Last night, Sony gave the world a peek at what’s behind the curtain for its next console, the PlayStation 5. As well as there being over two dozen new games shown, the design of the console itself was a talking point of the night.
This public showcase had an initial schedule for last week, June 4. Sony opted to delay the launch by a week as a mark of respect to the worldwide events involving the George Floyd protests. As well as this, instead of screened in front of a buzzing auditorium in Los Angeles, COVID-19 has had its say. Journalists and fans alike watched this pre-recorded (rather than live) showreel from home.
Sony had already revealed some impressive tech specs, before this reveal. We knew that this console would boast a built in 825GB solid state drive. (In layman’s terms: super-fast loading times and even more impressive visuals.) They’ve also already told us about the DualSense controller, with “advanced haptic feedback”. (A.K.A. it’s more sensitive to the touch and pressure of your fingers.) What wanted to see the physical design of the PlayStation 5, itself. And, what games were they going to dazzle us with?
Awesome Female Protagonists
Two of the biggest titles bookended the show. Sony announced sequels to two phenomenal successful franchises. Spider-Man: Miles Morales sees a new hero don the mask. That’s right, the protagonist here is an Afro-Latino teenager, not Peter Parker. Sony later said this title is “an expansion and an enhancement to the previous game […] deploying some of the major PS5 technology and features.”
The other game that got tongues wagging was a sequel to Horizon: Zero Dawn – Horizon: Forbidden West. Heroine Aloy is back, and the footage teased some exciting underwater scenes. In fact, a pleasing trend throughout the reel were the number of female protagonists.
Pragmata features an astronaut in a futuristic world, interacting with a android girland a mysterious cat robot. Square Enix’s Project Athia started out with a woman with modern attire. Later, she was in a fantastical world, filled with dragons, wolves on fire and druid-like spells. There was even a trailer for Stray set in a neon, cyberpunk robot city where you play and explore it… as a cat!
Die, Die, and Die Again!
Other titles that caught attention were Ghostwire Tokyo. This has echoes of BioShock (with creepy, giggling, headless schoolgirls). Stealth and shoot-style Deathloop looks amazing. Rival killers are stuck in a time loop, and you have to work out how to escape the system. If at first you don’t succeed, “die, die, and die again!” goes the catchphrase. There’s also a predecessor to Dark Souls – Demon Souls – no doubt music to fans’ ears!
Tried-and-tested favourites also got their moment to shine on the stage. Hitman III promises to offer Agent 47’s “most intimate contract in his entire career.” Gran Turismo 7 is coming (a trend it seems, for every new PlayStation console release!). There was no new GTA VI announcement, but GTA V is being enhanced and expanded. Ratchet and Clank has a new game too, Rift Apart. The Guardian commented that “I didn’t expect to be so blown away by the graphics […] every frame could be from a Pixar movie.”
The teaser trailers appeared to wow and amaze, thanks to that SSD, and the announcement of 3D Audio. This announcement saw the games hog the limelight. Old faithfuls lined up alongside plenty of exciting new upcoming and indie offerings.
Sweeping Curves Aesthetic
Sony ended the show with visuals of the PlayStation 5 console itself. It’s quite the major step in aesthetics. Twin white sweeping curves flank the black, upright device, which stands in a black base. Head on, it could be mistaken for Dracula’s white collar, sitting aside his waistcoat. You’re never going to please everyone with a product like this. Sure enough, the internet responded. Some were quick to compare it to a meagre Wi-Fi router!
The good news is that the PS5 is going to be backwards-compatible with PS4 games. This will take time of course, with more and more titles being applicable for this over time. With regards to the games: some are due for release in 2020, while others have a 2021 release. Sony did not release an exact launch date for the PlayStation 5, itself. Like the Xbox Series X, we’d assume that will be in good time before Christmas 2020. Neither did Sony release a price, so our wallets are still in limbo…