After a cancelled E3 conference, Sony’s intended PS5 reveal had to transition to an entirely virtual presentation. Sony took a Nintendo Direct-inspired approach to their hour-long event, compiling game trailers with teasers of the new console, before displaying the PS5 in its full glory at the end.
It was an interesting change to say the least. Sony’s announcement had evident teething problems, with most of the remaining budget being used for transitional graphics. With reduced meme-value and fewer awkward presenters, this announcement wasn’t as gripping as its predecessors.
However, the content announced was far from dull, and exhibits what may be one of the biggest developments in gaming.
“There’s a lot to look forward to with what the PS5 will offer and how it will change the future of gaming,” comments Australian streamer Jess, known as panicpng on Twitch, “from the small glimpses we saw from the games announced, it is evident to see that the PS5 will bring insane graphical improvements.”
Jess’ comment echoes that of Dan Vondrak of Raven Software, who noted in the live reveal that ‘we’re taking a whole new generation of ideas and experiences that we can create for the player.”
As the share of revenue for the console market steadily decreases in favour for online platforms, it’s more important than ever for companies like Sony to give consumers a reason to buy their updated consoles. As the increased interest in VR has demonstrated, consumers are looking to be further immersed in their gameplay, and Sony has pulled the stops out in producing a more accessible version of this ideal.
The PlayStation 5
Expected to launch later this year, the PS5 has focused on more atmospheric and immersive gameplay. With 4k Ultra HD and 3D audio, we can see the gaming scene’s integration of cinematic elements in order to better integrate the player into the games they are playing.
The PS5 has a strong black and white theme, and a curved outer body. With this in mind, both the Xbox Series X and PS5 have been rotated by 90 degrees. This transition from a flat and horizontal console to an awkward vertical one brings up the question of convenience. How will this contrasting, vertical design look in somebody’s room? Will it neatly fit on a shelf like its predecessors?
TechRadar predicts the price of the PS5 to be £449, an increase of £100 from the PS4’s release price.
So, what do we get for the £100 extra? Aside from its appearance, the PS5 offers us ultra high speed SSD, ray tracing technology, a HD camera, a USB port, a headset jack, and a built-in microphone and speaker.
GameRant notes that the PS5 SSD is 100 times faster than the PS4, meaning a cutback in loading times, higher resolution and a faster framerate.
The controller includes a motion sensor, adaptive triggers, and haptic feedback (i.e., advanced controller rumbles).
Want extras? You can get a matching wireless headset (for the full 3D sound experience), a media remote, and a charging station for your wireless controller.
As 80% of the total video games industry revenue is derived from software sales, it is integral for Sony to have a solid mix of games available for the console.
“The lineup of game announcements for the PS5 are really exciting, and definitely one of the leading forces in my interest in the system,” comments Jess, “Spider Man: Miles Morales, Horizon: Forbidden West, Resident Evil 8: Village, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and the Demon’s Souls remake are going to be incredible system sellers. These are all new entries from beloved franchises, some that haven’t seen a new game in years.”
The reveal showcased the revival of some franchises, and the end of others. As Jess notes, Ratchet & Clank belongs to the former category, as Sony taps into the nostalgia market. The game’s release as a PlayStation exclusive is interesting: while the franchise belongs to Sony, the game’s functionalities are so ingrained into the PS5’s abilities that it acts as an advertisement to invest in one.
Jess also notes that “I also found myself really intrigued by Ghostwire: Tokyo and Stray. They’re both completely new titles, which seem to hold some cool ideas, with engaging art styles.”
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (Insomniac Games)
This unassuming title from the creators of Spyro is one of the most innovative and ambitious announcements on the list. Showcasing beautifully rendered and colourful worlds, this game makes the most of the PS5’s ultra fast SSD. What’s more, this addition to the franchise allows the player to create dimensional rifts mid action, adding a new layer of complexity to the gameplay.
As Jess writes, “I found myself so interested in what Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart could potentially offer. The ideas seem so advanced, this concept of getting to travel from dimension to dimension so seamlessly with minimal to no loads – that feels so unprecedented. A lot of discussion about the PS5 I’ve seen has been about how much it’s going to reduce on load time. I feel like it’s going to make the gaming experience a lot more immersive, and is really going to open up a whole world of possibilities for what developers can create.”
Spider-Man: Miles Morales (Sony, Insomniac Games and Marvel)
Spider-Man: Miles Morales will give players another open-world adventure in Manhattan, through the lens of Peter Parker’s successor, Miles Morales.
Hitman 3: Death Awaits (IO Interactive)
Concluding the Hitman trilogy is no easy task, and this game provides the nostalgia required to potentially finish the franchise on a high. Described as the ‘most intimate contract in his career,’ Agent 47 will be able to visit previous locations from the preceding games. Hitman 3: Death Awaits will also be available on the PS4, so there’s no need to fork out a few extra hundred to experience it.
Resident Evil 8: Village (Capcom)
Next year, players will be able to finish the Resident Evil story through Chris Redfield in a first person perspective, differing to the third person remakes that we’ve been accustomed to.
Gran Turismo 7 (Sony)
Sony’s driving simulator returns on the PS5, allowing players to drive high-end racing cars in a faster and more detailed environment. It also looks like you can race against players online.
Horizon 2: Forbidden West (Sony and Guerilla)
Set at a point after the original game, Horizon 2: Forbidden West depicts Aloy’s second attempt to save the world. The trailer introduces us to a new location with floating islands and large blue oceans.
Stray (Annapurna Interactive)
I’m so excited about this game! As demonstrated by the big ‘RIP Humans’ poster at the beginning of the trailer, in this game we explore a robot-controlled world through the eyes of a stray cat.
- GhostWire: Tokyo (Bethesda) – still being developed, as previously mentioned in my previous E3 coverage.
- Deathloop (Arkane Lyon) – also still in the works.
- Project Athia (Square Enix) – this game gave me Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess vibes, and we all know what Square Enix is capable of!
- Returnal (Housemarque) – control a protagonist stuck in an infinite loop of time
- Sackboy: A Big Adventure (Sumo Digital) – another LittleBigPlanet game!
- Kena: Bridge of Spirits (Ember Lab) – from a studio with an anime background, embark on a land-restoring adventure akin to Okami
- Goodbye Volcano High (Ko-op) – This has a great art style, and depicts dinosaurs that go to school!
- Oddworld: SoulStorm (Oddworld Inhabitants) – in the trailer, creator Lorne Lanning describes the game as “an emotionally engaging story, where rescuing is rewarding, failure is devastatingly hilarious, and the memories should last you a lifetime”
- Jett: The Far Shore (Pine Scented) – travel through space to find a new future for humanity
- GodFall (Gearbox) – cool armour, cool weapons and lots and lots of monsters!
- Solar Ash (Heart Machine) – a PS5 exclusive, this mysterious game has a beautiful art style, and a gorgeous world filled with enemies
- Astro’s Playroom (Japan Studio and Team Asobi) – 3D platforming returns to the PS5, without VR this time
- Little Devil Inside (Neostream) – this mysterious trailer showcased a vast and beautiful world, and a variety of enemies to kill
- 2K21 (2K Sports) – this year’s hyper-realistic basketball game was introduced by Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans
- BugSnax (Young Horses) – a new, whimsical game from the creators of Octodad had a strangely disturbing trailer
- Demon’s Souls (BluePoint Games and Japan Studios) – this game gave me serious Skyrim vibes
- Pragmata (Capcom) – a stylish adventure game set in a dystopian future, including a cyber cat
- Destruction Allstars (Lucid) – with a similar style to Rocket League and Fortnite, this game looks like a cross between the two biggest games of the past couple of years
A massive thank you to Jess (panicpng) for helping me with this article! Her channel can be found here
The PlayStation 5 will be available to purchase towards the end of 2020