They are gearing up to the PS5.
I don't think Sony is ever coming back to E3 (or at least for some years, if their new models goes wrong), they said they are looking for new ways to engage the community, there is nothing to do with "Sony has nothing to show" as some people are trying to push, there is always something to show, even if its nothing theirs, PS4 has a huge amount of 3rd party support and could bring several announcements from them, they have never missed a conference before, this is unprecedent, Sony has left E3 for good, the statement was pretty clear IMO.
The point is Sony is using the PS5 reveal as a chance to promote themselves even more, PSE will be their whole focus, and they might be thinking about spreading their announcements over the year.
E3 was a big show and good for Sony but now they want ever bit of the attention they bring to benefir only themselves, and they'll use the PS5 to catapult this.
From now on PSE is their main event, they might still appear on small events here and there if the timing is good, but the big guns will all be announced on events of their own.
While I am not convinced they hve left E3 for good, I aso kinda agree with you.
It just makes sense now for them to focus on PSX at the end of every year. I mean right now we have quakecon, EA has their own conference, ubisoft has theirs, SE hs theirs.....etc. There really is no point in having E3 anymore.
The guy does speak exclusively about E3 2019 but I doubt Sony would look for a new model to just use it for one year and get back to focusing on E3 in the following year, unless as I said, their plans go wrong.
They announced the PS4 exists (with the DS4 reveal) February 2013 and later revealed the system, pricing and release during E3 that year, so I expect something similar for next year, PS5 exists announcement around April/May, PS5 reveal during PSX with all info, and I expect it to release March 2020.
This whole generation Sony has focused releasing their biggest games early in the year, and we have phones and switch trends of great launchs for tech hardware early in the year instead of late lately as well, it'll likely be the case with the PS5 too.
The doubt I have now is, only TLoU2 or GoT will come 2019, which one will it be? It would make more sense to hold TLoU2 for an imminent PS5 launch like Nintendo did to BotW to explode enthusiasm on the system launch, so it might be it.
Honestly I would preffer a TLoU route, first PS4 then PS5 (as it was first PS3 then PS4), but I think it makes more sense to pack it in with the new system, as it works better for their pockets.
I don't really like the idea, tho. Would preffer to be always jaw dropped by it as a swan song for the old system where every last bit of greatness they could pour on it was done instead of a game that has a new system version that makes a thing a bit better than it did.