Last year, Sony made a significant change to its gaming strategy by skipping the largest gaming-related conference of the year, E3. This year, the company has announced that they will not be attending the event again and this is more than likely the new normal.
In a statement to Game Industry, Sony said that they felt the event does not fit their vision for the year ahead. Instead, the company will be attending hundreds of consumer-focused events where they will showcase their new hardware and software.
The way that Sony phrases the evolution of E3 can’t be interpreted any other way, they don’t like the show. If the largest gaming-focused conference doesn’t fit Sony’s vision either E3 has lost its way or Sony is shifting its focus for the PS5.
Considering that the PS4 has sold over 100 million units, it would appear that E3 is shifting away from Sony’s vision and they no longer want to be associated with the trade-show. It’s a bold move as this gives Microsoft and Nintendo room to make their presence even larger at the event.
But you can also see this from Sony’s viewpoint as well, E3 likely needs Sony more than Sony needs E3. Sony and it’s PlayStation console can make noise at any event, they don’t need E3 to thrive next generation. And Sony isn’t alone at the broader level.
We have seen large companies pull out of other conferences like Microsoft leaving CES and of course, Apple and Google have always done their own thing. I would expect Sony to host its own PlayStation 5 dedicated event later this year.
The other gaming news making the rounds lately is that Microsoft stated that it’s next-gen exclusives are not going to be initially locked to only the Xbox Series X. The company had previously used this carrot to help sell new consoles but Microsoft’s agenda has shifted and I think this move makes sense.
Microsoft wants to sell subscriptions, adding customers to Game Pass is more important for Microsoft than selling consoles. From this perspective, they will load up that offering with exclusives and they don’t care where you play them, as long as it’s a Microsoft platform.