Sony has a good reason for skipping E3 2019. The company shocked the gaming world in 2018 when they announced they wouldn’t have a presence at this year’s convention for their line of game consoles. As it turns out, this could be part of their plan to keep up consumer satisfaction in the run-up to the announcement of the PlayStation 5.
Sony has been a fixture at E3 for over a decade now, with the event being their main platform for big announcements. It was at their E3 2015 event where they had the legendary triple announcement of The Last Guardian, Final Fantasy VII Remake, and Shenmue III, which put the attention of the gaming media squarely on Sony’s PlayStation 4. It’s due to big events like E3 2015 that many pundits wondered if Sony was making a huge mistake by skipping E3 2019, especially with Microsoft seemingly gearing up for the announcement of their next Xbox and Nintendo preparing to reveal the first mainline Pokémon games for a home console.
It seems that there is a method to Sony’s madness, as Chairman of Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide StudiosShawn Layden spoke to CNET about the reasons why Sony will be skipping the next E3 conference. According to Layden, the media landscape has changed since Sony first attended the conference in the ’90s and that the expectation of having an amazing line-up of games is higher than ever due to the 24/7 news cycle for video games. The higher-ups at Sony realized that there wouldn’t be anything new to show in time for the E3 conference in June, as they already have an event in February called Destination PlayStation where they intend to show their upcoming games.
Sony is shifting towards a model of fewer games per year that are of a grander scale, which is why they won’t have as much material to show throughout the year and are choosing to save their best announcements for their own events, rather than having to share the headlines with their rivals. It’s worth noting that Layden specifically lists Sony as missing the E3 2019 event, rather than saying that Sony will be skipping all E3s going forward. It’s possible that there may be PlayStation representation at future E3 events, especially when the PlayStation 5 is officially announced.
It makes a lot of sense for Sony to skip E3 if they don’t have all of their ducks in a row when it comes to announcing new games. It’s better to have no presence at all than for it to be said that Microsoft or Nintendo upstaged them, especially if they have already announced some huge titles during their Destination PlayStation event that briefly dominated the headlines.
Nintendo has already moved to a model of hosting their own Direct events throughout the year, with E3 being a much smaller event by comparison. It’s this kind of promotional model that allows you to dominate the gaming headlines, although this can sometimes backfire, as was the case with the Diablo Immortal fiasco at BlizzCon.
The is currently the best-selling console of this generation, which means that Sony can afford to be patient when it comes to looking at the big picture and skipping E3 2019 might be better for business in the long run.