Sony has confirmed it will not be attending next year's E3 event.
Variety spotted the cancellation "buried inside the Entertainment Software Association’s announcement of the 2019 show". It marks the first time in E3's 24-year history that Sony has not had a presence at the expo.
“As the industry evolves, Sony Interactive Entertainment continues to look for inventive opportunities to engage the community," the company told Game Informer in a statement. "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.”
The news follows the cancellation of this year's PlayStation Experience event, too, the fan event usually held in December. Despite hosting a show in America every year since PlayStation's 20th anniversary in 2014, Sony has decided not to push ahead with plans for an experience event in 2018.
While Game Informer speculates that the decision not to run a PlayStation conference may hint at E3's waning importance to the industry in recent years, E3 2018 drew its biggest attendance in a decade after opening its doors to consumers. At the time, Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of ESA, said: "E3 2018 was an enormous success, amplified by the thousands of gamers in attendance and millions more around the world who watched online. E3 2018 reinforced the cultural prominence of video games for a global audience. Congratulations to our innovative exhibitors, members, and partners and to the millions of gamers who celebrated a spectacular E3 with us."
E3 2019 has already been dated and will take place from June 11th to June 13th 2019, once again at the Los Angeles Convention Center.