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It won’t matter one bit, but the PlayStation Showcase left me concerned about the PS5’s future

Spider-Man 2 and a love of the PlayStation brand means this won’t matter to most, but from my point of view, Sony fluffed this big time.

I didn’t watch the PlayStation Showcase live for a number of boring reasons (one involves projectile vomiting, if you must know), but I watched it as if live this morning hoping a string of exciting announcements would lift my dreary bones. My bones were not lifted. In fact they spontaneously moved to form the exact pose of the shrug emoji.

If this was Sony’s big showcase for PS5 this year – its “E3 moment” – it was at best uninspiring, at worst worrying. It’s not that it didn’t highlight some great looking games, it just didn’t do much at all to get me excited about PlayStation – something the firm usually gets very right at its big reveal events.

Kept us waiting, huh?

Xbox was quick to point out the games highlighted last night that are also coming to Xbox. You may disagree, but this list of games is the majority of the best titles featured in the showcase.

I am excited about a number of these, for sure (Alan Wake 2, absolutely; Dragon’s Dogma 2, oh yes; Assassin's Creed Mirage; Jim made me put in here), but usually these multi-platform big hitters are accompanied by the prestige PlayStation titles. E3 presentations of the past have seen actual “wow” moments. This May Showcase had none. Maybe Metal Gear Solid 3 was meant to be it, but it’s been an open secret for ages and it’s not a PlayStation exclusive.

E3 2015 gave us Horizon Zero Dawn, Dreams, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, The Last Guardian, Final Fantasy VII Remake, and Shenmue 3. It’s hard to explain how incredible that showcase was. Yes, Shenmue 3 turned out less well than we all hoped, but there was genuine excitement around these games. Games that were and remain PlayStation console exclusives.

Nice to see where all the design budget went.

Sony obviously isn’t only trying to appeal to me (although I wish it would) and everyone is having to contend with development issues caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, but I felt almost nothing towards its exclusive game line-up yesterday. Final Fantasy 16, yes, looks lovely and is the most interested I’ve been in the series since the CVG review of FF7 on the PlayStation, but this isn’t new and exciting for a showcase. Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 looked nice, but again, not new and to be honest I don’t love the series as most people seem to.

I also can’t help but feel down on how the show ended with Spider-Man. It’s a big deal for Sony, and I saw a lot of people loving the gameplay footage, but a known game that’s more or less going to deliver exactly what we expect, for me, isn’t a “and finally” game. Kick off the show with Spider-Man 2, not the game with the worst title ever conceived, Fairgame$.

Aside from those two admittedly huge games, the aforementioned heist-shooter Fairgame$ I expect will be dead on arrival, Helldivers 2 will be fine, and Concord is a PvP shooter so file that as potentially DoA alongside Fairgame$. I know a lot of my disappointment is directly related to my expectations going in, and Sony no doubt has more games coming (who knows, maybe even shown off at Summer Game Fest on June 8), but currently what is known to be coming doesn’t compare at all well to what’s already arrived – and that isn’t exactly a very high bar.

Don’t read this the wrong way. PS5 has a lot of good games coming to it this year, next year, and beyond. As a way to get me (and I assume others) more excited about the PS5, though, the May showcase simply didn’t work. Having said all that, I think I’d actually use that remote play handheld if it works well enough. It’s perhaps my highlight of the show, which says it all really.

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