Sony’s PlayStation Showcase kicked off the Summer public relations season for video games, with a ton of new games revealed. And it’s only the beginning, as over the next few weeks there are a number of major events, headlined by Summer Games Fest June 8. Let’s look at the first wave of announcements from this past week, as well as the nominees for the biggest award in board games.
Sony’s PlayStation Showcase
With summer video game PR season starting, Sony kicked things off with their PlayStation Showcase. We looked at all the game trailers from the event, but also wanted to dive a bit deeper into some of the announcements.
Sony’s Project Q
Sony announced a new handheld device that can stream PlayStation 5 games over WiFi that had many questioning why? The device has an LED screen between two halves of a PlayStation controller which feels like a meme. Requiring at least a 5 Mbps WiFi connection (15 Mbps for “a better play experience”), the device seems impractical without any kind of cellular service. Factor in that Project Q has only 3-4 hours of battery life, half that of Nintendo Switch. This was the first announcement of the device, so it has time to grow into something more useful. GamesIndustry.biz has a nice breakdown on the questions surrounding the new handheld.
Bungie’s latest game, Marathon, is actually a remake of a 1994 Macintosh game the company created. The original, like many of Bungie’s games, was highly influential in modern gaming.
However, the Marathon trailer was more than just a promotion for the game. Bungie hid puzzles in the trailer that once solved unlocked a video documentary on the game.
You can read more about the puzzle on IGN.
Alan Wake 2
The highly-anticipated sequel to Alan Wake was announced at the PlayStation Showcase, and is planned to release on October 17. However, you won’t find a copy at your local GameStop, as Alan Wake 2 is digital download only. Remedy, publisher of the game explains why in their FAQ:
There are many reasons for this. For one, a large number of [games] have shifted to digital only. You can buy a Sony PlayStation 5 without a disc drive and Microsoft’s Xbox Series S is a digital only console. It is not uncommon to release modern games as digital-only.
Secondly, not releasing a disc helps keep the price of the game at $59.99 / €59.99 and the PC version at $49.99 / €49.99.
Finally, we did not want to ship a disc product and have it require a download for the game — we do not think this would make for a great experience either.
Alan Wake 2 is also an Epic exclusive, so you won’t find it digitally on Steam.
Metal Gear Solid
The return of Metal Gear was a highlight of the PlayStation Showcase. Konami announced a remake of Metal Gear Solid 3 in the form of Metal Gear Solid Delta. While no release date was given for Delta, Konami also announced The Master Collection set to launch this fall. The Master Collection includes Metal Gear Solid 1-3, and is the first time these have been offered on a modern console since the PlayStation 3.
Can’t get enough Metal Gear? Check out the Metal Gear board game, up for preorder on CMON.
The 2023 Spiel des Jahres Nominees are announced
Considered one of the most prestigious awards in board gaming, the Spiel des Jahres committee announced their finalists for game of the year via livestream. They are (with descriptions from the publisher):
Dorfromantik: The Board Game
In Dorfromantik: The Board Game, up to six players work together to lay hexagonal tiles to create a beautiful landscape and try to fulfill the orders of the population, while at the same time laying as long a track and as long a river as possible, but also taking into account the flags that provide points in enclosed areas. The better the players manage to do this, the more points they can score at the end. Find it on Amazon.
This simple and engaging party game guarantees you and your friends will fall into fits of laughter and reveal shocking secrets! It’s also the perfect game to get to know each other in a warm and welcoming setting. With Fun Facts, you’re never safe from surprises. Do you really know how many love stories your grandma really had? Find it on Amazon.
Next Station London
The city of London has commissioned you to redesign its underground network! Optimise connections, serve as many sights as possible and exploit the tunnels that pass under the Thames. Be careful to respect the specifications set by the city. Which of you will be the best project manager? Find it on Amazon.
The committee also announced the nominees for Kinderspiel des Jahres (best children’s game) and Kennerspiel des Jahres (connoisseur/expert game of the year). They are:
Kinderspiel des Jahres Nominees
Kennerspiel des Jahres
Winners will be announced in June.
Side quests (more stories worth reading)
🎮 Check out all the trailers from Sony’s PlayStation Showcase.
💸 Embracer Group, a company that owns many studios, including the ones who make Borderlands, Tomb Raider, Asmodee board games and more had a $2 billion investment deal collapse. Their stock dropped by 40%.
💍 The Lord of the Rings: Gollum came out last week, and is the worst reviewed game of the year, with a Metacritic score of 38 out of 100. But the studio that created the game “Deeply regrets that the game did not meet expectations.”
😈 Hoping to play Diablo IV on PC with mouse and keyboard? You may be bummed to learn Diablo IV will not have WASD support at launch.
⚽ One of the best soccer players in the world says it’s “embarrassing” but he relaxes by playing Minecraft. Nothing embarrassing about it at all.
⚔️ Could Final Fantasy XVI be the last numbered Final Fantasy game? "Maybe it's time we removed the numbers from the title," says producer Naoki Yoshida.
🐉 If you plan to pick up a copy of the Dungeons & Dragons player's handbook or any other hard-copy books, you may want to do it soon. Wizards of the Coast is raising prices on D&D sourcebooks. Read about the changes in the newest version.
🧟 Multiplayer development for The Last of Us has been slowed by Sony, with no date when the promised functionality will arrive.
☢️ Radstorm? Earth AD? Hiroshima Revisited? Vault 13? Fallout could have had a very different name.
👩 Guild Esports and Sky UK launched the No Room for Abuse initiative, designed to “raise awareness of the gendered harassment women experience playing online games.”
🎮 Video game crowdfunding platform Fig, responsible for helping bring games like Psychonauts 2 and Homeworld 3 to life, has shut down.
🏸 Summer’s here. Need something to play outside? Check out this list of the top yard games.
🐱 Check out the cats from the team at The Gamer
New Releases this week:
5/30: System Shock Remake (PC)
5/30: Shame Legacy (PlayStation, Xbox and PC)
5/30: Laserpitium (PlayStation, Xbox and Switch)
5/31: Decarnation (Switch and PC)
5/31: Doomblade (PC)
6/1: Killer Frequency (PlayStation, Xbox, Switch, PC and Quest)
6/2: Street Fighter 6 (PlayStation, Xbox and PC)
6/2: Super Mega Baseball 4 (PlayStation, Xbox, Switch and PC)
6/2: We Love Katamari Reroll + Royal Reverie (PlayStation, Xbox, Switch and PC)