E3 Splash Art Custom
Illustration by PC Invasion

A report first released by IGN suggests that all three of the big first-party gaming companies, Xbox, Sony, and Nintendo, are not attending E3 2023 in June. The summertime gaming convention has ran for many years since its debut in 1995, but has been in a state of extended hiatus since 2020. Set to make its “grand return” for 2023, it appears the show’s biggest tentpoles won’t be there to support it.

According to IGN’s report, it has learned “from multiple knowledgeable sources that Xbox, Sony and Nintendo won’t be part of E3 2023 or have a presence on the Los Angeles Convention Center showfloor.”

Xbox skipping E3 2023 is a sign of the times

Should these absences be confirmed by the companies in question, this would mark the first time in the show’s history to have all the components of its largest presence completely missing. Such an exodus may come as a surprise when simply looking at the situation from face value. However, the writing has been on the wall, so to speak, for such a result.

Xbox Activitision FTC Deal Logo Block Art

Illustration by PC Invasion

Sony bowed out of E3 2019, and that was meant to be just the start. In the early days of 2020, just before Covid-19 formally shut down large-scale events of all sorts, Sony had already confirmed it wouldn’t have attended E3 even if there had been a convention that year.

Microsoft has long supported the convention, and is the most consistent of the big companies to maintain its presence. Thus, its absence is truly the most unprecedented of the three.

Nintendo stopped doing live presentations since E3 2012, instead turning to a pre-recorded video presentation format in the form of its Nintendo Direct series. Years ahead of its time, this format was slowly adopted by all three companies as well as their software-only counterparts ever since 2020 forced such a move to be taken by the entertainment industry as a whole.

‘Out with the old’

These more trimmed-down presentations have been well-received by viewers, as they tend to lack a lot of the padding and fluff that was commonplace during the more traditional stage shows. Not to mention that for the companies themselves, it cuts out a lot of expenses that a live presentation would generate.

For instance, Microsoft recently released its Xbox Developer Direct presentation on January 25. The show featured some of its big studios like Turn10, which revealed new footage of the upcoming Forza Motorsport.

Gaming companies have adopted a digital-only presentation format such as this for several years now. If the report rings true, it seems they may no longer be keen to relying on live events such as E3 like in the past. Not to mention that the digital-only Summer Games Fest, spearheaded by industry veteran Geoff Keighley, has mostly filled the vacuum that E3 left during its absence.

The ESA, the entity behind E3, has scheduled E3 2023 to be held in its traditional summer slot, running June 13-16. E3 2019 had over 66,000 attendees. With the lack of the big companies, there’s no telling how this will affect the turnout at this year’s show. Of course, there’s still the question of what other companies like Ubisoft, EA, Take Two and other large publishers will do following these reports.

A.K Rahming
Having been introduced to video games at the age of 3 via a Nintendo 64, A.K has grown up in the culture. A fan of simulators and racers, with a soft spot for Nintendo! But, he has great respect for the entire video game world and enjoys watching it all expand as a whole.

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