You won't see Sony anywhere during E3 2019. The Japanese company has decided that it'll skip the annual trade show next year. It'll be the first time history that Sony's PlayStation brand doesn't make an appearance.
Since 1995 when the trade show began, Sony and the PlayStation brand have always been participants. The PlayStation brand remained a strong presence for more than two decades.
The decision came down to industry trends. Sony thinks there are opportunities to energize its customers through standalone events throughout the year. Rather than putting everything into a single presentation at E3, Sony can do various game-focused events for PlayStation. By doing so, the PlayStation brand gets as much sole attention as possible.
Here's the full statement on Sony's decision:
"As the industry evolves, Sony Interactive Entertainment continues to look for inventive opportunities to engage the community. 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."
A few years ago, Sony launched PlayStation Experience. It allows Sony to promote games at an all-PlayStation gathering. The 2018 edition was canceled due to a low number of games to be showcased, but maybe that's why E3 also got chopped. Sony could bring everything to PlayStation Experience instead.
There's some speculation about what else could've motivated Sony to skip E3. Aside from the trade show losing key exhibitors in recent years, it's entirely possible that Sony's concerned it doesn't have enough exclusives ready for the second half of 2019. E3 serves as a launching pad for future titles, but big publishers need to roll out titles in months following the trade show.
Sony's biggest competitors confirmed they'll show up to E3 2019 in June. In statements published by the Entertainment Software Association, Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime and Microsoft's Phil Spencer expressed excitement for their press conferences. Nintendo does an online-only event, but Microsoft's Xbox brand continues showing up in grand fashion.
E3 2019 will take place June 11-13 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. We'll know more about what to expect in the coming months.