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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

The PlayStation Showcase Was Great… For Xbox

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Last week’s PlayStation Showcase had a ton of exciting reveals. A remake of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, new details on Assassin’s Creed Mirage, another killer glimpse at Alan Wake 2… But there was also one glaring flaw a lot of people have since pointed out: There weren't a whole lot of PlayStation exclusives on show, and that is great news for Xbox.

Another Gran Turismo movie trailer, PlayStation earbuds, and CGI concepts for many of the new PlayStation exclusives meant fans were left underwhelmed. Worse, some of those CGI concepts didn’t even do a good job of teasing what you can expect from the full game. Sorry FairGame$, but what is this game exactly?

A total of 4 PlayStation Studios were present at the showcase.

3 out of those 4 had CGI trailers for live service games with 0 gameplay and the last studio showed gameplay for a game that was announced in September of 2021. That's after 1.5 years of waiting.

Wtf Sony.

— MBG (@xMBGx) May 25, 2023

There’s always a lot of hype ahead of a showcase and while PlayStation usually does a good job of at least attempting to manage expectations, this seemed a little different. The PlayStation blog promised “A wealth of new games and new IP are headed to PS5 and PS VR2,” and the switch from the usual State of Play to a full-blown Showcase meant it felt like we were back in E3 territory, even though it’s long gone.

There weren't a whole lot of PlayStation-exclusive games on display. And that is great news for Xbox.

Back in 2021 a hyped-up Showcase revealed the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Remake, Wolverine, Marvel's Spider-Man 2, and God of War Ragnarok. That’s a killer line-up, so understandably there was an expectation from fans that we might get another look at a Wolverine tease, or that the coveted Bloodborne 2 announcement would actually happen. What was actually shown didn’t do that much for most. Metal Gear Solid Delta, a game some thought would be PlayStation exclusive, has me tremendously excited, but it turns out I’ll be able to play that on Xbox or PC.

If the Xbox Showcase has a lot of gameplay and some good exclusives than it is going to be a MEGA dunk on Sony.

Rewatched some of the PlayStation Showcase this morning and it is just bizarre how it is all CGI with little details.

— DreamcastGuy (@DreamcastGuy) May 25, 2023

One unexpected result of the PlayStation showcase was that it gave the Xbox social team an easy win after it posted a graphic containing 12 games from the PlayStation showcase that would also be available on Xbox. Apart from the first-party developed Spider-Man 2, Final Fantasy XVI — a bought third-party exclusive — and a handful of PSVR 2 games, there was little in the way of first-party games to get hyped about as a PlayStation fan. The showcase spoke to Xbox fans as much as it did PS5 players, which I’m sure Sony was hoping wouldn’t be the case.

The #PlayStationShowcase was a 'D' grade from a Shinobi602 perspective.

While games like Spider-Man 2, Alan Wake 2 & Dragon's Dogma 2 look great & I'm excited for MGS3, we still have no real picture of PS first party studios' future lineup. CG trailers don't sell me on anything.

— Shinobi602 (@shinobi602) May 24, 2023

This sets up Xbox to steal the limelight when it airs its own showcase on June 11th. We already know Bethesda’s Starfield will have its own dedicated showing, Forza Motorsport will make an appearance, but if other much-anticipated games are there too – I’m talking Avowed, Hellblade 2, Fable, and more, then it could be an injection of excitement for Xbox in addition to the hype the PlayStation showcase has also generated.

Phil Spencer may have already teased that the hotly-anticipated Avowed could make an appearance, saying he's played "good builds of Avowed" during the Kinda Funny X-Cast show. “I’m very enthusiastic about Showcase,” he explained. “We’re going to announce some things that people haven’t seen, some new games, [and] we’re going to give updates to some of the things that were on your list,” Spencer commented, when asked if we can expect updates on Avowed, Perfect Dark, Everwild, Fable, State of Decay 3, and Contraband.

What a good looking group 😎 pic.twitter.com/eDZo8vTXtB

— Xbox (@Xbox) May 24, 2023

Historically, PlayStation plays things pretty close to its chest and in this instance I think it's to its detriment. There's no clear picture about what to expect beyond 2023, and that's a pretty big problem for some fans. We know it has Spider-Man 2 and Wolverine, and the Gran Turismo movie is on the way too, but I don't think anyone walked away feeling overly hyped about the rollout beyond 2023.

This has setup Xbox to have a shot at an easy win during the Xbox Showcase that airs on June 11th, if they can capitalize on this opportunity.

Inversely, Xbox has so much that has been in development for years, I have to imagine it’s set-up for a massive W here. It could knock it out of the park even further if we get a teaser for say Gears 6, or InXile’s RPG FPS, big third party games hitting Game Pass day 1, or dare I say it, a first look at Indiana Jones. But let’s not get too excited because ultimately that’s what leads to the kind of disappointment many had after PlayStation’s showing.

Come on Xbox, it’s your time to shine. Let’s see what you’ve got.

Destin Legarie is a Director of Content Strategy at IGN. He likes taking bird photos in his spare time when he's not doing Performance Reviews for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter if you want.

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