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Sony bails on E3 2019

Sony has been involved with E3 since 1995. (Source: Gematsu)
Sony has been involved with E3 since 1995. (Source: Gematsu)
Sony has confirmed that it will not be part of the E3 2019 trade show. The organizer of the event, the Entertainment Software Association, has issued a press release to highlight which companies will be in attendance, including Sony’s console rivals Nintendo and Microsoft. According to a press statement, the PlayStation maker is apparently searching for new ways of engaging with its community.

Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) has revealed in a statement to Variety that the company will not be involved with the E3 2019 trade event. This news has caused considerable ripples in the video game industry, with some speculating on the reasons for Sony’s decision. The Japanese company has been a major presenter at every E3 event since the first show in 1995. The statement to Variety reads:

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.

The Entertainment Software Association published a press release headed “Industry Momentum Will Drive E3 2019 to New Heights.” Sony is not mentioned in the statement, but companies like Microsoft, Activision, Nintendo, Ubisoft, and Warner Bros. are mentioned. A flurry of impressive-looking statistics and a few optimistic quotations pepper the press release in an overall “the show must go on” manner, to make it look as if Sony’s lack of participation doesn’t make much difference.

The reasons behind the withdrawal are somewhat ambiguous for the time being. It could be that Sony has decided to avoid E3 because of a lack of products/titles to announce or that the company simply wants to host its own show without having to share the limelight with rival manufacturers. It would not be setting a precedent for SIE to choose to unveil the PlayStation 5 console at a special event rather than at E3 2019. No doubt Sony will have news about the next-generation console in the not too distant future.  


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Daniel R Deakin, 2018-11-16 (Update: 2020-09-30)