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Sony skipping E3 again as it gears up to launch the PlayStation 5

Sony skipping E3 again as it gears up to launch the PlayStation 5


The second year in a row

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PlayStation controllers
Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

Sony is skipping E3 again, just months before it plans to launch its upcoming PlayStation 5 console during the 2020 holiday season. This is the second year in a row Sony is skipping one of the largest video game conferences in the world. E3, short for the Electronic Entertainment Expo, is a long-running annual event held every June in Los Angeles, and it has traditionally been where both Microsoft and Sony have revealed new details about upcoming software and hardware.

“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,” a Sony Interactive spokesperson tells The Verge. “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.”

“we do not feel the vision of E3 2020 is the right venue for what we are focused on this year.”

It’s not clear whether Sony is planning a single, splashy launch event of its own for the PS5. Microsoft decided to showcase its upcoming Xbox Series X during the Game Awards last month, and presumably it plans to reveal more information during E3.

After Sony’s announcement, Microsoft’s Phil Spencer took to Twitter to confirm that Xbox will be present at this year’s show. “Our team is hard at work on E3,” Spencer tweeted, “we look forward to sharing with all who love to play what’s ahead for us.”

The PS5 is expected to launch this holiday season. The company’s been slow to release real details so far; at CES 2020, its big tease was sharing the logo. The console will have PS4 backwards compatibility and ship with a solid state drive, as well as support 8K graphics and ray tracing. Yet little else is known about the console, its software lineup, or what it will even look like.

Once the most important show for the game industry, E3’s impact has dwindling for the past few years. As streaming has made it easier than ever to watch news from home, companies like Nintendo are opting to hold their own direct events online. Attendance fell last year, while Sony skipped the show for the first time in its 24-year history. In August, the Entertainment Software Association doxed thousands of attendees, including phone numbers and home addresses, through poor security.

In a statement, the Electronic Software Association, the video game trade group that hosts E3, says it it is confident this year’s show will be an “exciting, high-energy” one.

“E3 is a signature event celebrating the video game industry and showcasing the people, brands and innovations redefining entertainment loved by billions of people around the world,” the ESA writes. “E3 2020 will be an exciting, high-energy show featuring new experiences, partners, exhibitor spaces, activations, and programming that will entertain new and veteran attendees alike. Exhibitor interest in our new activations is gaining the attention of brands that view E3 as a key opportunity to connect with video game fans worldwide.”

Update January 13th, 8:07PM ET: Added statement from the ESA.

Update January 14th, 03:58AM ET: Added Phil Spencer’s confirmation that Microsoft will attend this year’s show.