Earlier this week, the ESA made the decision to pull the plug on E3 2020. E3 is one of the biggest gaming trade shows of the year, and this year, the expo was of particular importance because Microsoft and Sony are planning to launch new consoles. With the show officially canned, a number of companies are detailing the plans for the announcements they were slated to make.
In a statement to GameSpot, Nintendo said that it “supports the ESA’s decision” to cancel this year’s E3 while expressing its concerns for those impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. Going forward, Nintendo says that it will be “flexible and redirect our efforts to other ways of keeping our fans up to date about our activities and products.” Due to the outbreak, Nintendo notes that attending large events “may be untenable for the foreseeable future,” so don’t expect it make an appearance at any shows that somehow don’t get cancelled.
For Nintendo, the cancellation of E3 isn’t a huge blow – for a number of years, Nintendo has shied away from hosting press conferences and instead makes its announcements by way of pre-recorded Nintendo Direct live streams. Typically at E3, those Directs are followed by multi-day Treehouse streams that go hands-on with the games that were announced, but in its statement to GameStop, it made no indication that it would host a Treehouse event elsewhere.
On the other hand, E3 2020 was likely going to be a huge show for Microsoft. With Sony sitting the show out for the second year in a row, Microsoft was poised to soak up a lot of attention in officially revealing the Xbox Series X. Now that E3 has been cancelled, it seems that Microsoft will move its press conference online, just like it’s doing with the Game Stack talks it was planning to host at GDC.
In the tweet you see above, Xbox boss Phil Spencer says that Microsoft will host an Xbox digital event in place of its E3 2020 press conference. We don’t know when that will happen, but Spencer says that “details on timing and more” will be delivered in the coming weeks.
We’ll keep our eyes peeled for more information from both of these companies, but it’s clear that E3’s cancellation won’t stop the big players in the game industry from making their announcements. Stay tuned.