Here we go, then: the PlayStation Showcase, three months after E3 2021, with nary a word from the platform holder in the interim. I’ve got to be honest, while supposed “industry insiders” started new press conference rumours on what felt like a weekly basis, I’d gotten to the point towards the end of August where I didn’t think this was even going to happen. The new Sony is quiet, closeted, secretive – it doesn’t need these kind of events anymore, does it?
Apparently, it does – and this is the so-called “big one”. The manufacturer’s done very little to douse expectations, which means imaginations are running wild – you’ve probably already seen some of the ridiculous rumours flying around. For me, this is both exciting and a little concerning: PlayStation has spent the best part of a year hiding in the shadows, so it better bring the house down or there’s going to be hell to pay. I think the publisher has no choice but to impress here.
To be clear, I’m not saying a weak offering would be end of days territory, far from it: the world will keep turning and the PS5 will continue to sell. But with regards to the enthusiasts these kind of events are aimed at, there can be no half-measures: dole out another deep dive into Deathloop and the pitchforks will be raised around the web tonight. That’s not to criticise Arkane’s upcoming first-person shooter – it looks excellent – but we’re long overdue something new.
Sony’s strategy this year has been, honestly, to hide away for long portions of it. I obviously appreciate that coronavirus has had an impact on its approach, but today’s PlayStation Showcase will ultimately shape what I think about it all. Because, while the company will point to its record-setting hardware sales, I personally – as a fan – have been feeling a bit frustrated. I know many of you share the same sentiment, too – it’s been obvious reading comments on the site.
It’s not that I need the platform holder to drip-feed me to help me to enjoy my games – not at all, I actually think the PS5 has had one of the stronger starts to a generation I can remember. It’s more that I feel the firm has kept me at arm’s length, and as an early adopter and a big investor into the ecosystem, it’s made me miss the old days. Sony used to dominate industry discussion; these days entire months can pass without a peep from the platform holder.
So, while I appreciate the company won’t be unloading every single piece of ammunition in its arsenal during the PlayStation Showcase, I’m looking for a little more openness – a roadmap for the console that millions have already, in good faith, invested in. Sony can’t be secretive and reserved during today’s livestream, and it can’t waste people’s time: purely because of the way it’s conducted itself this year, this 40 minutes kinda needs to be good. No pressure, then.