This just... feels off to me. This is like "Nintendo doesn't have software to do an E3 booth". Like, c’mon… That's an excuse. Nintendo literally had a booth for one game in 2016, and it was one of their best E3s in recent times. And that was the last year of the Wii U, which was already dead by then. So, sorry but I'm just not buying this. It's like what people were saying about Sony winding down their e3 presence in 2018 and then never attending again. "Well, the PS4 is on the way out and theyre transitioning to a new console, so they just don't have enough to show". Riiiight... for two E3s in a row? Like they've never had to contend with a console transition before?! Management just didn't want to attend, pure and simple. It had nothing to do with lineup. You can put a decent e3 conference together even with a light lineup, by announcing some things early, or bringing in more third-parties, etc.
So, "light lineup this year" or "our budget was cut, we can't afford the booth"... those excuses are a convenient scapegoat for why they won't be there. But, Xbox can't afford a normal e3 booth? Nintendo doesn't have enough games? LOL, seriously? If they choose not to participate, it’s a deliberate business decision, from the top.
Maybe the PAX organizers had some proposals that just didn’t look good to the platform holders, I have no idea. But if all three platform holders are skipping, that really tells us all we need to know. It’s not any specific reason for any of the three, it’s just maybe the proposal was really bad and they don’t want to humiliate the ESA or the new organizers of the show by calling that out.