Sony has confirmed that PlayStation will not be attending E3 2020. Those hoping to get the latest details on the upcoming PlayStation 5 console and its lineup of games will instead have to look elsewhere. This marks the second year in a row that the company has opted out of the Los Angeles-held expo, following E3 2019’s absence.
A statement given to GamesIndustry.biz from Sony Interactive Entertainment explains that the company feels “the vision” of E3 2020 isn’t a good fit for what it has planned this year. Before E3 2019, Sony had attended the show every year.
“After thorough evaluation SIE has decided not to participate in E3 2020,” a spokesperson said. “We have great respect for the ESA as an organisation, but we do not feel the vision of E3 2020 is the right venue for what we are focused on this year.”
“We will build upon our global events strategy in 2020 by participating in hundreds of consumer events across the globe,” the statement continued. “Our focus is on making sure fans feel part of the PlayStation family and have access to play their favourite content. We have a fantastic line up of titles coming to PlayStation 4, and with the upcoming launch of PlayStation 5, we are truly looking forward to a year of celebration with our fans.”
Presumably Sony will want to be in complete control of any event at which the PlayStation 5 is finally unveiled. Currently, it’s rumoured that Sony’s next-gen hardware will be shown off during a reveal event in February, at which we’ll apparently also get our first look at the console’s launch lineup. However, this rumour is based on completely unverified reports, so I wouldn’t bank on it until we get official word.
Sources tell VGC that Microsoft has been aware for some time that Sony would be sitting out E3 2020, and intends to have a larger presence at the show to take of advantage of its rival’s absence. Still, PlayStation ditching for the second year in a row is undeniably another blow for the ESA and E3.
It’s no secret that Sony’s decision to sit the expo out was a notable one last year, especially during a time in which critics are increasingly beginning to question the very point of the event. Publishers such as EA and Activision have also opted to skip the show in recent years, while Nintendo has been hosting its own Direct livestreams instead of the typical E3 press conference since 2013.
To make matters worse, not long after E3 2019 came to a close, the ESA inadvertently leaked the personal details of thousands of journalists, industry analysts, and YouTubers who had attended. After such a catastrophic mishandling of personal data – and lack of sufficient apology in the eyes of the majority – you have to wonder how many of those affected by the leaks would jump at the chance to return to the event this year.
“E3 is a signature event,” the ESA said in a statement responding to Sony’s decision. “Celebrating the video game industry and showcasing the people, brands and innovations redefining entertainment loved by billions of people around the world.”
“E3 2020 will be an exciting, high-energy show featuring new experiences, partners, exhibitor spaces, activations, and programming that will entertain new and veteran attendees alike. Exhibitor interest in our new activations is gaining the attention of brands that view E3 as a key opportunity to connect with video game fans worldwide.”