With the big reveal of the PS5 hitting this Friday, the P2 Editorial team of Matt, Paul and Stephen decided it was time to make some (likely inaccurate) predictions as to what they will see from Playstation at the big event. Games, hardware, price, pre-order details? What will show up when Sony finally shows off the PS5 to the public in full.
Playstation 5 Reveal – Predictions
Safe Bet – Games First
Sony had great success with the launch of the PS4 because of their simple games first philosophy. While Don was fumbling the ball over at Microsoft, Sony stuck with the simple approach of “we’ve got games” and it worked. I expect them to take the same route here and show off a few first-party titles that will be ready, if not at launch, very close to. Horizon Zero Dawn 2 and Spider-Man 2 seem the most likely candidates but I also expect some more games to be announced. Sony isn’t afraid to announce titles well before release dates, so there is a chance we will see some Gran Turismo or God of War action as well.
As far as the message they will want to send, well I expect it to be solely focused on getting as many people to upgrade as soon as possible, having already stated that Ghosts of Tsushima will be the last PS4 first-party title. They will want players to make the jump quickly, especially if they have a couple of good first-party titles at launch. I worry that Sony will also continue their tradition of making people pay twice for something, so if they could come out and say that there won’t be remasters of recent games (like there was last gen) and that PS4 saves will work on the PS5 that would go a long way to easing a few worries.
Fairly Likely – A Price
I think there is a good chance that we will get a price and pre-order details. They like to get people locked in and frankly, paying off a pre-order is a pretty good way to manage a large purchase. Speaking of large purchases, I think this is going to sting people. Thanks to COVID-19, the new SSDs and the terrible Australian dollar, I am expecting the PS5 will be at least $800 AUD when it hits our shores. There is a very real chance it could be higher. For Sony to keep this thing at a reasonable price they are going to have to take a hit and the company as a whole (excluding the Playstation division) isn’t exactly setting the world on fire with its profits. From where I stand, Sony’s biggest challenge at the start of this generation is the price and with a lot of rumours floating around that Microsoft will deliberately undercut them (because they both can and need too), Sony could find that outside of their hardcore fans (of which there are many) sales might be slow until the first price cut.
Wishful Thinking – A Better Network and Online Infrastructure
Sony got so many things right during the PS4 gen but in one area they completely failed. That is the online side of things. Granted they don’t have an inbuilt group of server farms like Microsoft, but surely they can get things in a better state than they are. Download speeds are pathetic at times, while I regularly hit 80mps on my Xbox, I can rarely reach 5mps on the Playstation, and the whole online library and cloud save system seems purposefully obtuse at times. As much as I would love to see this all fixed, I can’t see it happening, simply because history tells me that Sony, as primarily a hardware vendor, is terrible at this sort of thing. The OS and networking software on all of their products, not just the PS4, are prone to crashing, poor performance and being difficult to use so unless they have hired a brand new team of devs to work on these issues, I can’t seem them getting fixed. I want to be wrong though.
Safe Bet – Horizon Zero Dawn Sequel
The sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn has long been discussed, and Sony themselves weren’t shy about their intent to make Horizon a long-lasting franchise as the original title’s 2017 launch closed in. Though nothing has officially been confirmed, with a comic series set following the events of the original due to launch in August, and the already confirmed PC port of the original confirmed, and reportedly on track for 2020 still, the final piece of the puzzle would be the world premiere of the sequel – or the reported co-op multiplayer bridging title. I’m still quite confident that Guerrilla Games has something for us at launch (or very close to it), and whatever it is will debut at the upcoming event.
Another game that should be on everybody’s radars is a follow up to 2016’s Ratchet & Clank. In the years following the launch of the game, Insomniac has FINALLY joined the family officially, meaning that their numerous teams and all of the resources can finally be singularly focussed on the PlayStation family of systems. Expect VR, expect more Spider-Man and expect more Ratchet & Clank from one of the most iconic and versatile studios in not just the PlayStation stable, but the entire industry.
Likely – Spider-Man 2
As I just mentioned, Insomniac Games is a large and quite versatile studio. They also created one of 2018’s largest games with the launch of Spider-Man. Now, while it would be a stretch to expect Spider-Man 2 to launch in 2020, especially given my other prediction that Ratchet & Clank is coming, and coming very soon, it’s not such a stretch to expect that the web-slinger might be only another year behind. Holiday 2021 seems like a very reasonable possibility, and it’s not outside of the realms to think that this might be the time we see the game debuted as PlayStation looks to outline what will make up wave 2 of the PS5’s exclusive slate.
Don’t go forgetting Bluepoint in this category either. Their most recent work, the remake of the acclaimed Shadow of the Colossus is now a few years old, and both the studio and PlayStation themselves have not been backward in coming forward about the fact that they’re working on yet another high profile remake. Many are pointing the finger at Demon’s Souls, others (like myself) are craving for either Legend of the Dragoon or Resistance. Either way, something is close!
Wishful Thinking – God of War 2
The clear 2018 GOTY, Cory Barlog and his team completely re-energised and revitalised the God of War IP with the 2018 franchise reboot, but a game of that calibre takes time, and while we’re all champing at the bit to pick up where that epic finale (and that tease, don’t forget to go home after you finish the game!) left off, it’s unlikely that we’ll be seeing Kratos as soon as next week. God of War is 2021 at the absolute earliest, and likely not due until 2022, so it doesn’t serve a great deal of purpose for Sony to lean too heavily on the Santa Monica Studio gem this early. Though, if they’re trying to make a massive statement to gamers, it’s not outside of the realms of possibility.
Two parties you can almost completely rule out from taking part in this event is Naughty Dog and Sucker Punch. As exciting as it would be for members of the team to take the stage and reveal that the second team has been hard at work on a new inFamous (Sucker Punch), or new IP/Uncharted (Naughty Dog), this is incredibly unlikely. All their eggs are in the Ghost of Tsushima and The Last of Us Part II baskets, and for either team to reveal their next project would be disrespectful to their current works. We’ll be waiting a while to see what’s next from either studio.
Stephen del Prado
Safe Bet – First Party Launch Exclusives
Given recent comments regarding their belief in clear divides between console generations, I almost guarantee Sony will put their money where their mouth is and reveal at least one AAA first-party developed launch title for the PS5. Some have their money on a Horizon Zero Dawn sequel or spin-off given how its early 2017 release provides Guerrilla Games with enough time to conceivably pull off such a feat. I’m not entirely convinced however and, with rumours regarding Sony San Diego taking the reins of the Uncharted franchise, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a title similar in scope to The Lost Legacy make an appearance (Young Sully anyone?). Bluepoint Games’ oft-rumoured Demon’s Souls seems a given; it’s a Sony-owned IP and would court the From Software crowd until the inevitable Bloodborne 2 can be spun up. Hell, maybe Bend Studio will show off a definitive version of Days Gone for the PS5 with some kind of expansion – despite tepid critical reception, it was one of the best-selling games of 2019 which is a much bigger deciding factor in greenlighting a sequel and a refined version with a visual boost could provide the same kind of holdover for the studio that The Last of Us Remastered did for both Naughty Dog and the PS4 itself. If worse comes to worst, I’m sure we’ll at least get Knack 3.
Likely – All The Good Stuff is Two Years Away
Having done some cursory research and had firsthand experience, I can say with absolute conviction that the first 12 to 18 months of a console’s lifespan are not the best time to invest. First-party developers are often coming off the back of a huge title from the previous-gen or delivering something that feels barely ahead of it. Third-party publishers see very little benefit in rushing to support a new console with a blip of a player base, so instead, straddle the cross-gen fence for a while. The simple fact is it takes time for a new machine to hit its stride and I’m sure the PS5 will be no different. It’s both a blessing and a curse for the PS4 to have had so many First Party heavy hitters late in its life; God of War, Spider-Man, Days Gone, Death Stranding, The Last of Us 2, Ghost of Tsushima… the on-going effect of which is less time for those studios to have been working on PS5 follow-ups or new IP. Sony has already discussed launching with fewer units available than the PS4 did, which suggests they expect demand to be relatively low for at least the first 6-12 months. Factoring in the high possibility of a mid-gen hardware refresh in 2023, unless you’re a dedicated PlayStation fanatic, you’re probably better off waiting a few years until the lineup (and hardware) is stronger.
Wishful Thinking – A Better Approach to Backwards Compatibility
It goes without saying that Microsoft has been doing everything they can to make the Xbox ecosystem seem as consumer-friendly as possible, between the value of Game Pass and their commitment to ensuring every previous generation Xbox title will not only run on the Series X but in many cases will benefit from improved visuals and performance. Sony has a miserable track record with this, primarily born from their investment in the Cell processor used in the PS3. While early PS3 models essentially contained PS2 hardware to achieve BC, this was quickly scrapped to lower production costs and was not achieved via software emulation until the PS4 hardware, even then requiring players to reach into their wallet once more rather than simply insert their ageing PS2 discs. The PS4 saw no form of BC with the PS3 as titles required porting – once again, customers were asked to repurchase games they already owned, albeit often with a number of improvements. It’s hard to argue with the fact that Microsoft has Sony over a barrel when it comes to Backwards Compatibility and if their approach remains the same going into the PS5 then they deserve any resulting loss of brand loyalty.
Sony’s recent announcement that PS4 games seeking certification beyond July of 2020 will need to run on the PS5 seems to suggest that Sony recognises a need for some sort of cross-over when trying to shift a player base of over 110 million to a newer system, but have absolutely no real clue how to approach it at a software OR hardware level. Even as someone who personally sees very little value in trying to clear out a backlog of games from multiple previous generations, the value proposition from Microsoft clearly outweighs that of Sony in this instance and PlayStation Now is in no way a decent substitute. Sony needs to figure this out or it’s simply another differentiator Microsoft can spin against them.
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