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Xbox confirms it will not be at E3 2023 show floor, but will be part of E3 Digital

What you need to know

  • E3 is the Electronic Entertainment Expo that has showcased upcoming hardware manufacturers and software developers since 1995. 
  • Xbox has officially stated that while it won’t be at the E3 2023 show floor that it will be part of E3 Digital this year. 
  • E3 2023 will take place June 13 – June 16.

Back in January, it was reported that Nintendo, Sony, and Xbox would be skipping E3 2023 (thanks IGN (opens in new tab)). Sony hasn’t attended the event for a few years anyway, but Nintendo came out with an official statements shortly thereafter confirming that it wouldn’t be there. Despite this, no official word came from Microsoft on the subject. In fact, rumors still swirled that this information was incorrect and that Xbox would still have a presence to show off its upcoming Xbox games, even if it wasn’t at the official show floor. 

As of this morning, an Xbox spokesperson has official revealed that the company will not be attending E3 2023’s show floor in person, but that it will co-steam the Xbox Games Showcase on June 11 as part of E3 Digital (thanks, IGN (opens in new tab)). 

“We can’t wait to host our Xbox Games Showcase on June 11th and will share more details later. We also look forward to co-streaming our event as part of E3 Digital and will not be on the E3 show floor.”

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The last in-person E3 was in 2019, with the following three years getting cancelled due to COVID-19 and ongoing concerns that followed thereafter. It was surprising for E3 to get completely cancelled in 2022 considering that a digital only E3 had taken place in 2021. Regardless of the reasons for these cancellations, the increase of livestreamed gaming events and the lack of E3 conventions over the last few years hasn’t worked out well for the expo.

Sony stopped attending E3 back in 2018 due to some disagreements with the Entertainment Software Association that runs the multi-day convention. Instead, PlayStation has opted to attend other gaming expos or released its showcases at various times throughout the year. Nintendo, has also officially stated that it will not be attending E3 2023. While the Japanese company hasn’t always held a conference at E3, it has traditionally provided truly impressive show floor displays in the past. Nintendo was one of the first gaming companies to really embrace online events and has successfully held several Nintendo Directs over the course of the last few years, showing that in-person conventions aren’t necessary for reaching ones audience.

Windows Central’s take

E3 has been struggling to stay relevant over the last few years, especially within the gaming space. Though it’s a fun experience for those who like to attend bustling events in person, there is far less incentive for gaming companies to attend these days. Internet advances and self-created online events allow Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo to reach more of their audience while expending a whole lot less money. 

So, having the big three gaming companies failing to attend the show floor in person will deter a lot of visitors from going to the event this year and could prove detrimental to the expo. Still, the fact that Microsoft will be taking part of E3 at all with the Xbox Gaming Showcase a few days prior lends the expo more credence (at least for now). Though, it’s possible this could be the last year that Xbox attends in any way at all. It definitely doesn’t need to in order to reach its audience as we’ve seen with the advent of additional digital events like the recent Xbox Developer_Direct

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