PlayStation just fumbled one of its biggest leads ever against Xbox and now it will likely pay for it.
The 2023 PlayStation Showcase was a highly anticipated event among gamers around the world since the early rumors last month. With the promise of exciting game announcements and exclusive reveals, fans were eager to see what Sony had in store for them. However, as the showcase unfolded, it became quite apparent that it fell short of expectations and left many, including myself, disappointed and bewildered. Some people point to the large amount of indies as the culprit, but that’s not it. The issue was that PlayStation themselves didn’t show up for the showcase.
PlayStation has a whopping 19 first-party studios under their wing, and only three of them had something to announce!
Bungie gave us a glimpse of Marathon, a Player-vs.-player “extraction” type of first-person-shooter that is a remake of the 1994 game. Then we have Haven Studios announcing FairGame$, which is also a PvP “heist” game about stealing from the rich, the first project from this particular studio. Lastly we have another first-person competitive shooter called Concord from Firewalk Studios who was just acquired last month by PlayStation.
So not only were we not shown anything by legacy studios like Sucker Punch, Bend Studios, Team Asobi, Guerilla, Media Molecule, Bluepoint, etc. but the three things we were shown are all pretty conceptually similar games.
We knew PlayStation was going to focus on live-service games in the near future but not to this degree, not to their own detriment. And somehow, despite announcing three multiplayer shooters, The Last Of Us Factions was STILL not at the showcase in any form. We saw concept art for that game last year! How is there not any update at all on it? Is Naughty Dog having a rough development cycle? No one seems to know.
Secondly, the absence of gameplay footage was a significant drawback. Instead of showcasing actual gameplay, the majority of the trailers consisted of pre-rendered cinematics and cutscenes. Many of the trailers opened with the words “not actual gameplay” somewhere on the screen.
Now I understand not wanting to bog down the showcase with a ton of gameplay, but at least a little more sprinkled in would be nice. Especially for the games we have no idea about how they play. Dragon’s Dogma 2 and Arizona Sunshine 2 featured gameplay, which is nice, but we more-or-less know how those experiences work. Some of the indies like Neva and Sword of the Sea should have shown some gameplay. Ultros, which looks breathtakingly beautiful, did this pretty well by showing mostly gameplay and bits of story.
The lack of release dates for many games was frustrating. Although there were numerous game announcements, Sony failed to provide concrete release information for a significant portion of the showcased titles. Spider-Man 2, a game that was revealed two years ago and received significant time allotment during this showcase is still dated for “Fall 2023”. Ultros is just scheduled for some time in 2024. Plucky Squire, a very charming looking game, is sometime this year. You get the point, very few concrete release dates.
PlayStation also officially revealed two new pieces of hardware. The rumored Project Q, which is a streaming device designed to access your PS5 games through remote play over Wi-Fi. It has all the buttons and features of the DualSense controller with a massive 8 inch LCD screen smack dab in the middle. Also some new PlayStation earbuds.
Maybe I’m just spoiled now that I don’t see these hardware announcements as exciting. Mainly because Project Q kind of already exists in a sense by simply using the PlayStation licensed Backbone controller in conjunction with an android phone or that you can remote play on a tablet. Similarly earbuds are not enough to get me excited.
The showcase wasn’t all bad. We finally got that Metal Gear Solid Remake confirmation, Phantom Blade Zero Looks amazing, and Plucky Squire is definitely on my radar. Lastly we got that extended look at Spider-Man 2 and that game is shaping up to be a major contender for Game Of The Year. All I’m saying is that this Showcase felt more like a State Of Play just longer and that PlayStation really should have showed up for their own show on their own stage from a First Party studio perspective.
Overall this Showcase gets a 6/10 from me.
What do you guys think? Do you think my points were fair? Was I overly harsh? Or maybe not harsh enough? Sound off in the comments section, I always give them a read. For more articles, opinion pieces, reviews, and new on all things geeky be sure to subscribe to Geek News Now! Want more agming related thoughts and reviews? Then check out my author page for everything I have written. As always stay geeky!