Was Sony's absence from E3 a good move for PlayStation?

E3 season is over and now the dust is finally clearing. Winners have been announced by many, fans and sites alike. At this point, every dev knows if they had a good E3 season or if the investment wasn’t such a great idea after all.  As well, those who were absent know if it was a wise decision to step out this year. Was Sony’s absence from E3 a good move for PlayStation?

New year, new strategy

Sony is definitely evolving when it comes to their approach to fans. We recently mentioned how Sony is slowly evolving to make its upcoming PS5 launch a success. Part of this evolution means letting go of some regular and expected marketing tactics. For Sony, this was a well thought out decision. At E3 their absence was surely felt. Even industry leads such as Microsoft’s Phill Spencer stated this E3 was not as good without Sony’s presence. After moving to its streaming strategy with State of Play, it is hard to say Sony’s absence was a bad move.

Was Sony's absence from E3 a good move for PlayStation?

These interviews mid presentation were somewhat awkward.

The content that we have seen so far from PlayStation on State of Play is not enough to fill a one plus hour presentation. Neither it would make a drastic difference from what Sony had in its E3 show floor in 2018.  Contentwise, it seems that it was not a bad idea to focus on resources and time in other places, rather than going one additional year to E3 to showcase games that had already been presented before. As much as we would have wanted one of Sony’s iconic E3 showcases, it would have probably too repetitive or weird for the sake of inventiveness such as the one from 2018.

Timing is everything

PS5 is coming on Holiday season 2020. That’s something we already know. At the moment, we know some information such as the AMD 7nm Navi custom APU PS5 is going to utilize. Still, there’s a lot to reveal, even about what we already know. Sony is closing PS4 cycle delivering what they mastered during this generation, amazing exclusive IPs. To close this cycle, they are utilizing all their social marketing tools available. And, it has proven to work. The hype around Death Stranding is real, and it didn’t require a whole 10-minute Sony E3 showcase to get there.

It is too soon to start making PS5 the star of their line-up, as PS4 still has some pretty solid IPs in the making to close off its life cycle as the frontrunner for the Japanese company. Showcasing PS5 at E3 would have resulted in an announcement similar to what Scarlett was for Microsoft; merely a tease. This was not going to create more hype than the existing one. More than a year is still pending for release. Meaning that its too soon for pricing, final specs, and game line-up for launch.

It was a wise decision to sit this one out

Adding up the fact that most of Sony’s IPs have been revealed and some few are pending release dates with the fact that we are over one year away from PS5 launch window, it was wise to sit this one out. Sony learned from 2018 and they wanted to avoid another year of similar presentations with not much to really celebrate after they close the curtains. They are steadily releasing updates of their working titles and fresh news to keep the PS4 environment alive and thriving as they have all this generation. Meanwhile, they will ramp-up for next year and kick in full gears when the impending launch of PS5 gets closer. In retrospective, we might have missed Sony at E3, but next year we might be surprised in exchange for this year’s absence.


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