Despite PlayStation 5’s imminent arrival.
And yet here we are: in PlayStation 5’s announcement year, Sony will not attend E3 to show its new console off there.
In a statement provided to GamesIndustry.biz, the company confirmed that “after thorough evaluation” it had decided not to participate in this year’s show.
“We have great respect for the ESA as an organisation,” it said, “but we do not feel the vision of E3 2020 is the right venue for what we are focused on this year.” Instead, Sony will “build upon [its] global events strategy in 2020 by participating in hundreds of consumer events across the globe”, although specifics aren’t yet forthcoming.
On the surface, this leaves the stage clear for Microsoft to dominate E3 with its own big hardware announcements – although we already know some of the details.
But it also speaks to Sony’s confidence in PlayStation 5 – that it can do its own thing regardless of E3 – and of the industry as a whole’s increasing detachment from the show.
Some of gaming’s biggest companies have already been doing their own thing for several years – even if just a little way from E3 itself. Xbox shows off its wares in LA’s Microsoft Theatre just down the road, while EA parks itself up in Hollywood for EA Play.