Sony will not attend annual video games convention E3 in 2019, the PlayStation maker has announced.
In a statement released to Game Informer, the gaming giant said it will not attend or hold a press conference around the Los Angeles-based event for the first time in the show’s 24-year history.
E3 is one of the biggest dates in the video game industry calendar and is traditionally the venue used to announce new gaming content and console hardware for the likes of Xbox and Nintendo, as well as Sony’s PlayStation.
“As the industry evolves, Sony Interactive Entertainment continues to look for inventive opportunities to engage the community,” the company’s statement said.
“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.”
Sony also said it would not hold any adjacent events to E3 – something publisher Electronic Arts (EA) currently does around the convention.
The news is likely to drastically change the atmosphere of E3, a centrepiece which has for some time been the “press conference battle” between Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony over the best new hardware and line-up of upcoming games.
The latest announcement comes after Sony revealed it would not hold its annual fan convention – PlayStation Experience – in early December, citing that the company did not have enough to show to justify the event.
Sony Interactive Entertainment boss Shawn Layden said of that decision: “Now that we have Spider-Man out the door, we’re looking down into 2019 to games like Dreams and Days Gone.
“But we wouldn’t have enough to bring people all together in some location in North America to have that event. We don’t want to set expectations really high and then not deliver on it.”
Shortly after Sony’s revelation, E3 organiser the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced its first plans for the 2019 show – confirming that Xbox, Nintendo and studios including Activision, Bethesda and Fortnite maker Epic Games would all be present at the event.
The ESA’s interim chief executive Stanley Pierre-Louis said: “E3 2018 broke records, and we sold out of both exhibit space and attendee badges.
“We are confident that, through the continued creative innovations delivered by our participating member companies, E3 2019 will deliver the same kind of excitement and energy.”