September 25, 2021

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DF Direct tackles the Sony Showcase and PS5 cross-gen upgrade pricing

Two DF Directs in one week? Our filming slot for the weekly show is Thursday morning, but we went into this one knowing that Sony’s PlayStation 5 Showcase would be kicking off 12 hours later, but as we had so much material to work with, we went ahead with our normal weekly show and added in a Direct special to cover off the Sony event – and let’s start by taking a look at the PlayStation 5 showcase, where beyond the reveal of some exciting new PS5 titles, the emphasis really was on cross-generational fare from both first and third-party studios.

I described it as a game of two halves – an assortment of third party trailers followed by a procession of first-party wares. This was essentially Sony’s E3 2021, pushed back a couple of months and presented as an online show. Unfortunately, a procession of trailers and CG visualisations presented in sequence doesn’t quite cut it. Publishers and platform holders seem to think that a procession of imagery for successive titles running one after the other works, but it doesn’t really. There’s no vision, no context, no exploration of the interactive element. There’s a lot of ‘what’ – what the game is essentially – but no ‘why’ or ‘how’. Instead, we get a sequence of curated imagery that rarely managed to leave a lasting impression.

The new Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic got a CG trailer, but even with the after-show interviews, we’re still wondering what the vision for the remake actually is. GTA5’s delay was announced, but a trailer apparently telling us we’re getting an improved experience didn’t tell us or show us how it’s actually better. Forspoken is looking very, very interesting – and did stand out, particularly as it seems to be based on Square-Enix’s under-utilised Luminous Engine and maybe that’s enough for now, but I’d love to know more about the game. Project Eve? Throwback hyper-sexualised main character apart, the imagery was impressive and solidifies UE4 as a major player of the generation. The barrage of trailers was such that when something fresh and interesting comes along, it amplifies attention: Tchia: A Game Inspired by New Caledonia was a highlight.

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