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Paige FTW: Is E3 Still Relevant?

Sony made a moderate splash last week when it announced that it would be foregoing its traditional presence at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, in 2019.

This was a surprising move — not least because Sony has been a stalwart of the convention since its inception some 25 years ago.

Sony has indicated that it will pursue other venues of showcasing its games (as it has done independently through its PlayStation Experience events for some years now), and Microsoft and Nintendo have confirmed their own attendance, as well as the majority of third-party publishers. So there’s still going to be an E3.

It brings the question, though, of whether an event like E3 still has value in today’s marketplace.

Twenty-five years ago, there was a case to be made that creating a centralized hub for video games news was the best means of getting information out to print media.

Today, that is no longer the case. If you make the announcement, they will come — and no trailer, release date or tidbit of news goes unremarked on in this responsive digital world. The expansive reach of a Nintendo Direct proves it, if nothing else does.

So what good is an event like E3, other than simply being a time of year that most game companies choose to make announcements? Sony may simply want to keep its hype to itself to commemorate the 25th anniversary of PlayStation — and the widely expected announcement of the PlayStation 5 — and not share any thunder with new developments from the likes of Microsoft.

There is, though, a bit of sadness to think that May will not be accompanied by a slew of exciting news from my favorite console. But I suppose more will be on the horizon, soon enough.

It is the end of an era in many ways — a sign that time changes how we communicate, inescapably.

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