Sorry for posting this review at a rather belated time. In this century, delivering one’s thoughts on something new a couple of days after something has happened is considered too late. But the Sony PlayStation 5 “Future of Gaming” showcase started at four in the morning where I am, which is the Philippines. This meant the entire show ended after five in the AM. Even though I’m night owl, I really needed some sleep by then!
I did manage to stay awake and watched the entire “Future of Gaming” program but I couldn’t muster the strength to write up my impressions right after to give a prompt post. Better late than never, I guess. So, did Sony show us enough evidence that the PlayStation 5 is indeed the, quote, “future of gaming,” unquote? Well, kinda.
I guess you can just watch the entire show since I’m embedding it above but, honestly, besides a few games, there was nothing there that truly impressed me or anything that really screams “next generation gaming” to me. That’s mostly because Sony basically showed up a boatload of trailers and nothing much on the gameplay side. Sure, the trailers were only so proud to emboss on the bottom part of the screen the fact that everything was captured on the actual PlayStation 5 hardware. But how much of these trailers actually showed us how the game will play like? I mean, really show long stretches of levels actually being played on the PlayStation 5 hardware instead of small milliseconds of scenes of gameplay?
Okay, there were a few games like Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, Sackboy: A Big Adventure and Gran Turismo 7 that did display what they would look like outside of cutscenes. I guess even the more big name games like Spider-Man: Miles Morales showed quick gameplay bites. However, this was far removed from previous reveals like when Naughty Dog gave viewers a good look at what a full level would play like when they showed off Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End way back in E3 2015. I guess this was acceptable since Sony only had a little over an hour to cram as many games as they could in that time. But, like in the case of Gran Turismo 7, some of the announcement trailers that did show real gaming moments, looked utterly laughable! I mean, even up to now, the latest Gran Turismo can’t seem to show us a proper garage instead of the usual dry point-and-click map and lifeless interface! Yeah, that’ll get my blood pumping.
I will say that Sony did a fine job collating what games to showcase for their “Future of Gaming” showcase. That’s because a lot of the games do incidentally feature how powerful the PlayStation 5 is. I may hate Gran Turismo’s purely menu based interface but the graphics looked phenomenal and ultra-realistic, which is what I want in a Gran Turismo game. Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart showed how fast loading is in-between levels without explicitly saying they were loading levels when they were travelling through portals. Sackboy: A Big Adventure didn’t show anything that couldn’t be done on a PlayStation 4 or even a PlayStation 3 but it did show that there are going to be nice wholesome games for the PlayStation 5 in the future. Like I said, it was a nice mix of games that had something for everyone.
However, when it came to games that really got me excited for the system, there were only really a few that were showcased. Of course, there was Spider-Man: Miles Morales because, well, I loved the first Spider-Man game and, seeing that this will be released this year, that makes this a launch title! That’s an instant system seller right there! Resident Evil VIII/Village looked spooky and amazing. I doubt it’ll be an exclusive for Sony’s new console, however. I fully expect it to also show up on Microsoft’s Xbox Series X system at around the same time and the PlayStation 5 version. Still, I’m super impressed at how it looked and, more importantly, how creepy it felt.
Definitely the most visually impressive game they showed during the event was Horizon: Forbidden West. I know they didn’t actually show lengthy gameplay but, wow! This looked gorgeous! Even the cutscenes looked really great and, since I played the first Horizon, I’m pretty sure that, even if they did only show mostly cutscenes, all of it was rendered within the game engine itself.
But definitely the biggest reveal of Sony’s PlayStation 5 “Future of Gaming” presentation is the actual PlayStation 5 system. They finally revealed what the system is going to look like and thank God it doesn’t look like anything from the patent renders! However, it will really take some time to get used to it.
For one thing, it has a super-sleek looking design with smooth curvy lines defining its overall shape. Sony also decided to ditch their rather iconic “all-black” color and went for a two-tone black and white motif. In fact, it kinda looks like what the Xbox 360 looked like! Like I said, it’ll take some getting used to.
Also, Sony did something I really didn’t expect as they’re delivering two versions of the PlayStation 5. One will come with a Blu-Ray drive as well as one without a drive. I guess Sony saw the numbers and figured out that a lot of gamers are just buying their games from the PlayStation Store and not going to retailers anymore. While I commend them for doing this, I do hope they don’t abandon the one with the drive in the future as I definitely plan to still get games on discs once in a while.
One thing I did find worrisome about the shape is that it’ll need some kind of stand for the console to remain stable on your table. Also, it seems like Sony is implying that the best way to place your new PlayStation 5 is by having it stand up rather than the “traditional” way, which is on its side. They also didn’t give us any shots of the back of the unit so we have no real idea about how the console’s power supply works, if its built into the unit or if it’ll use a power brick, or showing what ports it’ll have besides the HDMI port for your TV. Heck, the middle part of the system is so dark, I couldn’t even see if there was a power button! For a show that was supposed to reveal the PlayStation 5, Sony didn’t show all that much.
And I think that’s what disappointed me with Sony’s entire show. It was mostly flash over substance. All sizzle, no steak. This is rather ironic as the first time Sony talked about the console this year, it was during the Road to PlayStation 5 show where we had Mark Cerny talking, at length, about the system’s capabilities. Oh, it was fun for tech heads but it certainly wasn’t the least bit fun to watch if you wanted to see games and, you know, the actual console.
However, I also wouldn’t say I hated the “Future of Gaming” show Sony did. It showed enough stuff to get me to, at least, get a little hyped up for the upcoming PlayStation 5. But I definitely have to see much more than the one hour of game trailers and quick clips they showed us. I would’ve liked to see an official lineup of the games they have ready for the launch and more gameplay from the big hitters like Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Resident Evil VIII and the new Horizon. It was a fun show but something I’ll probably forget in a week or so.
What did you think of the entire “Future of Gaming” show for Sony’s PlayStation 5? Let me know in the comments section below!