For video game fans, E3 is an institution. While fans have come to expect a number of different industry events and announcements throughout each calendar year, E3 remains the big show for a number of publishers. This year, however, has been a bit unusual for the conference. Once again, PlayStation won't be in attendance, and neither will Geoff Keighley, and some fear the show's influence is waning. However, E3 2020 faces a much bigger threat in the form of Coronavirus. With Game Developers Conference indefinitely postponed as a result of the virus, gamers are understandably concerned that E3 could suffer a similar fate. In a statement given to Vice, Entertainment Software Association has announced the show will go on.
"Everyone is watching the situation very closely. We will continue to be vigilant, as our first priority is the health, wellness and safety of all of our exhibitors and attendees. Given what we know at this time, we are moving ahead full speed with E3 2020 planning. Exhibit and registration sales are on track for an exciting show in June."
June is still some time away, and much can change in just a few months. Despite the show's notable absences, both Nintendo and Microsoft had recently confirmed their plans to attend. Over the last few years, Nintendo's annual conference shifted to a less formal video format, but the company still attends the show, offering a number of games on display. That presentation will likely still happen regardless of whether or not E3 is held this year. That said, Microsoft has a lot more to lose. In Sony's absence, Xbox Series X could have a chance to steal the show. Videos are great for showing off new games, but that's not the case for new consoles, where hands-on time could help the company build hype.
Of course, the Coronavirus represents a very real threat to the video game industry as a whole, at the moment. The virus has had a significant impact on manufacturing in China, which is likely to result in a shortage of Nintendo Switch consoles. That particular system has been one of GameStop's biggest sellers in a tough year. E3 represents a big opportunity for Microsoft to gain attention for their upcoming console, but that might be for naught, as the virus could also have a major impact on manufacturing for Xbox Series X, and rival PlayStation 5. With interest in Sony and Microsoft's current systems waning, 2020 could be a bad year for the industry as a whole, if Coronavirus continues to spread.
Are you concerned about E3 getting cancelled this year? What do you hope to see at the show? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!