There is no question that Sony came out on top overall when it came to E3 this year, even if it followed through on its word and didn't show off the PlayStation 4 Neo during the convention.
Under normal circumstances, the absence of the PlayStation 4 Neo at E3 would mean that it was highly unlikely that the console would see the light of day anytime soon - Sony has set a precedent for this after all.
The PlayStation 3 was shown off at E3 2005, then released in 2006, while the PlayStation 4 was shown off at E3 2013 (it was officially unveiled at a press conference earlier in the year), then released several months later at the end of the year.
Now, if reports are to believed, Sony is poised to break away from this tradition and will launch the the PlayStation 4 Neo by the end of the year.
At the end of a recent Eurogamer article by Richard Leadbetter that questions Microsoft and Sony's apparent emphasis on 4K visuals with the Scorpio and Neo - rather than gameplay and frame rate - is this interesting tidbit:
"Several sources have indicated to me that PlayStation Neo launches this year, despite its E3 no-show. If that is the case, it'll be interesting to see how developers utilize its resources, and whether 4K really is the focus. And we can be equally as sure that Microsoft will be watching just as intently as it gears up for its own next-gen roll-out."
If this is true, then Sony has really put its fans and critics alike on quite the emotional roller coaster over the past several months. Everything started earlier this year, when rumors about the PS4 Neo first appeared and reports about it being released before the end of the year followed soon afterward.
Next, speculation ran wild about an official reveal when GameStop CEO Paul Raines mentioned during an appearance on Fox Business that VR and new consoles would be shown off during E3 this year. Things then reached a standstill for a little while, but then picked up in full force just last week when Sony both confirmed that the Neo exists and that it wouldn't show up at E3 after all.
The Neo wasn't revealed as expected, but now we're left with this bombshell with Sony reportedly poised to break tradition and release its new console without showing it off at E3 first.
One would assume Sony decided not to show off the Neo because it still had some kinks to work out and wasn't ready for a proper unveiling. And if that's the case, what kind of kinks could the Neo possibly have that are so important that it couldn't be shown off at the biggest event for the industry of the year, yet can be fixed so quickly that it would be safe to launch by the end of the same year?
E3 provides one of the greatest places for Sony to show off its hardware, so now that the event is over, wouldn't it be best for Sony to seriously buckle down and not bother with a release just yet?
As of now, Sony is in the fortunate position of having none of its fans or critics know close to nothing about the console, so it should take advantage of this and take its time. Putting itself on an alleged time table limits the time it can spend on developing the console. It also raises everyone else's expectations.
Regardless of what Sony plans to do with the Neo, it still has to make an official announcement. Such venues where it could do so would include Gamescom, Tokyo Game Show, Paris Games Week, or maybe even a dedicated event. Things just got a little more interesting, so let's see what Sony does next.