Sony is poised to end 2022 without a major press conference. Before we elaborate, it’s important to clarify what we mean here: we’re excluding shorter livestreams like State of Play or major events the platform holder has participated in, like Gamescom Opening Night Live or Summer Games Fest. We’re referring specifically to tentpole briefings, like last year’s PS Showcase or historical E3 livestreams.
While the manufacturer has kept us abreast of its output through various short-form events like several of the aforementioned State of Plays, it’s generally kept its cards close to its chest. In fact, now that God of War Ragnarok has released, the platform holder has zero upcoming PS5 or PS4 exclusives with a release date attached, outside of PSVR2 launch titles like Horizon Call of the Mountain. We know that Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 and Marvel’s Wolverine are in development at Insomniac Games, as well as an unnamed The Last of Us multiplayer game at Naughty Dog, but outside of that the firm has vanishingly few publicly announced projects.
We can infer a lot from rumours. For example, we know there’s probably a remake of Horizon Zero Dawn on the way from Guerrilla Games, as well as some kind of multiplayer spin-off; Firesprite allegedly has several titles in development, including a Twisted Metal reboot – and it’s probably safe to assume that Sucker Punch is now knee-deep into development of a Ghost of Tsushima successor. So, the manufacturer is not twiddling its thumbs, but it’s been a quiet year on the announcements front.
In fact, you only need look at the way the firm has revealed major news this year. PSVR2, for example, was dated and priced alongside ten new titles in a random October afternoon PS Blog post; it’s the kind of thing, historically, you’d expect the manufacturer to make a big song and dance about. Perhaps it feels that, regardless of the approach it takes, the news will reach its intended audience anyway; in a sense, that’s true, many of us have already lodged our pre-orders for Sony’s next-gen headset now, and we didn’t exactly need a livestream to do it. But it all feels a bit anticlimactic.
Our view is that Sony’s been deeply affected by stock shortages. While the situation has been improving over the past few months, the system has been largely unavailable for most of the year. It’s possible that the executives at Sony have seen little value in building hype around a product people can’t readily purchase, and thus have been holding back as a consequence. With availability expected to massively increase in 2023, it means next year could be a big one for PS5 and PS4 announcements.
But we’d argue it needs to be regardless. Obviously, we’re very satisfied with PlayStation’s output this year – with the heavy hitters like Gran Turismo 7 and God of War Ragnarok there’s been plenty to play – but with very little on the horizon beyond PSVR2, a presentation of what the future holds would be both appreciated and required.
Perhaps there’s still time for some kind of PS Showcase before the curtain closes on 2022 – it’s not quite December yet, after all. But personally we can’t see it. And that means this year will go down in history: to our knowledge, it’s the first time since the brand’s inception that the organisation hasn’t hosted a major briefing at all.
What are your thoughts on the lack of a major PlayStation showcase in 2022? Are you surprised, or do you just think it’s a sign of the times? Are you hoping for bigger, more meaningful announcements next year? Let us know in the comments section below.