PS5 > E3? —

Instead, SIE will “participate in hundreds of consumer events across the globe.”


E3 won't happen with an official Sony presence this year.

Enlarge / E3 won’t happen with an official Sony presence this year.

On Monday, Sony Interactive Entertainment confirmed that it will, for the second year in a row, not attend the Electronic Entertainment Expo.

The news came in a statement sent to Ars Technica by a SIE representative:

After thorough evaluation, SIE has decided not to participate in E3 2020. We have great respect for the ESA as an organization, 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. Our focus is on making sure fans feel part of the PlayStation family and have access to play their favorite 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.

SIE’s representatives did not immediately clarify what the company means by “the vision of E3 2020.”

Up until last year, the PlayStation line of products had an official presence at every E3 since Sony launched its first home console. The company’s 2019 no-show followed a late-’10s trend of major publishers skipping the official E3 show floor, sometimes in favor of their own off-site events near the Los Angeles Convention Center.

While last year’s PlayStation E3 absence could have been written off as a fluke, particularly in a quieter year before a major PlayStation 5 PR push, skipping during a new-console hype cycle could be seen as a major blow for the expo. The Electronic Software Association (ESA), which puts E3 together every year, is already in an uphill PR climb after last August’s leak of journalists’ and publishers’ personal information. This news comes as more publishers favor “direct” online broadcasts to fans or even “festivals” that allow downloads of pre-release software (essentially mimicking an E3-like game-preview experience).

This news follows a CES appearance last week in which Sony reiterated previously announced information about the upcoming PS5 console, including its “holiday 2020” launch window and a vague description of its technical prowess. The only brand-new information at CES 2020 was the official PlayStation 5 logo.

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