2020 is shaping up to be an absolutely gigantic year for video games. The likes of Final Fantasy VII Remake, Cyberpunk 2077, and The Last of Us: Part 2 are all on their way, but the magic of it all is that every heavy hitter arrives on PlayStation 4 before we even reach E3. Ghost of Tsushima will see us through the summer months, but then it's the turn of the PlayStation 5. The next-generation of consoles are still very much shrouded in mystery and it's that which makes the second half of 2020 all the more exciting. We don't know what Sony or any other publisher has in store for the next system, but we can make some predictions. These are the announcements, reveals, games, and events we think will change the course of video games this year.
Sammy Barker, Editor
Sony introduces universal PS4-to-PS5 software upgrade initiative. Sony’s said that it wants to transition PS4 owners to PS5 at record pace, and it will achieve that through backwards compatibility. However, I think publishers of service games such as Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege and Destiny 2 will want to significantly upgrade their titles to take advantage of the new hardware, and I think the Japanese giant will attempt to soften the blow of this with a universal, system-wide software upgrade initiative, where existing owners can purchase the remastered versions of select titles at a discounted price.
The Last of Us: Part 2 Is good but not great. I’m not sure whether it’s a sixth sense or my own personal expectations, but I’m just not sure The Last of Us: Part 2 is going to live up to the astronomical hype surrounding it. Don’t get me wrong: this is a Naughty Dog developed PS4 exclusive, so it’s going to be good. But you’ve got to remember that the original The Last of Us was a bit of an unknown quantity – no one really expected it to be the genre definer it turned out to be. This time the industry anticipates a 10/10 at minimum, and that’s a massive weight around its neck.
Remedy announces a Sony-published exclusive at PS5 reveal event. Is this prediction bold or not? It’s felt like there’s something brewing between PlayStation and Finnish developer Remedy for a while now, and given the two parties’ strengths, it seems like a match made in gaming heaven. I very much believe there’s a publishing deal on the table here, and I think the project will be announced at the PS5 reveal event at the beginning of this year. It’ll be a taste of the future – something to look forward to in 2021 or potentially later. But I do think it’s happening.
Robert Ramsey, Deputy Editor
Cyberpunk 2077 will piss a lot of people off. A fairly safe prediction to start with, I think Cyberpunk 2077's going to be a sticking point for many when it hits in April. As we all know, the internet loves making mountains out of molehills, and that's exactly what's going to happen with CD Projekt Red's role-playing release. There's going to be at least one controversial scene that's bound to make people who haven't even played the game lose their sh*t on Twitter, providing the fuel for countless poorly-researched opinion pieces. Meanwhile, the vast majority of people who buy and play Cyberpunk 2077 will probably just enjoy it.
Our first real look at a first-party PS5 game will be mind-blowing. There's a general belief that as of right now, video game visuals can't get that much better, and I think there's definitely truth to that notion. We're getting to a point now where graphics border on photorealism -- we're likely never going to see another huge generational jump like we did with the PSone to the PS2, for example. But despite diminishing returns, I reckon Sony's still going to blow minds when it wheels out the PS5's first big exclusive. If reports are to be believed, the PS5 is significantly more powerful than the PS4 -- probably way more powerful than most people realise. As such, I don't think we're quite prepared for just how impressive next-gen games are going to look, especially when it comes to PlayStation's first-party blockbusters.
Deep Down will finally return in some form. Okay, I've gone a bit mental with this one, but bear with me. Deep Down, the dungeon-delving fantasy title that was teased by Capcom back when the PS4 launched will reappear in 2020. Somehow. Either it'll be re-revealed and it'll still be Deep Down, or it'll be folded into a new project -- possibly making up a chunk of Dragon's Dogma 2, which will boast heavy online functionality on PS5. Technically that's two predictions (or maybe three?) but with Capcom closing out this generation on such a high, I reckon 2020 is packing more surprise than we bargained for.
Stephen Tailby, Associate Editor
PS5 will launch on 20th November 2020 for $399. PS4 released on 15th November 2013 in North America, and it makes sense that Sony will aim for a similar time frame. The marketing team won't be able to resist that extra 20 in the date, either. As for the price, there's a possibility the PS5 will launch higher than my prediction, but I think Sony could surprise people. The company will be scared of charging too much after the PS3, so it makes sense to me that it'll keep the price tag as small as possible to draw people in. A low cost at launch will put PS5 in a great early position, even if it means Sony will take a loss.
Beyond Good and Evil 2 will show up at E3 2020 as a next-gen game, but we still won't get a firm date. This is just a feeling, really. The game has been extremely elusive over the last few years, only showing up very occasionally at Ubisoft's E3 pressers. What we have seen of it looks extremely ambitious, and I suspect development has shifted onto PS5 at this point. It would explain the no-shows, and the extra power will allow Michel Ancel and his team to realise their vision for the title. All that said, it still won't be done for a while -- I don't see us getting a release date in the near future.
Sony will formally announce Horizon Zero Dawn 2 at the PS5 reveal event, but we won't see it. A sequel to Guerrilla's awesome open world action game is almost guaranteed, and I wouldn't be surprised if Sony utters the words during the PS5 reveal. However, I think we'll get a tiny teaser at the very most. I get the feeling Sony will want to let us know Horizon 2 is coming -- Aloy and her robot dino adversaries became instant fan favourites, after all -- but I think the game won't be quite ready for prime time. Sony will know it can tease the sequel with almost nothing and get a big reaction, and winning favour with the fans will help get PS5 sales rolling from the start.
Liam Croft, Senior Staff Writer
Square Enix announces Final Fantasy XVI at E3 2020. Despite the fact that Final Fantasy VII Remake will only be a few months old when E3 comes along, publisher Square Enix loves to announce its next project far too early. I think Final Fantasy XVI will receive an official unveiling at E3 2020 via a CGI trailer that gets us all ludicrously hyped, only for it not to release for at least another two years. Announced in tandem with next-generation consoles, however, and it's something that sort of makes sense.
PS Plus comes to PS5, but the service only offers one free game per month at launch. There always appears to be a caveat when PlayStation Plus is brought to a new system. The service brought online multiplayer under its umbrella when the PS4 launched, and it's about to take another controversial turn on the PS5. PS Plus will only offer one free game per month along with the two usual PS4 titles, but the justification will be that you can also play those older games on your brand spanking new system.
The next Assassin's Creed game is revealed at E3 2020, but it's not scheduled to release until next year. Going into the next-generation, Ubisoft finds itself in a somewhat awkward spot where it actually has too many games planned for release. Watch Dogs Legion and Gods & Monsters are already announced for the PS5, arriving either at launch or immediately afterwards, so where does that leave the next entry in the Assassin's Creed franchise? While I think it will be shown to the world at E3 2020, Ubisoft will push its launch out of the usual November period to a March 2021 release. That way, its full line-up has room to breathe.
Those are our video game predictions for 2020, but what are yours? What do you reckon will shock and surprise the industry this year? Share your claims in the comments below.