Spider-Man 2 swings in to save a dreary PS5 showcase – but Sony just threw Xbox a lifeline
Sony's PlayStation Showcase may have missed the mark, but it was saved by a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man
Well, that was underwhelming. Sony’s PlayStation Showcase promised to outline the future of PS5 and PSVR 2 with a slew of blockbuster announcements – particularly from Sony’s first-party studios.
Instead, what we got was a bunch of CGI trailers, barely any release dates, and multiplatform titles that will appear on Xbox Series X|S. Oh, and proof that Sony is betting big on live service PS5 games.
There were some highlights, of course, like Alan Wake 2 which is out on October 17, and the Metal Gear Solid 3 remake is indeed real. We were also treated to the announcement of some charming indie games like Sword of the Sea, Neva, and Revenant Hill. But you’ll be hard-pressed to find many who were blown away by Sony’s showing, including myself.
Spare a thought for PSVR 2 owners, as well. Only a handful of trailers for already-announced games were shown. Beat Saber – a game that came out in 2018 – was at least released as a surprise during the show. But as nice as that was, Sony didn’t exactly instill confidence in the future of its $549 VR headset. There’s a reason why I posited ‘Is the PSVR 2 already dead’ back in April.
We also saw some new PlayStation hardware, including the bizarre Sony Project Q – a Remote Play handheld device that lets you stream PS5 games over Wi-Fi – and a pair of wireless earbuds. I can quite confidently recommend that you don’t buy the Sony Project Q PS5 handheld, even without hearing the price or release date. Instead, buy one of the many other devices that do the same job as Project Q – and a lot more to boot.
However, all it takes is one game to change everything. And while I still think the PlayStation Showcase was a stinker compared to Sony’s usual high standards, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 ended things on a high. It looks phenomenal, especially the Venom-like powers that Spidey now has at his disposal. Spider-Man: Miles Morales is one of the best PS5 games available, and it looks like Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is shaping up nicely.
Still, I’m slightly concerned that the game only has a vague ‘Fall 2023’ release date. But, knowing Insomniac Games’ impeccable track record, they’ll probably get it out on time without any delays and then announce that another amazing PS5 title is coming just a few months after.
With Sony dropping the ball, though, suddenly – against all odds – Microsoft has a chance to make Xbox seem relevant again. That may seem like an extreme take on a console that’s outselling the Xbox 360 and is home to some great games, but Microsoft wasn’t just on the ropes after releasing Redfall and taking part in a questionable interview that sounded like it was waving the white flag for Xbox – it was down for the count.
Sony felt like it was already celebrating its victory this generation, but like The Undertaker during a Wrestlemania main event, Microsoft just sat up. And it’s got a crazed look in its eye.
Microsoft’s Xbox Showcase could turn more than a few heads back towards the Xbox Series X and S if it can deliver a jam-packed show full of big announcements, gameplay, and firm release dates – which is no easy task, mind you. But because Microsoft is now fully aware of what Sony has in the pipeline for the next few months on PS5, there’s an opportunity to make a statement.
After all, Microsoft has an exhaustive list of titles we’ve been waiting to get more updates on. Hellblade 2, Everwild, State of Decay 3, Forza Motorsport, Perfect Dark, Avowed, Indiana Jones, The Outer Worlds 2, and Contraband are just a few titles that could wow us during the Xbox Showcase. And there are plenty of other franchises like the future of Gears that players want to see.
And then there’s Starfield – a game that has the weight of the Xbox entire brand on its shoulders. I don’t think it’ll ever be able to reach the expectations that have been inadvertently placed upon it, but If it manages to impress – even just a little – it would be a huge win for Xbox fans who have been starved of blockbuster first-party games ever since Halo Infinite’s release. It’s also something they can get excited to play this year on September 6.
Sony’s subpar showing also drives home why we need Xbox to be successful in this generation. Without competition, there’s no pressure on Sony to go above and beyond to please consumers. A strong Xbox brand only benefits PlayStation gamers, and vice versa.
Remember, all it takes is one game. And Microsoft has a golden opportunity to show it has more than one big title to make PS5 gamers a little envious and remind Sony that this generation has a long way to go. Whatever happens, the Xbox Showcase on June 10 just became a little more interesting.
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