We’re still a few months off from E3 2020 in June, but the annual expo suffered its first casualty as Sony has decided to skip the event altogether. This is the second time that the Japanese company has chosen to do, having made the same move last year.

Sony missing the expo now means that those hoping to see the PlayStation 5 going up against Microsoft’s Xbox Series X in the battle of the next-gen consoles are now out of luck.

“After thorough evaluation SIE has decided not to participate in E3 2020. We have great respect for the ESA as an organization, but we do not feel the vision of E3 2020 is the right venue for what we are focused on this year,” a spokesperson for the company explained.

“We will build upon our global events strategy in 2020 by participating in hundreds of consumer events across the globe. Our focus is on making sure fans feel part of the PlayStation family and have access to play their favorite content. We have a fantastic line up of titles coming to PlayStation 4, and with the upcoming launch of PlayStation 5, we are truly looking forward to a year of celebration with our fans,” they added.

Precisely which events Sony is talking about remains to be seen, but with the PS5 expected during the 2020 festive season alongside the Series X, expos like Gamescom or the Tokyo Games Show later in the year might be a possibility instead.

Either way Sony may not have wanted to share the stage with Microsoft at E3, and with both next-gen consoles said to be sporting vastly improved specifications and performance compared to their predecessors, the lineup of exclusive titles for each will likely be the deciding factor for consumers.

As for other high-profile omissions from E3 2020, we’re yet to hear anything else at this stage.

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.