E3 2021 is a go and just as expected, it's going full digital for the first time in history. However, that's not the biggest surprise of the upcoming video game showcase. Apparently, while Nintendo and Xbox have both committed to joining E3 2021, Sony is nowhere in sight.
What Can We Expect from E3 2021?
WELCOME BACK! It’s been hard waiting quietly as we got ready for today, but we are thrilled to officially announce our plans for June 12th-15th!
— E3 (@E3) April 6, 2021
Earlier in April, there were rumors that E3 2021 would be an all-digital event with paid content. The rumors gained so much traction that the E3 Twitter page had to clarify that the upcoming digital show is a "free event for all attendees". Less than a week later, the Electronic Software Association has finally confirmed that E3 2021 is going to push through.
Among the major companies already confirmed to be a part of E3 2021 are two of the big three in the gaming industry right now, Nintendo and Xbox. Others include Ubisoft, Konami, Take-Two Interaction, Koch Media, and Warner Bros. Games.
As already mentioned, Sony is missing from that list, and it wouldn't surprise us if Sony ends up skipping the event altogether. Sony has seen a lot of success with their State of Play showcase, and it's possible that they'll try to host the latest iteration at roughly the same time as E3 2021. But, they're not alone.
Other companies that have found success with their own online games showcase include Electronic Arts, whose EA Play 2021 lineup has already been leaked. Square Enix could also technically host another Square Enix Presents showcase in June and use the online event to showcase Final Fantasy VII Remake Part 2, among others.
However, while these companies could host their own showcases, it is possible that they'll still commit to E3 2021 later on. The ESA clarified that the current list of partners can still change as it's composed of "early commitments" as of the moment. Although in Sony's case, we highly doubt that they'll be a part of E3 2021 after already announcing last year that they won't take part in E3 2020, which was eventually canceled.
With that said, it'll be interesting to see what kind of adjustments the organizers will make for E3 2021. It's worth noting that E3 2021 will mark the first time that ESA will take E3 online in its entirety.
E3 2021 is scheduled to run from June 12 to June 15, preceding Valve's newly rebranded Steam Next Fest games festival, which is scheduled from June 16 to June 22.