Hey PlayStation, I'll buy more games like Astro Bot, please

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Sony Interactive Entertainment

Sony kicked off its game reveal marathon this week with an exciting Game of Play broadcast. The 30-minute broadcast shed light on what's coming to PlayStation 5 in the back half of 2024 and beyond. We took a comprehensive view RapportBloober Team's release date has been announced Silent Hill 2 remakeand we learned more about Supermassives until dawn redo. But the most exciting announcement of the show wasn't a live-service shooter or a game pushing photorealistic visuals. It was a cute little robot that stole the show.

Astro Robot It took the final slot during the State of Play stream – and for good reason. Sony released an enjoyable trailer for its new platform game, which created excitement on social media. Even this morning you'll see “GOTY” (game of the year) trending on X (formerly Twitter) and posts being crowned priority. Astro Robot As the best game of 2024.

Astro Robot “Exactly the kind of thing I miss so much from Sony.” Tweets by John Linneman of Digital Foundry. “I'm so happy they were given the chance to do this. I'm really excited about it. Possible GOTY candidate if it's as good as I hope it is.”

Linneman's thoughts likely echo what many excited fans are feeling right now. Not only this Astro Robot It looks like an incredibly polished, cute platformer; It feels like a return to the lost era of PlayStation that players have longed for.

blast from the past

I grew up with several video game consoles, but I have particularly fond memories: my original PlayStation. Countless hours were spent dodging the rocks Crash Bandicoot or flying around Dragon Spyro. I can't tell you how many times I listened to the first two songs. Rapper PaRappa or crashed cars twisted metal. Every game I played was completely different. My curiosity and imagination have always been triggered, and I imagine these feelings helped shape me into the creative person I am today.

All of the games listed above are first-party games published by Sony. The company had a ridiculously broad publishing strategy at the time; monkey escape with 2Xtreme. This would continue into the PS2 era with weird games like: fantasy (A game that got a great PSVR2 sequel last year without Sony's publishing support). Sony has really made strides this generation, bolstering a stable of great franchises including Jak and Daxter, Ratchet and Clank, and Sly Cooper. It also gave us one-off masterpieces. shadow of the statueIt will remain one of the gaming industry's most influential releases.

A giant with a stick.
Sony Interactive Entertainment

This situation began to change in the PS4 era. Sony began to be much more selective about publishing, focusing its efforts on reliable studios and intellectual property rights. With this change, PlayStation's first-party roster began to shrink. We've seen an increasing emphasis on cinematic adventure games and open-world games that feature PlayStation's technology. Titles like Crash Bandicoot It's becoming rare. Instead, franchises like God of War, Horizon, and The Last of Us took over.

So something like this Astro Robot It comes as a pleasant shock. This is the kind of creative move that PlayStation has slowly abandoned over the years. And even though it's not that much there IQ: Smart Qube or hokumIt's different enough from what we get to earn applause from those who miss the eclectic days of first-party Sony publishing.

Even though I'm excited to see Astro Robot It's troubling that this game, which has evolved as a franchise, is one of very few games in Sony's arsenal. Sackboy is still around, and Insomniac drops the occasional Ratchet & Clank game (though a leaked schedule for the studio's upcoming games suggests it's working on several Marvel games in the near future). If Astro Robot If there are failures and Sony decides to move away from the series, there won't be much left for gamers looking for creative first-party games like this.

In Astro Bot, a robot punches a boss.
Sony Interactive Entertainment

Sony could stand to diversify its slim portfolio, although it's easy to understand why it might want to remain conservative. Game development has become incredibly expensive for companies chasing console-selling blockbuster games. Gambling gets a lot more costly these days when it doesn't pay off. Why release a niche game about a rapping dog when you can re-release the same two Last of Us games over and over again? Until major publishers started funding smaller games with lower budgets and scope. Astro Robot He will continue to be an outlier outside of Nintendo's empire.

Still, amidst the wave of excitement, I make a request to Sony. Astro Robot. Video games can offer an important creative outlet for both children and adults. At best, they can inspire us with creative designs. This feeling is still present in the PS5's existing first-party library, but the experiences are narrowing down; It's like going to an amusement park with one ride. I long for the day when PlayStation games will be like this Astro Robot I no longer feel like an exception to the rule.

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