×

PlayStation Skipping E3 for First Time in Show’s 24-Year History

Sony Interactive Entertainment, currently riding high on record sales of its PlayStation 4 gaming console, won’t be hosting its annual press conference or showing up at all during next year’s massive E3 expo.

The news was buried inside the Entertainment Software Association’s announcement of the 2019 show that quoted competitors Nintendo and Microsoft. Sony confirmed their absence in a statement to Variety.

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

This will be the first time in E3’s 24-year history that PlayStation will not be attending the event, it is also the second major PlayStation event canceled by the company in recent months.

In September, Shawn Layden, chairman of Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios, said the company wouldn’t be hosting this year’s PlayStation Experience citing a lack of games to show.

Popular on Variety

“Now that we have ‘Spiderman’ out the door, we’re looking down in 2019 to games like ‘Dreams’ and ‘Days Gone’ but we wouldn’t have enough to bring people altogether in some location in North America to have that event,” Layden said.”We don’t want to set expectations really high and then not deliver on it.”

PlayStation Experience started four years ago as a celebration for PlayStation’s 20th anniversary as a way to “bring fans together” for a consumer event, according to Layden. The event expanded over the next few years as a place to give news updates. This year, though Layden expressed that “we have a lot of progress that we’re making in our games” but also that there’s not much to share at this point for upcoming titles.

The same could be true for E3 2019, though that does raise concerns about the PlayStation 4 itself and a potential lack of upcoming titles.

The timing also comes just a month after Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida confirmed that a successor to the PlayStation 4 is going to happen.

“At this point, what I can say is it’s necessary to have a [sic] next-generation hardware,” Yoshida stated. Yoshida declined to confirm whether or not the next PlayStation console will be called the “PlayStation 5,” which seems like the natural choice.

While consoles are traditionally announced at E3, the PlayStation 4’s announcement actually occurred at an event in New York City and Microsoft’s Xbox One was unveiled at the company’s campus.

In general, game consoles are facing stiffer competition from not just the traditional push and pull with the massive PC games market, but a growing mobile game market, which has exceeded $26 billion already in 2018. Kodera also said over the summer that he still sees potential in portable gaming, and thinks it shouldn’t be separated from console gaming but seen as another way to experience gaming. As consumers find ways to game beyond traditional gaming-dedicated hardware, the development of such hardware naturally comes into question.

Even more, the option of game streaming is becoming a more tangible reality, as Microsoft revealed with its game streaming tech “Project xCloud” on Monday. In a world where you could potentially stream the same games on any device, wouldn’t console choice become irrelevant?
Ubisoft’s Yves Guillemot stated back in June a prediction that streaming will be “more accessible” to players, making dedicated or expensive hardware less necessary.“There will be one more console generation and then after that, we will be streaming, all of us,” Guillemot said.

More Gaming

  • Conan Unconquered

    Tencent Bids for Control of Funcom 'Conan' Games Developer

    China’s social media and gaming giant Tencent is bidding to buy control of Funcom, developer of the “Conan” and “Dune” games. The bid values the Norwegian company at $148 million. Tencent already owns 29% of Funcom, and its bid has been unanimously approved by Funcom’s board of directors. No management changes are planned. The shares [...]

  • 100 Thieves

    Esports Organization 100 Thieves Unveils New Facility in Los Angeles

    As of Wednesday, popular esports organization 100 Thieves has an official home in Los Angeles. The group unveiled its new 15,000 square-foot facility, officially named the 100 Thieves Cash App Compound, in a media preview with some of its biggest personalities and investor Scooter Braun on hand. Also in attendance was Jack Dorsey, the CEO [...]

  • Marvel-Strike-Force-FoxNext

    Disney Sells FoxNext Games Unit to Scopely

    Disney has sold off FoxNext Games, the studio it obtained through the purchase of 20th Century Fox, to mobile-games developer Scopely. Terms of the pact were not disclosed. Under the terms of the pact, Scopely is acquiring FoxNext Games Los Angeles, the game studio behind hit game “Marvel Strike Force,” and San Jose-based Cold Iron [...]

  • Call of Duty The Campaign

    Watch the First Episode of New Call of Duty League Docuseries 'The Campaign' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Even a new league comes with history. That’s one of the takeaways from the first episode of “The Campaign,” which follows the Chicago Huntsmen in the lead-up to Activision Blizzard’s new franchised Call of Duty League. Variety is debuting the first episode exclusively, which details some of the narrative that follows the Huntsmen (based in [...]

  • Vindex - Imax

    Imax Jumps Into Esports in Exclusive Pact With Startup Vindex

    Hold on to your popcorn: An Imax location near you could soon be beaming live competitive video-game action onto its big screens. Imax has inked a partnership with Vindex (vindex.gg), an esports infrastructure startup formed by Major League Gaming co-founders Mike Sepso and Sundance DiGiovanni, under which Vindex will create esports events and experiences exclusively [...]

  • Corinna Kopf

    Corinna Kopf Leaving Twitch to Stream Exclusively on Facebook Gaming

    The battle for gaming creators has cost Amazon’s Twitch another notable streamer: Corinna Kopf, a popular Instagram model, digital influencer and “Fortnite” Twitch streamer with millions of followers, is moving to Facebook Gaming under an exclusive agreement. On Facebook, Kopf’s first stream is scheduled to take place Dec. 30 at 4 p.m. PT at facebook.com/gaming/corinnakopff. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content