It was all good just a week ago. Xbox revealed the existence of the Xbox Series S as well as how much its two new consoles would cost. The $299/$499 price points for the Series S and X respectively, turned heads, with many predicting Sony was going to make the same mistake it made with the PS3 and release an overpriced system.
Instead, Sony came through and did what it had to do.
Let’s get the important part out of the way first: The Playstation 5 releases on Nov. 12 for $399 for the all-digital version and $499 for the standard edition. This is a solid price point, with the $499 standard edition costing just as much as the Xbox Series X. While the digital PS5 is more expensive than the Xbox Series S, it also is more fully-featured, which, in my opinion, makes it a fair price.
So, with that out the way, allow me to break down what was good, what was bad, and what was simply lacking from the PS5 price reveal.
While Microsoft wowed everyone with the low price of the Series S, Sony came through with what ultimately matters most: games.
The showcase started with a bang, unveiling Final Fantasy XVI, which will be a console exclusive for PS5. Given that my official title at The Root is “Executive Final Fantasy Stan,” you could imagine ya’ boy was a little bit excited.
The game is being developed by *checks notes* Creative Business Unit III, the folks behind Final Fantasy XI and Final Fantasy XIV. Given that both of those games are MMORPG’s(Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games), it wouldn’t be shocking if it turns out Final Fantasy XVI doesn’t have a single-player focus.
The graphics looked impressive, showcasing large-scale battle scenes with soldiers waging war while mounted upon chocobos. The game boasts a dark fantasy setting, with two factions clearly engaged in a bitter war with one another. Mystical beasts emerge, vows of vengeance are made, and somehow I wound up owing Square-Enix 60 bucks. It was a surprisingly long look, so fingers crossed we don’t have to wait too long for this one.
The showcase then went on to show gameplay from Spider-Man: Miles Morales. The display opened with Miles on his way to a rally for his mom, who is now running for city council. I was excited to see what looked like Miles’ best friend, Ganke, show up, given his absence in Spider-Man: Enter the Spider-Verse.
The Underground, an organization led by The Tinkerer and the (probably evil) corporation Roxon are the primary antagonists in the game. The game shows Miles interfering with a bridge heist The Underground is conducting on some Roxon trucks. A fight inevitably breaks out and the gameplay shows Miles going toe-to-toe with some of the Tinkerer’s minions. Miles is insanely agile and his electric venom strike ability looks to play a large role in combat, with a particularly impressive moment showing Miles venom-striking the ground, resulting in the group of minions being launched in the air.
Any concerns that this game would skimp on spectacle due to it being more of a spin-off than a full-fledged sequel were laid to rest, as what starts as a simple fight on the bridge results in the whole thing starting to collapse, with Miles scrambling to save the people trapped on it. In a moment that calls back to Spider-Man: Homecoming, Miles begins to web two pieces of the bridge together and then pulls them together with webs in both hands.
It was a fun showcase for what is sure to be the premier launch title for the console this Fall.
Deathloop looks sick as fuck, y’all. An innovative game mechanic, interesting art style and intriguing world-building all combine into something that I classify as “Extremely My Shit.” With Prey and Dishonored, Arkane has displayed an incredibly inspired approach to game design and Deathloop doesn’t look any different.
If for some reason you like getting your ass beat, then have I got a launch game for you. The upcoming remake of Demon’s Souls, the cult classic PS3 game by From Software, was given a prolonged gameplay showcase. The game was the precursor to the Dark Souls series and the gameplay looks to have that same strange pacing and punishing difficulty. The folks at Bluepoint Games are getting way too good at making classic games look completely new.
Lastly is the reveal of the Playstation Plus Collection. The big selling point behind the Xbox Series X is Game Pass and Smart Delivery. While the Xbox doesn’t have any heavy hitters at launch, it does offer 100 games optimized for the system at launch. The idea being you can play the best version of old things until the real ones show up.
Playstation Plus Collection, on the other hand, is showing up with the real ones. While it may not boast the quantity of Game Pass, it does offer some quality-ass titles. I’m talking about God of War, Uncharted 4, and Persona 5, games I actually want to play the best versions of.
100 games is great but, let’s keep it a buck: How many Xbox One exclusives are you really trying to go back to like that?
Gotta give a big OOF to the reveal of Hogwarts Legacy. Considering how badly Harry Potter creator J.K Rowling has shown her transphobic ass this week, this was not the best time to reveal this game. It looks well enough, and the folks at Avalanche are behind Mad Max, which was one of my sleeper faves this generation.
I loved the Harry Potter series as a kid but I wouldn’t consider myself a die-hard fan. It’s a good enough-looking game but, outside of just its trash-ass creator, it kind of felt lacking. The idea of creating your own adventure at Hogwarts is cool, but I wonder how much mileage the Bully but in Hogwarts concept really has.
The Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition trailer was very underwhelming. It didn’t showcase any new features nor look any better than it did when it was released last year. I really enjoyed the game but I don’t think anyone is buying a PS5 to play a same-ass version of a game that came out last year.
I also don’t really know why Oddworld was there. A formal poll I conducted with a study group called “the homies” found that all of us just remember Oddworld as “that game with the weird-ass commercials.” True to form, Oddworld came through with a weird-ass commercial.
Never change Oddworld, never change.
Information! Sorry to startle you, but the lack of hard information was glaring. While it’s great to see those good games, I would’ve liked some more hard-ass facts about what’s inside the system.
Get some Playstation exec on deck to be like “Ay yo! PS5 Digital got hella memory, hella power, and it’s a hundred dollars cheaper, b.”
*throws up the Playstation equivalent of The Roc*
I know my hypothetical executive isn’t entirely accurate but you get what I’m saying.
The PS5 Digital is enticing. It’s priced right in between the Xbox Series S and the PS5 w/disc drive, which suggests it’s just as powerful as its sister console. It’s still unclear what the internal memory is for the PS5 Digital. Games are getting, just, stupid big these days (seriously, is each bullet a gigabyte in Call of Duty), so the PS5 digital might be less a smart buy if it comes with a lacking amount of memory.
Also, too much information was revealed after the conference on Twitter through various sources. The fact that Geoff Keighley was better than Sony at breaking down what was coming out when is not great.
This lack of information also extends to the way Sony has handled preorders. Xbox did a far better job of this, announcing a concrete date when people would be able to preorder a console. Sony was vague in its messaging and going through Twitter last night increasingly revealed a disorganized preorder rollout that varied from retailer to retailer. While preorders weren’t supposed to go live until Sept. 17, many retailers instead opted to begin taking them early.
Hopefully, as we get closer towards the console’s release we’ll learn more about how they operate and there’s another, better-managed round of preorders.
Overall though, this was a solid showcase. With a focus on quality games, interesting new services and, most importantly, the reveal of a competitive price, Sony turned this into one of the most interesting console launches in recent memory.