With Sony announcing that it will be skipping E3 2019, the ball is now the court of the team at Xbox lead by Phil Spencer. And with only Nintendo and a couple of third-party publishers to compete with, Microsoft is poised to either break the backboard with a ferocious dunk or miss an easy lay-up.
You'd think PlayStation not being at the trade show would alleviate the pressure on Microsoft and Xbox One, but really all it does is push them further into the center stage, under the spotlight. Everyone will be looking at Xbox to capitalize, and that's not always an easy expectation to live up to.
That said, being the biggest one at the show doesn't seem to be phasing Spencer and Co. too much, with the former promising Microsoft will be there as big as it ever has.
While speaking to one of the faces of the Xbox brand, Larry "Major Nelson" Hyrb, in a new interview, the topic of E3 eventually came up, with the conversation starting about PlayStation announcing it would skip the show back in fall.
"There was obviously some news about E3 back in the fall and we had a discussion internally of 'should we go big? Should we save some money? You know… what does that mean?'"
Spencer continued, noting that ultimately the team decided the curveball from Sony wasn't going to change Microsoft's plans.
"We just said 'No, we are going to do our thing. We're going to go and be as big at E3 as we've ever been.' I love that opportunity to be with our fans and the industry."
While on the topic Spencer also notes that the show will focus on the more broader sense of what it means to be an Xbox fan, which includes PC and mobile gaming as well. As is the case with Sony, without the next generation of consoles announced, it's hard for Microsoft to tease and reveal too much, even on the software front, which is what makes this 2019 show so tricky. Sony opted to avoid the situation all together. Microsoft is going to try and stick it out. It will be interesting to see who made the better choice. My money is on Microsoft, because a presence -- even a lackluster one -- is better than no presence.