Update, June 1: In the wake of mass American protests over the weekend, and social media being used to broadcast on-the-ground reports of their events, Sony has chosen to indefinitely delay its reveal of major PlayStation 5 games that was originally set for June 4.
“While we understand gamers worldwide are excited to see PS5 games, we do not feel that right now is a time for celebration,” the official PlayStation Twitter account posted on Monday. “For now, we want to stand back and allow more important voices to be heard.”
As of press time, Sony Interactive Entertainment hasn’t announced a replacement date or time for the event.
This follows a Sunday post by PlayStation’s corporate parent Sony boosting the signal of protesters, legal advocates, and fundraisers, all allied with the Black Lives Matter movement. That same account took the unusual corporate step of responding to apparent social media trolls, particularly a repudiation of “all lives matter” rhetoric: “If you can’t say ‘black lives matter,’ you’re not being inclusive.”
Sony’s painfully slow drip of PlayStation 5 information may finally open wide next week. The game publisher has scheduled a livestreaming event for Thursday, June 4 that will give fans their first peek at PlayStation 5’s upcoming game library.
A blog post from Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan confirmed that the event will include “a first look at the games you’ll be playing after PlayStation 5 launches this holiday.” Ryan told fans to expect this video presentation to last “a bit more than an hour.”
Even before this June 4 presentation begins at 4pm ET, we have a major question: Will we see any first-party games, the ones that will likely be PlayStation 5 exclusives for some time? Ryan’s blog post didn’t clarify. His description of participating game developers was vague: “The games coming to PS5 represent the best in the industry from innovative studios that span the globe. Studios, both larger and smaller, those newer and those more established, all have been hard at work developing games that will showcase the potential of the hardware.” Sony representatives did not immediately answer our questions about first-party software.
Either way, Sony has been careful to hold back PlayStation 5 software reveals thus far, and we wonder how next week’s major reveal will compare to Microsoft’s own “first look at Xbox Series X games” event went earlier in May. That event revolved around third-party games, many of which were not only newly revealed but almost entirely unanticipated. The Xbox event’s exception, a teased look at Assassin’s Creed Valhalla “gameplay,” wound up looking very little like a playable game.
Not expecting price just yet
Sony’s announcement post acknowledged PlayStation 5’s drip-feed of information thus far, pointing out, “What is a launch without games?” So far, we’ve gotten a look at the console’s new controller, a “deep dive” on the system architecture that included some (but not all) of the system’s tech specs, and a weird CES keynote moment that revealed the console’s logo and nothing else. And Jim Ryan was careful to emphasize that, “rest assured, after next week’s showcase, we will still have much to share with you.” (Our translation: Fans will still have to wait to see the console’s design, price, and release date.)
Whether or not first-party software shows up for the hour-plus event on Thursday, consider this the beginning of a big guessing game. Which third-party game studios will join Sony on their virtual stage, with announcements they’d previously scheduled for the now-canceled E3? Which crazy rumors up until now will come true? What kind of surprises should we expect? And what games will be saved for later, or for other companies’ major streaming-only events, through the rest of the summer (particularly Xbox’s own first-party-focused presentation, which is currently slated for July)?
We’ve only seen a few first-party teases thus far. Sony’s own proclamations about solid state drives previously used the PS4 build of Marvel’s Spider-man to make their point, which seems like a not-so-subtle hint of next-gen Spider-man gaming to come. An advertisement about a racing wheel product earlier this month mentioned an unannounced Gran Turismo 7, which the wheel manufacturer backpedaled on (but didn’t deny that the game may exist).