What E3 2020's cancellation means for PS5 and Xbox Series X

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(Image credit: Microsoft)

E3 2020 is officially cancelled but, with the PS5 and Xbox Series X due to release in late 2020, what does that mean for the next-gen consoles?

While Sony confirmed that it wouldn't be attending the gaming expo this year, we were expecting announcements from developers about what projects they have cooking for the PlayStation 5. 

Meanwhile, Microsoft confirmed it would be attending E3 2020 and we were expecting the company to show off the next Xbox - and its launch titles - at the event.

So what's going to happen now? With the ESA looking into options for an online experience, here's what we think E3's cancellation will mean for the next-gen consoles.

What it means for PS5


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The good news is that Sony wasn't attending E3 2020 anyway. The company confirmed earlier this year that it was skipping the expo and is likely opting to reveal the PS5 at its own event. So in terms of the PS5 reveal, E3's cancellation isn't likely to have huge impact.

Any PS5 exclusives are likely to be announced at Sony's own event, rather than anywhere else, and a PS5 price announcement will likely come from this event as well. 

However, we were expecting third-party developers and publishers to announce or showcase their PS5 games at E3 2020. Publishers who have previously announced they're working on games for the PS5 and Xbox Series X were set to attend the conference, including the likes of Ubisoft - and it's likely those who haven't officially revealed they are yet would have done so at the event.

Fortunately, the ESA is looking into online options which could see the organizers streaming the conferences and announcements instead. So we should still get the same announcements and news, but without the pizzazz of an E3 keynote.

However, this depends on whether the publishers and developers will want to take this option, some may choose simply to host their own streams. But it's unlikely we'll see any holding their own events. 

It's also possible that, during the official PS5 reveal, Sony will show off some of the games that were due to be shown at E3 - but whether the company will want to showcase games coming to both next-gen consoles isn't likely as Sony will probably want to keep its reveal to its PS5 exclusives. 

PS5 games aren't likely to be delayed, but we may just see their announcement sooner if not at the online E3 event.

What it means for Xbox Series X

Xbox Series X

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft is probably going to be hardest hit by the cancellation of E3 2020. The company confirmed it would be attending the event and we were expecting a full reveal of the Xbox Series X - and its launch titles - during the Xbox E3 conference.

But all might not be lost. Xbox boss, Phil Spencer, tweeted shortly after the ESA's announcement that the company will be holding its own digital event in lieu of an E3 conference. While Spencer didn't divulge any details on what that will entail, it's likely that the company will be hosting a live stream conference of some sort.

Spencer said that details on times and dates will be revealed in the coming weeks. it's likely this digital event will either take place on the date Microsoft's conference was due or we could even see a reveal sooner without the restrictions of E3 scheduling. 

Right now we can only speculate when the event will take place. Either way, we're still going to hear from Microsoft. 

However, similar to PS5, when we hear about third-party games for Xbox Series X may be impacted - if developers choose not to take part in the online E3 experience. Again, we don't think this will result in game delays, but it will mean we're less sure of how an when we get game announcements.

Vic Hood
Associate Editor, TechRadar Gaming

Vic is TechRadar Gaming's Associate Editor. An award-winning games journalist, Vic brings experience from IGN, Eurogamer and more to the TechRadar table. You may have even heard her on the radio or speaking on a panel. Not only is Vic passionate about games, but she's also an avid mental health advocate who has appeared on both panels and podcasts to discuss mental health awareness. Make sure to follow her on Twitter for more.