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E3 2019 is just around the corner, but when is the PlayStation press conference? Dear reader, we have some bad news for you.

Sony announced in November 2018 that PlayStation will not have a presence at E3 2019. That means no press conference, and no booth at the show. And as to who will take over the merchandise tent in the LA Convention Center car park, we can only speculate.

Sony’s E3 2018 press conference was a curious, Disney World-like tour to the worlds of three highly anticipated games: Death Stranding, Ghost of Tsushima, and The Last of Us 2. Three games we are still anticipating. None of these titles were playable on the show floor in a booth that was dedicated to promoting the excellent Spider-Man and little else.

Why is Sony skipping E3?

In the official press statement regarding this year’s absence, Sony says:

“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.”

If Chairman of SIE Worldwide Studios, Shawn Layden, is to be taken at his word, the changing nature of games coverage and retailer relations is the main factor. In an interview with CNET he said that E3 no longer serves its original purpose of connecting game publishers to retailers and journalists:

“We are progressing the conversation about, how do we transform E3 to be more relevant? Can E3 transition more into a fan festival of gaming, where we don’t gather there to drop the new bomb? Can’t it just be a celebration of games and have panels where we bring game developers closer to fans?”

One riposte might be that if Sony hadn’t spent the past few years teasing the only exclusives it has left for this console generation the story would be rather different. Whatever the reason, Sony will certainly be missed.

However, as EA has proved, the gravitational pull of the world’s most important games expo is hard to escape, and we won’t be surprised if the Sony drops a carefully timed second State of Play video.

So no, there won’t be a PlayStation press conference at this year’s E3, but there will be one for Xbox, Square Enix, Bethesda, Nintendo, and Ubisoft to name just a few. You can follow our E3 coverage right here.

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