PS5’s prestigious Pivot makes innovative games stand out

While Sony shutter of Concrete Genie developer PixelOpus in early May didn’t make headlines like yesterday PlayStation Showcase Notice of 3 . solid metal gear redo did, it still hangs over the PlayStation brand like a dark cloud, even when Sony is showing upcoming games for an hour.

The closure of PixelOpus is the latest in a long series of moves by the brand to position itself as a company that makes blockbuster, prestigious video games. It got to the point where Sony reportedly derailed its studios to work on undiscovered new IP replacement game. It seems like Sony has championed quirky and unique titles like Media Molecule’s. Tear away or Japan Studio’s Gravity Rush.

This is the trajectory PlayStation has taken since the PS4 era. The death of PixelOpus is like another harbinger that a brand that once prided itself on encouraging creative bets is increasingly interested only in pursuing big-budget blockbusters. This PlayStation Showcase is like a reminder that, while there are still plenty of creative, adorable games coming to the PS5, most of them come from studios that seem heavily influenced by a past of innovation. of the PlayStation franchise than the present seems to be obsessed with its prestige and the future.

Sony doubles the number of famous blockbusters

Sony’s big hit game is Marvel’s Spider-Man 2looks great, but focuses heavily on the cinematic action storytelling that has popularized Naughty Dog’s undiscovered. The entire game will be filled with fast-paced, superhero stages, but the gameplay we’ve seen sets the tone for highlighting the direction and setting that has become synonymous with the PlayStation brand. I liked these aspects of Sony’s games, but I also realized that these concepts have been a point of contention for many fans ever since. Our last first exploded in 2013. At first, the feeling that all of Sony’s first-party games felt like they were chasing the pinnacle of Naughty Dog felt overblown to me. But recently, I started to wonder.

Miles Morales is seen gliding through New York.

I’d love to surf around as Spider-Man, but I’d love to see Parappa the Rapper again at some point.
Image: Surprise / Sony

Well, there’s definitely something to be said about how some games—horizonNordic people God of War duology, even some bad franchise attempt alike the day has passed—clearly inspired by Naughty Dog’s post-apocalyptic series. But claiming that they’re all the same when they can’t be conceptually and systemically different has always been like a condensed view of what’s really going on at Sony. That nuance is often lost because, for some, the idea of ​​“scenes as a narrative device” has somehow been claimed by Our lastconsistent with some people’s misconception that, “any game involving a human-like character in a third-person perspective is, in fact, the same.”

But as Sony shifts to focus more on HBO’s realistic visuals and adaptation-ready storytelling, it will leave more ideas on the cutting room floor. And more talent is being pushed out. See the PlayStation Showcase where a first-party lineup that includes only big budgets, prestige-driven efforts, or live-serve games will make a high point of creativity like juggler, SmallPlanet Big, Tokyo jungleand even early The sly cooperative The game feels like relic of a bygone era.

Whatever one claims to make Sony’s first-party output feel uniform, the worrying thing is that Sony now seems to care less about visual art styles, gameplay mechanics, and more. different gameplay and storytelling approaches as the studio tries to turn everything under the PlayStation umbrella into a multimedia universe. Ratchet and Clank is one of the only old-school survivors of what appears to be the removal of games and advertising behind PlayStation’s formerly eclectic first-party catalog.

Atoi is seen riding a pig through a green field.

Tear away and its PS4 remakes feel like they’re from another era of first-party PlayStation.
Image: communication molecule

Sony’s upcoming vehicle has no shortage of sequels to its modern prestige games and Spider-Man 2 and Sony-publishing dead aground 2 maybe it would be great. But it seems their existence is now at the expense of creative, smaller-scale projects like Concrete Genie And Rapper Parappa. Outside of Spider-Man 2many of Sony’s first-party PlayStation Showcase projects show only cinematic trailers without the game, and a few seem to be geared towards multiplayer as well, such as Haven’s Fair Game$ And marathon. Prestige games and live services seem to be the two mainstays of PlayStation Studios right now.

We still get a lot of the old creative spirit in indie games

Meanwhile, much of the old spirit of the company has been captured by the independent studios that Sony has at least spruced up its massive digital stage. Games like Neva, cat questAnd revenue hill stand out next to generic games with generic names. The three years that have passed with the noise of the pandemic all around and the endless “digital rollouts” have only made the growing homogeneity of many big budget games more apparent and made the output comparable. These words become more and more intertwined in our minds. Now, Sony games themselves are falling into that trap.

The Hill of Vengeance actor is seen standing between two pairs of trees.

Games like revenue hill featured in the PlayStation Showcase because it wasn’t another prestigious and direct service game.
Image: Glory Society

Sony wants PlayStation to develop into a megalithic brand that holds all forms of entertainment. It seems to feel that there is no time to go back to its more cheerful history or devote resources to pleasant things it cannot participate in. hugely successful HBO series or live action movies. And while the PlayStation Showcase only has a handful of first-party games to show, I can’t help but feel the company is as utterly lacking in imagination as it once was. The PlayStation 3 era, considered by many to be the “losing” generation of Sony in the home-made console battle against Microsoft’s Xbox 360, was one of its most experimental. Exciting new games keep popping up, and it seems the company is more willing to try new things and make mistakes. Now, Sony’s output always feels so carefully curated and informed to do wonders.

This is not a Sony problem alone, as nearly every major brand in the entertainment sector has become more and more fearful of perceived failures, to the point where any deviation from the mission statement has been made. public mandates must be dropped or eliminated. Sony said it hope to have half of the production being new IP by 2025, and I just hope that whatever game the company shows us in the coming years will be able to reclaim some of the old magic. But since Sony also seems to want live-serve games to be a sizable part of its supposed renaissance, I won’t hold my breath.


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