PlayStation Showcase 2023 – What To Expect And What We Hope To See

Let's ponder some PlayStation predictions.

It’s been a while since we’ve had good cause to be overly excited and maybe even a little wishful when it comes to an impending PlayStation presentation. Sure, the odd State of Play here or there usually brings a degree of buzz but the promise of more than an hour of content and the implications of a lot of what the platform might have in store in the future means that tomorrow’s PlayStation Showcase has the opportunity to break the internet – or our hearts.

With that in mind, let’s talk about what’s likely going to happen this Thursday at the ripe time of 6AM AEST (see all the local times here) and set some expectations. And then, for the hell of it, let’s get those expectations all out of order with some good ol’ fashioned speculation and stargazing. Shall we?

WHAT WE’RE LIKELY TO SEE

It’s pretty easy to make some broad-strokes predictions about games that’ll feature in the showcase, given there are still a heap of titles that have cropped up in previous PlayStation (and non-PlayStation) live streams that we’re still waiting to see more of.

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 has to be an absolute shoo-in at this stage, given we’ve seen just about nothing since it was announced in 2021 and we’re all expecting a September release window for the game. Insomniac’s other Marvel title, Wolverine, is perhaps a little less likely but since it was revealed at the same time as its arachnid-flavoured sibling I wouldn’t be at all surprised at another quick tease for the game.

Looking back at prior PlayStation events, Rise of the Ronin is a good chance at making an appearance here. Team Ninja’s combat focused open-world RPG set in Japan is sure to be an exciting one for fans of the likes of Nioh and Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, with maybe a sprinkling of Ghost of Tsushima in the mix. Likewise, Stellar Blade is a game that’s made regular showings for PlayStation so I’d assume it’ll return and maybe with a release date in tow.

Tekken 8 makes a lot of sense for similar reasons, having first been revealed at the September 2023 State of Play. The folks at Bandai Namco have been plugging it a lot of late so we’re due a release date for sure. The same State of Play gave us the reveal of Like a Dragon: Ishin, which was subsequently shown off again in concert with Tokyo Game Show where it was also revealed that we’re getting Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name and Like a Dragon 8 in the future – at least one of these is bound to be highlighted.

Something we saw almost exactly a year ago, not during a PlayStation showcase, but at the Summer Game Fest live event, was a new piece of concept art for the untitled The Last of Us multiplayer game. I’d be gobsmacked if we don’t hear more about this game at the PlayStation Showcase, or at the least at next month’s SGF opening night. The people want to know, Druckmann!

Meanwhile, over at The Game Awards last year, Death Stranding 2 was announced. It’s not a first-party title, but there’s obviously a heavy enough involvement with PlayStation here that it’s almost guaranteed to show up at the showcase. Perhaps we’ll finally get to see what Kojima has been cooking up in that inscrutable mind of his when it comes to gameplay this time around. Perhaps we’ll come away knowing even less than we did going in. Such is the nature of anything that man does.

Another incredibly PlayStation-adjacent title, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, would be an easy guess for the event. We’re due to hear more about the game since learning that it was targeting a release for late this year/early next year, and with Final Fantasy XVI having just had its own dedicated PlayStation State of Play showcase as well as releasing in less than a month, it’s a good time to be a Final Fantasy game on PlayStation.

WHAT WE’D LOVE TO SEE MORE OF

As far as still-somewhat-educated guesses that are a solid maybe go, Silent Hill 2 is an instant consideration. It’s a PS5 console exclusive, after all. What I’m more interested in though, are the other upcoming series projects like Silent Hill f and Silent Hill: Townfall. It’d be great to see a medley of Hill stuff show up somewhere in the hour-long presentation.

Kingdom Hearts 4. There are only so many times I can watch that initial reveal trailer and I need more. The last game wasn’t PlayStation exclusive, and the series has had a pretty broad approach to platforms, but this one feels ripe for a showing at a Sony event. I don’t know. I’m just impatient, maybe.

In other weeb dreams, I’m really hoping we learn more about Granblue Fantasy: Relink, given it’s been a long time coming. Same with Lost Soul Aside, which got a bit of a re-reveal late last year but should hopefully be eyeing up a release soon enough. A PlayStation launch date or even a cheeky shadow drop for Honkai Star Rail wouldn’t go astray either, with that game going off its chops on PC and mobile at the moment.

Another couple of State of Play graduates come in the form of Pacific Drive, the surreal sci-fi drive-to-survive game that looks equal parts engrossing and anxiety-inducing, and Synduality, the anime action RPG/third-person shooter from Bandai Namco. The odds of these showing up largely depends on how much really big stuff PlayStation has to cram into their showcase, so these wouldn’t be surprising but they’re also a little lower on the list.

Quantic Dream has a good history with PlayStation, so their upcoming choice-based narrative tie-in, Star Wars: Eclipse, seems like a good shot at finally being shown off at this PlayStation Showcase. It’s only recently that I even remembered this game was happening, but now I have aspirations that we’ll get to see what QD is cooking up for the mammoth franchise. You could say I have new hope, even.

We know we’re definitely going to be seeing a bit of PlayStation VR2 stuff as well. The most recent State of Play saw the announcement of Foglands, Green Hell, Synapse and Journey to Foundation, but it’d be great to see some heavier hitters for PS VR2 early adopters and current fence-sitters to get excited about. Half-Life: Alyx, perhaps? Or some more Horizon Call of the Mountain-style offshoots of the bigger first-party stuff?

There’s also a ton of other third-party content that could potentially make an appearance at a PlayStation-led presentation, but with Summer Game Fest fast approaching it’s all a little uncertain. Most other major publishers are either going to be spruiking their wares at their own showcases or have a track record with Keighley and his shindigs, so I don’t think we’ll see the likes of Armored Core 6 show up tomorrow, but never say never.

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I did go back and forth on whether I think the rumoured Metal Gear Solid 3 is within the realms of actual possibility or a bit of a pipe dream, but ultimately the wider consensus has won out and I reckon we might just see it. Word on the street is this remake may not be a PlayStation exclusive, if it does indeed exist at all, so it’s hard to say where it would show up first but let’s just pencil it in here and hope for the best.

Finally as far as stuff Sony’s probably going to talk about, I’ve no doubt we’ll be seeing a heap of live service stuff. It’s got at least 10 titles in development, apparently, so chances are a bunch are announced during this showcase. There’s obviously the chance that they’ll encompass the likes of the new Last of Us or Horizon multiplayer games, but I’m also keen to see what Jade Raymond’s studio, Haven is up to, and whether Bungie has anything brand new geared up specifically for PlayStation or if the bulk of their work is assisting on all of the other ventures.

MISSING IN ACTION

These are the games that have featured in past showcases and since seemingly disappeared off the face of the planet, or at least gone radio silent enough that we nearly forgot they were a thing.

Like, where is Little Devil Inside? This one was a regular guest at PlayStation showcases until its latest appearance in the back half of 2021, then it seemingly found itself delayed with no real end date in sight. Whatever’s going on, it’s one I’ve been pretty keen for the whole time so I really hope there’s an update primed for this week.

Or how about that remake of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic? Another State of Play reveal that’s seemingly fallen off the face of the Earth. Murmurs around the traps seem to suggest this one’s in a spot of trouble, but I’m sure many of us would be happy to see it come back into good stead and deliver something worthy of the beloved original.

Remember how Capcom has an action-adventure game set on the moon due to launch this year? It’s okay if you don’t. Revealed at the same event where Sony first showed the world the PlayStation 5 itself, the game’s been pretty quiet since. If it’s going to represent as big an IP as Capcom seemed to want it to early on, it’s probably going to need to shuffle its way back into the spotlight sooner rather than later.

WISHLIST

These games we could potentially see, but definitely aren’t a total lock just yet and in some cases we aren’t even totally sure exist.

An obvious example of this is whatever the folks at Sucker Punch have cooking. We haven’t had official confirmation that the studio is sticking with Ghost of Tsushima for the foreseeable future (outside of the odd job listing hinting as much), but with a film adaptation in the works it would make sense for them to keep at it. Bend Studio has also been pretty silent, mostly since it parted ways with John Garvin post-Twitter-ranting, but we know it’s working on a new open-world IP so it’d be great to get an idea of what’s cooking over there.

Speaking of adaptations, a new Twisted Metal game seems like an easy punt with a TV series on the way, potentially with involvement from Firesprite. I miss the days of a glut of vehicular combat games so I’d welcome this for sure.

Continuing down the line of “What is that PlayStation Studios studio doing?” there are also big question marks hanging over the likes of Bluepoint, Housemarque and a few others. I’m not sure we’ll come out of the back of this showcase with a list of what every horse in PlayStation’s stable is up to, but one or two can’t hurt. When’s our mate Astro Bot getting their time to shine again? Even some of the more ubiquitous Sony studios are shrouded in mystery. Will we see that multiplayer Horizon game, for example? When do we get a first peek at Naughty Dog’s next big venture? What the hell is Cory Barlog up to now? These are the things I ponder over my morning Sultana Bran.

Just recently we caught a sniff of a hint that Grand Theft Auto 6 might be closer than we think, thanks to Take-Two suggesting it’ll be pissing and shitting cash by the time we’re all tearing off the last hunk from our 2024 firefighter calendars. PlayStation’s had its romantic trifles with recent GTA releases so it’d be as good a place as any to finally drop that first reveal.

There’s also the matter of that Final Fantasy IX remake that was part of that huge NVIDIA leak some time ago, an overwhelming percentage of which turned out to be real in the end. We know for certain an animated series is on the way, so I’ve got some small glimmer of hope that Square Enix still has another remake up its sleeve. And who better to premiere it than the the folks behind the console the game originally launched on?

Lastly, let’s talk hardware. Yes, we all want to see that rumoured updated PS5 model with a detachable disc drive. Yes, we all want to know if a “PS5 Pro” is coming. But what of the codenamed “Q-Lite” streaming handheld? Or a bolstering of Sony’s streaming offering in general? With a heap of buzz around Xbox’s place in the cloud gaming market of late, it’s probably time that PlayStation got serious about it, too. The time is riper than every single banana I’ve bought at the supermarket this year and subsequently forgotten to eat, so show us a handheld if you’ve got one, and tell us what streaming PlayStation games is going to look like in the future (and when it’s going to be even remotely possible here in some regions *ahem*).

WISHING-UPON-A-STAR LIST

I popped this last category in just because we simply can’t talk PlayStation hypotheticals without mentioning Ape Escape. Even if Shannon weren’t here to violently enforce Ape Escape talk at Press Start, it’s the kind of announcement that would make me go absolutely apeshit bananas. If not a brand-new core title then surely some kind of VR game, or even proper remasters of the fantastic PS2 entries. We’re not that fussy.

Also something new from Fumito Ueda, please.