When I joined several million other gamers to see what Sony had in store for the PS5 reveal event, I was somewhat underwhelmed with what I had seen so far. The current generation is capable of doing so many amazing things, what I had seen to date hadn’t really seen much of a jump forward. It felt more like a gentle step – polishing what is already there.
When I had finished the PS5 event, whilst I still have those feelings, I came away with a sense of excitement and wonder for the next generation of console gaming. I was far more optimistic but it may not be for the most obvious reasons.
It wasn’t these things that excited me most after the event though.
What excited me most was hearing developers talk about how easy the PS5 is to develop for and then seeing smaller studios showcase some of their most artistic games. These won’t catch the headlines nearly as much as those AAA titles but for me, this generation is about unlocking the potential of the indie and mid size studios.
This current gen has seemed wild divides between the haves and have not’s as the indies focus on 2D platformers with pixel graphics and the AAA titles become less frequent due to the time and resource required to make them. We desperately need that PS2 era middle ground where games could achieve something interesting that doesn’t feel like its on a budget and comprised by its lack of resources. The PS5 offers this because its allowing the transition into 3D easier without looking a jagged mess. That also extends to artistic designs. I love lo-poly styles but now there are so many other choices to choose from. It also lets developers try out new game mechanics that may have been more difficult to unlock on previous generations too.
A lot of the games that were in the PS5 showcase felt like they could have been high end middle titles on the PS4. JETT: The Far Shore, Bugsnax, Goodbye Volcano High, Solar Ash, Returnal, Little Devil Inside – they all look like they could exist on the PS4 yet they would all be higher end stylised indies or better in this class. If this is what an indie or mid sized studio can create on the PS5 at launch when they are getting to grips with the console – I’d say our gaming future is very much in safe hands.
Will I be getting a PS5 at launch? No. I never have bought a console at launch and I likely never will. I always join the curve about 6-9 months in once the initial batches have been sold. I like to make sure they work first! However, I wasn’t even thinking about this time scale before the event. Now I certainly am. I can’t wait to see what delights next gen brings up.
For a quickfire run through of these thoughts and mentions for every game that graced the event, I have a ramble filled video below!
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