It’s that time of the year again when industry insiders are teasing that a big PlayStation Showcase will happen around June. A third-party focused State of Play happened in 2022, but now Video Games Chronicle’s Andy Robinson and Giant Bomb’s Jeff Grubb are both suggesting that a more first-party oriented “Showcase” could be on the way sometime during the next month, potentially during the week of May 25.
PlayStation has had a rough start to 2023, with console exclusive Forspoken garnering mixed reviews, the PlayStation VR2 impressing critics while underperforming in sales, and The Last of Us Part 1’s PC port being broken at launch. With only Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 confirmed to be on the horizon for 2023, Sony has a lot to prove during its next showcase. There are three specific things I need to see from Sony if that PlayStation Showcase does come to fruition.
The PlayStation VR2 is an impressive piece of virtual reality technology, but it lacks killer apps outside of Horizon: Call of the Mountain. New game releases for the headset have been slow since its February 2022 launch, which is likely why the $550 headset has underperformed. Sony has opted to mainly relegate PSVR2 to State of Plays or PlayStation Blog posts, but it needs to revitalize excitement for the platform by giving some of its games a spotlight in a big PlayStation Showcase.
Hopefully, there’s more on the way in terms of new AAA VR exclusives from first-party studios, as well as much-demanded ports like Half-Life: Alyx. Already announced PSVR2 games like Journey to Foundation and Synapse could also use release dates. A PlayStation Showcase is the perfect time for Sony to put out a clear road map for PSVR2’s future game library, just as the September 2021 PlayStation did for PS5. Give me a reason to strap on that headset yet again.
PS5 needs a strong lineup for this fall as well. With the exception of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, things look pretty barren for PS5 this year after the launch of Final Fantasy XVI. Several previously announced PS5 games still lack concrete release dates and could arrive in the second half of this year. It’d be nice to get a clearer picture of Sony’s PS5 game lineup for the rest of the year; hopefully, it includes titles like Stellar Blade, the Silent Hill 2 remake, Lost Soul Aside, Death Stranding 2, and Final Fantasy VII Rebirth.
On top of that, we’d welcome a surprise or two. We don’t know how far along in development some games from developers like Firesprite, Haven Studios, Firewalk Studios, and Deviation Games are, but if any of them are making more games slated to release this year, this May showcase would be the time to show them off, as the fall 2023 lineup looks pretty paltry.
Sony has not been secretive about the fact that it plans to invest heavily in live service games over the next decade, and that the games in the works at studios like Bungie, Haven, and PlayStation London are live service projects. If this presentation introduces us to the games coming to PS5 over the next couple of years, then it will have to include some of these games-as-a-service titles that are much different from the single-player stunners Sony studios are known for.
In the wake of the release of Xbox’s Redfall, which was bogged down by its multiplayer elements, hardcore gaming fans are always a bit weary of new live service titles, as well as when a company announces a clear push into that space. That’s why Sony needs to elicit some confidence if it is going to reveal some live service games.
Sony not only needs to make us confident with these early looks that these live service games aren’t dull, repetitive titles meant to keep people playing forever, but it must also demonstrate that it’s not abandoning the kinds of single-player games its fans love. I want the next presentation to show us what that balance between single-player adventures and multiplayer games-as-a-service titles will be like. Doing so should not only give me confidence in Sony’s upcoming game lineup, but create a varied showcase that’s fun to watch overall.
There are a lot of unknowns regarding Sony’s fall 2023 lineup and the future of its PSVR2 and live service games. As such, a May 2023 showcase would be the perfect time for Sony to lay all of its cards on the table and boast about what players can expect over the next couple of years. Sony needs a strong PlayStation Showcase soon if it wants fans to get excited again.
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