Earlier this year, Sony confirmed that it would be skipping E3 for the second year in a row. This came as a surprise, as E3 2020 seems like the perfect venue to showcase a ton of next-gen video games to a massive audience, but the expectation was that Sony would host its own reveal event in February instead. Now that February is almost over, not only have we heard nothing from Sony about an event, but now the company is pulling out of every major video game conference slated to take place this spring over concerns about the coronavirus outbreak.
On Wednesday, Sony updated a post on its blog to announce that it would no longer be attending PAX East:
Today, Sony Interactive Entertainment made the decision to cancel its participation at PAX East in Boston this year due to increasing concerns related to COVID-19 (also known as “novel coronavirus”). We felt this was the safest option as the situation is changing daily. We are disappointed to cancel our participation in this event, but the health and safety of our global workforce is our highest concern.
Just one day later, Sony revealed that it would be pulling out of the Game Developers Conference (GDC) as well. The statement that Sony provided to GamesIndustry.biz was virtually identical to the one above.
It was all but inconceivable that Sony would unveil the PlayStation 5 in full at the industry event, but there was some hope that by the time GDC rolled around, Sony would at least have more to speak about in relation to its plans for the next generation. In fact, in GDC’s annual State of the Industry survey, conducted in the weeks leading up to the event, 38% of developers said that they’re most interested in developing games for the PS5 compared to 37% for the Switch and 25% for the Xbox Series X (though PC won in a landslide at 50%).
Unfortunately for developers and the fans, it sounds like the chances of learning anything new about the PS5 at GDC 2020 just shrank to around zero. Here’s hoping Sony at least has a video announcement in the works.