The show floor at E3 2020 is going to have some empty spaces again this year. Sony today confirmed widespread speculation that it’s skipping the massive game industry event for the second year in a row.
The console maker told GamesIndustry.biz that it will not be appearing at this year’s E3, saying “we do not feel the vision of E3 2020 is the right venue for what we are focused on this year.” Instead, Sony says that it will make appearances at consumer events around the world to show off new games for both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. Presumably, Sony will also showcase the PS5 itself at some of this shows, but it will likely unveil the next-generation console at a Sony-hosted event.
Sony’s decision not to attend E3 2019 led to a lot of predictions that the show was starting to fade into the sunset, with several commentators saying they weren’t surprised that one of the biggest names in gaming had dropped out. That same year, the ESA, which organizes E3, leaked identifying information of scores of attendees, which looked to many like the final nail in the show’s coffin. Following E3 2019, plans to rebrand the show as a more consumer-focused show (full of cringe-inducing details about how the ESA wants to use the “social good brand” of E3 to gain “positive chits for future use”) leaked to the public. They weren’t met with as enthusiastic a reception as the ESA would have liked.
As for Sony, it’s looking more and more likely that it will unveil the PS5 in February. That’s when the recently announced PlayStation Experience will come to an end, after serving as a month-long showcase of Sony’s brand. Also expected in February is the next PlayStation Meeting, an event similar to the one Sony used to announce the PlayStation 4 in 2013. That same year, Sony still attended E3. It revealed more details about the upcoming console, which makes it likely that the publisher has even more of its events coming later this year, where it can slowly dole out more information after the official PS5 unveiling.