Despite months of expectations and quiet build up – not to mention a last minute delay out of respect for the Black Lives Matter movement – Sony have managed to keep a pretty tight lid on the PlayStation 5 Future of Gaming reveal event.
Kicking off tonight at 9PM UK time (10PM CEST, 4PM EDT, 1PM PDT), the company will reveal all, but what can we expect to see? What does the Future of Gaming entail beyond fancier lighting and shorter loading times?
We’ve stared into our tea leaves over the past few weeks and pulled together some predictions…
PlayStation 5 Console Hardware
Here’s one of the big ones. Sony have already divulged all of the tech specs of the console, and now it’s time to reveal the design of the PlayStation 5 at this event, and the team have definitely heard your complaints over the sounds of your PS4’s best jet engine impersonations!
For the Xbox Series X, Microsoft have taken a wind tunnel approach to provide consistent airflow through their system, and Sony will be adopting a similar philosophy, if not necessarily a tower/fridge-like form. The console’s CPU and GPU will now work to a set power budget at all times and so have a much more consistent heat output, making for more consistent cooling requirements that can be better catered for. Still, given the higher-end hardware inside, expect something at least as big as the PS4 Pro, and likely a bit more open to allow for more efficient airflow. It definitely won’t look like the vent-filled V-shaped dev kits though:
Another burning question is what the console’s colour will be? Will it follow the mixed white and black of the DualSense controller reveal, or be a classic glossy or matt black? Is the event teaser showing off an all-black DualSense or was it just the dual-tone model in shadow?
— PlayStation UK (@PlayStationUK) June 8, 2020
PS5 Release Date
Sony have confirmed that despite the COVID-19 pandemic the PlayStation 5 will launch holiday season 2020. They normally release new consoles around the end of October or early November, but no firm date has been given yet.
We’d put our money on Friday 20th November, because Sony surely wouldn’t risk releasing on Friday 13th…
PS5 Launch Price
One of the key factors that could easily decide the next big “console war”. It’s almost certain that the next generation will be more expensive than the current one, pushing beyond the $399 price point, but by how much?
Mark Cerny has said, “I believe that we will be able to release it at an SRP [suggested retail price] that will be appealing to gamers in light of its advanced feature set.” Then again, reports have suggested that the company are struggling to keep the price down, and who knows what the exchange rate is going to be like.
Sony First Party Exclusives
Sony are going all in on next-gen, with almost all of their first party studios now hard at work on games for the PlayStation 5, though we should only expect one or two to prop up the console’s launch window in 2020.
The most credible rumours suggest that Guerrilla Games are working on Horizon Zero Dawn 2. A sequel definitely makes sense, and having been over three years since the original, it could potentially be a launch title for the PS5. Let’s not forget that Guerrilla were on hand for Killzone: Shadowfall as the PS4’s biggest launch title.
It’s also been a quiet few years for Japan Studio since the release of Knack 2. Will Mark Cerny get to lead the development of a new PlayStation 5 exclusive launch title? We’d say that’s pretty likely, and there are some rumours that there will be a new IP from the studio set in space.
Gran Turismo 7 was leaked and quickly denied with a rather flimsy excuse, and while it might not be set for day one, Polyphony Digital have scaled back their continued development of GT Sport, shifting over to development of their next game
Beyond that, Sony might tease a few other big games. Insomniac Games are surely working on a sequel to Marvel’s Spider-Man – it remains Sony’s fastest-selling first party game of all time – but the company has multiple internal teams, so there could also be a family friendly next-gen Ratchet & Clank in the works as well.
And what about Kratos? Well, Studio Santa Monica might have a God of War II teaser, but two years of development time is not long enough for a full on next-gen sequel in our opinion.
Second and Third Party Exclusives
Sony have some strong ties to developers and publishers outside of Sony Worldwide Studios, especially amongst Japanese companies.
Since effectively ending big budget game development after Metal Gear Solid V, Konami have been scaling up for a new project. This is rumoured to be a Silent Hill remake, and not only that, but one that’s being made in partnership with Sony. Japan Studio’s Team Gravity have been quiet since Gravity Rush 2, and they were behind the Siren series of survival horror games prior to their anti-gravity adventures. Perfect development partners for a Silent Hill reboot, wouldn’t you say?
Meanwhile, Bluepoint Games have come off the back of the Shadow of the Colossus remake, with rumours pointing to two fan-pleasing remakes in the Soulsborne genre that Sony helped establish. Could the rumoured Demon’s Souls remake and a Bloodborne remaster be on the cards from them?
EA, Ubisoft, and Activision
It’s not just going to be exclusives that Sony will be showing off, and in true (sort of) E3 fashion, we’re likely to see the platform holder and third parties scratching each other’s backs tonight. The big three – EA, Activision, and Ubisoft – will be waiting to get a foot in the door though it will be interesting to see what kind of deals and partnerships are on the table in 2020.
Timed exclusivity on DLC for big multiplatform games seems like a given though we could see Sony snap up entire games to bolster the PS5’s software library at launch. For a long time there has been chatter surrounding a new Crash Bandicoot and what better way to introduce a new PlayStation than spotlighting one of its legendary mascots, especially with the brand celebrating its 25th anniversary. Sony’s existing partnership with Activision also means we could get our glimpse at the new Call of Duty during tonight’s reveal. This year’s instalment is rumoured to be a Black Ops reboot/remaster.
As for EA and Ubisoft, both publishers have their own virtual events planned with EA Play Live on June 18th and Ubisoft Forward at a later date on July 12th. We can expect to hear more about their currently known slate of games and how they’ll be bridging the gap between the PS4 and PS5, potentially allowing for cross-gen upgrades. The PS5 reveal may also be a good time for EA to tease its new Star Wars game or give us a look at UFC 4. Ubisoft will no doubt want some of that spotlight too with the rumoured Far Cry 6 perhaps maybe its debut appearance or at least a sizzle reel of upcoming Ubi games like Watch Dogs: Legion, Gods & Monsters, and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
Japanese Third Parties
It’s safe to say that many of the biggest success stories are now cross-platform, but we can definitely see Sony’s strength in the region letting them secure some key exclusives for the platform. At the very least they can use some time to reveal their next-gen games. Resident Evil 8 would be a safe bet from Capcom, as would Square Enix showing a first look at Final Fantasy VII Remake’s second instalment, the remade trilogy having a one year exclusivity period to Sony’s platforms.
Where Microsoft have Smart Delivery to allow for free upgrades to the next generation and cross-generational purchases, Sony have had Cross-buy since the days of the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita.
I think we can expect them to dust the concept off for the PlayStation 5, especially with third parties like Bungie already announcing that Destiny 2 will offer free upgrades for PS4 players, and a clear willingness from Ubisoft and CD Projekt Red to do so with Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Cyberpunk 2077.
We also wouldn’t be surprised to see Sony announcing free native upgrades for games like The Last of Us Part II, Ghost of Tsushima, God of War and more, going beyond simple backward compatibility to offer native support for the PS5 that can enhance resolution and frame rates over the PS4 Pro.
PlayStation VR 2
Having sold more than five million units Sony aren’t about to turn their backs on PlayStation VR anytime soon. With its fourth anniversary approaching, the affordable virtual reality platform now comes with a robust library of games that will hopefully find a new home on PS5.
There’s rumours of PSVR2 bringing a wireless headset, new controllers and more, but don’t expect to hear anything about a PSVR successor during this event – this will be all about the PS5. There’s a slim possibility that we could see the original headset used with Sony’s upcoming console during tonight reveal, perhaps as a way to show that PS5 can still enhance your VR gaming on the old hardware.
Those are our best guesses for what we’ll see tonight. What do you expect or want Sony to show off? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll see you tonight for all the news and reveals from the show.