS5 launch game too

Avatar image for baral-o

what happened to sony lately? No PSX, no E3, and then there is the new censorship policy (especially toward japanese developers)...are they trying to alienate the fans of something?

Avatar image for Xristophoros

@baral-o: no, they are keeping quiet and putting out the best games in the industry... isn't that enough? or is it never enough for you?

Avatar image for Barighm

@baral-o: No, they don't have much to discuss because they're working on the PS5...which they told us. Directly. It's not a secret.

Avatar image for tsunami2311

PS5 with 4k 60fps capable or 1080p @ 60fps solid, still using optical disc cause I dont want digital only, + the ability to play ps4 games on the system via disc or digital from my collection and I will buy it on day one.

There is no excuse other then greed to not have ps4/pro compatibly anymore, not from HW stand point. it gona be same pc tech, just faster. some hw stand point no emulation is needed

Avatar image for Xristophoros

@tsunami2311: well you will be a happy person then because everything you said will come true. i really hope sony mandates both performance options for ALL games going forward on ps5 -- 4k/30 and 1080p/60. i prefer the latter and want that choice for every game. if they can do something along those lines next gen should be even better than this one. if ps4 games are not b/c with ps5 i won't buy a ps5 and will hold out for years while i catch up on legacy games. simple as that... it would be pr suicide if sony did such a thing, though, and if anything, i think we might even get ps1, ps2 and ps3 b/c to some extent on ps5. maybe not with discs, but with select offerings on psn since full compatibility with thousands of games is impossible with an emulator.

Avatar image for Barighm

@tsunami2311: You're right, and they already said as much about BC, but it sounds like they're much more interested in going all digital from this point on. A lot of major publishers have been trying to sell us on that lately, and MS assured us the next Xbox will be a disc based console, so they must have an idea what's going on too.

On the bright side, if they are going pure digital...there would be no reason to buy a PS5. The PS4 should be able to handle it just fine.

Avatar image for gotrekfabian

PS5 announcement inbound.

Avatar image for Xristophoros

@gotrekfabian: think so? i think it is over a year away... jan or feb 2020 seems more like it but we'll see!

Avatar image for gotrekfabian

@Xristophoros: I didn't mean that it's going to be announced right now but I can see them doing so in the next few months. As most AAA games take 2-3 years to make, dev kits are likely out there already so it's only a matter of time before someone drops the ball and, if I were Sony, I'd want to announce it before the inevitable cock-up.

Avatar image for Xristophoros

@gotrekfabian: i feel like announcing it too early would take away from the ps4's success (might hamper hardware sales a bit) and also overshadow the remaining big 1st party exclusives of 2019. it makes more sense to let 2019 ride out with a bang and then in early 2020 make the official announcement with a release in the fall of the same year. you make a good point about leaks, though. but to be honest, even if a few leaked photos get out, they won't be confirmed or denied by sony anyways. i believe there were similar leaks regarding the ps3 and ps4 back in the day. fake leaks happen quite often anyways so i don't think it will affect sony's reveal plans, whatever they might be. exciting times regardless!

Avatar image for gfantini

@Xristophoros: Think about it for a minute: do you really think Sony would spend nearly 2 two years being dead silent? Do the math: last big event was E8 2018. We know there won't be a PSX this year. We know they won't attend E3 2019. So if they're planning an early 2020 PS5 reveal, why not make it at PSX 2019? I'll tell you why: because it wouldn't make sense to announce a new console just days away from Christmas. Which gets us back to the initial point: Sony cannot afford to spend nearly two years without making any sort of big media splash. Cause I don't think they're planning to switch efforts to TGS or PGW.

So where am I getting at? In their official statement, Sony mentions the bad "timing" of PSX and E3. That's the key word. You see, squashing the PS5 reveal in-between those two events would not make much sense from a business standpoint. Got it? The PS5 will be revealed early 2019 in an exclusive, Sony held event. Every single piece of information around that subject, be it official, be it rumor, points into that direction if you piece it all together. Some people say it might launch in Q1 2020, but I'm betting Fall 2019.

No one seems to get it: this transition is unlike any previous ones. It's a big upgrade, not a disruption. Sony needs to act fast to capitalize on the success of the PS4. Cause Microsoft is making bold moves. It boils down to this: the PS5 will not cannibalize the PS4 nor restart the race from scratch. It builds upon it, from a hardware and software point of view. What is there to loose?

Avatar image for Xristophoros

@gfantini: well, yes, 2 years is a long time to wait for an announcement... i said they will make the announcement in jan/feb of 2020 -- that is only 14 months from today and sounds like a reasonable time frame to me. if it is 2019 release date for ps5, i will be a bit surprised to be honest... we still have 5 great ps4 exclusives to release in 2019, so why rush it when sony can have another strong holiday season in 2019 selling ps4 alone? also, sony will hold its own conference for the ps5 reveal just like they did for the ps4 reveal. they will not annonce ps5 at any large show/event in all likelihood.

Avatar image for gfantini

@Xristophoros: 14 months from today means 19 months from E3 2018, where they held their last big appearance. Not reasonable at all.

My point was exactly that Sony will hold its own exclusive event for the PS5 announcement just like they did with the PS4. Just not in 2020. February 2019, according to a number of rumors.

So don't be surprised. A holiday 2019 launch is precisely 6 years from the original PS4. Last gen dragged on for too damn long, which was 7 years. 6 is the sweet spot. Specially with the PC eating the gaming market from one side and mobile phones from the other. You see, these two indirect competitors take advantage from much shorter hardware iterations. Which was the main reason for the Pro. "4K" is just marketing jargon.

So yes, Sony should have a strong holiday 2019 with the PS4 alone. But they would enjoy a MUCH stronger holiday with PS4+PS5 alongside each other. TLOU2 and specially Death Stranding will probably be marketed as cross-gen "runs best on the PS5" "launch" titles.

With PS4 backwards compatibility, the PS5 will be a day one purchase for any PlayStation enthusiast. Specially if PS4 games run and look better on the new console. Which will likely be the case, be it through patches of even magically out-of-the-box. Now imagine if the PS5 was coming out this holiday season: would you shell out $400 (or even $500) - minus PS4 trade-in - to play Red Dead 2 at 4K60? I know that I would.

Avatar image for YellowJello

Good. E3 sucks.

Avatar image for Schizycho

@YellowJello: Completely agree. Frankly I've waited patiently for the last 3 E3's to blow me away with info, and all 3 times I've been disappointed. Especially E3 2018, I didn't walk away excited for anything I saw. So many good things this year and next year, yet nothing was a big deal for me at E3. Either the presentations were underwhelming or the presented information was already out there.

They either have to make some big changes to E3 or just let it die.

Avatar image for crashtestguy

@YellowJello: exactly!!! People think it's important or something because it's so overhyped. Competition is good for the industry but to force reveals on a set date is just fuckin stupid. I despise this e3 wank fest

Avatar image for jagdedge124

Gravy trains over for them for the next couple years.

Avatar image for Thretosix

One can only imagine the they just can't compete against the XOX so they are waiting until they have something to show. I mean we should have gotten at least one more FFVII remake tease... Sheesh.

Avatar image for Thretosix

I wonder if the PSCON will be so exclusive only one person gets to go.

Avatar image for speed45823

I'm guessing Sony is building up to PS5's reveal event and are focusing all their efforts and resources on that. They've already made plenty of blockbuster exclusive games for PS4 so I'm guessing they're now moving forward. By skipping E3 2019, they would create a vacuum for people to wonder what's Sony up to. It would also lift pressure off from Sony as well as game developers to show something new in 2019 and they can focus on developing new games for PS5. After that, somewhere in the beginning of 2020, they would officially announce PS5 on PSX event and on E3 2020, they would reveal all the next gen launch games for PS5.

Avatar image for Coolyfett

Truth is PlayStation doesn't need E3, E3 needs PlayStation. PlayStation has the PlayStation Experience now. Nintendo has the Nintendo Directs they also dont need E3 anymore. Its a dying conference.