Aside from a few scant PlayStation Blog posts and a severely lackluster State of Play of mostly third-party titles, Sony has been awkwardly silent, leaving fans in the dark. It’s time for Sony to brush off the cobwebs and come back swinging with a new showcase or State of Play brimming with first-party games.
Xbox recently had their developer direct showcasing anticipated games like Redfall and shadow-dropping the critically acclaimed Hi-Fi Rush. Nintendo had their direct, which had some bombshell announcements like a shadow drop for the Metroid Prime remaster, and Gameboy games coming to Switch. Not to mention a brand-new trailer for Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. The two biggest companies are out of the gate, while PlayStation remains on the sidelines.
Sony, from a business standpoint, doesn’t necessarily need to have a showcase. Sony’s PlayStation 5 has been a success, and now that it is more accessible than ever, it could probably remain under the radar and be fine. At the same time, as a follower of the industry, it’s nice to be in the loop. A showcase is a gift, a teaser, and an exciting promise. When we go a while without one, it’s like walking around a desert gasping for water. I know that’s extreme, but in a world where, sadly, everything is competition, PlayStation fans need proof that their platform of choice will provide the necessary entertainment going forward.
Additionally, PlayStation’s big guns (God of War Ragnarok and Horizon Forbidden West) were released last year, so Sony needs to show us what’s next. The company did provide a blog post about what’s coming to PlayStation, but that is less than satisfactory, especially when most of those things have come and passed. Forspoken launched with below-average performance both critically and commercially… Hi-Fi Rush obliterated it in Steam sales. Other projects on the blog were the Dualsense Edge Wireless Controller and Hogwarts Legacy, both of which have already come out. Additionally, the other items on the list were Destiny Lightfall and Resident Evil 4, third-party offerings that don’t distinguish the PlayStation brand. This leaves us wondering what exactly PlayStation has in store for us.
The company did recently have a State of Play, but it did not provide anything worthwhile for PlayStation fans, or give any insight into why PlayStation is the place to be in 2023. Instead of showing any PlayStation exclusives, it showed more third-party games like Resident Evil 4 and Baldur’s Gate 3. Both of these look great, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not exactly what we want from a PLAYSTATION showcase. You know it’s bad when the showcase’s last thing is Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, a game that’s constantly bashed for potentially being a live service game and disregarding the Arkhamvers’ single-player roots.
Instead of guessing PlayStation’s exclusive 2023 lineup, it would be nice if Sony had a presentation that laid out exactly what to expect. Here are some things we need to see in a future showcase. We need reassurance that certain promises will come true. Final Fantasy XVI is coming out later this year, and to its credit, we’ve seen a lot from the game, and it’s likely not to get delayed. It’s greedy for me to ask for more, but it would be reassuring if we got a detailed gameplay showcase. What I’m most worried about is Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. With only a small cinematic trailer, we don’t know much about the game except that it will feature both Miles Morales and Peter Parker. The ambiguous 2023 release date also doesn’t bode well. It could very well get delayed, making PlayStation’s 2023 a big question mark. In the same way that God of War Ragnarok was the hottest PlayStation 2022 release, Spider-Man 2 is going to be the big PlayStation 2023 game, so it’s imperative that we know more about it before becoming optimistic.
It would be nice if the showcase revealed the type of game it will be. For instance, will it be another single-player open world where you switch between the two Spider-Men or will it feature a co-op mechanic? A trailer or gameplay showcase would be satisfactory… anything that could bring some clarity to fans. Lastly, a showcase would be the appropriate time to finally put an end to The Last of Us Factions’ ambiguity. I’d like to watch gameplay and find out what the game is about. The Last of Us’ standalone multiplayer game has been a mystery ever since it didn’t release with Part 2 in 2020. With an anticipated 2023 release, it’s time we unveil the curtain.
It is evident that PlayStation needs to clarify a lot in a potential showcase. Fans who bought the expansive PlayStation 5 deserve to know exactly what to look forward to this year. I have no doubt that PlayStation will show off exclusive games soon, but with Nintendo and Xbox already showing their cards, it is easy to get impatient. It’s time that the company emerged from the confines of its blog and gave us the detailed, clarifying, and reassuring showcase we deserve.