Yesterday, Playstation gamers got a bit of a shock when Sony revealed that the company would be skipping 2019’s E3 — the annual mega-conference at which gaming companies announce and reveal all of their upcoming games, consoles, and projects. True to their usual form, Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) did not really give any clear reason for their decision to not attend the annual event, leaving gamers and industry experts everywhere speculating about what could be going on internally at SIE.
In a rather vague statement given to Variety, the company stated:
“As the industry evolves, Sony Interactive Entertainment continues to look for inventive opportunities to engage the 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. We are exploring new and familiar ways to engage our community in 2019 and can’t wait to share our plans with you.”
This statement definitely struck me (as well as plenty of other gamers, I imagine) as odd, as this will be the first time in E3’s 24 year history that Sony has not attended. I feel like it’s highly suspect for one of the three biggest gaming companies to just up and say, “Y’know what? We’re not gonna go to the place that our fans count on seeing all of our newest stuff, but we’ve got other projects in the works for you”. It makes me wonder what they might have up their collective sleeves over at SIE.
That being said, I thought I would talk about a few theories that have been banging around in my head since I saw this news.
Playstation won’t have anything to talk about at 2019’s E3.
After last year’s E3, PlayStation (and Sony at large) have had little to announce. Their biggest bombshells were the four new games that they revealed at last year’s conference: Days Gone, Ghost of Tsushima, The Last of Us Part 2, and of course, Hideo Kojima’s very cryptic and highly anticipated Death Stranding.
Sucker Punch Productions’ Ghost of Tsushima is really the only one with any kind of hope for a late 2018 / early 2019 release date. The other three titles still seem to be in development limbo. So, with little to no content to talk about, Sony would really have no reason to make an appearance at E3. This just happens to be the very reason that the company also cancelled their annual PlayStation Experience presentation for 2018.
E3 is on its last legs, and Sony wants out early.
Quite a few big name developers have recently pulled out of E3 – including Disney, Activision, Blizzard, and EA. The rumor mill has indicated that this was due to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) charging higher and higher prices for booth space, pushing the events outside of the Los Angeles Convention Center — as opposed to being held entirely on premises.
This would normally lead me (and others, apparently) to ask: Could Sony be planning to hold their own showcase and presentation somewhere offsite? Maybe a series of PlayStation-centric announcements regarding exclusives? Following yesterday’s announcement, that’s highly doubtful. As reported by Game Informer after the news broke of Sony backing out of E3 2019, Sony’s senior VP of communications, Jennifer Clark stated that the company “would not activate or hold a press conference around E3”. So, there’s that.
But there could be one more thing…
Sony wants to independently announce the PS5 as a “comeback” maneuver.
It’s been noted that the PS4 is approaching the end of its lifespan. All those of us who own one (or own its juiced-up younger brother, the PS4 Pro) have known that, ever since PlayStation CEO John Kodera stated that the console is entering its “final phase”, and that Sony plans to “crouch down so that we can jump higher in the future”. This may indicate that the company is planning to let the momentum of their current crop of existing and upcoming titles carry them through 2019 and into 2020, at which point they’ll be able to confidently announce their next-generation console to the fans.
We’ve still got a while to wonder and speculate as to exactly why Sony decided not to participate in E3 2019. So leave us a comment down below or hit us up on Facebook or Twitter, letting us know your thoughts on all of this.