Several months after teasing a holiday release for the PlayStation 5 back at CES, Sony finally gave gamers a lengthy sneak peek at the next-gen console’s lineup. The event — which was initially set for last week before being pushed due to nationwide protests — comes a month after a similar event for Microsoft’s Xbox Series X.
The event was very much inline with a standard E3 presentation — albeit devoid of the standard live element, due to COVID-19-related restrictions. And honestly, it was a nice change after last year’s odd, low-key Sony event at the gaming show, focused almost exclusively on gameplay. In fact, as the company noted, everything after the Grand Theft Auto V re-release trailer that opened the show was captured directly from a PS5. That, too, is a welcome change from the standard barrage of misleading trailers.
GTA V kicked off the show — a nod to the the 25th anniversary of the PlayStation and the fact that every version of the console has had an installment of the popular Rockstar series. An upgrade version of V will feature expanded gameplay when it launches in 2021. More excitingly is Spider-Man: Miles Morales, a sequel to the PS4 Marvel gaming title featuring the Into the Spider-Verse star. The title is set for a release alongside the new console in late 2020.
Popular racing title Gran Turismo followed, with extended gameplay. The seventh version of the series is set for release on PS5, as is a new installment of the Ratchet and Clank adventure series, titled Rift Apart.
Among the more compelling new additions is Stray. Due out in 2021, the trailer didn’t reveal much, but the game appears to star a gifted stray cat set in a world where humans are mercifully no longer around. Honestly, I’m into it.
After another look at the PS5 DualSense controller we first saw in April, previews started getting faster and furiouser. The list includes LittleBigPlanet spin-off, Sackboy: A Big Adventure, Oddworld: Soulstorm, Returnal, Destruction Allstars and Ghostwire Tokyo. In January 2021, Agent 47 will return to PlayStation yet again, with the release of Hitman III.
Also arriving next year is Solar Ash, another title from AnnaPurna (also the studio behind stray), which was among the more aesthetically stunning entries of the day, with bold, flat colors. The Kickstarter-supported Little Devil Inside is another stunning addition with a distinct art style — among the cartooniest of the games we saw today.
And, of course, it wouldn’t be a proper PlayStation launch without at least one flagship gaming title. NBA 2K21 was the first to take center stage. The trailer featured the kind of closeup, realistic sweat one can only get with a next-gen console. Among the highest-profile remakes for the PS5, meanwhile, is an update of 2009,’s PlayStation 3 RPG Demon’s Souls, from Bluepoint and Japan Studio.
A presentation that was largely devoid of first-person shooters (honestly, probably for the best given everything that’s been going on in the world) did feature Arkane Studio’s time-bending Deathloop, however. There was another cat — this time holographic — in the trailer for Pragmata. The image of an astronaut walking through an abandoned Times Square was honestly a little too real right now. You’ll have to wait until 2022 for that one. The Horizon Zero Dawn sequel Forbidden West continued the close to hope apocalyptic vibes. Maybe things will feel less end-timesy when it arrives? Hard to say, but at least the graphics look great.