Sony bets on Astro, live service games and PC ports for 2024

The latest State of Play broadcast did not address the elephant in the room but did unveil some promising PlayStation5 games for 2025


Few people ever expected Astro to carry the weight of the only PS5-exclusive Sony-produced title in 2024… yet here we are. (Image: Sony)

So just when PlayStation fans were starting to think that Sony’s much-rumored May State of Play broadcast was not going to happen after all, the company announced and held such a presentation in the span of two days – trying to keep consumer expectations in check, maybe, but also surprise gamers with some interesting news without having to compete with everyone else in the “E3-but-not-really” first ten days of June. What we got during that 30-minute presentation was confirmation of rumors about specific titles making the rounds on the Web for months, but also the unveiling of some new, promising PS5 games for 2025.

First things first: yes, God of War Ragnarok is coming to the PC on September 19. It will be almost two years after the original game was released, but PC gamers can look forward to a true 4K graphics mode and uncapped framerates, as well as support for the latest upscaling technologies – DLLS 3.7, FSR 3.1, XeSS 1.3 – and ultrawide resolutions. This version also includes the excellent God of War Ragnarok: Valhalla expansion, which impressed everyone last year. The port is jointly handled by Santa Monica Studio and Jetpack Interactive (the latter handled the high-quality 2018 God of War PC version) and it’s available for preorder on Steam and the Epic Games Store.

What this State of Play focused on, though, were a couple of different Sony titles. One is none other than Concord, which is out for the PS5 and PC on August 23: this is a “5v5 character-driven, first-person multiplayer shooter set in a sci-fi galaxy”, its style of gameplay reminiscent of Overwatch 2 and style of art reminiscent of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Gamers will be controlling any one of 16 available heroes – named “Freegunners” – and “battle it out with rival crews to take home the reward across a variety of maps and modes”.

Concord is developed by Firewalk Studios – which Sony acquired a while back – and it’s just the latest push the company is making into the live service games sector. After the astonishing success of Helldivers 2, can lightning strike twice in one year for Sony? Stranger things have happened!

PlayStation5 owners do have a AAA exclusive title for their system of choice to look forward to this year, though, and that’s Team Asobi’s Astrobot. The extremely likable robot is making a comeback in a big way, as Sony promises “a super-sized space adventure” that looks like a cool mix of action, platforming and shooting with enough exploration and puzzles to keep things balanced.

As expected, Astrobot is full of set pieces, boss fights and cameos from beloved characters and concepts belonging to PlayStation’s rich history, while humor and wonderfully weird control mechanics set the tone for something enjoyable by everyone. The title’s graphics also seem to be impressively upgraded compared to the now famous Astro’s Playroom demo pre-installed on every PS5. It’s out on September 6, preorders open on June 7.

There were a few other noteworthy third-party titles included in Sony’s latest State of Play, too. Monster Hunter Wilds, Ballad of Antara, Where Winds Meet and Dynasty Warriors: Origins all look spectacular, for instance, ensuring that 2025 won’t be short on action and action RPG titles for the PlayStation5. Marvel Rivals has already made waves on the PC before even being released and it’s coming to the PS5 too later this year, as is Grinding Gears’ Path of Exile 2. There were even a couple of PS VR2 titles announced for 2024 – Behemoth and Alien: Rogue Incursion – although Sony’s virtual reality accessory will need more than that to win what looks like a losing battle.

While the latest State of Play did little to address the elephant in the room – the absence of a Sony tentpole, flagship exclusive title for the PS5 in all of 2024 – it proved that the company is at least trying to handle a difficult situation with grace. A number of Sony-published, high-quality titles, such as Helldivers 2, Rise of the Ronin and Stellar Blade keep the PS5 in focus, while Concord or Astrobot (depending on their overall quality) and a couple of high-profile ports – God of War: Ragnarok and Until Dawn, which is officially coming to the PC along with the PS5 – will help the PlayStation brand retain enough momentum leading to that all-important Q4.

Sony made no mention of the heavily rumored PlayStation5 Pro, as many hoped… but then again, such a product does deserve – and need – more than a 30-minute broadcast anyway. (Image: Ahmad Mohammadnejad, Unsplash)

It seems that people who were looking forward to a State of Play announcing the much-rumored, pretty-much-confirmed PlayStation5 Pro will have to wait a bit longer (or much longer depending on the product’s actual release date). Then again, the PS5 Pro deserves either a State of Play of its own or a special Sony-hosted press event anyway, so we’ll just have to see how the company plans on finally revealing it. Does September 16th, four years to the day after the original PS5’s announcement, sound good? It sure does!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Kostas Farkonas

Veteran reporter with over 30 years of industry experience in various media, focusing on consumer tech, entertainment and digital culture. No, he will not fix your PC (again).

Veteran reporter with over 30 years of industry experience in various media, focusing on consumer tech, entertainment and digital culture. No, he will not fix your PC (again).

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