With the release of God of War Ragnarok (and Horizon Forbidden West) and Stray, PlayStation enjoyed a wonderful mix of critical success and big sales. As Sony seeks to grow its great game library, this pattern will continue over the next 12 month. PlayStation is looking forward to a busy 2023 with plenty of exciting things on the horizon and an imminent step into virtual reality.
Games of All Shapes and Sizes
Horizon Forbidden West was one of PlayStation’s biggest hits of 2022 and it’s back for more in 2023. Aloy travels to Los Angeles’ volcanic, flooded ruins in the Burning Shores DLC. If Zero Dawn’s expansion, The Frozen Wilds, is anything to go by, we’re in for a sizeable and action-packed addition to the Horizon story.
PS5 console exclusive Forspoken launches January 24th and Square Enix’s action RPG is a modern take on the classic Alice in Wonderland tale, as New Yorker Frey finds herself in a fantastical world full of magic, dragons, and demons.
Final Fantasy XVI, which launched on PS5 only six years ago, will be the first mainline game to launch exclusively on that platform. It’s a return to the series’ high fantasy roots but that doesn’t mean the return of turn-based combat, because fast-paced action takes centre stage with Devil May Cry 5 and Dragon’s Dogma’s Ryota Suzuki holding the reins as Combat Director.
Speaking of top-tier combat, it doesn’t get much more satisfying than Insomniac’s Spidey games. Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is a PlayStation 5 exclusive swinging onto our screens in 2023. With rumours suggesting both Peter Parker and Miles Morales will be playable, plus the introduction of Venom, it’s all pointing in a very exciting direction with the studio confirming a late 2023 release window.
Marvel and Insomniac are also teaming up for Wolverine, but we’re not convinced it’ll come out in 2023. So far we’ve only seen a 50-second teaser, but you never know…
The 2023 Biggest Games
Bloober Team’s Silent Hill 2 remake is a PS5 exclusive 21 years in the making. Although no release date has been announced, rumours of this Unreal 5-driven thriller have been swirling for years, and, combined with the lengthy trailer released earlier this year, we’re confident we’ll return to Silent Hill in 2023.
And while Hideo Kojima won’t be returning to Silent Hill any time soon, he will be back with Death Stranding 2, which was recently announced at The Game Awards. Who really knows when we’ll be playing this, but something we’re pretty sure of is that it will be odd, beautiful, and unlike anything else.
We do have information about the Korean acrobatic action video game Stellar Blade. This was previously called Project Eve. Aiming for a release in 2023 and with some Nier vibes going on, this is one we’ll certainly be keeping on our radar.
There are many indies that you should be looking out for as Sony continues to promote games from all genres. Too many to mention, but some highlights include Tchia’s tropical open world, the narrative adventure Goodbye Volcano High and Season: A letter to the Future, which is a bike trip through a world at the edge of cataclysm.
As for Sony’s first parties, we don’t really have a grasp on what many of the PlayStation Studios are up to. On the one hand, it’s exciting – it could make for some big reveals in the summer – but on the other, likely whatever’s cooking is years away. At least we have an idea of what Naughty Dog has been up to, with the Last of Us multiplayer game due out at some point. But very few details are known, other than Neil Druckman saying it is “as big as any of our single-player games” and a piece of concept art suggesting it takes place in San Francisco.
Something we do know is we’ll be watching HBO’s adaptation of The Last of Us starring Pedro Pascal as Joel and Bella Ramsey as Ellie when it begins on January 15th. It’s not the only Sony game getting the live-action treatment either, as David Harbour and Orlando Bloom are set to star in Neil Blomkamp’s Gran Turismo movie as PlayStation Productions looks to spread its wings further following 2022’s Uncharted. Days Gone and Gravity Rush and Gravity Rush as well as television series for Twisted Metal and God of War and Horizon are all in development. However, these TV series are unlikely to be released in 2023.
There are many other non-exclusives that will be coming to PS5 in 2023. These include the Dead Space remake and Resident Evil 4 Remake. There certainly won’t be a shortage of things to play in 2023.
New Year, New Tech
Three years ago, the PlayStation 4 Slim and Pro was launched. By the end of 2023 we’ll have reached that period for PS5, so it may not be completely out of the question we could see a new edition of the PlayStation 5 at some point over the next 12 months. A slim version certainly wouldn’t go amiss for those struggling to fit the current one under their TV. However, with PS5s only now becoming more of a regular sight on shop shelves, Sony’s focus may well still be on making sure a steady supply of its base models is being produced, rather than working on getting a new version out of the door.
PSVR2 is the next step. Sony’s second stab at virtual reality will be in players’ hands and strapped to heads as soon as February 22nd. Packed with impressive tech, there’s optimism it could make the splash in the virtual world its predecessor failed to achieve.
The VR headset offers VR in 4KHDR. It has a 110-degree field-of-view with an OLED screen, inside-out tracking using integrated cameras within the VR headset, as well as Sense Technology which combines headset feedback, eye tracking, and 3D audio. The PSVR2 includes a motor that provides physical feedback to the wearer. In our hands-on preview, we said “PlayStation VR2, thankfully, brings things up to parity. Room-scale VR is on offer here thanks to inside-out headset-based tracking, and the controllers feel on-par with Meta’s latest.”
Although the specifications of PSVR2 are comparable to the Oculus Quest 2, Valve Index and Valve Index, the headset is wired and requires a PlayStation 5. With a hefty price tag of $549.99 / £529.99 on top of the cost of already owning a PS5, the lineup of games may well prove to be a huge deciding factor for potential buyers.
PSVR2 is slated to launch with over 20 games including Horizon: Call of the Mountain – a standalone VR adventure taking place in the post-post-apocalyptic, mechanical beast-filled world Guerilla has created. It will be joined by the likes of No Man’s Sky and The Dark Pictures: Switchback, an on-rails shooter spin-off of the horror series. VR versions are being made of Resident Evil 4 as well as Resident Evil Village. While the success of Sony’s next plunge into virtual reality remains to be seen, its strong list of first-party showcases and big-name exclusives can only help its cause.
Sony expects to build upon the success of 2022 with plenty of new games and a new era in PlayStation VR. What are you most excited about? Please share your excitement with us in the comments.
Simon Cardy cannot wait to be stomped on in VR by a Thunderjaw. Follow him @ @CardySimon.
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