It has long been known that E3 is collapsing in on itself. Despite the fact the conference was only known because of its rather inclusive badging system, the hosts decided to close the rules up, allowing only those with a high profile in the industry to attend. This meant that fans could no longer go, beginning the downward decline of the show. This, combined with their complete lack of understanding around new media, led to the big companies within the industry to get scared.
Activision took a year off from the official show but rented a church nearby to hold an unofficial press conference. Nintendo took some time off from having on-site press conferences but didn't exclude themselves from the show floor. In 2016, the disinterest in the show gained some steam, with both EA and Activision deciding to skip the event. EA hosted an open event next door, while Activision showed some gameplay with PlayStation, but had no official floor presence. Disney Interactive and Wargaming followed behind, announcing they were exiting the show entirely.
While Activision, EA, Disney, and Wargaming being absent left a hole in the floor, 2019 is going to leave an even larger hole. Sony has announced that they will have absolutely no presence at or during E3 2019. This means no presence on the floor, no PlayStation press conference, and no PlayStation Experience event. Sony explained their reasoning in a statement,
As the industry evolves, Sony Interactive Entertainment continues to look for inventive opportunities to engage the community. 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.
This feels completely different from Microsoft pulling out of CES, where they said that the timing of the event didn't line up with their product development cycle. In this case, Sony is saying that they aren't nearly as interested in the gaming press seeing their stuff as they are about engaging directly with the gaming community as a whole. This means that we can expect a bigger, more relevant PlayStation Experience, or something with a new name, to happen in more places, at a time unrelated to the former industry-leading event.