E3’s A little over a month away, and as usual, the news at the beginning has given us more information about what we will not hear on the great game show. Late last year, Sony announced that it would skip its annual big press conference at the event. The move marks a key absence for the gaming giant for the first time in nearly a quarter century, as the company will be “exploring new and familiar ways to engage our community in 2019.”
The sentiment should sound familiar to those who follow the gaming industry. Several years ago, Nintendo made a similar move, avoiding the in-person press conference for the online Nintendo Direct “Treehouse” that it uses to showcase new advancements. It is a method that Nintendo has maintained ever since.
Game publisher Square Enix this week happily slipped into Sony’s primetime, leaving Microsoft the last of the remaining top three console makers with a press conference at the Los Angeles event. The death of shows like E3 has been hyped over the years, of course. These things tend to move in cycles, with much of the hype related specifically to the new systems revealed.
Microsoft rolled out its discless “All Digital Edition” Xbox One S wrap this month, and many are wondering what the company might still have up its sleeve for the June event. Earlier this week, meanwhile, Sony rejected suggestions that the PlayStation 5 would arrive soon. The details are not surprisingly still vague, but the company says the next generation of consoles won’t arrive for the next six months.
In its earnings call, Nintendo similarly dismissed recent rumors that it would release a low-cost version of the Switch. The console has been a huge success for the company after the disappointing Wii U, but the slowdown in sales has pointed to Nintendo’s long tradition of offering modified hardware. Rumors have largely pointed to a lower-cost version of the system that can only be played in handheld mode.
None of this is to say that we have any kind of preview. Companies love to bring up these kinds of things, but it seems like the big three are temperament expectations for the show. That leaves some opening for other players; of course, E3 has long been dominated by the big three. Among the other rumors currently circulating ahead of the show is a 2-in-1 gaming tablet from Nvidia.