E3 2021 returns on June 12, but it looks like Sony won’t be present. 

The show will be online-only, running from June 12 to June 15, and promises that developers will be “showcasing their latest news and games directly to fans around the world”, and despite initial speculation, E3 will be “available to everyone for free”.

All confirmed companies to be making an appearance at E3 this year are Xbox, Nintendo, Capcom, Konami, Ubisoft, Take-Two, Warner Bros. and Koch Media. Sony, however, is noticeably absent from the ESA’s list of early commitments, alongside EA, Activision Blizzard, Sega, Bandai Namco and Square Enix.

While neither Sony nor the ESA has officially ruled out Sony’s attendance at the event, the company’s absence from this confirmed list suggests it will not be appearing at E3 2021. What’s more, this isn’t the first time Sony has ditched E3, with the platform holder opting out of last year’s event in favour of its own State of Play and PS5 events.

Even though Sony likely won’t be in attendance, it’s an impressive show of support for E3 2021, with many speculating that the online-only event would be largely ignored by the biggest companies in the industry. Having Xbox and Nintendo in attendance is a boon to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA).

But what does Sony’s likely E3 absence mean for PS5? Well, we’ll still see new PS5 games from other publishers at the show, such as Ubisoft and Capcom, but it means the first-party exclusives that so many PlayStation fans are craving information about won’t be present.

It’s expected that Sony will host its own E3-styled event, where it can control the messaging, format and news flow without the type of investment needed to be present at E3. Nevertheless, it could also choose not to share anything at this time like last year, which would give Microsoft and Nintendo a week of almost unusual attention for Xbox Series X and Nintendo Switch announcements.

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