The latest PlayStation Showcase is coming this week, on Thursday, September 9, to discuss the future of PS5. More specifically, expect new information on upcoming PS5 games, given that Sony has preemptively ruled out showcasing anything VR-related, as it looks at what's in store for its flagship console.
Having skipped E3 and Gamescom this year, Sony has (we hope) plenty to show off this week – telling us to expect "updates from PlayStation Studios and some of the industry’s most imaginative developers, for games releasing this holiday and beyond", during an event set to run for around 40 minutes.
After that, Sony encourages viewers to "stick around after the presentation to get more updates from some of the studio teams featured in the Showcase".
All of which begs the question: what can we expect from this week's PS5 Showcase? From God of War Ragnarok to Horizon Forbidden West, Gran Turismo 7 to Elden Ring, Ghostwire Tokyo to Final Fantasy 16 – here are some of the games we might see come 1PM PDT / 4PM EDT / 9PM BST on Thursday.
God of War Ragnarok
At the beginning of June, Sony Santa Monica announced its much-anticipated God of War follow-up, God of War Ragnarok, had slipped to 2022 – at the same time revealing it'll feature on both PS4 and PS5. We don't know a whole lot more beyond that at this point, besides a teaser trailer which teased very little, which means we can probably expect something in the way of gameplay footage this week, and, perhaps, a solid launch date.
Let's keep things spoiler-free here, but 2018's God of War finished on some pretty big story revelations, which will surely have an impact on its sequel, narratively and thematically. Anything story-led from the PS5 Showcase would be nice, but I'll be content with moving pictures of any variety.
Horizon Forbidden West
Another of Sony's first-party big hitters to have been postponed from this year to next. As revealed at Gamescom 2021, though, Horizon Forbidden West now has a launch date – February 18, 2022 – when it'll land exclusively on PS5 and PS4.
We've already seen some of the new gadgets and contraptions Aloy will get to grips with while traversing new locations, such as a post-apocalyptic San Francisco, Golden Gate Bridge and all, so expect more footage showing off yet more steampunk devices, ruthless combat maneuvers, and maybe a bit more on Forbidden West's narrative leanings.
So far, we know six months have elapsed since Horizon Zero Dawn, and that Aloy has traveled westward (hey, it's in the title!) to find a cure for the Red Blight. More on the next stage of her biosphere-saving plan would be wonderful.
Gran Turismo 7
We know that Gran Turismo 7 also won't cross the development finish line until sometime in 2022, and that when it does it'll park up on PS4 and PS5. But besides the three-and-a-half minute-long reveal trailer at Sony's PS5 Future of Gaming event in June, 2020, we've not seen all that much of the aesthetically-pleasing racer since.
As we pointed out ahead of E3 2021, the genre may not have the same broad appeal as some of PlayStation's other franchises, but it does have a dedicated fanbase excitedly awaiting a glimpse under the hood – as well as PS5 owners equally keen to see their machines pushed to their limits. Is 8K support even possible? I'd certainly love Sony to show me so, as I sulk opposite my 16-times less impressive HD telly resolution.
Naughty Dog has of course been quiet for a while, and while we suspect that the studio is working on a standalone multiplayer spin-off for The Last of Us 2, we're yet to see anything in the way of footage. The multiplayer is expected to be a spiritual successor to the Factions PvP mode of the first game, so more on how it will pull on Part 2's world and characters would be nice – not to mention how it'll fold cinematics into a game unlikely to be primarily story-led.
Naughty Dog is also rumoured to be working on a fully-fledged PS5 remake of The Last of Us, while Neil Druckmann said the studio has "several cool things we can't wait to share with you" earlier this year. Uncharted 5, then? Who knows.
Elden Ring – the upcoming dark fantasy RPG from Dark Souls developer FromSoftware – has emerged from the shadows this year and there's still plenty more to see. With its January 21, 2022 launch date looming, and the fact that select members of the press were made privy to 16 minutes of unseen in-game footage recently, there's a chance it might raise its head this week.
If it does, expect more information on its bonfire-replacing 'Lost Grace' checkpoint system, its hub world, the game's spirit steed mount which can be used to traverse its world map and likewise ridden into battle, its enemies and bosses, and the spirit summons you can call upon to help you out in the heat of combat. Which is exactly what we want from this game, right?
Death Stranding: Director's Cut
A Death Stranding 2 announcement isn't beyond the realms of possibility, but, given the action-postman game's Director's Cut is due to arrive at the end of this month (September 24, 2021), a closer pre-launch look at that might be more likely.
As outlined at Gamescom's Opening Night Live showcase, Death Stranding's Director's Cut is, in essence, a PS5 upgrade which includes new story missions, delivery methods and training missions, to name but a few of its polished nips and tucks, so we might see more on those. Norman Reedus, whose likeness is portrayed by game protagonist Sam Porter Bridges, did cop to the fact a full Death Stranding sequel "in negotiations" recently, though, so maybe this week's the right time to pull the trigger.
Final Fantasy 16
We don't have a concrete release date for Final Fantasy 16 as yet, but we do know it'll be a PlayStation console exclusive. First revealed at the PS5 showcase around this time last year, we've since been drip-fed nuggets of information on its sprawling world, whimsical characters and epic story – which naturally involves civil war, actual war, deception, and self-discovery. All the hits, all the classics. We've seen one trailer already, but I reckon it's time for another.
And speaking of Final Fantasy classics, we still don't have a solid launch date for part two of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake. The remake's PS5 upgrade, Intergrade, looks better thanks to very technical improvements – let's see these applied to the next leg of Cloud et al's reimagined journey, please and thank you.
Given it's unclear if Spider-Man 2 is even being developed presently, it's unlikely we'll see anything Peter Parker or Miles Morales-shaped at the PS5 Showcase this week, but who am I to dash your web-slung hopes?
What's less of a long shot on Thursday is another look at GhostWire: Tokyo – the upcoming action-adventure game from Bethesda and The Evil Within devs Tango Gameworks – which is said to be spooky, but a step away from the dev's classic survival horror roots.
A new Infamous game could also be revealed this week, according to a rumour from a leaker with form when it comes to series developer Sucker Punch.
Away from the headliners, expect some form of showing from indie games such as BlueTwelve's Stray, Ember Lab's Kena: Bridge of Spirits, and, maybe, Neostream Interactive's Little Devil Inside.
And, despite billing itself as "fully independent" amid PlayStation acquisition rumours earlier this year, there's every chance Bluepoint Games will show us what they're up to in the wake of their wonderful Demon's Souls remake, which was, of course, a PS5 launch title last year.
A remake of 1998's PSOne classic Metal Gear Solid, perchance? Come on, now you're just being silly.
Sony's PS5 PlayStation Showcase will air on September 9 at 1PM PDT / 4PM EDT / 9PM BST.