Sony's decision to escape the long-standing E3 fair this year was the result of the event's "impact" event in recent years, said SIE Worldwide Studios president and former SIE president and CEO Shawn Layden to CNET.
"When we decided to take video games out of CES, back in 1995 in the PlayStation 1 era, E3 earned two constituencies," Layden said in the extensive interview. "Retailers and journalists. Retailers would come in – you'll see a guy come in and he would say," I'm from Sears, and I handle Hot Wheels, Barbie, VHS and video games. So what are you talking about? "There was a great educational component. Then you had journalists who had magazines and lead time and jockeying for position on the cover. And there was no internet to talk about. So a fair at that time of year for this growing industry was exactly what we needed. "
"Now we have an event in February called Destination PlayStation, where we bring all retailers and third party partners to hear the story for the year. They are making sales discussions in February. June is just too late to hold a Christmas holiday discussion with retailers. And journalists now, with the internet and the fact that there are game news 24/7, have lost its influence on it. "
"So the trade show event became a fair without a lot of trading activity. The world has changed, but E3 has not necessarily changed with it."
Last year, Sony announced that it would not hold its annual press conference or make any appearance at all for E3 2019.
"As the industry evolves, Sony Interactive Entertainment continues to look for inventive opportunities to engage society," Sony Variety told at that time. "PlayStation fans mean the world to us, and we will always 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 of engaging our community in 2019 and can't wait to share our plans with you. "
However, the Entertainment Software Association, whose board includes the PlayStation, remains optimistic about its trade show.
"E3 2018 broke records, and we sold both exhibition space and participant brands," said Stanley Pierre-Louis, interim managing director of ESA. "We are convinced that E3 2019, through the continued creative innovations provided by our participating member companies, will deliver the same kind of excitement and energy. This year we are looking forward to expanding the E3 beyond the LACC's walls and connect players and participants with incredible video game content throughout the LA Live complex. "
Layden kicks off this year's Dice Summit in Las Vegas with an opening keynote.