On 23 September, Sony returned to the digital stage with another ‘State of Play’ broadcast. Since March of this year, they have been attempting to capture the same market buzz that Nintendo has found with their ‘Direct’ presentations.
Now, after a couple of broadcasts widely regarded as misfires, they may have struck gold, not least thanks to a bevy of information on the much-anticipated The Last of Us Part II.
PlayStation weren’t shy in making sure people knew that Naughty Dog’s sequel to the 2013 hit would take centre stage during the show. Advertised on their social media feeds a few days in advance, the atmosphere surrounding the presentation was already one with distinctly more buzz than previous ‘State of Play’ events.
And, during the show itself, a three minute-long trailer showed gruesome combat, vengeful cutscenes and a merciful release date confirmation of 21 February 2020.
it was confirmed that gameplay demos would be given to games press, who would then be presenting them shortly after.
However, the hype from the trailer was just the beginning. Immediately following the broadcast, it was confirmed that gameplay demos would be given to games press, who would then be presenting them shortly after. Specifically, this would coincide with the in-universe ‘Outbreak Day’ – the day that the Cordyceps fungus first began infecting human hosts.
Although ‘Outbreak Day’ has often been commemorated through the presentation of something new regarding The Last of Us, this is the first time that something quite as major as a new trailer with three hours worth of gameplay impressions has marked the day.
Coverage was heavy with praise, nearly unanimous across the major outlets. Notably, Nathan Grayson of Kotaku described an early scene in the demo as something that “left a smile on [his] face. It was a rare moment of authentic warmth in a big-budget action game.”
While Naughty Dog’s latest made for an effective finale to PlayStation’s broadcast, that’s not to say that there weren’t notable announcements earlier on. Perhaps most prominent was the announcement of a limited-edition Death Stranding PS4 Pro bundle with a dripping-handprint design.
Immediately following the presentation, the remake of PS1 classic MediEvil received a demo that PS4 owners could download. Similarly, LA Noire: The VR Case Files was shown with a trailer that announced it was available straight after the presentation.
…it remains to be seen if they can guarantee major announcements during future ‘State of Play’ events…
PlayStation has done right to shift the emphasis of the ‘State of Play’ broadcasts onto their more substantial first-party efforts. That said, it remains to be seen if they can guarantee major announcements during future ‘State of Play’ events while still holding broadcasts at a similar rate to their rivals, namely Nintendo.
What’s certain is that they are confident in the ability of Naughty Dog and how The Last of Us Part II is shaping up, and from the looks of the press coverage so far, they have every right to be.
Last modified: 4th November 2019