E3 2023 will not include a showfloor presence by Nintendo, Sony or Microsoft, a new report has claimed.
IGN states that all three of the industry's console makers will skip the event, putting a significant dampener on the show's long-awaited return.
E3's annual showcase, held in June at the Los Angeles Convention Center, has long been the video game industry's key marketing drumbeat. But recent years have seen major companies turn elsewhere due to reported disagreements with its owner, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), even before Covid stopped the show from running altogether.
This year, E3 is back as a physical show - still owned by the ESA but now operated by Reedpop, the company behind events such as PAX and EGX, and which also owns the Gamer Network family of websites, including Eurogamer - but questions have remained around how quickly the show can be returned to its former glory.
Sony is perhaps the least surprising of the three not to see return this year. It last appeared on the E3 showfloor in 2018, and has since held its event or digital broadcast around the same time. Exactly what it will or won't do this June remains unknown.
Nintendo has traditionally been an E3 stalwart, though its attendance this year would come after its big 2023 title had already arrived. The long-awaited Zelda: Breath of the Wild follow-up Tears of the Kingdom will launch for Switch in May, and currently looks set to be Nintendo's final major blockbuster for its aging hybrid console. At present, Nintendo's line-up for the rest of this year looks to be Pikmin 4 and more Mario Kart 8 DLC.
Microsoft not attending E3 when it has Starfield to promote feels like the biggest surprise, even if the company has already promised its own showcase in June around the same time. Bethesda's console exclusive RPG is a key title for Xbox this year, but still lacks a firm release date. Microsoft delayed the game last May and said it would now arrive before the end of June 2023, though hasn't given an update since.
"We have received a tremendous amount of interest and verbal commitments from many of the biggest companies in the industry," Reedpop said in a statement today, "and when we are ready to announce the exhibitors we are confident it will be a lineup that will make the trip to Los Angeles well worth it for the industry and consumers alike."