A few thoughts on the PS5 reveal

Well, that was pretty exciting. I’m still keenly missing the bombast of E3, but Sony’s hour-long PS5 reveal video did much to fill the gap. And although I said I miss E3, I certainly don’t miss the bumbling speeches and interminable whooping of the E3 press conferences – by contrast, Sony’s video whipped along at a pleasingly fast pace, with slick presentation and minimal waffling. More of this, please.

On to the biggest news – our first look at the PS5 itself. And I have to say I’m impressed. It’s great to see a console manufacturer move away from the monotonous trend towards big black boxes, and the big swooping curves of the PS5 look lovely. It reminds me of a wizard wearing a high-collared cloak. My only real concern is that I’m not sure where I would put it – it looks very tall. A later shot showed that it could be laid on its side, however – although it does look a bit odd when laid flat, like a wonky sandwich.

When it comes to the games, I have to admit I struggled to tell the difference between the new fancy PS5 graphics and the boring old PS4 graphics. I think we’re at the stage now where you have to squint to spot the differences between console generations – a far cry from the huge leaps between, say, the Super NES and the PlayStation. That said, the difference is likely to become more apparent when actually playing the games, not least with the reduced loading times afforded by an SSD.

One game that DID feel next generation was Horizon: Forbidden Vest (sorry, Forbidden West), which looked phenomenal. If the PS5 has anything close to a killer app, this is likely to be it.

Deathloop from Arkane also looked amazing, with style oozing from every pixel. Its time-loop conceit looks like a fun idea, too – and interestingly it wasn’t the only time-loop game in the presentation, with Returnal from Housemarque also using a strange Groundhog Day mechanic. (Shame about the name though – Returnal? Really?) Although not showcased here, there’s also another time-loop game on the way in the form of Twelve Minutes by Luis Antonio and Annapurna Interactive – it’s one of those weird occasions where suddenly separate teams all have the same idea at the same time.

Speaking of Annapurna Interactive, everything they’ve published so far has been pure gold, so I’m very excited for the two titles they showed in the PS5 presentation. Solar Ash (previously known as Solar Ash Kingdom) seems to be a sort-of sequel to Hyper Light Drifter and looks beautiful, while Stray looks thoroughly intriguing, a game where you play as a cat roaming a world full of robots.

I was pleased to see lots of promising indie games in general in the reveal – it’s good to see Sony supporting independent developers. Little Devil Inside looked particularly brilliant, with a bonkers trailer that featured an old man on the loo at one point. It seems this game was originally funded on Kickstarter five years ago, and is only now nearing release.

Other highlights (for me, at least) included the reveal of Hitman III (hooray for murder playgrounds), Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Resident Evil VIII and the welcome return of Astro Bot in Astro’s Playroom. It wasn’t clear whether Astro’s Playroom was for PSVR, however: I do hope it is. Speaking of which, there was no news on VR support for the PS5, but I really hope that Sony keep supporting VR in the next generation. PSVR has been brilliant, although I know that it’s still very much a niche concern rather than a big moneyspinner for Sony.

And as we’re talking about things that weren’t in the presentation, there was no detail on a release date or price for the PS5, which was a little disappointing. I’m guessing it will be between £500 and £600, which will be a big ask in the year of financial ruin that is 2020, but we’ll see.

So what were your highlights? And what do you think of the PS5 design? Let us know in the comments!

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