This year’s E3 is going to feel a little empty with Sony’s absence from the conference. The company announced last November it was going to miss E3’s 2019 conference. Its competitors, Microsoft and Nintendo, are, of course, still planning to attend.
SIE Worldwide Studios head Shawn Layden sat down with CNet and explained the reasoning behind this decision.
According to Layden, the E3 trade show hasn’t adapted to the world where the internet exists. When E3 first launched, the trade show was a crucial way for video game journalists to announce upcoming releases to their readers.
Now, the internet makes it so almost everyone can know within an instant.
“Now we have an event in February called Destination PlayStation, where we bring all retailers and third-party partners to come to hear the story for the year,” Layden said. “They’re making purchasing discussions in February. June, now, is just too late to have a Christmas holiday discussion with retailers.”
“So retail has dropped off. And journalists now, with the internet and the fact that 24/7 there is game news, it’s lost its impact around that.
“So the trade show became a trade show without a lot of trade activity. The world has changed, but E3 hasn’t necessarily changed with it.“
This response reflects what happened during Sony’s 2018 conference when it only highlighted four significant games and used a brief intermission to detail its smaller titles, which many journalists attending the bizarre event missed.
For now, fans of Sony will have to wait and see how the company handles its games announcements in the future. Layden did not share with CNet if Sony plans to miss every E3 moving forward. But if the trade show continues to remain as it is, Sony may not return.