The 2023 PlayStation Showcase has come and gone, and, of course, the inevitable reactions have followed. There were many out there who expressed disappointment in the overall show. Those who, through no real fault of their own, would have expected this to be the big blowout show to start off this year’s summer of gaming. What Sony did instead was the equivalent of drafting a Left Tackle in the top 10. And they were absolutely right to do so.
First, let me explain the above analogy for those who may not understand it. As a football fan, you might want your team to take the flashiest player, the big name who made waves in college and could almost immediately make the exciting splash plays you see on highlight reels for years to come. That’s understandable, but what a good front office understands is that the game is won at some of the less glamorous positions. To that end, you draft the 6’7″ 300-plus pound lineman who will protect your franchise QB for years to come. This is essentially what Sony did with this show.
With the exception of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, Alan Wake 2, and Metal Gear Solid Delta, what Sony showed us during its showcase were games no one really saw coming or even knew about.
It could be argued that Marathon was the biggest announcement coming out of the show. The first franchise Bungie ever worked on, getting a new coat of paint and fresh play style, and Bungie itself is working on it? That’s monumental, and an example of Sony’s continued commitment to expanding its lineup and presenting new ways to play.
As gamers, we need that. Seeing Fairgame$ from Haven Studios and knowing the type of work Jade Raymond does, excitement doesn’t even feel like the right word to match the mood. Even the announcement of Project Q (PlayStation’s take on the Switch or Steam Deck) feels like Sony planting its flag and letting gamers know that its eyes are on the future.
Neva and Sword of the Sea look like the type of games that could reach that classic “you gotta play this” status. And those games were titles no one really expected. They were new, and that’s an important part of growing and expanding in this industry. You can’t always have big franchises and blockbuster AAAs. Some of these IPs may grow to become those big players, but it all has to start somewhere.
The Heat Is Coming
Summer Game Fest is around the corner, and of course PlayStation is gonna be there. That can be where the big blowout announcements are. After all, SGF is basically replacing E3, so that sense of competition among the companies has to exist somewhere.
The big names we associate with the PlayStation brand have been pretty quiet, and we’re due for something that causes viral reaction videos on the internet. That is where I believe Sony comes through with the heavy hitters.
As for their own showcase? It made all the sense in the world to show everyone where they’re going, and what the future of PlayStation will entail. Long-term planning wins championships, short-term planning wins a few games, and it’s very obvious that Sony intends on keeping the crown.