It’s summertime and the living is easy… well, maybe not that easy, but thanks to the State of Gaming Podcast for June 2020, it’s a little bit easier. And because we’re entering the hot and sweaty summer of an industry without its usual bevvy of distracting tradeshows and broken promises that means sequels, super (new) consoles, and plenty of discounted gaming goodies worth taking a second look at while the gettin’ is good.
In short: it’s gaming back to what it used to mean – gaming – and our intrepid hosts Cory Galliher and Nate Evans are here to help sort through it all. Let’s get to it!
Big and Beautiful: The PS5
At long last, Sony has finally lifted the lid and shared their wildy anticipated next-generation console with the world. The PlayStation 5 is real and it’s certainly something to behold. The successor to the slatted PS4 is big, bold and boasts plenty of spectacular titles like Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Demon’s Souls, Resident Evil Village, Horizon Forbidden West and Bugsnax to challenge Microsoft’s moderately designed Xbox Series X, though fans should expect a next-generation battle for the ages.
While so much attention has been paid to the console’s unique aesthetic and super speedy SSD drive – both worthy topics all their own – our hosts instead take a different approach, focusing instead on the two iterations of the machine: the standard and digital-only versions. Microsoft led the charge with their own discless Xbox One All-Digital variant last generation, but with the PS5 Sony has signaled a digital-free future out of the gate with their optical-free edition.
Perhaps this was inevitable, especially as nearly every other medium has gone disc-less already, a reality filmmaker Kevin J. James spoke about in his documentary Not For Resale, which chronicled the slow death of physical gaming media. While our hosts are definitely of two minds about the “future” of gaming, it’s a conversation worth having – and being part of.
Sequel of the Summer: The Last of Us Part II
Without question, the most anticipated sequel this summer – and perhaps the year – is Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us Part II on the PlayStation 4. After years of development, delays, leaks and controversies fans of the original 2013 blockbuster can finally rejoin Ellie as she continues her quest for revenge in a hellish post-apocalyptic landscape where it seems the surviving humans are the real monsters.
Depending on where you get your gaming news these days the “story” of The Last of Us II has been anything but certain, with some choosing to focus on its development drama and not the actual game itself. Thankfully, our hosts choose to avoid most of this nonsense and attempt to reorient attention to where it belongs, the game itself. Though to be the final hurrah! for the PlayStation 4, Naughty Dog seems to have pushed the aging hardware further than what may thought possible in a technological triumph. But can the gameplay match those gorgeous visuals?
Join them as they talk about the low yield of high expectations, how to translate and trust game reviews, and why it’s always best to make up your own mind.
In other newsworthy items our hosts talk the comfortably predictable NPD software charts, the arrival of last year’s Build Engine throwback retro shooter Ion Fury for consoles, the questionable port of The Outer Worlds for Switch, Nate’s transformational chat with legendary eSports commentator Paul “ReDeYe” Chaloner, Pokémon expansions, Persona 4 Golden for PC, Phantasy Star 2 Online returns, and much more.