PlayStation 5 has had a very interesting year indeed. Strong out of the gate, the PS5 was arguably THE showcase of what next-gen could be in the first few months, as its strong launch lineup and better-defined tools gave it a leg up on the Series X. However, much like for Microsoft, not everything went according to plan for Sony, and 4 major titles sold as 2021 releases (three of them first party) slipped into 2022. With a nearly empty latter half of the year, Xbox has been able to wrestle back some mindshare. However, over the last year, Sony has been far from silent. We have gotten:
- The announcements of the (timed) exclusive KOTOR remake, Wolverine and Spider-Man 2.
- Record sales for the PS5 (they sell as many as they make).
- 5 acquisitions into the PlayStation Studios family.
- The releases of Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Demon’s Souls, Astro’s Playroom, Deathloop, Kena: Bridge of Spirits, MLB The Show, Returnal, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, Oddworld Soulstorm and Godfall.
- Free next-gen updates to The Last of Us: Part II, God of War, Days Gone, Horizon: Zero Dawn and Ghost of Tsushima.
- Two “Director’s Cuts” of Ghost of Tsushima and Death Stranding.
- The launch of two new DualSense colors.
- The announcement that the “believe in generations” bit isn’t quite what they meant: God of War Ragnarok and GT7 are crossgen.
- Two generally accepted GOTY titles in Ratchet and Returnal as well as a one-year timed exclusivity on Xbox Game Studio’s Bethesda Softwork’s Arkane Lyon’s Deathloop (Still a weird situation, eh?)
- First gameplay footage for Horizon Forbidden West and God of War: Ragnarok.
- Rumoured moneyhats of Metal Gear, Silent Hill and Bioshock.
- 6 Free Months of Apple TV+ (Don’t sleep on it. Awesome deal)
- Several State of Play showcases, no E3.
- The announcement 25 games are in development, half of them New IP.
- Partnerships formed with Haven, Firewalk and Deviation.
- A billion debates.
- A good bit more I’m forgetting.
So… one year in, how is everybody feeling? For me… it’s complicated. Early on in the gen, I was spending most of my time on the PS5, reintegrating myself into the ecosystem and trying out the PS4 games I missed. I had a real great time with it, and the PS+ collection was a godsend. The system also truly feels next-gen, with some really cool controller features, but it also chases next-gen to the detriment of their platform at times. The UI is a fucking mess. The games overall have been good, with the launch ones great. However, the delay of four of the games I bought the system for into next year stung, especially as PS5 is not my primary console. It also speaks to a larger issue I’ve had with Sony this past year which is a lack of transparency. “Believe in generations, Organic Growth, 2021 release” all of these look snappy and win PR days, but turn out to be stretched truths.
I did contemplate selling the PS5 after God of War, but the Kotor Remake has me in it for the long haul. Ultimately, I think the PS5 has had a solid if frontloaded year. In some regards the opposite of the Series X. I’m wavering right now between a 6 and a 7, but I suppose I’ll give it a conditional 7. I think the year ahead for the platform looks incredibly exciting, I just wish Sony was more transparent in their proceedings.
How do you feel?