After what has felt like the longest 14 months in human history, Sony’s big The Future of Gaming event yesterday finally answered many of the questions we’ve had since the next-generation console was first confirmed last April.
For one, we finally got to see what the console looked like, which has been met with some polarized reception (although I think it looks pretty sleek), and we also got to see the DualSense controller in all its glory—I just wish it had back buttons.
But more importantly, we finally got to see a bunch of trailers for some of the games we’ll actually be playing on the PS5.
I was really excited with what they showed off, and I was especially surprised to see the next Horizon game from Guerrilla Games make an appearance. Horizon Zero Dawn was one of my favorite games of the current generation, and while I was crossing my fingers that we’d get some news about a possible sequel yesterday, I didn’t actually expect to see anything substantial.
And, yet, there it was! Three glorious minutes of footage (in-engine?) of it!
One thing that was notably absent in the trailer, however, was a release date.
It was a thrilling grand finale to the event, but it was also one that drove home an important point for me. Sony had shown us the future of gaming, but they hadn’t said how distant that future was.
What about the near future? What exactly can we look forward to playing on that curvy white and black plastic box when it launches this fall?
The Spider-Man: Miles Morales trailer was another big surprise, especially since listed the game as coming this holiday season. It seemed like an answer to my question: this would be what I’d be playing this fall on the PS5.
Marvel’s Spider-Man was another personal favorite PS4 title, and I honestly didn’t expect a follow-up this soon.
But the trailer left me wondering what Spider-Man: Miles Morales was exactly. I’d assumed it was a full sequel to Marvel’s Spider-Man at first, but the brief glimpses we caught of the game’s map and animations had me wondering otherwise.
Then Sony “clarified” today that Miles Morales was actually an expansion to Marvel’s Spider-Man that would be included alongside the PS5 version of the main title.
That clarification caused a whole world of confusion on social media today, and it definitely looked like the PS5’s launch lineup might be comprised entirely of upscales and ports.
Insomniac’s official Twitter account later cleared things up: “We will reveal more about this standalone game at a future date.”
It sounds like we can expect Spider-Man: Miles Morales to fill the role of a “standalone expansion” a la Dishonored: Death of the Outsider or, possibly even the Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, although the latter felt to me like more of genuine, if slightly narrower in scope, spinoff.
Either way, I expect I’ll happily play some new Spider-Man content, but it does temper my expectations somewhat. It also begs for me the question: why couldn’t we just give Miles’ his own, full-fledged sequel?
Console launch lineups are very rarely stellar, and the best of them have relied on one or two “killer apps” that elevate the lineup as a whole. The Switch launched with Breath of the Wild. The original Xbox had Halo.
The overlap of console and generation-defining games and console launch games is, however, minimal.
Ultimately, that’s okay, and the PS5’s long-term success almost certainly won’t hinge on the games that launch alongside it this fall. Heck, the Dreamcast launched stateside with a stellar lineup, and that still didn’t save it from an early death at the hands of the PS2, which had, um, well Tekken Tag Tournament was good.
But if I’m going to lay down the money on new hardware this fall, I’d at least like to know what I can be looking forward to playing on it. And that’s a question for which I’ll just have to wait to answer.