PlayStation is skipping E3 2019

Sony’s stage presentation for E3 2018, the last one until at least 2020.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Sony and the PlayStation brand will not have a presence at E3 2019, a representative for the company confirmed Thursday to Polygon.

“As the industry evolves, Sony Interactive Entertainment continues to look for inventive opportunities to engage the community,” Sony said in a statement to Polygon. “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.”

E3 2019 will be the 25th E3, and it will be the first time in the convention’s history that Sony will not appear at the show. The very first E3 was held in May 1995; Sony made a splash during the event by announcing the U.S. launch date and price for the original PlayStation.

Next year, the company will not hold its traditional Monday evening press briefing, nor will it have a booth on the show floor at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Asked if Sony will move its E3 presence offsite, like Electronic Arts has done in the past three years with EA Play, a PlayStation representative said no — it’s passing up the opportunity entirely.

“We will not be programming around E3,” the spokesperson told Polygon.

Sony’s announcement is a surprise not only because it attended all 24 E3s to this point, but also because the company previously announced that it was not holding PlayStation Experience — its own showcase for all things PlayStation — in 2018. PlayStation Experience had been running annually in December for each of the past four years. There’s no word yet on whether Sony will revive PlayStation Experience at some point in 2019. In the meantime, Microsoft brought back its own Xbox showcase last week with X018 in Mexico City.

At this time, Sony is the only platform holder to say that it will skip E3 2019. In a news release about the convention, its organizers at the Entertainment Software Association said that both Microsoft and Nintendo have “committed to participating in E3 2019,” along with the following third-party game publishers: Activision, Bethesda Softworks, Capcom, Epic Games, Konami, Square Enix, Take-Two, Ubisoft and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

“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,” said Stanley Pierre-Louis, interim CEO of the ESA, in the news release. “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.”

A representative for the ESA declined further comment to Polygon when asked specifically about Sony’s exit from E3. Pierre-Louis is running the ESA while the firm searches for a permanent replacement for Michael D. Gallagher, who had been the organization’s longtime president and CEO until his departure in October.

This is hardly the first major change for E3. Nintendo has not hosted a typical E3 press conference since 2013, opting for Nintendo Direct presentations instead. EA left the show in 2016 in favor of separately hosting EA Play. In 2017, the ESA opened up E3 to the public for the first time, selling three-day passes for $149 to $249. The ESA said that E3 2019 will feature “an expanded emphasis on featuring never-before-seen content and providing immersive new experiences for attendees,” in addition to more of a focus on “burgeoning video game sectors” such as esports and indie games.

Comments

As time goes on I think we’ll see more and more major publishers do this. I believe Microsoft has their own venue in the downtown LA area so I wouldn’t be surprised if they just skip next year too, if they haven’t already.

They hold theirs in the Microsoft theater across the street, which makes sense obviously, I went last year but I had an E3 pass, I can’t remember if anyone can just go in but I don’t think so.

but I had an E3 pass,

YOU HAD AN E3 PASS!?!?

:O :O :O :O :O

It almost makes me wonder if Big Dick Sony from the early PS3 era is back, and they’ve gotten so cocky from "winning" this generation that they think they don’t need it anymore

Honest question, what does Sony gain from going to E3 anymore?

E3 made sense in a print/TV journalism world where you needed an excuse to get everyone in media together. The show has been slowly dying for years. Nintendo has already basically bailed, Microsoft started doing stuff away from E3, and other publishers aren’t doing E3 proper anymore either.

I’m bummed to see E3 wither away, but I get why it’s dying and why the ESA has done a poor job of pivoting the purpose of the show.

back then, E3 was the fastest way to get the word out to developers, consumers, investors, the press, etc – E3 didn’t die it’s just, technology has matured to a point where we no longer really need a trade show.

Or, they’re gearing up for PS5 in 2020 (to coinside with PlayStation’s 25th anniversary), and don’t have much else to show that they haven’t already showed, and don’t want a repeat of 2018’s E3 and its resulting "They showed all this already!" complaints?

Yeah this, it could alon mean not making half assed promises and teasers for PS5

Definitely feel it’s this. Sony frankly didn’t have a lot to show at E3 this year and with the PS5 coming up, I don’t think they want to have another boring and drawn-out conference with few games. So they’ll probably come back in 2020.

I dont think so. It sounds like they would rather interact with fans then show up to an overcrowded media event. They have won this generation and might not have much more to show for PS4. PS5 might not be ready to show and any game they show will likely be for that system in a few years.

Nintendo hyped the Switch outside of E3. It might just be E3 is not as needed as it used to be. Maybe they need to shift back to allowing the general public in. It sounds like Sony wants to interact with fans directly.

Sony: Sorry, we won’t attend your soiree.

People: Sony so arrogant. My god they’re so aloof not wanting to show us the same games they did last year.

Based on what exactly? Last year people bitched about the convention being lousy. Now they choose to find a different approach and it’s big dick waving.

This is because the are announcing the PS5 next year, so they are going to have a big mid-year presser where they control the press alone. They don’t want to share the spotlight with anyone else. They want it all about them for a good couple of weeks.

Eh, PS5 isn’t coming out till Holiday 2020. They’ll announce in Spring 2020 so the hype train is at max for the launch.

This makes a lot of sense considering the recent trend of shortening timeframe between hardware announcement and release.

Zero chance they’re releasing the PS5 in 2019. Every legitimate source in the industry is saying 2020 or even later.

Just because they’re announcing next year doesn’t mean they’re releasing next year, though? But Jason Schreier from Kotaku said 2020 is a very likely possibility from what he heard recently.

there’s no way they’d let a holiday season go between announcing the next gen and releasing it. it would just cause people to avoid buying current gen hardware. my guess is they coast out 2019 on dreams, days gone, and maybe whatever it is that death stranding is and then release the last of us 2 early 2020, announce the ps5 in slightly less early 2020, and release the thing in november.

Weird. Wondering if this goes hand in hand with the "hunkering down" comment from the PS exec.

Wow, legit bombshell and this has to be the death knell for the show as we know it.

I don’t blame them though. What’s the gain on their end? An oversaturated news cycle and a bunch of fanboys playing some demos?

The gain on their end, for the last long while, had been people’s willingness to let Sony take a slot near the end of E3. It meant that while the news cycle was crowded, Sony was always in a position of having the last word, which seemed to be how they liked it; it meant always having a chance to undercut whatever message Microsoft and Nintendo had, and giving them a while to decide how to react to what MS and Ninty said.

It was actually a pretty powerful tool, and I’m genuinely somewhat surprised that they’ve given it up.

Maybe they just don’t have much to show.

Early this gen they kept announcing the same stuff every year because they didn’t have much coming out imminently. Fast forward and those games are now coming out and they’ve had a good couple of years. Maybe it’s a feast/famine thing and they’re swinging back to famine, as they prep games for a good PS5 launch. Who knows.

This is note for note what my assumptions are as well. They can’t talk about the same group of games yet again, especially as by then many will have released. They can’t talk about the next wave of games yet as they’re all going to be on the PS5.

With no Playstation Experience in 2018 and now no E3 presence in 2019, I can’t help but get the feeling that Sony will announce the next Playstation during the Playstation Experience 2019.

Must not have any games for 2026 to announce.

I appreciate this good joke.

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