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DF Direct Weekly on the PS5 State of Play event and the Sonic Frontiers gameplay reveal

Plus: High hopes for PSVR2 and its initial games line-up.

The latest DF Direct Weekly has arrived, in which myself, John Linneman and Alex Battaglia spend a disproportionate amount of time discussing Sony's latest State of Play stream. While it may have been short on 'gigaton' news and reveals, the showing was strong overall, concentrating on 2022 and 2023 titles, going large on PlayStation VR2 and - in a welcome turn - taking transparency to a new level. It was made clear that everything we saw was running in real-time on console hardware and if it wasn't, captions popped up to explain what it was we were actually seeing.

This latter point may not sound like a big deal, but it's been a bugbear of ours for years. When so many gaming events have relied on pre-rendered CG trailers, questions have to be asked about how representative the content is of the end product. Can you imagine any other form of entertainment teasing the audience with trailers that bear little or no relation to the actual end product, often looking a lot better? Sony has been pretty good with this on prior State of Plays and it's the way forward - as is showing us real meat as opposed to 'pre-announcement' announcements.

Onto the content, where after an excellent Resident Evil 4 Remake reveal (in itself an endorsement of in-house engine development in a world where UE5 is set to dominate), it was straight into the PSVR2 reveal. The news of bolt-on content for RE4 was welcome, as was the upgrade for Resident Evil Village. As John points out, while RE7 had PSVR1 support, it still relied on DualShock 4 for input, so over and above the visual upgrade, the actual nuts and bolts of playing the game should also be much improved. Horizon: Call of the Mountain also looked great, but we're curious about the technical underpinnings - the Decima Engine as seen in Forbidden West may not be the best fit for a VR experience, so it'll be interesting to see where Guerrilla goes with this one.

Watch the DF Direct in convenient video form to learn why Alex is making that face.Watch on YouTube
  • 00:00:00 Introductions
  • 00:00:59 News 1: State of Play June 2022
  • 00:41:38 News 2: Sonic Frontiers gameplay underwhelms
  • 00:48:25 News 3: PS+ Japan gets NTSC classics
  • 00:52:08 News 4: God of War and Horizon Forbidden West get updates
  • 00:55:31 DF Content Discussion: DF Retro PS3 1080p video update
  • 01:01:53 DF Supporter Q1: Any thoughts on breathless stories saying RTX cards are "back to MSRP"?
  • 01:07:41 DF Supporter Q2: What do you guys think AMD needs to pull out of the hat to surpass Nvidia on the PC market?
  • 01:20:31 DF Supporter Q3: How about a comprehensive tech terms and techniques explanation video?
  • 01:22:46 DF Supporter Q4: Why do Japanese Genesis / Mega Drive games just sound so much better musically?
  • 01:26:32 DF Supporter Q5: With all the games that you guys have reviewed all these years, which post-processing effect is your favourite?

We also spend some time discussing the Sonic Frontiers gameplay reveal, which - in common with much of 'the internet' it seems - didn't exactly impress us. I guess the major issue for me is pretty straightforward: cut out the rings and replace Sonic with another character (Ugly Sonic?) and there's nothing definably Sonic about what we saw. Meanwhile, from a tech perspective, frame-rate and pop-in issues looked pretty rough. We also talk quickly about God of War's FSR 2.0 update and Horizon Forbidden West's new patch which tweaks the presentation of the controversial performance mode. We'll be back with God of War analysis later in the week and we're also keen on revisiting Horizon - though with 40Hz and VRR support coming soon, we may defer our work until that particular updates arrives.

Beyond all of this, John also spends some time talking about his upcoming DF Retro project: PlayStation 3 - The 1080p Dream, an analysis of Sony's claims and the eventual 1080p games we received across the entire generation. This is the kind of content that is only possible because of the DF Supporter Program. We're not sure we've included every single 1080p game but we've certainly covered the vast majority of them in a video that clocks in at around 3.25 hours in length (!). In the process we chased down every 1080p report that we could find, securing the games and testing them. Where Xbox 360 also supported 1080p, we cover that too! This is a timed exclusive to Retro tier supporters and should be available in the next day or so. For non-supporters, it'll be separated into three or four separate episodes, published across July. But seriously - do look into our supporter program. If you like what Digital Foundry does, if you want to get involved, if you want to join our amazing community and receive a ton of bonus material and early access, please go to Patreon. You know it makes sense!

And finally, with the State of Play having shown us some mouthwatering footage of The Callisto Protocol - which looks a hell of a lot like a Dead Space game - we're bemused at the recent news that the game no longer takes place in the PUBG universe. Um, what? How? Isn't the question really how this doesn't take place in the Dead Space universe? Regardless, the game is looking great and the fact we'll be playing it - hopefully! - in 2022 is excellent news.

In the meantime, DF Direct Weekly will return next week, and a day earlier than usual. We're clearing the decks in preparation for the Microsoft/Bethesda conference, where we'll be producing a bonus episode after the fact. See you next week!

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