Ever since the launch of the original Xbox, Microsoft has arguably been Sony's chief competitor in the video game industry. The two have often butted heads, sometimes taking potshots at each other (like Sony mocking the Xbox One's original inability to play used games, for example), and often trying to outdo each other at E3. This year marked the first E3 in history where Sony was not in attendance - an absence that certainly hurt the show's allure for PlayStation fans, as well as Head of Xbox Phil Spencer.
Phil Spencer appeared on Giant Bomb's E3 2019 livestream yesterday, where he discussed Sony skipping the show. "I wish Sony was here. E3 is not as good when they're not here," he said. Besides being the Head of Xbox, Spencer is also on the board of directors for the Entertainment Software Association, which is the entity that runs E3, so it would make sense for him to want the event to be as big as possible.
There's no doubt that Sony's presence would've helped E3 2019 be even bigger, though maybe it just didn't have much to show off. Sony is clearly in a transition period right now when it comes to game development, as the company appears to have its last PS4 first-party games lined up in the form of Death Stranding, The Last of Us: Part 2, and Ghost of Tsushima. There are no major PS4 first-party games announced beyond those titles, so it seems like focus is already shifting to the PlayStation 5.
The PlayStation 5, by the way, was officially announced by Sony months ago, and so it's just a matter of time when we'll get to see the console. Assuming most of Sony's first-party studios have already started work on PS5 launch titles, it seems likely that the company will be back at E3 2019 in a big way, showcasing its first next-generation offerings to the masses.
E3 2020 is already shaping up to be an even more important show than E3 2019, with or without Sony's involvement. That's because E3 2020 will be right before the launch of the next-gen consoles, and so it will give fans their first glimpse as to what the next-generation of gaming will have to offer.
We will find out if Sony plans to attend E3 2020 sometime next year