Sony snubs E3 as PlayStation 4 sales soar

16 Nov 2018389 Views

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Close-up of a PlayStation 4 console and controller. Image: alexionas1989/Depositphotos.com

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For the first time in gaming convention E3’s 24-year history, Sony will not be attending.

Tech giant Sony revealed sales of more than 86.1m PlayStation 4 systems since the platform was unveiled in November 2013. The platform has also sold more than 777.9m copies of software.

The record achievement was somewhat dampened by the news that, for the first time in the history of annual gaming pow-wow E3, Sony will not be showing up at all. Nor will it be holding its annual PlayStation Experience press conference. This was traditionally where Sony made its big reveals in terms of titles that were to emerge in the coming year.

“As the industry evolves, Sony Interactive Entertainment continues to look for inventive opportunities to engage the community,” said the company in a statement.

“PlayStation fans mean the world to us and we always want to 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 to engage our community in 2019 and can’t wait to share our plans with you.”

Is the games development pipeline slowing?

Analysts are already wondering what’s going on and the consensus appears to be a lack of games to show, signalling the development pipeline is slowing.

This could be a factor of games becoming highly complex and therefore slower to produce based upon much higher hardware and software specifications. The console gaming market may also be facing stiffer battles for developer talent as mobile gaming continues to be attractive.

There is also a steady move by the console industry towards streaming games and Sony itself may also be hard at work at the successor to the PlayStation 4 in the next year or two.

Titles envisaged to be released in 2019 include Dreams and Days Gone.

The success of PlayStation 4 upon its fifth birthday is still quite an accomplishment. Sony revealed that the top five best-selling titles are Call of Duty: Black Ops, Call of Duty WWII, FIFA 17, FIFA 18 and Grand Theft Auto 5.

In the five years since PlayStation emerged, the platform has had 11 major updates from 1.01 to the most recent version, 6.00.

Five years of PlayStation 4

infographic detailing game titles and system milestones of Playstation 4 since its release five years ago.

Image: Sony

Close-up of a PlayStation 4 console and controller. Image: alexionas1989/Depositphotos.com

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com