State of Play Reaction Sony PS5 PS4 PlayStation 1
Image: Push Square

The curtain has closed on another State of Play, and this wasn’t a vintage one, to put it politely. In fact, at the time of writing, just 21 per cent of you said it was better than okay in our Push Square poll – a statistic we can’t imagine the bigwigs at PlayStation will be particularly impressed with. After a couple of barnstorming broadcasts, it’s a return to reality for a format Sony still doesn’t seem to know what to do with.

It’s perhaps worth underlining that the platform holder did, admittedly, deliver exactly what it said it would: the presentation revolved around Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, and there were a smattering of treats aside, including a couple of killer trailers from Capcom, and next month’s PS Plus lineup – which, worryingly, was arguably the best announcement of the lot.

The show started with a handful of PSVR2 titles, but – with the greatest of respect to the developers involved – they all looked samey enough to blend together, and didn’t leave the best impression of a pricey piece of hardware that launched earlier this week. Considering our pre-show Slack chat had dared discuss the potential of Half-Life Alyx, the selection proved sobering to say the least.

While it’s undoubtedly early days, we are beginning to worry about Sony’s lack of commitment to PSVR2 software. Yes, it released Horizon Call of the Mountain and a Gran Turismo 7 update alongside the headset, but it’s yet to announce anything else for the unit aside from Firewall Ultra – not even ports of PSVR favourites like Astro Bot Rescue Mission and Blood & Truth.

But this highlights one of the main problems with State of Play: it doesn’t really feel like a venue Sony wants to announce its games at anyway. There have been some trailers and game-specific showcases over the years, but this is rarely a place for first-party reveals otherwise, and if the company hosting the broadcast thinks it’s above it, then what hope is there really?

It doesn’t help that the star attraction this time, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, is just so odd. Make no mistake, the gameplay looks fast and fluid, but it doesn’t feel like anyone asked for this game, and considering it’s taken Batman: Arkham developer Rocksteady the best part of a decade to put it together – well, we can’t see it making back its money. Are you going to buy it?

In the end, this State of Play felt like a box-checking exercise: contractual obligations and exposure for a handful of titles that wouldn’t normally get this kind of spotlight. After a couple of surprisingly stellar instalments last year, this proved a wake-up call – a reminder that Sony doesn’t really know what to do with this format, and it’s had more than enough time to figure it out.

There have been good Nintendo Directs, and there have been less good Nintendo Directs – but every time the Mario maker posts a bright red rectangle on its social media accounts, fans know to expect new Nintendo games. State of Play has been around for several years now, and it’s still yet to build that kind of consistency. Mark this latest show down as one to forget.

What did you think of the latest State of Play? Are we being a little bit harsh if the broadcast delivered on exactly what Sony promised, or were you still underwhelmed by the showing in the end? Let us know in the comments section below.

How would you rate Sony's latest State of Play livestream? (3,080 votes)

  1. Excellent2%
  2. Very good4%
  3. Good11%
  4. Okay27%
  5. Poor28%
  6. Very poor13%
  7. Terrible15%