In less than eight months Sony will have to show it’s PS5 launch lineup, will they come out swinging after taking 2019 off?
In 2015 Sony had one of the most iconic moments ever in the video games press industry. Entering their third year of the current console cycle, Sony dropped bombs during their 2015 E3 Press Conference. A conference room full of industry professionals erupted when Sony announced a handful of games that only existed in dreams and on video game forums. Sony even hosted the event at theaters for fans to watch live. It was the first time we saw Horizon Zero Dawn, Shenmue 3, Final Fantasy 7 Remake, Hitman, Dreams, and the first Destiny expansion. It was the first time we saw Uncharted 4 gameplay. As well as a huge re-reveal eight years in the making, The Last Guardian. Sony touted their partnerships with Battlefront 2 exclusive content and Street Fighter V.
After not attending E3 in 2019, they are signaling taking two steps back and three steps forward. CEO Shawn Layden even spoke out about the ESA, the governing body of E3. It might seem like we may never see anything like E3 2015 again. However, Layden is out and Sony is losing ground to Microsoft when it comes to building hype. Sony has to launch a new console in the next year and they have to find a way to build momentum.
What could a huge PS5 news blowout from Sony look like?
If we learn anything from this gen it should be that, at the end of the day the games matter. Teraflops, ray tracing, and services have built a cloud around the upcoming consoles. But, manufacturers know at the end of the day you need games to sell consoles. Now that Shawn Layden is out at Sony, could they return to E3 to fire up the hype machine one more time to build the install base for the PS5? Sony could have something in the Spring to show off the hardware. They could follow up at E3 to show the games or have an event of their own.
Horizon Zero Dawn 2
Aside from helping out on Death Stranding, Guerrilla Games has had nothing to show after releasing DLC to Horizon in 2017. Then a Freudian slip confirmed a follow up to Horizon Zero Dawn is in the works. Horizon was released in February 2017, early development could have started mid-2016 while the game was getting polish and tested. A four-year development cycle on an already solid engine would make Horizon Zero Dawn 2 a potential PS5 launch title.
It might be too early but, if Sony wants to go hard and heavy they could drop a teaser trailer for a Spider-Man sequel. Sony recently acquired developer Insomniac, so now they would be calling the shots. Spider-Man finished development at the end of the year in 2017, then entered testing in January 2018. If you connect the dots, early development and planning could have started in fall 2017, three years before the launch of PS5. As a reference point, development on Spider-Man began in Q1 2015, just over three years before release. Sony would have no qualms showing a game a year before it’s release if Insomniac was on the same schedule.
Metal Gear Solid Remake
Hideo Kojima has played a huge part in many of Sony events. From 2014’s PT announcement to three years of Death Stranding trailers, Sony loves them some Kojima. With BluePoint working on a remake for the PS5 they called “a big one” and “bigger than Shadow Of The Colossus.” What remake would cause mass hysteria at levels of 2015? There are also tweets connecting the voice actors working together again. As well as a Metal Gear movie in the works with the blessing of the man himself. Then we have this Halloween tweet from BluePoint Games.
The beauty of the E3 2015 press conference was that it was a handful of games we thought couldn’t be real. If Sony could get Konami to play ball and let BluePoint remake Metal Gear Solid, why couldn’t they let someone like Sony’s new San Diego studio or Guerrilla’s second team finish Silent Hills? After all, when Konami disbanded the team and cut ties with Kojima, Guillermo del Toro confirmed the game was 80% complete.
FromSoftware might not be big enough to develop Elden Ring and Bloodborne 2 at the same time but, they might not need to. Sony Japan helped with development on the PS4’s first tentpole title. They could continue alone. The foundation is already there and Sony owns the IP. Bloodborne 2 remains one of the most requested titles from Sony. There are several different teams inside Sony Japan Studios. I am sure Bloodborne 2 is happening it’s just a matter of will it be before Elden Ring or after?
Continued Partnership with Capcom
In 2015 Capcom showed off the PS4 console exclusive Street Fighter V. Street Fighter had no precedent of exclusivity in its 30-year history. At the time, it was a huge get. The move immediately made the PS4 a must-own for any fighting game fan. Capcom would later go on to partner with Sony on its number one selling game of all time, Monster Hunter Worlds. As well as exclusive VR support for Resident Evil 7. Sony partnering with Capcom on almost anything could be huge. Especially with rumors of Marvel VS Capcom 4, Street Fighter 6, Dino Crisis, Resident Evil 8, Resident Evil 3 to all be in the works.
The Order 1887
After a solid run of ports and portables with Sony, Ready At Dawn was given the keys to the car for the weekend. A massive marketing run that featured a Super Bowl ad, Sony pushed The Order 1886 hard. Unfortunately, I don’t think they ever got to finish the game. The finished product was a 5 to 6-hour demo that used QTE cutscenes as the core gameplay mechanic. While fun, and beautiful, as well as packed with a great story, The Order 1886 was unfinished at best. Ready At Dawn is back in action again with an unnamed AAA publisher, working on their first AAA game in almost 5 years. Could they be getting another shot at The Order in a larger setting?
Sony Japan Studios Unannounced Game(s)
The game described by Wire that Mark Cerney is using to show off the PS5 and new controller is most certainly made by Sony Japan. This may be a pack-in title like the Playroom or something like Knack. Either way, Sony Japan in some way worked on 16 titles released on the PS4. Including one of my favorite PS4 games, Gravity Rush 2 (cough) I mean Knack 2.
Unannounced 3rd Party Games
Sony has been incredibly successful in building third party partnerships, not only with Capcom but with Activision, Warner Brothers, Sega, and SquareEnix. Sony seems to be able to get some sort of partnership built around all the big third party games. They must have something in store for the first year of Playstation 5. It looks like WB is going to have three games to announce, Sega is going to have something for the first year of the PS5. There should be some PS5 VR games and several games we don’t know about yet.