PlayStation 5: What To Expect From Sony's Console In 2023
It’s January, and do you have any idea what’s coming to your PlayStation 5 in 2023? Sony’s been pretty quiet so far, but between major accessory launches, the rollout of an HBO show, and some notable exclusivity partnerships, the PlayStation brand has a lot going for it in the coming year. Read on for everything we know is coming from Sony and PlayStation in the next 12 months.
The Last of Us on your TV
Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey star as Joel and Ellie in HBO’s adaptation.
We’re two episodes into HBO’s version of The Last of Us, which is the second entry (after the the Uncharted movie) in Sony’s big push to make film and TV adaptations of its video games with its in-house TV and movie company PlayStation Productions. Over the next two monthsSony and HBO will air seven more episodes that tell a remixed version of Joel and Ellie’s dangerous trek across a fallen United States. PlayStation Productions also has other projects in development, but none are confirmed for 2023. For now, PlayStation fans eager to see TVs and movies based on the games they play will have several weeks of prestige television to look forward to.
Swinging through the city in Spider-Man 2
After starring in their own games, Peter and Miles co-headline Spider-Man 2.
While we don’t know a lot about what Sony’s first-party studios are up to right now, we do know Insomniac is planning to release its Spider-Man sequel on the PlayStation 5 this year. Spider-Man 2 will launch in 2023, though the Ratchet & Clank developer didn’t get any more specific than that in its announcement last year. The follow-up to the 2018 open-world adventure and its 2020 Miles Morales spin-off will allow you to play as both Peter Parker and Miles Morales, while also introducing Venom in an antagonistic role. Peter’s best frenemy will have a new voice though, as he’s been recast.
More exclusive Final Fantasy
For better or worse, Final Fantasy XVI is taking the series in a new direction.
Sony and Square Enix’s deals to keep the Final Fantasy series strongly associated with PlayStation continue in 2023, as Final Fantasy XVI is bringing its dark fantasy twist exclusively to PS5 on June 22. The game follows royal brothers Clive and Joshua Rosfield as they deal with political machinations in the world of Valisthea, which results in the destruction of their home and sends Clive on a quest for revenge through the fantastical land. The game seems to be a final actualization of the series’ shift into an action-RPG series, though it won’t return to Final Fantasy XV’s open-world structure. Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, the first sequel to Final Fantasy VII Remake, is also set to launch on PS5, but we’ll see if it makes its projected release window of “winter 2023.”
Virtual reality, too
PlayStation VR2 is bringing a new generation of VR to consoles, but not without some notable drawbacks.
Arguably the biggest development for Sony and the PlayStation 5 this year is the PlayStation VR2 launch on February 22. The new iteration of PlayStation’s VR headset has a lot of new bells and whistles that makes it look like a notable upgrade from the first headset the company launched in 2016. It’s got dedicated controllers with haptic feedback and adaptive triggers similar to the DualSense (rather than making you use those old, inaccurate PlayStation Move wands), banishes the clutter and wires of the original for a single USB-C cable, and has a 4K resolution OLED display. That being said, the device has some known drawbacks. It’s more expensive than the PlayStation 5 itself, and it can’t play games made for the original PlayStation VR.
All that said, PS VR2 is getting secret 2021 game of the year Before Your Eyes, which cancels out every issue and justifies the $550 price point. But you can also play that on PC and mobile, which would likely be cheaper.
According to the PlayStation Blog the full launch line-up is as follows:
After the Fall (Vertigo Games)
Altair Breaker (Thirdverse)
Before Your Eyes (Skybound Interactive, launch window)
Cities VR (Fast Travel Games)
Cosmonious High (Owlchemy Labs)
Creed: Rise to Glory – Championship Edition (Survios, launch window)
The Dark Pictures: Switchback (Supermassive, launch window)
Demeo (Resolution Games)
Dyschronia: Chronos Alternate (MyDearest Inc., Perp Games)
Fantavision 202X (Cosmo Machia, Inc.)
Gran Turismo 7 (via free update to PS5 version of GT7)
Horizon Call of the Mountain (Firesprite, Guerrilla)
Job Simulator (Owlchemy Labs)
Jurassic World Aftermath (Coatsink)
Kayak VR: Mirage (Better Than Life)
Kizuna AI – Touch the Beat! (Gemdrops, Inc.)
The Last Clockwinder (Pontoco/Cyan Worlds)
The Light Brigade (Funktronic Labs, purchase includes PS VR and PS VR2 versions)
Moss 1 & 2 Remaster (Polyarc)
NFL Pro Era (StatusPro, Inc., free PS VR2 upgrade)
No Man’s Sky (Hello Games, launch window)
Pavlov VR (Vankrupt)
Pistol Whip (Cloudhead, free upgrade)
Puzzling Places (Realities.io, free upgrade)
Resident Evil Village (Capcom, via free update to PS5 version of RE Village)
Rez Infinite (Enhance)
Song in the Smoke (17 Bit)
Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge – Enhanced Edition (ILMxLAB)
Synth Riders (Kluge Interactive, free upgrade)
The Tale of Onogoro (Amata K.K)
Tetris Effect: Connected (Enhance)
Thumper (Drool LLC)
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners: Ch. 2: Retribution (Skydance, launch window)
Vacation Simulator (Owlchemy Labs)
What the Bat (Triband)
Zenith: The Last City (Ramen VR, free upgrade)
Bring me the Horizon
Aloy may not be the center, but Horizon fans have something to look forward to this year.
The PlayStation VR2's biggest launch game (other than aforementioned 2021 game of the year Before Your Eyes) is probably Horizon Call of the Mountain. Unlike the mainline series action-RPGs, the PS VR2 game doesn’t feature Aloy and instead focuses on a new character named Ryas, who will take on the mechanical dinosaurs of the Horizon world through a first-person perspective geared toward VR. It’s still built around a lot of the same ideas, though, including action-based combat, archery, elemental projectiles, and dodging incoming attacks from robotic beasties who want you dead. It’s being co-developed by Firesprite and original Horizon studio Guerrilla Games.
New additions to PlayStation Plus
While it’s been a contentious first year, there are a lot of good games in PlayStation Plus Premium’s catalog.
Sony just launched its new PlayStation Plus tiers last year, and despite some decent offerings, it hasn’t taken off for some folks. The company will be adding new games to its members-only downloadable and streamable game offerings on a monthly basis, and hopefully it’ll find a way to give its pricier tiers more value. Sadly, it seems unlikely that the streaming-only PS3 games will ever be made downloadable, which is especially troublesome for people who live in rural areas with poor internet speeds. But either way, the revamped PlayStation Plus will continue into 2023, and hopefully Sony will do more to make it worth the price.
More PC ports
Returnal is joining the growing list of PlayStation games on PC.
Sony’s initiative to bring more of its games to PC will continue, too. While Sony has a clear preference for launching new games exclusively on PlayStation, some older games like The Last of Us Part I and Returnal will finally come to PC later this year. Even if it’s years after their initial releases, it is nice to see these games becoming available to a wider audience. Hopefully we’ll see some more port announcements as the year goes on.
Maybe some mobile games?
Savage Game Studios is working on mobile games featuring PlayStation’s IP.
Back in August, Sony acquired mobile developer Savage Game Studios to kickstart its mobile games division. This seems to be the beginning of a larger initiative, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we get the first glimpse into what the studio is working on this year. The team is apparently making something based on an established PlayStation brand, and if it goes well, perhaps Sony will lean further into mobile alongside its console and PC offerings.
But what about all the other studios?
It’s been a long time coming, but we should see Naughty Dog’s multiplayer game set in The Last of Us’ world this year.
Insomniac, Firesprite, and Guerrilla are accounted for, but will we see anything else from PlayStation Studios in 2023? It’s not out of the question for Sony to reveal a game and release it in the same year, but taking into account when these teams last put out games, some seem more likely than others. Naughty Dog just launched its The Last of Us Part I remake last year, but that was also part of a collaborative effort between it and Sony support teams. The team has confirmed it will be revealing the long-awaited multiplayer game—which it separated from The Last of Us Part II’s story campaign—in 2023, but it remains to be seen if it will actually launch.
As for other studios, Asobi has been pretty quiet since 2020's Astro’s Playroom was a PS5 pack-in. Bend Studio has been in the news a lot as discussion around its 2019 PS4 game Days Gone and its creative director’s Twitter rants have revealed the studio is working on a new IP rather than a sequel, but the studio still seems a ways away from releasing a new game. Bluepoint Games’ last project was the 2020 Demon’s Souls remake, which was also before it was acquired by Sony in 2021. The studio was mostly known for its work on remasters and ports, but it is now working on an original game. Housemarque’s last project was Returnal, which is coming to PC by way of Climax Studios, though the team did support the game into 2022 with new modes and content.
But what about all the other studios? Part II
We don’t know much about Sony London’s new project beyond concept art shown last year.
After several years of working on VR titles, London Studio announced it’s working on a cooperative multiplayer game that will be set in an alternate-reality London. However, given that the game didn’t even have a name when it was revealed, it seems unlikely we’ll see it this year. Media Molecule’s been on the Dreams train since 2020 and supporting the game-making tool and its community since. Last year, the studio was hiring for developers on a live-service project.
Nixxes Software was acquired in 2021 with the primary goal of bringing PlayStation games to PC. It just launched ports for both of the Spider-Man games in 2022, but doesn’t seem to be involved in the upcoming Returnal or The Last of Us Part I PC ports. So, it’s unclear what the studio is doing right now. Pixelopus has also been dormant for a bit, with its last game being 2019's Concrete Genie. However, the team is working alongside Sony Pictures Animation on its first PS5 project. News of the collaboration came about in 2021, so it doesn’t seem unreasonable that we might at least hear about Pixelopus’ upcoming game in 2023. Polyphony Digital just released Gran Turismo 7 last year, but it is releasing a free update for the racing game to make it compatible with PlayStation VR2. More content seems reasonable, but the studio is likely not revealing any new games anytime soon.
But what about all the other studios? Part III
Sucker Punch hasn’t announced what it’s working on, but has confirmed what it isn’t working on.
Sony’s San Diego Studio is a multiplatform studio now that MLB The Show is available on Xbox and Nintendo platforms. So while it won’t be a PlayStation exclusive, expect an MLB The Show 23 later this year. God of War Ragnarök was one of the biggest games of last year, and was also one of the last big games in 2022, having only launched about two months ago. Sony Santa Monica also doesn’t seem to have plans to make DLC for Ragnarök, so it’s probable the team goes mostly silent in 2023.
Sucker Punch could be a wildcard in 2023, as it’s been about three years since Ghost of Tsushima, but the studio also seems to be working on a sequel to its open-world samurai game rather than a new IP or a sequel to its previous series Infamous and Sly Cooper. The gap between Infamous: Second Son and Ghost of Tsushima was about six years, but if the studio is iterating on old systems, we may hear about the new samurai sequel sooner rather than later. Finally, Valkyrie Entertainment was a more low-key acquisition for Sony, and the team has acted primarily as a support studio as recently as God of War Ragnarök. That being so, the team is likely helping out with other projects that launch in 2023.
Whew, I think that’s everything on the PlayStation radar so far. Has anything got your interest piqued, or are you hoping Sony will announce some more enticing projects in the coming year?
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