In their ad hoc E3 replacement event that took place on Thursday, June 11, 2020, Sony showcased a host of Playstation 5 games ranging from the outlandish to the highly anticipated. The hour-long event was entirely games and snippets of commentary from developers until the show-stopping finale unveiled the bold design of the upcoming console in its two different variants. The futuristic Playstation 5 will launch in a version containing a disc drive, and one that is entirely digital.
The move comes following a long period of decline for retail stores as digital downloads become more prevalent and online retailers continue to thrive. With an extremely fast SSD and the convenience of having multiple games loaded simultaneously, the all-digital PS5 has the potential to exceed the antiquated familiarity of a disc drive. But the price difference between the two machines is what is likely to separate the sales numbers.
The most important aspect of the conference is the list of games that were showed off in rapid succession. Around 20 games were highlighted throughout the conference and each felt momentous in their own right. Maybe in part due to the fact that it wasn’t a conference in front of a live audience, but each game felt like it deserved its time on the stage. There were no games to leave a crowd murmuring in confusion, but conversely, the show-stopping moments that did happen, happened without the same level of intensity. Without a crowd, there wasn’t really a show to stop. That didn’t prevent Sony from delivering though. Immediately following the conference’s opening announcement that puts Grand Theft Auto 5 on its third generation of consoles, Sony showed Miles Morales in the announcement of a Spiderman game that is scheduled to release alongside the PlayStation 5 during the 2020 holiday season. Moments like this would usually result in the crowd erupting into cheers. The same level of showmanship just can’t be achieved over a livestream, but Sony got about as close as they could.
In stark contrast to their comparatively dry Game Developers Conference replacement, this event oozed with production value. From the graphics packages that mixed in with the gameplay to the well-lit developer speaking sections, Sony really nailed the energy of a live event with none of the bloat to go with it. Fan favorites like Ratchet and Clank and Horizon made appearances alongside quirky and intriguing new showings of games like Bugsnax and Stray.
Many of the games that were announced are scheduled to be released within about a year of the launch of the PlayStation 5.