Today was the first episode of the PlayStation State of Play live stream broadcast, a new way that PlayStation is tackling announcements for games. It’s a mirror of Nintendo Directs and Inside Xbox, both broadcasts that highlight those platforms and collect a few of each respective platform’s announcements into one place. Not much was known about State of Play other than that it seems to be the future of PlayStation announcements, much like we’ve seen with Nintendo’s shift to focusing on Directs. That didn’t stop us from speculating though!
Now that the first State of Play has come and gone, we’re taking a fine-toothed comb to the show in order to talk about each of the announcements. I’m not going to be judging the entire show itself (our own Lucas White will be writing up his take on things soon), so today’s Daily Reaction doesn’t take into account the length of the broadcast or the format of the reveals, but I will be taking a look at each individual PlayStation State of Play announcement that was part of the show.
Marvel’s Iron Man VR
The show began with an announcement for Marvel’s Iron Man VR. VR is the perfect platform for an Iron Man game, but the trailer didn’t really wow me all that much. Aside from the Iron Man coat of paint, the gameplay shown struck me as a really generic flight sim/combat game. I hope there’s more to it than just flying around in blue-sky environments amongst fluffy white clouds shooting down robot enemies. Batman Arkham VR did a great job at stepping into the mask of a DC superhero back at the PSVR’s launch, so there’s a lot to be expected from a Marvel superhero game releasing years later. It has to really step into the experience of being Iron Man.
This is a huge get for Sony though, especially with Avengers: Endgame right around the corner. People have Marvel fever right now, and the ability to be Iron Man in VR is sure to sell headsets in the coming holiday season.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled Gets Crash Nitro Kart Content
Next up, more content was announced for Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled in the form of Crash Nitro Kart tracks and battle modes, which is pretty exciting even if it was expected. The previous Activision remaster/remakes have all included more than just a single game, so it would have been more surprising if Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled was only CTR content. CTR Nitro-Fueled is shaping up to be another amazing release as Activision digs into that back catalog of beloved franchises.
New PlayStation exclusive content was also revealed, being retro-inspired karts and character models, as well as PS stickers that people can deck out their karts with. While I’m usually against platform exclusive content for a game, this one is a nice callback to where Crash Team Racing originally called home.
No Man’s Sky VR
Hello Games has been teasing out a pretty massive update coming to No Man’s Sky called No Man’s Sky Beyond. One part of that update will include full PSVR compatibility for the game. Honestly, I’m ridiculously excited about the possibilities with this one. No Man’s Sky was already a game that was just asking to be in VR, but, and perhaps understandably, the small team at Hello Games wasn’t going to make it happen at launch.
No Man’s Sky has been getting a lot better over the years with tons of free updates changing it into the game fans have wanted and were promised, and adding VR support is just icing on the cake of this space fantasy.
A new party game that combines dungeon crawling with brawling, games like this usually don’t catch my attention personally, but this one seems like it could have a bunch of charm. The characters look interesting and varied, and the environments each pop with unique themes such as what appears to be a giant snail race. ReadySet Heroes may not have been the standout announcement of the show, but it will be on to keep an eye on if you like couch co-op games.
Blood & Truth Release Date
It’s about time! I’ve been waiting for this one for a while. A full game coming from the concept of The London Heist, a short but incredible demo experience that still holds up today? Count me all in. We’ll finally be able to step into this VR noir action thriller on May 28, and after having played it back at PSX 2017, I am definitely ready. The story trailer also gives a great additional look at some new content and spaces we’ll visit in the full game.
PlayStation VR’s Next Wave of Titles
PSVR is still going strong, and if a bunch of those bigger announcements aren’t enough to convince you, how about this sizzle reel of upcoming titles? While many of these titles may not have earned a whole segment of their own, it still shows a list of great content heading to the platform by summer, and I particularly can’t wait for Trover Saves the Universe. Even if you aren’t a big fan of PSVR, you have to give Sony credit for actually supporting a platform/peripheral in a big way. I personally love PSVR, and seeing this lineup gets me stoked for the future of virtual reality content.
Observation Lets You Be the Space Station on PS4
We’ve played as a lot of things in games before, but have you ever actually been a space station? Observation lets players step into the role of SAM, an artificial intelligence aboard a space station, in order to figure out the mysteries of what happened in the cold loneliness. In terms of sci-fi thrillers that border on existential horror, Observation really has my interest. There are a few ambient space games out there (ADR1FT immediately comes to mind), but this one seems to have a really unique approach to the classic.
While the game was announced last year, this announcement is for a PS4 release date of May 21, 2019, which is coming up pretty soon (and it’s not a VR game, for everyone looking for PS4 games proper from this show!).
Five Nights at Freddy’s VR Coming to PSVR
Five Nights at Freddy’s is a game I’ve never actually experienced myself. I’ve seen bits and pieces of it in the memes and YouTube popularity. I suppose it was only a matter of time before the game ended up on PlayStation, and a VR announcement at that? It’s clear that Sony really wants to move PSVR units if they are putting a name of this kind of popularity on the platform. I doubt it’s something I will get myself, but it really opens PSVR to a whole audience of people who might want to experience the popular horror game up close and personal. I’m still not entirely clear whether Five Nights at Freddy’s is supposed to be a meme or an actual game, but I guess the YouTube generation has a whole new way to watch this game now. (inserting crotchety old man “get off my lawn” here.)
Concrete Genie VR Mode and Fall 2019 Release Date
Concrete Genie is another game I have been really excited for, and seeing continued coverage of it has me pretty excited. I’ve had the opportunity to play it, and was amazed at how smooth the creative brushstrokes of this game felt. Having a confirmed VR mode and now a release window really just gets me even more excited. Hopefully the VR mode is more than just a simple tiny little add-on feature.
Days Gone Update
Yay? I mean, don’t get me wrong. I’m excited for Days Gone, but we’ve just heard so much about it, and this really didn’t give us much new to go on. Seemed more like a marketing move to say “hey! Remember this exists and is coming soon!” for the people that haven’t been inundated with news about it for the last little while. For the rest of us, this was a non-entry in Sony’s short broadcast.
Mortal Kombat 11 Character Reveals
We’ve been inundated with so much Mortal Kombat 11 news recently (seriously, we’ve had seven news stories on it in seven days), that it would have been more surprising if it somehow didn’t show up in the State of Play broadcast. Three “new” classic characters were announced for the roster, as well as showcasing a really fun new story trailer showing the older generation of heroes fighting their younger selves. I’m excited for Mortal Kombat 11, so I enjoyed watching this one, but it felt like kind of a weird note to end on when NetherRealm has already been really vocal about this game in recent weeks.
Overall I felt like the PlayStation State of Play broadcast achieved its goals, announcing some new things, showing off some new things, and giving us a peek at game that might not otherwise often get the spotlight. It’s rapid pace meant it wouldn’t drag on, and while much of this episode may have focused on PSVR, it gave us a pretty good idea for how future episodes might be structured.
No, it wasn’t an E3 level broadcast, but it certainly held more announcements and reveals than your typical video game news day, which kept things exciting and fun, as well as putting games on display that would usually either not be covered or get swept up in the rest of the news on that day. I’m eager to see where they take State of Play in the future.
Daily Reaction reacts daily to news from the video game industry. Have suggestions for the column or subjects you’d like us to react to? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to check out previous Daily Reactions for more dives beyond the headlines.