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Sony’s PlayStation showcase promises much for 2023

Sony’s PlayStation showcase promises much for 2023

New exclusive games for PlayStation5 and PlayStation VR2 on the horizon, God of War continues to impress
The real-time, gameplay graphics of Tekken 8 are more impressive than ever before, practically CG-like, at least in the PS5 version shown in Sony’s presentation. (Image: Bandai/Namco)

The good thing about Sony releasing new games based on three of its five biggest franchises in the same year is that this year turned out amazing. The bad thing about doing the same, is that everyone is left wondering “Great, but what about next year?”. With Horizon: Forbidden West or Gran Turismo 7 already out and God of War: Ragnarok less than two months away, it’s not unreasonable for PlayStation fans to wonder how Sony intends to top that in 2023, especially since there has been precious little official information about anything beyond Christmas. If the company’s recent showcase is anything to go by, though, PlayStation owners have a lot to look forward to in 2023, even if this time frame remains rather vague.

God of War was obviously part of the showcase — being Sony’s most important game for the next few months — and its story trailer offered another taste of the expansive and varied environments, the impressive boss battles and the over-the-top effects fans of the series can expect when it launches in November. Sony took this opportunity to also reveal the limited edition, cool-blue-on-icy-white God of War DualSense controller, which is embellished with bear and wolf insignia (representing Kratos and Atreus respectively). It will be available on the day the game itself launches and preorders are starting on September 27th.

If Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge Enhanced Edition shows off what the PlayStation VR2 can do convincingly, Sony’s new peripheral will attract way more mainstream attention. (Image: Disney)

Sony is also in the process of building momentum for PlayStation VR2, its new virtual reality peripheral scheduled for release at some point “in early 2023” (so before March 31st if the company’s track record is any indication). Two new titles were revealed for PSVR2 yesterday: Demeo, an award-winning tabletop dungeon crawler that looks quite interesting, and Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge Enhanced Edition, which is a completely rebuilt version of the original Oculus Quest title. This is impressive in action and, admittedly, the kind of thing PSVR2 needs if it is to attract more than hardcore gamers or enthusiasts early on. It’s not clear whether this is a launch title or not, but we don’t mind it taking its time as long as it proves to be a quality Star Wars experience.

Among the rest of the future releases shown for PS4/PS5 it was definitely Tekken 8 that stood out: Bandai/Namco’s new fighting game looked absolutely spectacular in its first trailer, which we all assumed it was a prerendered sequence — as was always the case with Tekken unveilings in the past — until Katsuhiro Harada shared a post in the official PlayStation blog clarifying that it was actually direct gameplay footage from the game’s Story Mode on the PS5 (!). The title will also be available on PC and Xbox at some point in 2023. The same goes for Like a Dragon: Ishin, which is slated for a February release, as well as for sci-fi third-person shooter Synduality (release timeframe currently unknown).

Stellar Blade looks spectacular in action and will be released exclusively for the PS5 in 2023. Sony’s system needs more exclusives of this kind to differentiate itself from the competition. (Image: Shift Up)

As far as PlayStation5 exclusives are concerned, Shift Up’s Stellar Blade promises explosive action at some point in 2023, while Team Ninja’s new open-world action RPG, Rise of the Ronin, is extremely promising but slated for 2024. Pacific Drive is a run-based first-person driving survival game that will also be console-exclusive to PS5 (coming to PC too) and Harry Potter fans that happen to be PlayStation owners should look out for “The Haunted Hogsmeade” quest of Hogwarts Legacy, out in February.

It’s true that, based on the above, 2023 does not look as exciting right now for PS4/PS5 owners as 2022 did during the previous September PlayStation showcase. But with Marvel’s Spider-man 2, plus a number of top third-party productions such as Forspoken, Diablo IV or Street Fighter 6, already confirmed for 2023, there will be no shortage of AAA PS4/PS5 titles to play. And there’s still that PSVR2 card that Sony has obviously not played yet, so PlayStation fans will have to wait and see how important that proves to be in 2023. Exciting times ahead, no?

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