The finale of the show was the unveiling of the PlayStation 5. Like the Xbox Series X, it was shown standing upright, though like the PS4 it can also be placed on its side. No pricing or release date information was shared.
What follows is a series of updates provided by Launcher’s staff from the livestream, starting with the end of the show.
Here’s what the PS5 looks like
The show concluded with our first glimpse at the PS5 system. Like the new DualSense controller debuted earlier, the console has a striking white and black design with hints of a blue glow. It was shown sitting upright, similar to how a PC tower is positioned.
There will be two versions of the PS5, one that has a disk drive, and one that is digital only. While Microsoft has previously released the discless Xbox One S, this is the first time in Sony’s history to have a console without a disc drive.
Some accessories were presented too, including a media remote, a charging station for the DualSense controllers, an HD camera and a “Pulse 3D” headset.
No pricing information was revealed.
Horizon: Forbidden West
“Horizon: Forbidden West” is the sequel to the acclaimed “Zero Dawn” game from Guerilla Games.
Guerrilla Games has been a staple studio for PlayStation console launches. “Killzone: Shadowfall” debuted with the PlayStation 4, and still to this day is an excellent graphical showcase. “Horizon: Zero Dawn” was a marquee game for the PlayStation 4 Pro console, showing off its ability to hit 4K-level images.
The sequel promises to continue Aloy’s quest for the truth of civilization’s collapse, and the trailer showed sweeping vistas, new robotic dinosaur enemy types, and a variety of environments.
“Pragmata” is an intriguing-looking game, though we only saw a small glimpse. The trailer was so cryptic, we almost thought it was a tease for a new Hideo Kojima game. But alas, it seems that’s likely not the case.
The trailer showed a young girl with a cat, along with a man in a space combat suit who can see holograms with his helmet. Turns out the aforementioned cat is also a hologram. But then a satellite crashes from outer space and into the city streets, making the man and young girl fly upward. Eventually, the two blast off into space. What it all means? We don’t know! But we’re curious to see more.
Resident Evil: Village
“Resident Evil: Village” was teased, signaling that the next game in the survival horror series returns to the first-person perspective and its story.
Chris Redfield returns in a seemingly antagonistic role, and you can bet the world’s most evil company, Umbrella, is still involved too. The game probably features an evolution of the RE Engine that’s powered Capcom’s recent and well-received games, including the “Resident Evil” sequel remakes and “Devil May Cry 5.”
“Deathloop,” the upcoming action adventure game from the creators of “Dishonored,” looks to be a blast. We saw a snippet of gameplay where you hunt down different foes with a variety of guns, but you also have some powers at your disposal, one in particular looking like “Dishonored’s” blink ability that lets you teleport seamlessly from one place to the next.
The game takes place in a world stuck in a time-loop. A narrator described the premise as a “never-ending party” where “hunting” him down is the main attraction. With fast-paced gunplay and some interesting world-building, Deathloop is looking excellent.
The true origin of the “Souls” series, “Demon’s Souls,” is finally being remade by Bluepoint Games, the studio that handled the seminal remake of “Shadow of the Colossus.” This is a huge deal, since most Souls fans consider this game to not only be the best, but also the most difficult. “Demon’s Souls” was the beginning of much of the genre staples later popularized by its spiritual sequel, “Dark Souls.”
However, “Demon’s Souls” was a Sony first-party exclusive made by From Software, whereas the “Dark Souls” franchise was free to roam to any platform. The return of “Demon’s Souls” is probably the best bit of news for longtime fans of the series and the genre.
“NBA 2K21” prominently featured “sweat” graphics in a “pre-alpha” teaser starring Zion Williamson, but little else of the actual gameplay.
One of the best PlayStation VR titles to date is getting a follow-up, named “Astro’s Playroom.” The iconic robot is back for his next adventure, and we saw him performing some new tricks, using a hang-glider for traversal in one level. It’ll be interesting to see how Japanese developer Team Asobi iterates on the previous, excellent title.
A CG trailer for "Hitman III’ debuted, with the tagline “Death Awaits.” IOI Interactive said this is the end of the current trilogy of games, where its first game was released in episodes. A gameplay reel for “Hitman III” showed Agent 47 climbing a skyscraper, so it seems his killing fields have not only expanded but risen.
“Solar Ash,” the second game from the developer of “Hyper Light Drifter,” features some of the general aesthetic qualities of the latter title, down to the music.
“Godfall” was the first title announced for PS5. During today’s livestream, we got to see more of it in action, especially when it comes to its weighty melee combat. This looter-slasher takes place in a futuristic and fantasy world, though much of its premise has been kept under wraps. Although we’ve mostly seen the game associated in PS5, it’s actually coming to PC as well, through the Epic Games Store.
Jett: The Far Shore
“Jett: The Far Shore” appears to be a narrative-driven game about space exploration. Not much was shown besides sweeping, gray vistas of unexplored planets, but it’s made by Superbrothers, the heralded developers of “Sword and Sworcery,” a mobile game that debuted on iPhone and sold over 1.5 million copies.
We got a better look at “Ghostwire: Tokyo,” a game that was first revealed with a short teaser last year. This comes after Ikumi Nakamura left the developer, Tango Gameworks, rather unceremoniously without much word (from the studio, or herself) as to what caused the departure.
“Ghostwire: Tokyo,” however, lives on. The peek we saw during today’s live event was brief, but it showed a horrifying view of Tokyo, where creepy beings (some without heads, or disrupted with a strange cyber interference) roam the world.
Longtime strategy game series “Oddworld” makes a much anticipated return, retaining its celebrated and dark art style, and looks to be the busiest, most action packed in the series yet.
“Oddworld Soulstorm” features the same gameplay of past games, with Abe leading an army against nightmarish captains of industry and capital to save the ecosystem.
Goodbye Volcano High
“Goodbye Volcano High” appears to be a narrative adventure, starring dinosaurs graduating from high school. The tag line that it’s about “the end of an era” portends a dark turn of events for the dinosaurs, but it also promises a tender love story. It’s made by KO_OP Mode, an artist-run and -owned indie studio.
It will release in 2021.
Kena: Bridge of Spirits
Created by two brothers, Josh Grier and Mike Grier of Ember Lab studio, “Kena: Bridge of Spirits” looks to be a mix between an action game and a platformer. It’s a story “filled with adventure and charm,” with themes of “personal growth and redemption.”
A young girl (presumably named Kena) wields a glowing-blue bow and arrow along with a magical staff. She seems in tune with the spirits of a strange land, where black, fuzzy beings run rampant (and sit on her shoulder) as well as beasts that roam who want to do harm.
No release date was given.
“Destruction Allstars,” another first-party game, looks like it’ll mix up demolition derby style car combat with third-person platforming action. It appears as if players can exit their cars to perform more maneuvers and tricks. Cars also seem to have certain abilities, like a fender shield.
Sackboy: A Big Adventure
“LittleBigPlanet” mascot Sackboy gets his own game with “Sackboy: A Big Adventure” by Sumo Digital.
The series was among the first games to encourage a bustling creative online community, where players made their own physics-based levels. The trailer showed much of the platforming, but it’s not yet certain whether level editors will be available.
“Returnal” is a PlayStation exclusive and the open-world game looks to have an intriguing premise: A woman is stuck in a time-loop where she experiences traumatic events on repeat. The planet that her spacecraft crashes on is ever-changing with alien horrors. It’s also becoming “a part” of her, and affecting her sanity.
“Stray,” from indie publisher Annapurna Interactive, appears to be about a cat navigating a cyberpunk future inhabited not by cyberpunks, but actual cyborgs, who appear to have early Macintosh computers as heads. Little information was given, but the art design and atmosphere were very intriguing, including an “RIP Humans” graffiti and various computer people living out various social activities like cooking, delivering food and feeding cats.
“In a world not her own, where resolve will be tested truths will be questioned, and devotions will be doubted — she will rise.”
These words appeared during a cinematic trailer for a new game published by Square Enix and developed by Luminous Productions.
Designed “exclusively for PS5,” Project Athia will feature a young woman. The teaser showed her on a journey through ruins filled with peril, beasts and dragons. It’s difficult to say what genre it is, but it looks like it could be an RPG or action adventure game.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
Insomniac Games made a second big announcement, as its original mascot stars “Ratchet & Clank” return. The series was a huge hit on the PlayStation 2 and 3, spawning several sequels that mixed platforming action with wildly inventive guns, including one that made the entire screen dance.
The sequel looks to be a much more cinematic affair, mirroring the “Uncharted” series from Naughty Dog, while still retaining the colorful, high-tech action.
“Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart” also introduced a new female character.
In the middle of the presentation, Insomniac Games’s Marcus Smith also boasted ray tracing lighting on Clank’s skin, and that the game will feature the characters exploring alternate dimensions, rather than the different planets of the past game.
Sony produced a Hollywood animated film for the two, but it ended as a critical and commercial failure, grossing $14 million in the box office, despite a $20 million budget. The tie-in game fared better, but critics said it lost much of the edgier charm that the past games had.
Sony staple Gran Turismo 7 starts its next-gen engine
The critically-acclaimed Gran Turismo series is coming to PS5. “Gran Turismo 7” comes after “Gran Turismo Sport,” the 2017 title that released on PS4. A short cinematic trailer was followed by gameplay, showing a first-person view of a racer driving on a track.
Insomniac Games revealed a new entry to follow the critically acclaimed “Spider-Man” from 2018. It will star Miles Morales, the “Ultimate Spider-Man” and the star of the hit Oscar-winning animated film “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.”
The first game starred Peter Parker, but also featured prominent scenes with Morales. The game ended with Parker and Morales in a Spider-mentorship that appears to continue with “Spider-Man: Miles Morales.” After confusion Friday morning as to whether this game was meant as a DLC or a part of a PS5 remaster of “Spider-Man,” reports surfaced that indeed “Spider-Man: Miles Morales” will be a full game, though smaller in size than the 2018 PS4 game.
It begins with ... confusion
After a tranquil introduction and a look back at some of Sony’s most celebrated titles from the PS4 era, the show began with a teaser for Grand Theft Auto V, a game that came out in 2013.
The trailer confirmed that the hugely popular action adventure game is coming to PS5, in an “expanded and enhanced” form, in 2021. Additionally, GTA Online will be free for PS5 players. Sony also offered $1 million per month in GTA online cash to all PS4 players until the PS5 releases.
The story so far ...
On Thursday, Sony Interactive Entertainment is promising to show players “the Future of Gaming.” The pretaped broadcast, which will stream on Twitch and YouTube at 1 p.m. Pacific time / 4 p.m. Eastern time, will show off the games coming to the PlayStation 5. Thus far, Sony has shown off the console’s new controller, as well as numerous technical specifications; the console itself has not yet been revealed.
The PlayStation 5 is scheduled to release around the holiday season, though some reports have raised questions around covid-19′s impact on the console supply chain and the number of units that will be available at launch.
“We’ve shared technical specifications and shown you the new DualSense wireless controller. But what is a launch without games?” wrote Jim Ryan, CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, in a blog post announcing the event. “The games coming to PS5 represent the best in the industry from innovative studios that span the globe. Studios, both larger and smaller, those newer and those more established, all have been hard at work developing games that will showcase the potential of the hardware.”
Sony’s official announcement, published via the PlayStation blog, recommends watching the stream with headphones on, citing “cool audio work in the show.” In a March 18 tech presentation, Mark Cerny, the lead system architect of the PlayStation 4, announced a series of innovations to the audio tech packaged in the PlayStation 5.
The event was previously scheduled for June 4, but was pushed back one week on account of the widespread protests in response to the killing of George Floyd by the police in Minneapolis.
“While we understand gamers worldwide are excited to see PS5 games, we do not feel that right now is a time for celebration and for now, we want to stand back and allow more important voices to be heard,” explained a Sony spokesperson at the time.