E3 2023 marks the first time in four years the event hasn’t had issues due to COVID-19, but it appears they might be a little light on showcases, with Nintendo, Sony, and Xbox not planning on attending.
According to an IGN-exclusive report, the major showcase will be without some of the top players in the industry when festivities begin in June at the L.A. Convention Center. Not only does this include the showcases organized by E3, but Nintendo, Sony, and Xbox will apparently not be present on the show floor at all.
While Xbox will still be planning a showcase and event of its own at practically the same time as E3, the other two companies may not be planning much of anything for this historically eventful timeframe. This might come as a surprise to some, but after the turmoil of E3 over the last few years, as well as some of the bigger players slowly pulling out anyways, E3 has been losing some of its sparkle for some time now.
In an interview with IGN, Xbox Boss Phil Spencer discussed their continued involvement with E3 and their place on the board of the ESA to explain Xbox’s presence.
“Xbox is on the board of the ESA, and I think a successful and healthy ESA is critical to what we’re trying to go do. So we place our showcase, like we always have done, at a time where hopefully it’s convenient for press and even consumers that are going to the E3 event, and that’s what we’re trying to do now. We will continue to work with ESA in terms of their plans. As I said, we’re on the board, and we want to make sure that we are doing everything we can to help make the E3 successful.”IGN
Sony missing the event isn’t really a surprise after a disagreement with the ESA several years ago, but Nintendo comes as more of a surprise. Ampere analyst Piers Harding-Rolls told IGN, “It’s unfortunate that the physical event returns when Nintendo is at the tail end of the Switch lifecycle, with no sign of a next-gen device this year,” Rolls says. “I’m not sure it will have many games to show this year, so it makes sense to skip.”
With E3 2023’s attendees coming into question, it should continue a conversation people have been having for years over the direction of E3, whether the event should continue at all or if a different format is necessary for the world we live in today. While I, personally, have always viewed E3 like Christmas, with the event being something I would take off work or plan my summer around, I can see where things need to change before this event disappears entirely.
With the reloading of portfolios, business issues, console life cycles, and more all brought into question, sometimes it’s just as simple as things not lining up. We’ve seen that in the past, and with Nintendo coming to the end of the Nintendo Switch life cycle (however that unfolds), Xbox appearing to move to its smaller-scale Game Pass format, and PlayStation already pumping out Horizon Forbidden West, God of War Ragnarök, Gran Turismo 7, and more last year, it feels like they might need a break.
E3 2023 will be held from June 13 to 16, with the 15th and 16th being “E3 Gamer Days” open to the public.