E3 2019 is one of the world's biggest and most significant video game conferences, and it's going on right now. Press conferences began this weekend and finished up early this week. While the show may be in a state of undeniable upheaval, many of the industry's biggest players are still coming to the show, including platform-holders Microsoft and Nintendo, as well as Square Enix (occupying a time normally held by Sony). Even Google held a Stadia Connect event just before E3. For the first time in the show's history, however, the third major platform-holder--Sony PlayStation--is not attending. So, what gives?
Sony confirmed in late 2018 that it would not attend E3 2019 because it was looking for other "inventive opportunities" to connect with its own 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," a PlayStation representative said at the time.
Despite not attending E3, Sony did recently generate some excitement one of PS4's big upcoming exclusives, releasing a new Death Stranding trailer and announcing a release date of this November. Before that, it shared the first details about its next-gen PlayStation console, PS5. Although it does not yet have an official name (we're simply assuming it will be the PlayStation 5), we have learned all about its specs and other elements of the console.
This year is the first time that Sony has opted to skip E3 since it entered the video game business in the mid-90s. While Sony has completely bowed out, other companies have adjusted their E3 plans in recent years.
Microsoft, for example, relocated its floor space from the show floor at the Los Angeles Convention Center to the nearby Microsoft Theatre in 2018, something that it is doing again this year. Nintendo, for its part, stopped conducting live stage shows at E3 in favor of broadcasting its popular, often shorter, pre-recorded Nintendo Direct briefings.
Sony, too, tried something new with its E3 2018 briefing. The company opted to conduct a somewhat-bizarre "guided experience" that focused on just four games over the course of the evening. The reaction from the community was mixed.
E3 2019 isn't the only major event this year that Sony is skipping. The company recently confirmed it will not host its annual PlayStation Experience this year. "We wouldn't have enough to bring people all together in North America to have that event," PlayStation boss Shawn Layden said. "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 Sony won't be at E3, the show is still expected to bring a lot of big news. Microsoft already announced its new Xbox console, Scarlet, as well as a From Software-George RR Martin game, Elden Ring.
For more on E3 2019, check out GameSpot's feature where we break down why E3 2019 will be different than past years and what to expect.