Key points:

  • Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft will skip E3 this year
  • This is the first physical E3 event in four years
  • It appears that the supposedly triumphant comeback of E3 in June this year will be marred by notable absentees

While some saw this news coming from far, many were hoping to see their favourite companies at E3 2023. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case as an IGN news report states that three major first-party game console manufacturers are likely to skip the iconic E3 event in Los Angeles this year. 

It is safe to say that E3’s return after four years will not feature some of the biggest names in the gaming industry. 

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Why are Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft skipping E3 this year?

It goes without saying that the absence of Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony is a major setback for E3’s owners – the Entertainment Software Association. 

Microsoft will miss the event due to its prior commitments to airing an Xbox showcase that coincides with the E3’s dates this year. 

After what appears to have been a disagreement with the ESA, Sony broke its connections with E3 and has not participated in the event as an exhibitor since 2018. It even changed the dates of its online showcases so they won’t coincide with E3 week in June, unlike the others.

Nintendo usually attends the E3 show floor, but according to VGC, the company has opted to skip it this year since there aren’t many key products available to showcase. However, Xbox has a lot to advertise this year, including Starfield and Forza Motorsport, both of which are pushed to the second half of the year. However, Microsoft is rumoured to be in a cost-cutting mode following a significant round of layoffs that impacted creators including 343 Industries and due to the Xbox division’s dismal financial results.

As things stand, it remains uncertain whether Nintendo and Sony will time their showcases during E3. However, reports suggest that both companies will not be present at E3 this year. Sources close to IGN have also hinted that the “ongoing frustrations” with E3’s management could be one of the reasons behind their absence. 

Even before the coronavirus pandemic arrived and prompted the postponement of physical events, the 2021 digital version of the exhibition was ill-conceived. Besides, the ESA was losing important exhibitors and dealing with catastrophic controversies such as the 2019 leak of attendees’ personal information. 

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