Sony will not be at E3 2019
First PlayStation Experience, now E3.
Sony will not have a press conference or booth at E3 2019, skipping what is easily the most prolific games industry conference in the world. The company joins a growing slate of publishers dropping off the E3 roster, some of whom have opted to rent their own venues to better engage with their fan communities.
That may be the route that PlayStation are taking. In a statement to the press (via Kotaku), Sony confirmed that they are looking at alternatives as they break a streak established since 1995.
“As the industry evolves, Sony Interactive Entertainment continues to look for inventive opportunities to engage the community,” said the statement. “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.”
For comparison, Microsoft’s Xbox E3 Briefing and Electronic Arts’ EA Play are both held off-site, while Nintendo has long eschewed the press conferences in favor of pre-recorded live streams.
Sony are currently riding on a shrinking list of exclusives for the PlayStation 4, none of which have been recent announcements. While their PlayStation E3 Showcase this year did have new trailers and third-party reveals, they didn’t exactly drop any bombshells.
They’re all too aware of the fact, with SIE Worldwide Studios chairman Shawn Layden citing a lack of content as the reason for cancelling their year-end PlayStation Experience event. “We wouldn’t have enough to bring people all together in some location in North America to have that event,” he said in a recent PlayStation Blogcast.
Even without hardware teasers or long-term announcements this year, Sony managed to maintain a strong 2018 thanks to the likes of God of War and the record-breaking Marvel’s Spider-Man. However, both games came from long-established franchises, carrying high expectations that the studios have spectacularly managed to meet.
For 2019, fans are left with Days Gone, Ghost of Tsushima, and Dreams, all of which are new properties. Further away on the horizon is the highly-anticipated The Last of Us Part II, a game that Sony are presumably saving up for — along with their other cards — for a huge next-gen reveal in 2020.
Whatever it is, we may not see a new “console war” breaking out. Microsoft are inching closer to their vision for the market, shoring up their digital services for wider games availability and accessibility. They’ve also acquired a number of studios in 2018, their most recent being famed RPG outfits Obsidian Entertainment (Fallout: New Vegas, Path of Exile) and InXile Entertainment (Wasteland, The Bard’s Tale). We have a summary of their X018 event held not too long ago.