“We’re going to have the games do our talking.” That was Sony’s line going into the first major PlayStation 5 event. Months of low-key news drops and technical specs culminated in today, where we finally saw some actual games, including Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Gran Turismo 7, and a new full-length Ratchet & Clank. Oh, and uh...Grand Theft Auto V?
We also saw the console itself. Or rather, consoles. There’s a PlayStation 5 with a disc drive, and another without that’s billed as the “Digital Edition.” No word on price yet. Microsoft and Sony are still waiting for the other to flinch on that front, so maybe we’ll find out at Microsoft’s Xbox event in July. Maybe.
You’ll find all of today’s biggest announcements below, and be sure to check back Saturday for our coverage of the PC Gaming Show. Always a favorite around here.
Here's your mandatory hardware sizzle reel. It looks very spiky, and very strange laying down on its side. I can't say I'm a huge fan, though maybe it would look less bizarre and clam-like in solid black? It's more exciting than Microsoft's boring Xbox Series X design, but also much, much riskier—and maybe not in a good way.
Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto V was originally a PlayStation 3 game, a capper to the last generation. Then it got ported to PlayStation 4. And now? It’s one of the first games we’ll see on the next generation. With the community clamoring for Grand Theft Auto VI, Sony instead revealed that Grand Theft Auto V will be “enhanced” for the PlayStation 5. Is Grand Theft Auto V the new Skyrim? Maybe—though who knows, maybe we’ll get Skyrim on next-gen consoles as well.
Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Hey, Insomniac is making a new Spider-Man! And it stars Miles Morales! And that’s probably enough to sell you on the idea, which is good because this teaser trailer barely shows anything else! The last Spider-Man was one of the PlayStation 4’s most impressive games on a technical level, and I’m looking forward to seeing an upgraded Manhattan on PlayStation 5.
Gran Turismo 7
It wouldn’t be next-gen without a car game, of course. We got our first look at the long-awaited Gran Turismo 7, and it looks…like a racing sim. I can’t say today’s footage looks any better than Project CARS running on a high-end PC, but hey, it’s like that high-end Project CARS footage runs on a $500-ish PC now, and that’s not bad.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
Sony’s trotting out all the old favorites. Next on the list was Ratchet & Clank, which Insomniac barely touched for the entirety of the PlayStation 4. Pretty surprising to see it pop up here, with Rift Apart. The big news is that the PlayStation 5’s loading times apparently allow Ratchet and Clank to teleport from planet to planet near-instantaneously. There’s still what looks like a disguised loading screen (in the form of a rift) but it’s way faster than anything this generation—even on PC, where loading times tend to be shorter.
Robot barbers. Robot cab drivers. Robot clerks. And you’re the cat that hangs out there, I guess. I don’t know what the hell Stray is about, or how it plays, but a cat running around robot-land sure does make for a captivating trailer.
Remember Edge of Tomorrow? That sure was a great film. Returnal looks like it’s taken some pointers, with a woman crashing on a planet, fending for her life, dying, and then being reborn. Or something like that. Also, she fights some pretty heinous alien-monsters. The trailer description says it blends side-scrolling action with a third-person shooter, which is an odd combination. Maybe it’s like Shadow Complex? We can only hope.
Sackboy: A Big Adventure
Is Sackboy a PlayStation icon? I guess? Media Molecule just finished Dreams, one of the PlayStation 4’s most inspiring games and one I desperately hope makes its way over to PC. With Sackboy: A Big Adventure, it looks like someone else took Little Big Planet and spun it into a proper platformer. It’s kind-of got the aesthetic of Yoshi’s Wooly World and Nintendo’s other crafty adventures, and that’s enough to pique my interest. Hopefully the platforming is tighter than that of Little Big Planet proper.
Goodbye Volcano High
What if Life is Strange starred dragons? Maybe that’s a reductive way to describe Goodbye Volcano High, but it’s the best I’ve got. Coming-of-age story, solid indie soundtrack—this trailer’s hitting all the right notes, and I like it.
We’ve seen the new Oddworld a few times now. I even got the chance to see about an hour of the game last year in person. Soulstorm marks the return of the old 2D side-scrolling style, and is being billed as the “proper” Oddworld sequel we’ve awaited for almost two decades. Very curious to see how it turns out.
Kena: Bridge of Spirits
“Players find and grow a team of charming spirit companions called the Rot, enhancing their abilities and creating new ways to manipulate the environment.” That’s the official description of Kena: Bridge of Spirits. My unofficial description is “Wow, it sure does look like Pikmin.” That’s cool! I can’t really think of any game that’s borrowed from Pikmin before, and I’ll be interested to see someone else’s take on those ideas.
The only thing I remember about the Ghostwire: Tokyo reveal is an immaculately rendered bowl of ramen. This trailer is a bit more expansive, giving us our first look at combat. Freeze time, punch ghosts in the chest, rip their ghost-hearts out, rinse and repeat. It doesn’t look as horror-adjacent as I expected, nor do I have a great handle on what we’re in for, but I’m curious for sure.
Jett: The Far Shore
Superbrothers sure has come a long way from Sword & Sworcery. I’m...not sure what you do in Jett except fly around and listen to beautiful ambient music—and honestly I don’t care. It could be that for 10 to 15 hours and I’d be perfectly happy, I think. In a day filled with big-budget realism, it’s this tiny indie game and its minimalist art that stole my heart.
I admired Hyper Light Drifter from afar more than I enjoyed playing it, and for all I know Solar Ash might go the same way. Damn, I am down to admire it from afar though. This first trailer is gorgeous, recognizable as a Hyper Light Drifter follow-up but with a more ambitious scope that reminds me of the work of Moebius (cartoonist Jean Giraud). Beautiful.
Hey, IO is making Hitman III! I’d like to say it was a foregone conclusion, but given the low-budget feel of Hitman II I didn’t know whether we’d actually see a sequel. I’m happy for them though, and hoping they have both the time and money to really finish out this trilogy the way it deserves. I’m also imagining the crowds you could pull off with the new console hardware, and daaaaaaaaaaamn. This one’s going to be good, I bet.
“Welcome to the island of bug snacks.” And uh, what a welcome. Bugsnax takes place on an island where every bug is made of food, and then people eat the bugs...and then start turning into food themselves? I do not know what’s happening, but it’s Young Horses’s follow-up to Octodad, which I’m assuming means it’s hilarious and uplifting. Forget the power of next-gen consoles. Bugsnax is the only game I care about this winter.
All those Demon’s Souls fans are finally vindicated. More than a decade after Demon’s Souls released on the PlayStation 3, we’re getting what looks like a full-fledged remake built by Bluepoint. I’m very curious how much modernization goes into a project like this, given that Demon’s Souls was much more obtuse than the Dark Souls games that came afterward. Do you prune some of that back to attract a new audience? Keep it, for the original fans? Either way, I’m glad it’s finally happening.
Arkane sure is making an Arkane game. Deathloop looks like Dishonored, without the Dishonored setting. And that’s okay with me! Arkane makes amazing worlds, and I’m entirely onboard with a game about larger-than-life assassins and time loops and lots of orange-colored buildings. Given Dishonored didn’t let me use any of its best powers for fear of getting the “bad” ending, Deathloop seems great, actually.
Resident Evil VIII
Capcom continues to ping-pong between remakes of the old Resident Evil games (in the old Resident Evil style) and new Resident Evil games built for first-person. Resident Evil VIII is the latest of the latter, and it hits a lot of the same points as VII in this trailer. Spooky houses, spookier people, you know the drill. I was hoping we might get a new Resident Evil in the RE2 Remake style, after being won over last year, but I suppose we’ll have to wait until Resident Evil 4’s remake for that.
Another robot and another cat. This cat’s a hologram though. Of all today’s trailers, Pragmata is perhaps the least informative—and that’s saying a lot. Can’t go wrong with robots and cats though, I guess, and Pragmata's got the look of some full-on anime shenanigans.
Horizon: Forbidden West
I didn’t expect Horizon: Forbidden West to take place in a run-down San Francisco, in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge. In typical “Wow, I live there!” fashion, that immediately made me curious. Can I visit the ruins of my apartment in the future? So exciting. Other than that, it looks like a bigger and better Horizon game, and robot mammoths seem like a lot of fun. All in all, a solid announcement for Sony to end on, and now I know why Zero Dawn is being ported to PC. Sony really wants me to buy a PS5 for the sequel.
And hey, maybe I will.