Sony Skipping E3 For The First Time Ever – What This Means For The PS5

Playstation 5
The Electronics Entertainment Expo, known fondly as E3, is an institution of gaming. In 2019, the show will reach its 25th anniversary, but it’s going to be a bittersweet celebration. Sony has announced that they will not be attending E3 2019.

That means no press conference, no presence on the show floor, and no bombastic announcements like we’ve seen in year’s past. After previously cancelling this PSX 2018, I didn’t expect this to come next, which begs the question: what now?

Sony Releases Official Statement

I’ve long described E3 as “Christmas for Gamers,” because it’s always this energetic celebration of gaming in all its forms. It also happens to be the place where the biggest announcements come in the form of orchestral performances, world premiere trailers, and guest stars.

Some have said that E3 is on the decline. It’s true that less and less publishers have been showing up in recent years. Nintendo, for example, has not had a stage presence at E3 for several years. Even so, Microsoft and Sony always brought their A-game, so I just always assumed it would be there each year.

In an official statement to Game Informer, Sony offered some details behind the decision:

“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.”

In February of 2019, Sony offered some addition clarity on their plans for a post-E3 world. PlayStation’s boss, Shawn Layden, sat down with CNET and spoke at length about their reasons for skipping E3.

While his answer was long, it essentially boiled down to the fact that the world of gaming and trade shows have evolved with the rise of the internet, and E3 failed to evolve with it. It’s true that E3 has remained largely the same over the years, but Shawn went on to talk about Sony’s focus on less titles with higher quality and longer development times.

As a result, he claims they wouldn’t have anything substantial to show by June of 2019. While I’m not sure if I totally believe that, it offers some additional detail as to why E3 will be lacking a bombastic Sony press conference in 2019. This puts a lot of pressure on PSX in the fall to deliver.

As I’ve said before and will probably say again, I have a soft spot for E3, so no amount of promises will make this any easier to accept. Even so, with the cancellation of PSX and now this, Sony is taking a big step away from the limelight.

I think you know where this is going…

Should We Brace For PS5?

Sony’s E3 2018 presentation was one of the weakest ones in recent memory, so it’s a shame that they’re going out on that note, but it was a sign of the times. The PS4 still has several strong exclusives in its belt, but nothing new has been announced in some time.

Not only that, but many of the games are still missing concrete release dates. This brings up a couple potential scenarios we need to consider:

  • Sony is going to ride out 2019 with big releases like Last of Us Part II, Days Gone, Ghosts of Tsushima, and Death Stranding
  • Sony is going to hold their own event early in 2019 to announce the PS5 (like they did with the PS4 announcement

Both are fair arguments. In my travels online I have seen many fellow gamers predicting that Sony will talk PS5 in early 2020 and release it that holiday. It’s a fair point, but that would essentially require them to talk up their four big exclusives (possibly Dreams as well from Media Molecule) and ride that wave through another holiday season.

They could probably do that and get away with it. After all, PS4 is selling like crazy, and the numbers are still way ahead of Xbox, but coasting through 2019 just doesn’t feel right to me. For one it would give Microsoft plenty of time to catch up or drop a bomb of their own at E3, seeing as how they’ll practically have the whole show to themselves.

There’s also the possibility that many of this big titles are going to be PS5 launch titles with a separate version for the PS4 users, in which case Sony could absolutely crush it by releasing these titles alongside the PS5 in holiday 2019.

It’s too early to tell, but Sony is clearly doing something behind the scenes. We’re still predicting a 2019 release for the PS5, but what do you think? While you mull that over, let’s look back on the best moments from past Sony E3 press conferences.

E3 is Dead, Long Live E3: The Best Moments From Sony Press Conferences Past

It’s hard to believe E3 will last much longer without support from Sony, but who knows, maybe the PS5 will reignite the showcase each year. Until then, allow me to comfort you with these seven epic moments from past E3 press conferences:

Kevin Butler’s 2010 Speech

Kevin Butler was a character that Sony created to promote the PS3, and man was he awesome. His snarky commercials and sharp wit culminated in one of the best speeches in all of gaming at E3 2010. If you haven’t seen this, you’re in for a treat.

I just watched it again while writing this. It still holds up.

God of War Announcement

Here’s another one that will give you more chills than a winter morning. This was the opening moments of E3 2016 for Sony:

Seriously, how could anything be more epic than this? As soon as the music started, my player 2 (Christina) was sitting beside me on the couch watching the livestream. I still remember her eyes going wide and her asking “Is this God of War?!”

Oh yeah baby, it was, and if you haven’t played it yet, you need to get on that immediately.

Last Guardian’s revival

After the masterpiece that was Shadow of The Colossus, everyone was eagerly waiting the follow-up. The Last Guardian was originally announced as a PS3 title, but then it dropped off the radar. We all thought it was gone forever. Then this happened:

Dropping a PS Bomb (price)

This one takes us all the way back to 1995 when Sony announced the price of the PlayStation. They had style and confidence from the get-go:

The origins of the mic drop? I’ll let you decide.

How to Share Your Games on PS4

Sony’s sense of humor is always on point. If you’ve ever doubted that, remember when Microsoft was thinking about not letting you share games on Xbox One? Here was Sony’s response:

It’s practically dripping with sarcasm, but people loved it. It’s sitting at over 16 million views on YouTube.

Portal 2 Announcement

Valve may forever be the studio that is known for bringing us Steam and not bringing us Half Life 3, but this moment when Gabe Newell took the stage at a Sony E3 made me hope for several years that he would do so again for Half Life 3. Still hasn’t happened.

A beautiful moment indeed.

Final Fantasy VII Remake Announcement

Last but not least is the announcement that blew minds everywhere. Square Enix is working on a remake of Final Fantasy VII:

When will we get it? Who knows, but it will probably be on PS5 at this point.

What are your favorite moments from E3? Are you saddened by the news that Sony won’t be there in 2019? Let us know in the comments!

Article by – Bradley Ramsey
Posted: 11/19/18

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