PlayStation Mega Bits: June 2020

When I created PlayStation Mega Bits and launched the Mega Bits series here at Mega Dads I would be lying if I said I didn’t purposely time it to coincide with the impending release of Playstation 5 information. The clock was ticking and we in games media knew that sometime in the Summer months we would finally have the curtain lifted on the next generation of PlayStation gaming. Well the time has finally arrived and with only one episode under our belt we are ready to start talking PS5. So sit back and relax because PlayStation Mega Bits is here to give you all the big news in a bite-sized package.

The Future of Gaming

June 11th brought us the coming out party for the PlayStation 5 by way of a reveal event showcasing 26 games for the console. In typical Sony fashion while we were blown away by the onslaught of trailers and announcements we were also left with a ton of questions regarding things like release dates and what exactly exclusivity means. While this showcase certainly focused on trailers rather than deep dive information, many were left wanting answers as to which games would be cross-generational between PS4 and PS5, and how far off some of these releases were.

A handful of the trailers shown such as Ratchet & Clank, Gran Turismo 7 and Kena: Bridge of Spirits sprinkled in the gameplay while other huge titles such as Village: Resident Evil VIII and perhaps most importantly Horizon Forbidden West were cinematic trailers leaving the playing field wide open as far as when we can expect to see some of these titles. Sony has a reputation in the industry for casting it’s line out way ahead of release and we’d hate to think we’d be waiting several years to jump back into Ratchet’s Grind Boots.

But besides some raised eyebrows at Sony’s methods of showcasing their games, there was so much to enjoy here you’d have to be dead inside to not feel your heart pumping. Let’s break some of them down real quick!

Standout Games

Spider-Man: Miles Morales is the follow up to my 2018 Game of the Year and I could NOT possibly be more excited for this Playstation 5 launch title. Players assume the role of Miles as he makes his heroes journey in this stand-alone adventure. A lot of people jumped the gun calling this game DLC but Insomniac has confirmed that Miles Morales is in fact it’s own beast and its own game.

Taking place one year after the events of Spider-Man Miles Morales will usher in the age of the PS5 with a remastered New York City featuring ray tracing and instant loading. I don’t know about you but the idea of a New York lit up with holiday lights and utilizing ray tracing to do it as Spider-Man swings through the snow is just giving me absolute chills. Spider-man arrives this holiday as a PS5 launch title.

We were treated to a double dose of awesome from Insomniac games, proving that Sony’s acquisition of the studio is seen as pivotal to the Playstation brand. Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart was one of the most robust showcases of the premiere giving us not just a cinematic trailer but also a pretty intense look at gameplay. Not only sporting an incredible visual style that puts us firmly in Pixar caliber visual territory, Ratchet and Clank seems to be taking full advantage of the SSD in the PS5 to bring us seamless loading as Ratchet jumps through worm holes to teleport himself instantly to new locations. Insomniac has done something brilliant here by making the key mechanic of Rift Apart showcase just how important instant load times are to the new generation of games.

No release window for Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is known at this time.

In the “What the hell is this?” category we have Bugsnax from developer Young Horses. Bugsnax is a game where you are what you eat… literally. The island in Bugsnax is crawling with little food critters for you to gobble up. Strawberry crawlers, ice cream cone caterpillars and cheeseburger beetles are just some of the creatures here for you to discover. The bizarre twist comes in the form of your characters transforming appendages based on what critters you eat. One scene of the trailer has the Mayor arriving in a panic because he dropped something due to his hands turning into hotdogs.

Yep. Good ol’ Weenie Hands. Bugsnax arrives this holiday and will also be available on the Playstation 4.

Aloy returns in top form to put a lid on the show and put a great big exclamation point on Sony’s message. NOBODY has a first party lineup like Playstation and the announcement for Horizon Forbidden West made clear why the PS5 is going to be a console to rival.

Traveling westwards towards what we know as California, Aloy is on a journey once again to save the world from a mysterious threat. Corrupt machines, enemy tribes and super storm cells are some of the obstacles standing in her way. A cool emphasis on underwater traversal was also a highlight of the trailer and hints that we won’t be just slapping a 2 on Horizon and calling it a day but rather will see new mechanics and opportunities to explore this world. Horizon Forbidden West is aiming at a 2021 release. Let’s hope they hit the mark.

Rethinking Design

Lastly in our monthly news section there have been a some interesting statements made about the Playstation 5 design in regards to the inside of the box. Matt MacLaurin, the VP of UX Design at Playstation was recently speaking on the approach of the UI for the PS5 after we got a brief tease of the startup screen during the Playstation 5 reveal event. MacLaurin described the work being done at Sony as a “very interesting evolution of the OS,” saying that it is a “100 percent overhaul of the PS4 UI and some very different new concepts”.

This is not necessarily Earth shattering stuff here but it’s something to think about, because with the current console generation User Interfaces have become quite a talking point. I personally greatly prefer the PS4 interface to the overly complicated and clunky Xbox dashboard, while the Switch home screen is absolutely bare-bones and devoid of any bells and whistles at all. The word on the Series X is also that Microsoft plans to continue iterating on their current UI and it will not see any significant changes for the launch of the Series X age. This makes sense as the cross-generational model for Microsoft has significant overlap with the One generation.

Sony is taking quite a different approach in all aspects of the next generation as MacLaurin further describes the new system, “As it’s UI it’s practical first, but it’s a whole new visual language and a complete rearchitecting of the user interface,” saying that the new OS is “more subtle than flashy, but no pixel is untouched,”. I personally can’t wait to fire up my new PS5 and explore my surroundings.

Low-Fi brings VR to PlayStation 5

We got an unexpected glimpse into the world of PlayStation 5 VR via a trailer for Low-Fi, a cyber punk virtual reality game making its way to PC VR as well as PSVR. The interesting thing to mention here however is that this title is being released on PlayStation 5 specifically and NOT PS4. So what does this mean for the future of PSVR? The trailer showcases game mechanics that are not possible with the current iteration of PSVR such as the player being able to manipulate individual finger movement, something that is not possible with the Move controllers of current gen.

Nothing has been said about the next iteration of PSVR other than the PS5 will in fact support current models of VR. Can we expect an announcement of a 2.0 series PSVR or will Low-Fi run on current hardware? We can’t say for sure but that trailer for Low-Fi looks absolutely fantastic and immersive in all the right ways. No release window has been given for Low-Fi so we’re in uncharted waters here and anything is possible as far as what PS5VR means.

The Force is with Us

EA is bringing a double dose of Star Wars to the PSVR this year with the critically acclaimed series Vader Immortal arriving this summer as well as the newly announced Star Wars: Squadrons. Squadrons is a flight combat game akin to games like Rogue Squadron and X-Wing vs Tie Fighter. Players will be able to experience the entirety of Squadrons in VR making the Playstation edition the console version to beat for sure. Squadrons features a single player story campaign as well as multiplayer battles that will incorporate cross-play. Star Wars Squadrons launches in October at the hard-to-beat price of $40.

Elliott’s Pick

I’ve been playing Concrete Genie. What I like about it is you get to sneak around other people. You paint other ghosts and they can’t be on the sidewalk, they can only be on walls. The Genies help you, they have powers. Some of them have lightning powers, some of them have water powers and some of them have fire powers. The city is really dirty and you have to try and clean it up with super paint. My favorite part is you get to make ghosts. I really like how colorful it is. I really like making pictures in this game. I think kids should play it because you get to paint.

Concrete Genie is currently $30 on the Playstation Store

Adam’s Pick

Over the last month on Mega Dads we have been promoting community play in the game Everybody’s Golf. A lot of the guys on the team as well as some great community members have been getting together on our Discord channel and teeing off together in this excellent game which is available at a GREAT price. This last weekend we had a tournament together and I spent nearly three hours golfing with my fellow dads and I have to tell you I laughed so hard and had such a great time.

Everybody’s Golf is that perfect kind of online multiplayer where it’s not intense or aggressive or rage inducing. It’s just a fantastic laid back time to unwind and talk with friends. The customization options for the types of games and goofy rule sets are so much fun and of course the pro shop is available to dress your custom avatar up in all kinds of ridiculous ways.

Everybody’s Golf is currently $20 on the Playstation Store

And so another month of Playstation news is behind us. The Summer is just heating up and we seem to be gettin new Playstation information every week. So we’ll be back here next month to bring you a brand new episode of Playstation Mega Bits. Have a wonderful month!

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