When E3 returns this June to the Los Angeles Convention Center for the first time since the start of the pandemic, Microsoft won’t be on the show floor. “We can’t wait to host our Xbox Games Showcase on June 11th and will share more details later,” an Xbox spokesperson told IGN on Friday (via The Verge). “We also look forward to co-streaming our event as part of E3 Digital and will not be on the E3 show floor.”
Questions about Microsoft’s E3 2023 presence began circulating at the start of February when IGN reported that the company, alongside Sony and Nintendo, would not have a presence on the show floor. There was some hope Microsoft would still be at the event after the company announced it would stream a dedicated Starfield showcase on June 11th, the same day E3’s “Digital Week” kicks off. Microsoft’s decision to skip the in-person portion of E3 comes after Nintendo said last month it would not be at the event at all. Sony has yet to state whether it will be at E3 2023.
The absence of even one console manufacturer from the E3 show floor is a significant blow to the Entertainment Software Association. The show has lost much of its shine since 2019, when the ESA inadvertently leaked the contact information of more than 2,000 journalists, analysts and content creators. The pandemic and the emergence of competing events like Summer Game Fest haven’t allowed E3 to regain its footing.