Was Sony's PlayStation 5 Reveal Good Enough Or Merely A Lot?

Sony has just wrapped up their PlayStation 5 (PS5) presentation which sure did present a lot of "stuff."

By Daavpuke, Posted 12 Jun 2020

Sony has just wrapped up their PlayStation 5 (PS5) presentation, at the time of writing, which sure did present a lot of "stuff." Seemingly rolling out project after project, the reel eventually showcased 26 games. No one will deny that such a display isn't a ton of games. Yet, I'm left unsure that merely the plethora of choice was enough to satiate me, other than with quantity. I don't ever want to be the type of person who laments the state of politics in the Philippines, sighing, when faced with the splendor of a marketing stunt of this size. Video games are so cool. Apathy feels ungrateful, when seeing the effort put into all of the bells and whistles going off, but here we are.

In total, I've compiled five games that I'm genuinely excited about; with nine if I'm merely optimistic. With that many games thrown at the screen, that number just isn't a good average; it's not even half of the examples. It took 13 games before I even flipped a switch from seeing a bog standard Sony show, to finally swallowing some hype. Whatever Ghostwire: Tokyo ends up being, I know it will not only look great, but it will also be weird as hell. I, for one, am ready to see developer Tango Gameworks, known from The Evil Within games, get progressively weirder and more experimental with their material. It doesn't matter how good the execution will be, because it will be an interesting time regardless and that carries more weight than just flashing lights.


Sony, PS5, PlayStation 5, Games, Launch, Review, Feedack
 

The four other games that caught my eye may not have blown me away, but at least they showed an abundance of positives that reassured me that I would enjoy them. First on that line is Little Devil Inside. Even though the game was revealed last year as multiplatform, it only sunk in now how much inspiration the role-playing game (RPG) draws from The Tomorrow Children, at least in atmosphere. Given this PS4 game was server-based and got taken down, the quaint blue collar charm will live on in Little Devil Inside, with some more Witcher-esque vibes. That's two games mashed into an appetizing sandwich.

Bugsnax, now there's a dumb reveal that can grab the eyes of the viewer. What can only be described as Viva Piñata on acid, this bubbly world full of morphing critters is going to be a fun time. There's no way that this won't be a ton of fun, from an observer standpoint alone. It has taken so long for anyone to hear the cries from the Viva Piñata fans, which are more plentiful than you'd think.

As great as Destruction Allstars looks, it will require holding our breath to see how healthy the game will be. Vehicular combat is one of the most good clean fun in video games, but the games that attempt it tend to fall on deaf ears. Just recently, OnRush delivered a great take on bumper cars, but the game failed hard enough to sink the studio before the game got ported onto PC. Destruction Allstars looks like a blast regardless, but it's anticipated with a clenched teeth sort of excitement.

Lastly, Horizon Forbidden West may not be original, but it's still the most distinctive in its market of open world games. Moreover, developer Guerrilla Games is perhaps the most talented studio currently, when it comes to visuals. If anyone is going to sell the PS5 as bigger, bolder tech, then it's going to be this studio. It may also help that with the arrival of the first game on PC, Sony will see an increase in sales from fans there.

Looking deeper into games, the four examples I'm optimistic about are simply because there's not much reason to get more excited. Stray could be something special, following a cat with a backpack, but publisher Annapurna tends to skew to very artsy games and that doesn't always pan out. It's still a cat with a backpack though. That's just good marketing right there.

Both Pragmata and Project Athia look like grandiose games with budgets that are too big to fail, but that's really all we know. These games could be anything and we've seen from Death Stranding where blind faith gets us. Undoubtedly, there will be something in there for people to enjoy, it's just a question of what and how much of it will be enjoyable.


Kena Bridge of Spirits, PS5, Games
 

Finally, Kena: Bridge of Spirits looks like a classic platformer, such as Tak and the Power of Juju and similar PlayStation 2 (PS2) throwbacks. However, the thing that stood out in this PS5 presentation is just how much stock Sony is putting into these nostalgia glasses. Who are all these platform games for, ostensibly? Ratchet and Clank, Sackboy, Oddworld, Solar Ash, Astro's Playroom; so much importance is put into a genre that generally just peters out. There have been tons of recent attempts to bring back this bygone era of PS2 platformers. Kao the Kangaroo: Round 2 is free right now. Yooka-Laylee put out a tribute to Donkey Kong Country last year. Voodoo Vince got brought back; so many examples of platform games show up that people forget about instantly, if they're not a name with tons of nostalgia behind it.

Part of a deflated feeling of apathy comes from a similar thought, when thinking of known quantities. Surely, Resident Evil, Demon's Souls, Gran Turismo, Spider-Man and Hitman will be hits, but those games exist in pretty much the same playable state now. Nothing from that presentation had much to show in terms of being a project that isn't just the continuation of what we've got. It's hard to sell a console off the back of just getting more of the same.

With the Nintendo Switch, for instance, the known Zelda name was able to sell like crazy, because Breath of the Wild felt transformative in a way no other console before could've made happen. The games shown at the PS5 presentation could exist, and do exist, on consoles in approximate terms today. Yes, those are great games. It's worth getting hyped about those games. Getting excited about the console selling us the same thing, however, is another value altogether, particularly if the router that is the PS5 console ends up costing €400 or more, which it will.

Maybe this sinking feeling could've been prevented by a price reveal for the PS5. That way, at least, it would be possible to acclimate to how much coin you'd need to save. People could start planning out how many games they could possibly buy, in a certain time frame. Bare in mind, not every game shown will be day and date. Did the Sony event end up being a success? Yes, definitely so; it's just a matter of how big of a success story it ends up being. Sony has had some strange marketing priorities for this generation of consoles, so hopefully just showing off quantity is enough to mitigate the need for quality. If I were a reductive person, I'd cap this off by giving the PS5 reveal a 6 out of 10; too many particles.
 

Daav Valentaten, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): PS4, PS3, Vita
Publisher(s): SONY
Developer(s): Sony Interactive Entertainment
Genres: N/A
Themes: N/A
Release Date: 2020

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