The PlayStation 5 Reveal
We're not getting E3 press conferences this year. However, thanks to the PlayStation 5 reveal, I still found an excuse to wake up at 4:45 in the morning to stare at video games.
Sony packed a lot into its almost 90-minute, PS5 Reveal. There were plenty of games I want to play and, barring a prohibitive price point - I'm "good" up to ¥50,000, but would have to think long and hard for anything above that - I intend to buy a PS5 at launch. However, overall, I came away underwhelmed.
Let's start with the box. We've all seen the router jokes, which are 100% accurate and 100% done to death. It is over-designed, has a weird collar, I don't like the colour scheme, and I'm a little concerned about the size. The disc drive looks like an afterthought, hanging on to the console for dear life, and while the unit does sit horizontally, it appears ill-suited to this position. Of course, appearances don't really matter, as it'll sit under my TV for the next several years, out of sight. Still fucking ugly though.
I was glad to see Ray Tracing get a mention during the spec rundown. Between the Xbox Series X and the PS5, he's been a very busy man. A name to look out for.
Two SKU have been announced: one with a disc drive and one without. I'll be interested to see the price difference between the two, though it's unlikely to sway my purchasing decision. I've bought around half digital, half physical this generation, but I like having the option of buying used from time to time. I'm unlikely to go all-digital until I have to, though I won't complain when it does happen. We don't have a price yet - I think it'll be significantly more expensive than a launch PS4 - nor a release date. I'm sure we'll have one soon enough, so the rush of pre-orders can begin.
It's not yet clear how Sony will attempt to sell us Move controllers for the third successive generation.
And then there were the games. Lots of them.
Opening the show with a port of a PS3 game, GTA V, was both hilarious and understandable. Spider-Man: Miles Morales arriving at or near launch is a pretty big deal, as is Gran Turismo 7, whenever that drops. There were a lot of cartoon-style games, with Little Devil Inside being one of the few that held my attention. I loved Little Big Planet back in 2008-2009, but it's well past time for Sony to move on.
I love Housemarque, but Returnal didn't make a great first impression. Oddworld Soulstorm looks like a right good laugh, Hitman is Hitman, NBA2K21 has some lovely looking sweat, and I have no idea what Pragmata is, but someone at Capcom clearly enjoyed Death Stranding. It's difficult to say from such a limited slice, but Ghostwire: Tokyo looks like a potential disappointment. I continue to have zero interest in Horizon, though it certainly was pretty.
You know how sometimes it feels like a game was made just for you? As if the developer had access to that part of your brain labelled "games wot I like" and has spent a year studying it, and then poured all of that knowledge into their next game? They have made something that ticks all your boxes, scratches all your itches; takes all of your monies. You know, the perfect game for you? Well Goodbye Volcano High is the polar opposite of that.
To their credit, Sony showed us a wide variety of games. What most of them had in common was that they didn't look "next-gen", whatever that really means. Had you told me that they were running on a PS4 Pro, I would've believed you. The one exception was Ratchet & Clank: A Rift Apart. The instant shifting between rifts was very impressive, moving you from one reality to the next in a split second. It offered a demonstrable difference between gaming today and gaming tomorrow, and looked like a generational-jump.
I'm intrigued by Square Enix' Project Athia and I'm definitely down for a Demon's Souls remake. I wasn't sure about Jett: The Far Shore on first viewing, but it's the trailer that I have subsequently thought about the most. Deathloop looks excellent and I'm sure I'll enjoy Resident Evil 8: Village, if not just because of an overweight, wife-murdering Chris. Do some cardio, Redfield.
So in conclusion, an ugly box, some interesting games, and a slightly disappointing reveal. However, it hasn't really changed anything, and I expect I'll be buying a PS5 later this year.