PS5 showcase predictions: From Final Fantasy 16 to The Last of Us 2 Factions, here's what we expect to see
What to expect from the PS5 showcase, including the safe bets, rumours, and moreby Alex Avard
After months of silence, the PS5 showcase that we've all been waiting for has finally been confirmed, set to take place this Wednesday, September 16, at 1PM PST/4PM ET/9PM BST. PlayStation has already revealed that the digital live stream will be around 40 minutes long, and focused "on the latest titles from Worldwide Studios and our world-class development partners."
Outside of what's been officially announced, there is, of course, plenty of rumour and speculation over what PlayStation has planned for this special PS5 event, alongside a couple of industry leaks that may have preemptively revealed a couple of the things we should expect from the show itself. Below, we've outlined our best predictions of Wednesday's live stream, including the things you're almost guaranteed to see, the long-rumoured secrets that might be revealed, and the potential wild cards that could threaten to break the internet.
PS5 price, release date, and pre-order information
Now that Microsoft has revealed the launch details for the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, it's difficult to imagine Sony continuing to stay silent on the PS5 price, release date, and availability at this event. We're approximately two months away from the console's Holiday 2020 launch window, and there's only so long PlayStation can leave it before fans start having their doubts.
There's a good chance we will see this information revealed at the end of the show, similar to how Sony unveiled the PS5 design to close out its last showcase back in June. That said, PlayStation has confirmed it'll give customers plenty of heads up about the console's pre-orders going live, so don't worry about anxiously having your wallet at the ready throughout the entire stream.
Confirmed line up of launch games
The icing of the cake of those launch day details is, of course, what we can expect to be playing on our shiny new console come this Holiday. While Spider-Man: Miles Morales has been confirmed as the PS5's flagship launch title, and Astro's PlayRoom will already be pre-installed on every system to hit shelves, there's bound to be a few other unannounced smaller and medium-tier exclusives that Sony has planned as PS5 launch games, in addition to known entities such as Demon's Souls, Bugsnax, and Sackboy: A Big Adventure.
We can count out both Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart and Horizon: Forbidden West from potential launch day contenders, too, as both have been confirmed to hit store shelves sometime beyond the PS5's release itself. There's also the question of backwards compatible titles; while Sony has confirmed the top 100 PS4 games will be playable on PS5 at launch, it has yet to reveal that list in full. Hopefully the showcase will provide us with the information we're asking for.
PS5 user interface and experience
Beyond its launch day details and slate of upcoming PS5 games, there's also plenty we don't know about the new PlayStation interface, which has only been teased in brief glimpses so far. What does the PS5 dashboard look like? How customisable is it? How easily can I transfer my PS4 data to the new system? How many entertainment apps, such as Spotify or Disney Plus, can we expect at launch? What are the new social features like?
Expect some, but not all, of these questions to be answered during Wednesday's show. Given that Microsoft has already shown off its updated user interface, and shown how new features such as Quick Resume work and how fast its loading times will become because of the SSD, it would feel appropriate to see Sony demonstrate some key features of the PS5 dashboard.
More "enhanced" re-releases
PlayStation opened (yes, opened) its first PS5 showcase with the news that Grand Theft Auto 5, a seven year old title that originally launched on the PS3 and Xbox One, would be coming to PS5 in 2021, and you can expect similar announcements for current-gen titles in this one.
In fact, speaking of Rockstar, I wouldn't be too surprised to see something like Red Dead Redemption 2 make an appearance, for example, or perhaps the focus will be on re-releases from PlayStation Studios, such as The Last of Us Part 2, Ghost of Tsushima, or God of War.
Basically, don't expect PlayStation to focus entirely on new PS5 games designed exclusively for the console on Wednesday; backwards compatibility may have changed the way we think about remasters, but they're not going anywhere yet.
Final Fantasy 16
Now onto the specific games that we reckon have a chance of showing up on Wednesday, including the biggest rumour that's been circulating this week. A now deleted tweet from Square Enix game producer Shinji Hashimoto has JRPG fans predicting that Final Fantasy 16 is on the precipice of being announced as a surprise PS5 game at the show.
It has been four years since Final Fantasy 15, after all, while various job listings and rumours up till now have suggested that development has long been underway on its sequel. Given Square Enix's historic relationship with PlayStation (and the reveal of Project Athia at the last PS5 event), it wouldn't be a huge surprise for Wednesday's showcase to be considered the perfect platform for the company to debut the next installment in it's much beloved franchise.
The Last of Us 2 Factions
"PlayStation know that the appearance of the Naughty Dog logo alone is enough to get a lot of people excited."
It's easy to forget that Naughty Dog's next game, a multiplayer spin-off to The Last of Us 2/spiritual successor to The Last of Us' Factions mode, has already been confirmed, but we've heard nothing about it since this time last year.
That makes it a prime suspect for Wednesday's live stream, especially now that The Last of Us 2 has come and gone, and all eyes are on Naughty Dog to reveal what it's been working on in semi secrecy. PlayStation also know that the appearance of the Naughty Dog logo alone is enough to get a lot of people excited, and could thus make for a perfect way to open the show.
Horizon: Forbidden West
While Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart got its time to shine at last months' Gamescom Opening Night Live, we've seen nothing of Horizon: Forbidden West since its awe-inspiring reveal trailer back in June.
While it's hardly a guarantee that Guerrilla Games has anything planned for this Wednesday, a short look at the game running in real time on PS5 sounds like an easy way for Sony to sell the next-gen might of its new console, while also giving us an idea of how far along this sequel is in development. Heck, we may even get a more specific release window confirmation, but don't get your hopes up too high just yet.
This might seem like a bit of a wildcard choice, but I only say it in light of what DICE has been teasing for the past week, with various social media clues suggesting the EA-owned studio is gearing up for a grand reveal of its next-gen shooter sequel.
We already know Battlefield 6 is scheduled to release next year, and DICE's patented brand of large scale warfare would chime well with PlayStation's aims to sucker punch viewers with breathtaking PS5 gameplay in action. PlayStation has maintained a marketing partnership with Call of Duty and Activision for the last few years, but it's not implausible to suggest that could be about to change as we head into a new generation.
For more, be sure to check out all the biggest upcoming games of 2020 on the way, or watch the trailer for Spider-Man: Miles Morales below. We'll keep you updated on the latest PS5 pre-orders too.