On the evening of 11 June 2020, Sony took to YouTube and Twitch to reveal the PlayStation 5 to the world after much speculation. Millions of viewers turned in to find out about its new look, what was hidden under the hood and the titles they’ll be able to play on it.
Did I join in with the friends and bloggers who were watching? No, I didn’t. My other-half and I were taking part in our group’s fortnightly Shadowrun RPG session over on The Lawful Geek’s Twitch channel at the time of the presentation. Several big plot events happened during that game so we were fully wrapped up in trying to figure out how we were going to get out of the situation our characters now found themselves in. Was I bothered about missing the big PS5 reveal though? No, not in the slightest.
It felt like history repeating when I woke up the morning after our Shadowrun session. I switched on my laptop, logged into WordPress and saw that almost every post in the reader was about PlayStation 5 or the games announced for it. A quick glance at Twitter showed loads of tweets by people who hated the new console’s look and just as many by those who loved it. And the professional gaming websites were getting in on the action too, publishing as many articles as they could to bring in the views.
‘All the details about the new PlayStation 5 revealed!’ shouted a random blog post. ‘Let the console wars commence!’ cried the first tweet in my feed. ‘PS5 Reveal Event: Everything Announced at the Show’, a well-known website promised to share. If you thought you could escape by turning to the main news outlets to find out what else was happening in the world, you were wrong: even the UK broadsheets were jumping on the bandwagon and throwing out some articles of their own.
The older I get, the less I’m able to tolerate hype. I first became aware of this two years ago when I got incredibly sick of seeing an endless stream of content about the upcoming Fallout 76 and Red Dead Redemption 2. The huge amount of promotion surrounding a release seems to directly correlate to my lack of enthusiasm for picking it up, and this has caused me to not play some of the biggest series. Hell, it took me five years to complete Life is Strange and I suspect the hype around it negatively affected my opinion of the game.
And those games tend to be made by independent developers far more frequently than big studios. They’ve never let the complications of new consoles stop them from getting their creative ideas out there; and hardware obstacles have even caused them to become more creative sometimes. I remember it dawning on Sony and Microsoft just how popular indie titles were shortly after their reveals back in 2013 and suddenly deciding they wanted to get smaller teams on board.
But this is just personal preference and I understand that everyone has their own individual gaming tastes. If you’re excited by all the news about the PlayStation 5 and the big-budget releases coming for it, then I’m genuinely excited for you. Let’s face it: anyone who knows my other-half will be aware much he loves new technology and gadgets. It therefore won’t be too long before a new console appears in our living-room, so I’ve got to show a small amount of enthusiasm at least.
Maybe it’s the lockdown getting to me. My motivation levels have taken a dip since it started here in the UK at the end of March and as was evident in my post about digital expos last week, it has been a struggle to work up enthusiasm for much recently. Perhaps I just need to dig out a few indie games, hide myself away with them, and wait for the hype to blow over.