Today Sony did a long digital only event labeled as the "Future of Gaming" event. While I feel they made some mistakes in their messaging, and the event was way too long and over saturated. It was almost entirely small niche titles or games that in no way "look next-gen only" They need to show us games that could only run on next gen. While I have some complaints about the event, it did deliver some exciting announcements during its tedious 1 hr 15 minute run time before the big reveal everyone waited so long to see, the PS5 itself. Here are the biggest announcements during the event.
The PS5 hardware
It has been almost 6 months to the day since Xbox revealed the Series X at the 2019 Game Awards, and since then we kept waiting to see what it's rival looked like, the PS5. It looks like it was designed by the First Order and is ready to impose its will on the galaxy, but it sure will look beautiful doing it. We are also getting another console with a vertical design; looks like we all really are going to have to be rethinking our entertainment centers after all. I have more questions than answers here as we still don't know about a black launch version. We still don't know price or all launch storage options. We do know that there will be a (probably cheaper) all digital version with no disc drive as well as a traditional one with a 4K UHD Blu-ray drive. Also shown is a HD camera (which makes us wonder if existing camera's will work).
Resident Evil village
In one of the most clever hidden titles in the history of games, "Villiage" at first seemed like a new horror game to some, while the clever use of two periods and a color shift revealed the hidden "VIII" in the game, with the fade in of Resident Evil underneath. Rumors of Resident Evil 8 have been circling for a while, so this was a sly way to still surprise us.
GTA V is coming to PS5
In what should be a shock to no one, GTA V is coming to PS5. What I found most interesting is that only the promise of "GTA Online" being free to PS5 owners. This seems like an odd distinction to make if GTA V was getting some type of backwards compatibility or paid/free upgrade system. My biggest concern from this whole event is we STILL lack details on PS5 backwards compatibility for PS4 versions of games for those who own them, and secondly paid upgrades. Will PS4 GTA V owners be able to play the PS4 level version of the game day one? Will the PS5 enhanced version be free or full price? We still don't know if Playstation is offering any type of "smart delivery" service like Microsoft. We need answers Sony!
Spider-man: Miles Morales
The fact that the highest selling most successful super hero game of all time was getting a sequel came as a surprise to no one, and it was important for Sony to bring at least some heavy hitter first party titles to this event. What was a welcome surprise is that it is coming so soon, this is a Holiday 2020 PS5 titles, which means this is coming this year. Another welcome surprise is the set up that Spider-man 2018 gave us is coming to fruition with Spider-man: Miles Morales. It is great to see a new take on Spider-man after having gotten so much Peter Parker story. It also seems like pleasant timing as we are at the height of conversation on equality, diversity, and inclusion here in America with the 2020 Protests; the fact of having a AAA title that will undoubtedly sell very well having a African American protagonist is great. My only concern is this. Anytime a franchise abandons a number sequence, and introduces a new character gives me pause. Sometimes that means this game is looked at internally as a spin off or a smaller project. Spider-man 2018 left Parker very much alive and had very specific story elements related to Peter specifically sequel bated. This is also a pretty close development cycle for a game of this size. I just hope this isn't a smaller lesser $30 title that is a cash grab launch title. I don't want this to be a spin-off smaller game that is just buying time for the "real spider-man 2" game. It needs to have the same size, scope, and effort as the first one.
We know very little about this game except that it appears to be a open world adventure fantasy game with a unknown female protagonist. I thought it looks fascinating and exciting. It reminded me of the detail and quality we saw from the Unreal Engine 5 demo game as well.
A game where you play as a cat in a world filled with what appears to be exclusively humanoid robots? If that isn't one of the strangest premises I've ever heard I don't know what is. I am definitely intrigued.
Sackboy: A Big Adventure
I couldn't focus much on the trailer because I couldn't stop asking myself...why is this not called "Little Big Planet 4"? Like I said earlier, arbitrarily abandoning number sequences in games always worries me. That being said, it looked like a fun Playstation version of an 3D Mario game, I thought it was fun.
Ghost Wire: Tokyo
This game has a sad history. An otherwise unknown title that would have flown under the radar at E3 2019 during it's announcement teaser, rose quickly to fame when the internet-beloved Ikumi Nakamura stole the show with her quirky and lovable introduction of the game. Sadly she has left the project for unknown reasons, returning this game back to the shadows. This reveal proves perhaps it should remain there.
In what was a stream filled with AAA sequels Hitman 3 was a surprise one that I hadn't personally heard any rumors for up until today. The first two games were really good despite not being too interesting to me. I am glad to see IOI doing so well after going on their own after their break up with Square Enix enough to make a sequel to Hitman 2.
Demon Souls, the spiritual predecessor to Dark Souls is being remade for PS5. I have never been played the Dark Souls games, but I have friends who are big fans and I know fans of the series are eager to get anything new while we wait for news on Elden Ring.
Horizon II: Forbidden West
Horizon Zero Dawn is one of the greatest games I still haven't finished. It is up there with Last of Us and Witcher 3. There is nothing quite like the pressure of a sequel to make me want to dust these off and finish. I played about half of the original, enough to know how remarkable it. We got to see a pretty decent amount of information in such a short trailer, more than we usually get from a announcement trailer. I was happy with that because this even desperately needed AAA content. The little we did get was cinematics.
Godfall has quite the claim to fame in video game history. It was the first official title revealed for the PS5, even beating the "official reveal" of the logo we all knew to be. It also seems to be the first PS5 game we have seen with much gameplay as well. This event was filled with small niche or indie titles that showed gameplay and AAA that was almost entirely cinematics. We got to see actually in game action however brief in this upcoming "looter-slasher" 2020 is seeing three big games that look similar in a lot of ways with Godfall, Outriders, and Disintegration. We have new IP open world sci-fi multi-player games that while all three are different in many ways, feel similar in overall "vibe". All of these games are different in their own way, but seem to want to be the next Destiny. Is there enough room for all these games to succeed? I hope so because they all look awesome, and I can't wait to play Godfall.
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart
Ratchet fans can be overjoyed to see a new next-gen installment is coming, this time promising inter-dimensional rifts and planet hopping. We get the smallest glimpse at this promise but it looked more like a story cinematic events rather than controllable events.
Kena: Bridge of Spirits
Ok I will admit, I am sucker for small fluffy creatures. Porgs. Bunnys. I mean who isn't? This game seemed to be the Porg adventure simulator we never knew we needed. I'm sold.
I love weird sci-fi. I love weird WTF stories. Inception is one of my all time favorite movies. I love when we get robots, space, and all existential in our video games. Holographic cats, space suits, crashing satellites, weird "is it real" environments? 2018 Jesse would have been all over this. However, the last time I got hyped up by a huge WTF trailer like this one I got the beautifully awful Death Stranding. That game showed us trailer after trailer that left us wondering what the game was about, and it turns out the game didn't even know either. We kept expecting context when we played that never came. My weird sci-fi loving heart needs to learn to trust again before I can allow myself to be exited for this game. It looks awesome. I need to try to close my eyes and tell myself to have faith, nothing could be that boring and bad could it?
There were so many games revealed and shown during this event, these were just some of the titles. I will say that I thought Sony should have split this event. 80% of these games were smaller niche or indie style titles that while have value and entertainment, do nothing to show off the PS5. This was a PS5 "Future of Gaming" event, and we saw absolutely nothing during this super long hour and 15 minute live stream that looked like it was next-gen gameplay. the very brief gameplay of Godfall and Horizon 2 that we did see looked like it could run on PS4 Pro. It was hard to tell because Sony made the poor decision to stream this event at 1080p 30 FPS on top of it being compressed poorly. This made nothing look special or next-level. Sony should have had a separate "State of Play" specially labeled for indie or other games, similar to when Nintendo does "Nindies". If it wasn't for the hope of a hardware reveal I might have given up during the cringey "talking food animals" game that looks like it was 1990's 3D Modeling. Sony should have kept the focus on powerful AAA games and actually gotten some gameplay segments that showed us what they have been talking about for a year. Show us games without loading screens. Show us Miles Morales swinging fast traveling across New York in an instant. Show us insanlely complex environments that could never run on a PS4. Show us ray tracing. So far the only "next-gen" tech we have seen for PS5 has come from an unplayable demo for a fake game with unreal engine 5.
The PS5 is going to need to sell us why we should upgrade, and so far Sony isn't doing that. Yes some of these gamers are awesome, and the console looks cool, but show us gameplay Sony!