Sony has taken a rather peculiar approach when it comes to next gen with the PlayStation 5. Last year, the company skipped E3 and let Microsoft steal all the limelight on its Xbox show. The decision was somewhat understandable though since Sony didn’t have many new things to reveal last year.
However, Sony dropped a bombshell on everyone today when it confirmed that it will not be attending E3 2020 either. This news came as a massive surprise to most people as 2020 is arguably one of the most important years for gaming in a while. With the new consoles dropping at the end of the year, Sony pulling out of E3 is strange to say the least.
It isn’t something that we didn’t see coming though. Apparently, Sony had a few problems with how ESA, the responsible authority for E3, is managing the event. Last year, when the ESA leaked the story about Sony’s absence from the event before Sony announced it officially, the ties between the two had already been damaged.
Furthermore, the fact that E3 2019 was not exactly the most well-managed event didn’t help the ESA’s case either. For instance, the personal details of E3 attendees including their addresses were accidentally leaked in what was one of the biggest privacy breaches in the past few years.
Will Sony lose out by bowing out of E3?
Despite the ESA’s shortcomings and the gradual downfall of E3, it is still arguably the biggest gaming convention of the year with the most mainstream coverage around the world. Why would Sony give up on this amount of coverage so close to a new console launch? Will it hurt the PlayStation 5 in any way?
While there is no possible way to determine a definitive answer, we could look at a few implications and what difference they could make to the next generation console releases. Firstly, Sony not being at E3 does not mean that the company would not have its own separate show elsewhere.
Most of the viewership and coverage at E3 is online rather than at the event itself. Streaming platforms have already proven that companies don’t need to pay $50 million for a booth at an event to promote their products. Sony has seen vast success for its online announcement show, State of Play much like Nintendo has with its Direct.
So, despite not being at E3, Sony could still steal the press by live streaming its own separate event to the entire world around the same time frame as E3. Whether the company ends up doing that or not is another question.
On the other side, it could be just the fact that Sony doesn’t want to share press coverage with both Microsoft and Nintendo. E3 has never been about a win-win situation for everyone. Microsoft has been doing an amazing job for the past couple of years and has promised the same this year as well. If Microsoft delivers on its promise, it would leave Sony in a difficult position to compete for attention. So, the decision to not attend could actually prove to be good in the long run.
In addition to that, many people think that Sony is just too big now for events like E3. Not attending E3 just wouldn’t tarnish any hype for the PlayStation 5 at all. However, it does give Microsoft free reign to go all in and be on the offensive with its own console, the Xbox Series X.
PlayStation 5 reveal event is happening in February
If you’re still worried about Sony losing ground to competitors for next gen though, you’d be glad to hear that Sony is indeed holding an event next month for the PlayStation 5 reveal. According to NextGenPlayer on Twitter, Sony is allegedly planning a reveal event in the city of New York on February 5, 2020.
The event will obviously be live-streamed around the globe on all major streaming platforms. This will be the first time we’ll get to see the PlayStation 5 in its flesh. Not only that, Sony will also be revealing a bunch of internal and feature details about its next generation console.
For instance, the slogan for the PlayStation 5 will be “it’s time to play”, which doesn’t exactly sound like the most innovative piece of phrasing but no one has ever really cared about slogans anyway. As for the price, the console is still rumored to be priced at $499. However, it wouldn’t be surprising if Sony does not reveal the final price right away.
We’ve already seen a bunch of leaks pointing towards the PlayStation 5 being slightly less powerful than the Xbox Series X but Sony is trying hard to not let that sway any sales away. Apparently, the PlayStation 5 will also be backwards compatible with all previous console generations, which is a direct answer to Microsoft’s backwards compatibility messaging.
And last but not the least, it is rumored that Sony will actually beat Microsoft to the punch and release its next gen console in October rather than the usual November release window. A month’s advantage could prove to be crucial for initial sales but nothing is concrete yet since both companies still have a lot of time on their hands to finalize details.
So, do you think Sony skipping E3 is a good decision for the company? Will it impact the PlayStation 5 sales at launch? Let us know down in the comments below!