The first major showcase of the summer game reveal season is always a significant one. It sets the tone of excitement for reveals during and after it and can change the mood of the whole season depending on whether or not it’s good or bad. This year, that honor went to Sony’s June 2 State of Play, which showcased upcoming PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PlayStation VR2 games.
While the showcase didn’t contain God of War: Ragnarok like many PlayStation fans were hoping, it was still an excellent show. It included quite a few shocking third-party game announcements, demonstrated the power of PlayStation VR2 with several trailers, and even contained a surprise PC port announcement for one of Sony’s most popular series. Because everything announced at the State of Play was strong, I’m even more excited for what could turn out to be a fantastic summer for video game reveals.
Over the past two years, Sony left its biggest announcements for a “PlayStation Showcase” in September, far outside the summer game reveal season. As a result, State of Play often suffers because the games featured within them aren’t as interesting as first-party Sony games and leave viewers wanting more. This State of Play still technically followed that formula, outside of the PC port for Marvel’s Spider-Man. We didn’t see the likes of God of War Ragnarok or Marvel’s Wolverine at this show and didn’t even get a price or release date for the PlayStation VR2. Thankfully, the games highlighted were mainly of a much higher caliber than the previous State of Play showcases.
The show kicked off with the confirmation of a Resident Evil 4 remake, one of the most celebrated horror games of all time. That already will likely be one of the most memorable announcements of the summer. Still, the show delivered more exciting news, including in-depth trailers for highly anticipated games like Street Fighter 6 and Final Fantasy XVI. It also contained some cool AA and indie games, with Stray and Rollerdrome looking great in particular. While concrete details on the PlayStation VR 2’s release date and price are still scared, featured games like Horizon Call of the Mountain and Resident Evil Village showed that it should be an impressive piece of VR hardware.
It wasn’t as outstanding as Sony’s E3 2015 conference, which contained the likes of The Last Guardian, Horizon Zero Dawn, Final Fantasy VII Remake, and Shenmue 3, as it wasn’t as focused on exclusives or first-party titles. Luckily, it was much more impressive than any State of Play before it, as previous ones were often quite poor outside of one or two big reveals like Iron Man VR and or Exoprimal. As Sony has pulled off an impressive State of Play without putting in many first-party reveals, it really makes me hope Microsoft and Geoff Keighley bring their A-game as well.
It’s unlikely that any new titles throughout the rest of 2022 will dethrone the likes of Elden Ring or Kirby and the Forgotten Land from Game of the Year awards and roundups. That said, these summer presentations are our last chance to find out what contenders are still on the horizon. Plus, we can get hyped for what’s coming in 2023 as the video game industry finally starts to recover from delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The State of Play managed to achieve that, highlighting games like Stray and Final Fantasy XVI, the latter of which won’t arrive until next summer. Summer Game Fest, the Xbox and Bethesda Showcase, and a potential Nintendo show now have a high bar to meet if they want to impress, but if they can do that and show off first-party games, then this could be the start of an amazing summer for video game announcements.
Following these summer showcases, we should better understand how exactly the next year and a half of gaming will stack up. Hopefully, summer gaming showcases only get better from here. And even if they don’t, I’m content with all of the thrilling announcements we got at this State of Play.
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