- The last major PlayStation Showcase took place in 2021 and made some pretty huge announcements. In contrast, the 2023 presentation was severely underwhelming.
- Despite showing interesting titles aside from the big guns, the PlayStation Showcase suffered from a severe lack of first-party content.
- Several projects currently in the works such as Lost Soul Aside and Stellar Blade were not present at the showcase. Black Myth: Wukong has also failed to provide us with an update in recent times.
It was a fantastic time to be a PlayStation fan in 2021 when we had our last PlayStation Showcase. Jim Ryan treated us to several surprise announcements such as Insomniac Games‘ Wolverine project and Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. We even got a look at God of War Ragnarok, the Uncharted Legacy of Thieves collection was announced for PC, and Project EVE made another appearance. Things were looking good.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the most recent PlayStation Showcase that took place yesterday. While it had some great moments, it definitely goes into the box of “most overhyped events in the industry.” Rather than coming off as a showcase, it felt more like a State of Play despite the event marking the third year of the PlayStation 5’s lifecycle. In other words, phase 2 of the PlayStation 5.
I’ve never been the one to defend things blindly be it stuff I’m a fan of or otherwise. It’s a principle of mine to call things out the way they are and this PlayStation Showcase is the prime example of why hyping up events is a bad practice. Why we must always take rumors and leaks with more than just a grain of salt. Why these companies should learn the benefits of “underpromise, overdeliver.”
There are factors that drag this event into a mire of mediocrity despite it being fairly decent. 2023’s PlayStation Showcase could have been a full-fledged nuke but it wasn’t. Here’s what I think about the next phase of PlayStation 5.
PlayStation Showcase & The Lost Games
It’s no secret that China has been on a roll when it comes to making games that look good in every imaginable way. Top-of-the-line visuals, flashy and impressive gameplay, and character physics make you appreciate how far technology has come while pulling you over to the more cultured side of the internet. Sony has a whole bunch of these projects under its belt but time’s passing by at full speed with little to no information.
Back in 2016, an indie developer by the name of Bing Yang uploaded a video of his one-man, action-fantasy passion project created in Unreal Engine 4—Lost Soul Aside. The video amassed millions of views and comments were a pinnacle of positive reception. I mean, the game actually looked far more impressive than anything big-name corporations put out.
The problem with Lost Soul Aside is that it was initially a one-man project. Sony later started backing the game and development was expedited to an extent once more developers were provided. Even so, it’s been approximately seven years and we have yet to get concrete details on the game. I’m aware we got an in-depth look at the game last year but the PlayStation Showcase was a prime opportunity that was straight-up missed.
Another loss at 2023’s PlayStation Showcase was the lack of other prominent Chinese titles that are currently in development. Project EVE was a placeholder name that was later replaced by the official title, Stellar Blade. The last look we got at this sci-fi action game displayed the sheer potential it had and left an insanely positive impression on the players. Even so, we got no information on it at the showcase.
And I don’t even want to get started on Black Myth: Wukong but I have to say it. These games look and play at a level beyond the stratosphere but there has to be some way to expedite the development process. Either the projects aren’t being managed properly or maybe the developers are relatively inexperienced. I’m a firm believer in giving games enough time in the over but goodness gracious, these titles are announced way too early.
Overblown Rumors Prior To The PlayStation Showcase
2023 has been an extremely competitive year thus far along with Microsoft‘s Activision–Blizzard deal closing in on the finish line. Everyone knows that Sony was at the forefront of being against the acquisition with Jim Ryan making some very striking statements regarding the situation, especially about Call of Duty and first-party exclusives.
Fake leaks, rumors with sources turning out to be a relative who works at a company, and anticipation in the face of competition contributed to people really elevating the status of this PlayStation Showcase. Earlier this month, we saw the release of Redfall, an Xbox exclusive developed by the Texas branch of Arkane Studios. In case you’ve been living under a rock, Redfall was a massive disappointment.
In light of Redfall’s failure and Phil Spencer speaking up on the situation, word of an upcoming PlayStation Showcase started spreading on the internet and people came up with leaks that projected their own hopes and what they wanted out of it. As if that wasn’t enough, Bloodborne somehow ended up in the conversation once more and it was recently discovered that a retail build that runs on a PC actually exists but with a dev.
Anticipating that PlayStation would deliver a nuke with its showcase in the face of recent events, it seems people forgot to temper their expectations. PlayStation also failed to live up to the hype despite the whole “Phase 2 of PS5” scene. One rumor did end up turning into reality and I hope this leads to a bright future for the franchise once more. Yes, I’m referring to Metal Gear Solid 3 or as it’s now known—Metal Gear Solid Delta: Snake Eater.
Big Boss & Spider-Man Carried The PlayStation Showcase
I’m not saying Metal Gear Solid Delta: Snake Eater and Spider-Man 2 are the only games that were worth it. No, far from it. We had interesting games like Sword of the Sea, Ghostrunner 2, a teaser trailer for Destiny 2‘s next expansion, Bungie revealed Marathon, Assassin’s Creed Mirage, and much more. Alan Wake II is also part of the club. The PlayStation Showcase was decent and I’d give it a 7.5 out of 10.
The reason for that would be “too little first-party content.” Yes, that’s what I believe was lacking in the latest showcase of PlayStation. Final Fantasy XVI was already confirmed to be released in June and all the other stuff so nothing new on that front. If anything, it looks like Square Enix has learned nothing from Forspoken and is about to release a live-service Splatoon rip-off. Yoshi-P and CBU 3 must be tired from all that carrying.
There was no news about Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth, no news about Demon Souls Remake coming to PC even though it’s been out for approximately three years now. Project Q was announced along with earbuds. It was all way too underwhelming for something that was hyped way beyond belief. Objectively mild for a full PlayStation Showcase.
The only thing that universally stood out and served as the highlight of the PlayStation Showcase were Metal Gear Solid Delta: Snake Eater and the gameplay for Spider-Man 2. People on the internet are already bashing it because they can’t stand the thought of it being exclusive. While it may come off as rude to some, competition in this industry often leads to the consumer being a scapegoat in some form. I’m one of them as well.
But even though those two projects were the highlight, one was a cinematic teaser accompanied by a remastered collection and the other was a 10-minute gameplay video that didn’t look as impressive as it can considering it’s a proper PlayStation 5 title. In fact, it looked like a downgrade compared to the teaser we got with Venom and that was running in-engine. It’s probably because the project is still in development but fingers crossed.
The Future Of PlayStation 5
We’re only three years into the current generation so passing any verdicts right now would be foolish at best, ignorant at worst. There’s way more to come in the years ahead for Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5. The problem lies with consumers and the internet elevating something to such lofty heights that it fails to live up to it even should the goods be delivered.
While this PlayStation Showcase was mild for something that was pushed as a huge deal, it was objectively a disappointment. That doesn’t mean anything bad for the platform though as we all know the generation is far from over. However, it would be best if Sony started delivering more of the things it’s known best for because it’s rather barren over here despite a lot of games being in the works.
Maybe Microsoft will strike back and take us all by surprise at the upcoming Xbox Showcase in June but I’m not getting my hopes up. Even so, can’t wait to see what Bethesda is cooking up with Starfield. Fingers crossed for a Persona 3 Remake announcement.
Thanks! Do share your feedback with us. ⚡
How could we improve this post? Please Help us. ✍