E3 had record breaking views on Twitch last year and had the largest attendance since 2005. But yeah, it's irrelevant now just because Sony backed out, lol. Trust me dude, Sony only backed out because their conference last year was poorly received and because almost all of their unannounced in development games are for PS5, which they don't want to announce yet. They will be back in 2020, mark my words.
I agree though that it was smart for EA not to do a conference this year though, EA's conference last year was a total clusterf*ck, and they have even less games to announce this year.
I'm paraphrasing, but Sony said "we want to try new ways to connect with our audience."
I'm of the opinion that this move is not just due to PS5 games, but also testing the waters for how much money they can save by skipping E3 in proportion to the effectiveness of the alternate methods.
I wouldn't say E3 is irrelevant, but it is not necessary any more to spend millions only to get awkward bugs and presentation hiccups live, when you can do a Direct style of showing.