PlayStation starts 2023 in a curious and totally different position than we have seen in the last 3 years. If 2020, 2021 and 2021 were marked by a large number of PlayStation Studios games to grace Sony consoles, the current year of 2023 is devoid of projects from these teams and composed mostly of third-party names.
It’s a different landscape, and even with rumors of a Horizon Zero Dawn remaster or a Director’s Cut of The Last of Us: Part 2 among the possibilities, as far as new original games go, 2023 could be a year for PlayStation. Studios to catch up your breath. In view of this, PlayStation enters 2023 with titles such as Stellar Blade, Forspoken and Final Fantasy 16 taking major responsibilities in the highlight of the PlayStation 5.
With PlayStation VR2 and DualSense Edge on the way, amidst rumors of a new PS5 model without a Blu-ray disc player, we take a look at the current Sony Interactive Entertainment landscape and what it currently looks like without PlayStation Studios. Even with Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 having the potential to become one of the year’s biggest hits, 2023 begins without the electric anticipation of PlayStation Studios titles that have marked the beginning of recent years.
Looking to 2023, you won’t find great references to projects by Playstation studios and only three titles developed by the company’s internal studios sony interactive entertainment confirmed for this year Horizon The call of the mountain from Firesprite Games, MLB: The 23 Show from San Diego Studio e Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 by Sleepless. Bearing in mind that it’s one of the most popular names in entertainment and the sequel to one of PlayStation’s biggest hits, the excitement is huge.
Insomniac Games’ game will be PlayStation’s big holiday title and one of its big assets for 2023, but the vast majority of the year is bare, at least in terms of PlayStation Studios. We know that Sony studios are working on a variety of projects, from Naughty Dog in Factions 2 to Guerrilla in a multiplayer experience in the world of Horizon, but nothing is officially confirmed for 2023.
Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores it also promises to be a highlight for PlayStation Studios fans, but this is an expansion rather than a new release. It will be a way to keep the main game appealing to players and entertain those who have already bought it and enjoy another piece of cinematic action and adventure like this house knows how to do.
In 2020, the launch year of PS5, PlayStation Studios presented MLB: The Show 20, Predator: Hunting Grounds, The Last of Us: Part 2, Ghost of Tsushima, Demon’s Souls, Sackboy: A Big Adventure, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales. In 2021, original titles like Destruction AllStars, MLB The Show 21, Returnal and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart will hit stores. In 2022 it was the turn of games like God of War Ragnarök, Gran Turismo 7, Horizon Forbidden West, MLB The Show 22 and The Last of Us Part I.
After 7 titles in 2020, 4 games in 2021 and 5 releases in 2022, not counting expansions and reprints, it seems strange to look to 2023 and see only three first party games and one confirmed expansion. Sony could handle its ads and focus more on promoting consoles with God of War: Ragnarok and Horizon Forbidden West, but better modeling 2023 doesn’t take away from that.
Games like convalescence and Lost soul aside, developed with the support of Sony and for which the company will also act as publisher, have not yet received a date, which does not allow us to add them to the topics for 2023. However, their existence must be mentioned and the possibility of arriving even in 2023, albeit without guarantees. That said, it’s easy to look at 2023 as a year that, for now, is definitely associated with third parties.
Third party forms 2023:
It’s impossible not to look to 2023 and hear that third parties have been enlisted to help keep PlayStation releases running high, while Sony’s in-house studios enjoy the time it takes to bring their projects to life. After three years of racing fast, the teams now need to breathe and a call for help has been sent, in the form of deals with key partners and a few new faces.
With abandoned, Octopath Traveler 2 and final fantasy 16 already confirmed for the first half of 2023, Square Enix is one of the main partners of PlayStation in this new year. PlayStation and Square Enix have been going hand in hand since 1997 and the relationship has remained stable and with regular results for those investing in a Sony console. Even without Final Fantasy 7: Reborn in 2023, the presence of Final Fantasy 16 as a PlayStation 5 exclusive is already enough to make Square Enix one of the reference names for Sony’s console business.
In 2022, Square Enix put cross-platform projects such as Valkyrie Elysium, Star Ocean: The Divine Force, The Diofield Chronicle, Tactics Ogre Reborn, Crisis Core -Final Fantasy 7- Reunion and Stranger of Paradise on Sony consoles. In addition to the names mentioned in the previous paragraph, it also confirmed Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster Collection and Theatrhythm Final Bar Line and promises to remain strongly associated with PlayStation, both with large-scale and small-scale projects.
In addition to Square Enix’s strong support for PlayStation consoles in 2023 (5 titles confirmed for the first 6 months of the year), you will also have independent releases with support from Sony. In case of Season: a letter to the future from Scavengers Studio, Sony seems to have just secured an exclusivity deal, but in the case of Starblade from the Korean SHIFTUP, Sony Interactive Entertainment became the publisher of the game and got an incredibly exciting name for this year.
PlayStation VR2, Sony’s new virtual reality headset, will also hit stores. It will be February 23 that PSVR2 will become available and at the price of 599 euros you will have access to a new generation of virtual reality titles. The technology has a specific appeal and the price greatly limits the scope of the device, but it’s one of the company’s highlights for this year.
With games like PlayStation Studios’ Horizon Call of the Mountain and Resident Evil Village setting the benchmarks, not forgetting others like No Man’s Sky, PSVR2 could become a gateway to highly immersive experiences, but for 599 euros (more expensive than the console had need to use it), will have limited and very specific appeal.
Imagining some of the experiences to come, at least in terms of graphical improvements, controls and immersion, arouses immense curiosity, but we’ll have to wait to see PlayStation support for its helmet.
PlayStation will introduce the DualSense Edge controller on January 26, which promises to serve as a reference for the most competitive and professional gamers. With a price of 239 euros it is not a product for everyone, much less for those who play some action and adventure or JRPG titles during the year for leisure. Edge is for those who spend their days competing and dreaming of winning tournaments.
Taking into account its price and very specific purpose, it is understandable that the Edge becomes a mirage for the vast majority of consumers, but this is a product meant for competitive gaming. If you spend your year playing Call of Duty or Street Fighter, play tournaments, or want a higher-quality controller that you can swap parts to fix wear and tear, you might be in the category of gamers the Edge might appeal to.
While PS Plus doesn’t carry the same weight to PlayStation as Game Pass does to the Microsoft Gaming ecosystem, sans the debuts of first-party behemoths, it’s still a big part of the company’s plans for this year. Given PlayStation’s stance on the service, it will be interesting to see how long it’s willing to wait before putting its games on the service.
Titles like Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart certainly already have a date chosen for entry to PS Plus and will be used as a headliner when it comes to securing more subscribers. However, the real curiosity will be to see if Sony is willing to put titles like Horizon Forbidden West on PS Plus as early as 2023. The Guerrilla game will be one year old in weeks and it will be curious to see how it will be treated by Sony.
It will also be intriguing to see how Sony reacts to the debut of games like Stalker 2 and Atomic Heart on Game Pass. With Stray, Sony has shown interest in debuting third-party games on the service and has done so several times in the past. It will be something to continue on, but we don’t have the names yet. On the other hand, the ability to acquire 2022 big names like Elden Ring for a service will be something those who operate subscription services will like.
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