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Was Sony's PlayStation Showcase a disappointment?

We've had enough time to cool down now, it's time to ask the important questions.

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Sony kicked off 2023's summer of gaming with its PlayStation Showcase this week, an event that millions were excited about. Now we've had a couple of days to cool off from the livestream, it feels right to talk about it fairly openly. We've not got the hype leading up to the show or the post-show depression weighing us down, so we think we can give it a fair enough evaluation.

So, was the PlayStation Showcase a disappointment? Well, it certainly wasn't great. We won't be looking back on this show in a few years time, wondering how Sony managed to pull off such an incredible event. Instead, like the vast majority of these showcases if we're being honest, the 2023 PlayStation Showcase will fade into memory potentially before the year is out.

Was Sony's PlayStation Showcase a disappointment?

Does that mean we have absolutely nothing to talk about? No, of course not. The show was not a complete disaster, as we do have more than a few announcements worth mentioning. Metal Gear Solid Δ, Dragon's Dogma 2, Marathon, and of course Marvel's Spider-Man 2 are arguably the biggest announcements of the show, but even among the smaller reveals like Ghostrunner 2, The Talos Principle 2, Neva, and more there's plenty to get excited about for fans of those titles. However, there are two major problems with this showcase, and the first is that while we saw a lot, it feels as though Sony was aiming for quantity over quality.

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In reality, the vast majority of these trailers showed us barely any gameplay if we even got any at all. What did we actually learn about Marathon, for example, or Concord, or Metal Gear Solid Δ? Of course, we can learn a bit more about those titles thanks to PS Blog posts and such, but then what's the point in the showcase? A lot of the titles that were shown could have just been relegated to blog posts to give us more of what were interested in. We're left by the end of an hour-long presentation counting our blessings that Marvel's Spider-Man 2 showed up, rather than seeing it as the cherry on top of a fantastic showcase otherwise.

Was Sony's PlayStation Showcase a disappointment?

The fact that we were left wanting more details about first-party games, and that other major and exciting titles are coming to other platforms leaves us with our second major issue with this showcase, and that is the unknown future of PlayStation. This showcase was meant to show us exactly that. We should be heading into the second half of the PS5's lifecycle knowing at least some of the major games we're going to be getting, but instead after Marvel's Spider-Man 2 we're left wondering what's next. There are a few projects in the rumour mill and some things that were announced previously like Insomniac's Wolverine, but this showcase should've given us some more titbits on those games, whereas the ignoring of them leaves us with a rather uneasy feeling in our stomachs.

I've no doubt that - unless something goes seriously, seriously wrong - that Marvel's Spider-Man 2 will be great, and third-party titles can also help fill out the time between the first-party releases Sony has become synonymous with over the past few years. But, once Spider-Man launches what are Sony consumers looking forward to? What's the next big thing?

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Was Sony's PlayStation Showcase a disappointment?

Wolverine? If that is the case then that's a lot of weight put on Insomniac's shoulders. We're not saying a great first-party game won't rear its head, but if we cast our minds back to this time last year, we knew we were getting God of War: Ragnarok and Marvel's Spider-Man 2, with one project to look forward to for now and another to keep an eye on later down the line. As we draw closer to that Fall 2023 date for Marvel's Spider-Man 2, it leaves a lot of anxiety around what Sony does next, as without its major exclusives some may begin to question what they're buying a PS5 for. VR won't save it, not in the state its in, and neither will the Wii U clone its drawn up.

In short, yes the PlayStation Showcase was a disappointment. Not because we didn't see a lot, but because we didn't see much depth in what we did see. Moreover, this showcase - bar Spider-Man - feels like it could've been made by any other major gaming brand, showing off more headlining third-party releases than anything else.

Was Sony's PlayStation Showcase a disappointment?

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