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The new PS5 State of Play was the best in years – but that’s not saying much-GameCentral-Entertainment – Metro

Sony has offered new looks at PS5 games Stellar Blade, Rise of the Rōnin, and Death Stranding 2 but still no new first party exclusives.

The new PS5 State of Play was the best in years – but that’s not saying much-GameCentral-Entertainment – Metro

Chef’s kiss or barely acceptable? (Picture: Sony)

Sony has offered new looks at PS5 games Stellar Blade, Rise of the Rōnin, and Death Stranding 2 but still no new first party exclusives.

After more than a year of unexplained secrecy we’ve run out of speculation as to what exactly PlayStation is doing at the moment, and why they’ve suddenly become so reticent to announce new internally developed titles – or indeed put on a decent preview showcase.

The State of Play event on Thursday night was certainly their best effort in a long time but it still felt rather sterile compared to the recent Xbox Developer_Direct equivalent.

Sony’s revelation of a new Metal Gear style exclusive from Hideo Kojima was arguably more interesting than the reveal of Indiana Jones And The Great Circle, except instead of gameplay footage all you got was Kojima talking in riddles and having to promise that the game would in fact be interactive.

The fact that the Not-Metal Gear game won’t enter full production until 2025 proves that Sony is still happy to unveil new games years before they’re released. It used to thrive on doing so, with flashy pre-rendered trailers that instantly raised interest in upcoming titles and repeatedly out-hyped Xbox’s often staid showcases.

Microsoft has got a lot better at them in recent years though and it’s now Sony that seems slightly awkward and uncertain of themselves, especially as PlayStation boss Jim Ryan is on his way out and we still have no idea who’s replacing him.

There was a lot of interesting stuff during the State of Play, including a new look at Silent Hill 2 and free game Silent Hill: The Short Message, as well as Judas from the creator of Bioshock, Dragon’s Dogma 2 from Capcom, and the already leaked Sonic X Shadow Generations.

Also featured were two new VR games: Metro Awakening and Legendary Tales. But while the former looked very impressive neither has anything to do with Sony, which means we’re approaching the PlayStation VR2’s first anniversary and they haven’t announced or released a single new title since launch.

There were first party titles but none of them were by internal studios owned by Sony. Instead, you got Stellar Blade from Korean developer Shift Up, Rise Of The Rōnin from Team Ninja, Helldivers 2 from Arrowhead Game Studios, an Until Dawn remaster by Ballistic Moon, and Death Stranding 2 by Kojima Productions.

All the games looked interesting, but the question is where are Sony’s own developers and why have they been silent for so long?

Given they’re the primary reason for the PlayStation 4’s success, and much of the PlayStation 5’s initial momentum, it’s baffling that Sony has, apart from the release of Spider-Man 2 last year, all but ignored them in the last year or more.

Imagine if Nintendo suddenly didn’t announce a single internally developed game for over a year and instead started relying on outside developers and paid-for exclusives.

The explanation for all this likely revolves around Sony’s previous stated intention to focus on live service games in the future, which at first implied that all internal studios would be working on one and that most prominent PlayStation franchise’s would get a live service spin-off.

A dozen titles were promised by 2026 and yet not a single one has been released so far, or even properly announced, with the whole plan falling apart when Naughty Dog cancelled The Last Of Us Online and Sony confirmed it was reducing its initial plans to just six titles.

None of them were in evidence at the State of Play (which some may argue is why it was good) but despite most of the announcements leaking out ahead of time the only notable rumour that didn’t come true was that previously teased live service title Concord would be featured.

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Was it originally planned but got pulled at the last minute, as often happens with showcase events? We’ll likely never know but the silence around Sony’s first party studios is now deafening.

The next State of Play is on Tuesday, February 6 and is dedicated solely to Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth (another exclusive not made by Sony themselves), but hopefully the one after that will introduce the new head of PlayStation and start a new, more confident era of openness and clarity – rather than the current confusion and conspiracy.

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