PlayStation had a fantastic mix of critical success, big sellers, and indie darlings to celebrate in 2022, thanks to the releases of God of War Ragnarok, Horizon Forbidden West, and Stray. That pattern is set to continue over the next 12 months as Sony looks to add to its growing library of great games. With many to get excited about on the horizon, as well as an imminent next step into virtual reality, PlayStation looks set for a busy 2023.
Games of All Shapes and Sizes
Horizon Forbidden West was one of PlayStation’s biggest hits of 2022 and it’s back for more in 2023. The Burning Shores DLC arrives on April 19 and takes Aloy to the flooded, volcanic ruins of Los Angeles. If Zero Dawn’s expansion, The Frozen Wilds, is anything to go by, we’re in for a sizeable and action-packed addition to the Horizon story.
PS5 console exclusive Forspoken launches January 24th and Square Enix’s action RPG is a modern take on the classic Alice in Wonderland tale, as New Yorker Frey finds herself in a fantastical world full of magic, dragons, and demons.
Almost six years after the last mainline game, Final Fantasy XVI launches exclusively on PS5 on June 22nd. It’s a return to the series’ high fantasy roots but that doesn’t mean the return of turn-based combat, because fast-paced action takes centre stage with Devil May Cry 5 and Dragon’s Dogma’s Ryota Suzuki holding the reins as Combat Director.
Final Fantasy XVI launches exclusively on PS5 on June 22nd.
Speaking of top-tier combat, it doesn’t get much more satisfying than Insomniac’s Spidey games. Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is a PlayStation 5 exclusive swinging onto our screens in 2023. With rumours suggesting both Peter Parker and Miles Morales will be playable, plus the introduction of Venom, it’s all pointing in a very exciting direction with the studio confirming a late 2023 release window.
Marvel and Insomniac are also teaming up for Wolverine, but we’re not convinced it’ll come out in 2023. So far we’ve only seen a 50-second teaser, but you never know…
Bloober Team’s Silent Hill 2 remake is a PS5 exclusive 21 years in the making. Although no release date has been announced, rumours of this Unreal 5-driven thriller have been swirling for years, and, combined with the lengthy trailer released earlier this year, we’re confident we’ll return to Silent Hill in 2023.
And while Hideo Kojima won’t be returning to Silent Hill any time soon, he will be back with Death Stranding 2, which was recently announced at The Game Awards. Who really knows when we’ll be playing this, but something we’re pretty sure of is that it will be odd, beautiful, and unlike anything else.
One other PS5 exclusive we do know about is Korean acrobatic action game Stellar Blade, previously known as Project Eve. Aiming for a release in 2023 and with some Nier vibes going on, this is one we’ll certainly be keeping on our radar.
There are also dozens of indies to be on the lookout for.
Of course, there are also dozens of indies to be on the lookout for too as Sony continues its mission to showcase games from all genres and developers. There are too many to list but highlights include the tropical open world of Tchia, narrative adventure Goodbye Volcano High, and Season: A Letter to the Future, a bicycle road trip through a world on the edge of cataclysm.
As for Sony’s first parties, we don’t really have a grasp on what many of the PlayStation Studios are up to. On the one hand, it’s exciting – it could make for some big reveals in the summer – but on the other, likely whatever’s cooking is years away. We at least have a rough idea of what Naughty Dog is working on, with the upcoming Last of Us multiplayer game coming at some point. But very few details are known, other than Neil Druckman saying it is “as big as any of our single-player games” and a piece of concept art suggesting it takes place in San Francisco.
Something we do know is we’ll be watching HBO’s adaptation of The Last of Us starring Pedro Pascal as Joel and Bella Ramsey as Ellie when it begins on January 15th. It’s not the only Sony game getting the live-action treatment either, as David Harbour and Orlando Bloom are set to star in Neil Blomkamp’s Gran Turismo movie as PlayStation Productions looks to spread its wings further following 2022’s Uncharted. Days Gone, Ghost of Tsushima, Gravity Rush, and Jak and Daxter are also in the works, as well as TV series for Twisted Metal, God of War, and Horizon, but these are unlikely to release in 2023.
Of course, there are also the third-party studios and the raft of non-exclusives coming to PS5 in 2023, including the Dead Space remake, Resident Evil 4 Remake, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, Hogwarts Legacy, Street Fighter 6, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, Diablo 4, AND Armored Core 6 to name a few. There certainly won’t be a shortage of things to play in 2023.
New Year, New Tech
The PlayStation 4 Slim and Pro were released just three years after the launch of the original PS4. By the end of 2023 we’ll have reached that period for PS5, so it may not be completely out of the question we could see a new edition of the PlayStation 5 at some point over the next 12 months. A slim version certainly wouldn’t go amiss for those struggling to fit the current one under their TV. However, with PS5s only now becoming more of a regular sight on shop shelves, Sony’s focus may well still be on making sure a steady supply of its base models is being produced, rather than working on getting a new version out of the door.
One thing we do know is on the way is PSVR2. Sony’s second stab at virtual reality will be in players’ hands and strapped to heads as soon as February 22nd. Packed with impressive tech, there’s optimism it could make the splash in the virtual world its predecessor failed to achieve.
Offering VR in 4K HDR, it has a 110-degree field of view with an OLED display, inside-out tracking using integrated cameras in the VR headset, and a new Sense Technology that combines eye tracking, headset feedback, and 3D Audio. PSVR2 also includes a built-in motor that gives the wearer physical feedback. In our hands-on preview, we said “PlayStation VR2, thankfully, brings things up to parity. Room-scale VR is on offer here thanks to inside-out headset-based tracking, and the controllers feel on-par with Meta’s latest.”
While the specs of PSVR2 rival the Oculus Quest 2 and Valve Index, it is still a wired headset and requires a PlayStation 5 to use. With a hefty price tag of $549.99 / £529.99 on top of the cost of already owning a PS5, the lineup of games may well prove to be a huge deciding factor for potential buyers.
PSVR2 is slated to launch with over 20 games including Horizon: Call of the Mountain – a standalone VR adventure taking place in the post-post-apocalyptic, mechanical beast-filled world Guerilla has created. It will be joined by the likes of No Man’s Sky and The Dark Pictures: Switchback, an on-rails shooter spin-off of the horror series. VR versions of the original Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil Village are coming too. While the success of Sony’s next plunge into virtual reality remains to be seen, its strong list of first-party showcases and big-name exclusives can only help its cause.
With plenty of games to play, a new era of PlayStation VR, and much more, Sony looks set to build on the successes of 2022. What are you most excited for? Let us know in the comments.
Simon Cardy can’t wait to get stomped on by a Thunderjaw in VR. Follow him on Twitter at @CardySimon.