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PlayStation 5: waiting for the hype to blow over

On the evening of 11 June 2020, Sony took to both YouTube and Twitch to reveal the PlayStation 5 to the world after much speculation. Millions of viewers turned in to find out about the console’s new look, the specs it would hide 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.

The current generation of consoles were announced in early 2013 and I remember being caught up in the excitement back then. I think recently starting blogging added to the feeling; I’d just found a community of likeminded people who were all eager to see the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and I got swept up in it with them. I stayed up late to see the reveal events, published several posts about them, ranted about always-online and backwards-compatibility – and watched everyone else do the same.

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.

I just can’t bring myself to see the consoles as anything other than just another bit of hardware nowadays. I can immediately think of several friends who are going to tell me off for saying that – and are also going to remind me that I should be looking forward to the better titles I’ll be able to play on a shiny new PlayStation 5 soon. But the truth is, I don’t particularly care. If the hardware I currently own can still run the games I personally want to play, regardless of how old it is, then I’m really not bothered about owning the latest equipment.

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.

Kim View All

Video game lover, Later Levels blogger and SpecialEffect volunteer. Big fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.

30 thoughts on “PlayStation 5: waiting for the hype to blow over Leave a comment

  1. Interesting viewpoint as ever. I’ve been trying to put my finger on why I’m feeling less than enthused about the reveal. Entirely agree about the key points here, for me all I’d add with the enforced extended break from life, I’m more excited getting back out into the outside world as opposed to another reason to be indoors.

    Ultimately I suppose it’s the status symbol aspect of having the shiny new thing but it won’t be in short supply to create some sort of enviable feeling amongst others. You can’t lug it about flaunting your hardware like a new phone or car or something 🤷🏼‍♂️I dunno. Feel to old these days that the prospect of dropping half a grand for slightly prettier graphics is supposed to be a good thing.

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    • I totally get this! When talking to friends of a similar age about the PS5, they’ve all mentioned that the graphics will only be slightly better than the current generation of consoles and there doesn’t seem to be much point in spending such a big amount. I wonder if their opinions will change around Christmas time though… 🤔

      Liked by 1 person

      • 🤷🏼‍♂️it’s possible. The temptation to ‘Keep up with the Joneses’ is always a strong determining factor in these things, a renewed push, a few more exclusives announced will sound tempting.

        Right now on the cusp of some form of liberation and returning to normality, and in the absence of the physical convention and having that traditional buzz and excitement this sort of flat reveal trailer this early, I dunno if it worked.

        Seems to have abandoned the short run time announcements in recent years from the like of Bethesda announcing a month or so out from release and having that high pressure short term hype

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        • I hadn’t thought about how the absence of the physical events would impact the publicity surrounding the new consoles, but I’d imagine there were a few marketing executives holding their heads in their hands when the cancellations were announced. If the expos scheduled for later this year go ahead, my guess is we’ll see some huge (and incredibly loud) stands from Sony and Microsoft.

          I think that’s my main problem with hype. I quite enjoy it when it picks up just before the release of a console or game and can even get caught up in it myself sometimes, but I find all the extended lead times exhausting. There’s only so much you can say about a new product before you’ve heard it all before.

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  2. I agree with you there, I’m not getting any of the hype over the new generation of consoles, and to be honest I haven’t seen much in the way of excitement from folk on social media. What’s there to be excited about? I might pick up a PS5 in a few years when the second part of the FFVII remake comes out, but until then I can’t see anything decent on the horizon that would warrant buying one. Especially with TLOU2, Ghost of Tsushima and Cyberpunk 2077 arriving so late into this console generation’s lifespan- there’s still a lot of life left in this one, so why bother buying the new one just yet?

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    • The only game announced so far that I’d be really interested in is Horizon Zero Dawn 2; other than that, I’m keeping my ears open for news about Fable 4. But I don’t see how two releases can justify paying out for a new console and those games are likely to come out on PC anyway. I’ve been a bit wary about Cyberpunk 2077 so far… there’s so much hype about it already and we’re still months off from the release, which kind of puts me off! Maybe I really am getting too old for this. 😆

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      • I’ll admit that I’ve been keeping my reading of Cyberpunk 2077 to a minimum, although I did read those articles about genital customisation because it sounded such a bizarre aspect of a game to write about 😄

        I feel like I’m getting too old for this too tbh! I rolled my eyes when I saw the new consoles initially haha

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        • I’ve completely stayed away from anything to do with Cyberpunk, so I’ve seen nothing but the headlines and therefore know only about the delays (and genital customisation ha ha). I just got so tired of hearing about Fallout 76 last year that it’s now put me off any kind of major marketing campaign for a new game.

          I guess there’s a fine balance between getting the kids whipped up into a hype frenzy and not making us older gamers feel ancient. 😉

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          • Totally understandable, I’m sick of hearing about Fallout 76, whether it’s marketing or even a video pointing out one of its many flaws 😄 I think that I’ve avoided Cyberpunk articles mainly because I don’t want to get my hopes up too much. A part of me wonders if it’s even going to be released at all.

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            • Yeah, I totally get that. We’ve had a few bad experiences in recent years so I think it’s really easy to associate generated-hype with upcoming-disappointment now. Next Cyberpunk announcement: delayed until Christmas 2021?

              Of course it will be out in time for holiday season. 😆

              Liked by 1 person

  3. I definitely hear you on the hype, but I don’t mind getting a bit caught up in it. Indeed it’s ultimately it’s all about the games – my excitement isn’t for Xbox Series X, it’s for Halo Infinite; not for PS5 but for Spider-Man Miles Morales. Plus, this time around, my son is old enough to understand about them, so it’s fun to share his wide-eyed excitement!

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    • Good point… maybe I’ll start feeling the hype once my stepkid starts feeling excited himself but so far, he hasn’t even mentioned the PS5. I’m sure that will change about Christmas time though when he and his dad get sucked into Sony’s huge marketing campaign and start hinting that they’d really like one. 😆

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  4. I may be the reverse. I enjoy the hype, as entertainment and for seeing the latest new and novel ideas and approaches.

    But I’ve never bought a console, phone or indeed most non-MMO games, on launch day or anywhere near it. Far better to let the early adopters discover any hardware issues and work out the kinks, and let prices drop a little before even considering picking it up.

    The hype though, it’s just fun, for all the pizazz and as a shared topic of interest or discussion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s interesting… most people I know who enjoy the hype around new releases tend to buy the console or the game as soon as it’s available. I fully expect a bunch of friends to receive a PlayStation 5 for Christmas or gift one to themselves. Personally, I think I’m going to be tired of hearing about it by the time the holiday season arrives! ha ha

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  5. I did watch the event but I may as well have not. Perhaps it because I’m suspicious of fads, that something’s only popular because everyone follows the crowd mentality; I still don’t understand the hype over The Last of Us and expressing lack of interest has become equivalent to questioning a cult. The PlayStation 4 was disappointing enough as it is, with so much online play required rather than just enabled and most of it being premium DLC. I became so bored that I connected my PlayStation 2 up again and returned to my backlog. It’s the best thing I’ve done all year. At this point, my reaction to most popular culture is that Alan Partridge shrugging GIF.

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    • It’s so nice to hear from someone else who feels that way about The Last of Us. I played a couple of hours of the first game and didn’t bother going to back to it because I thought it was boring and the story clichéd. I couldn’t care less about the sequel; I’ve read nothing about it, haven’t watched the trailers and won’t be buying it. It’s good to finally be able to say that to someone without them staring at me in shock or telling me I’m wrong. 😆

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  6. Allow me to spew some hype…

    The forthcoming generation of consoles will raise the bar for everyone, including PC gamers.

    Sony and Microsoft are bringing 4K, ray tracing and SSD storage to the masses, for a reasonable price I hope. Building a PC capable of those things is an expensive endeavour.

    What this new hardware will allow developers to create is going to be nothing short of incredible by the end of the generation.

    That said, I’m not a fan of the new design of the PS5 at all. It’s so off putting I might once again wait for a mid cycle refresh/slim, thrash the new Xbox and hit my backlog on PC.

    Horizon Forbidden West and new Spider-Man though… Hmm. Great time to be a gamer regardless!

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    • You keep throwing those specs and sequels at me all you want, Dan. They’re not going to convince me I want a PlayStation 5. 😆

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    • You mean when you can finally get onto it, don’t have to watch a loading screen for five minutes, and then don’t get kicked out of your session?! ha ha

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  7. I’m still on the ‘do we really need a next generation right now?’ side of the fence, even after getting hyped by the PS5 reveal event – I just want more enjoyable experiences that we’re already seeing at the moment from developers that don’t need to grapple with new hardware.

    A new console generation creates mostly weak titles for the first year that try to look pretty but lack interesting stories and mechanics before the good stuff comes along.

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    • We all know what’s going to happen: both Dan and Pete will get a PS5, and then start putting pressure on you to get one too because it’s ‘awesome’. 😆

      It feels like we’re stuck in a rut right now, with loads of sequels and remakes but nothing new to really grab our attention. I want a new game to come along that makes me sit up and pay attention rather than getting bored after the first hour!

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  8. This console generation may have changed my expectations about what I may ultimately want from a console.

    I got an Xbox One at launch which was an interesting experience (patching Forza Motorsport due to the last minute digital rights switch was not fun!) but I did end up sticking around for the Xbox One X and that may be where my perspective changed because it initially became more about playing the games I own “better” with more consistent framerates and visual upgrades to old games. New games supporting it were a big bonus. But it could also have been a novelty too (was a huge performance difference between the two consoles) and that same experience may not be shared with the next Xbox.

    Really hoping that no matter what console people settle on (or them all!) that they bring plenty of surprises, lots of value and are satisfied with their investment.

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    • There’s a small part of me which hopes I’ll feel more enthusiastic about the new consoles once we’re nearer to their release, and that my current apathy is mostly due to the lockdown. Maybe there’ll be an announcement soon which grabs my attention and finally makes me feel excited about them (come on, Fable 4). I think you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned ‘surprises’ – I want to hear something about the consoles which makes me sit up and take notice!

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  9. I feel similar to you. The only way I’d rush to purchase a PS5 is if any of the subsequent FFVII Remakes comes out exclusively on it. I wouldn’t be surprised if Squeenix did that, but I haven’t heard anything yet about the next one, so I’m reserving any plans until then. I’ve seen the capabilities of it through the presentations, and I’m kinda like “Okay…the PS4 still looks just as good,” but maybe I”m just spouting blasphemy hehe. I’m sure there’s more it can do for certain types of games.

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    • That’s what I keep being told by certain friends – that it’s going to revolutionise the way we play games, allow developers to deliver incredible titles, etc – but I just can’t see it myself. I’m still happy with the PS4 and think the games we’re playing right now are incredible. Maybe I’ll change my mind when it gets closer to the consoles being available but for the present… meh.

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      • Omg every new system says that. “It’s going to revolutionize!” I mean sure? I’d agree with that when it came to older generations. Like the PS1 definitely changed things, but PS4/Xbone graphics are pretty revolutionary right now. This isn’t saying the next generation won’t do some amazing things, but to me it’s like I already bought a new car that has fancy bells and whistles. Yes a newer car will have fancier ones, but I don’t need it right now.

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        • The friends who *aren’t* that bothered by the PS5 right now have all said similar things about the graphics! Pretty much all new big-budget games are ‘photorealistic’ and sure, they can probably get better with new hardware; but it’s not a selling point to a lot of people because they’re kind of ‘good enough’ already. Sony is really going to have to highlight some other benefits if they want us to sit up and take notice…

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