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Things about the PS5 reveal that nobody is talking about

The PlayStation 5 reveal video was full of moments and clips that gamers will talk about for years, from the Spider-Man: Miles Morales announcement to the unveiling of the WiFi router-shaped PlayStation 5 console. Every second of the presentation, which was 20 minutes short of a feature-length movie, had gamers on the edges of their seats. However, some inclusions, while notable, glided under the audience's radar.

Maybe an otherwise notable feature was drowned out by other hyped design elements, or perhaps an important console aspect was taken for granted. Whatever the reason, the PS5 reveal featured more than just Resident Evil 8 and Horizon: Forbidden West. Here are all the little details unveiled during the PS5 reveal that nobody is talking about, and why those details are so crucial to the PlayStation 5's success in the next console generation.

The PS5 has more exclusives (and timed exclusives) than the Xbox Series X

The number of console exclusives on PlayStation consoles (and comparative lack thereof on Xbox consoles) is a running gag, and Sony pulled out all the stops for its PS5 reveal video. Ask any gamer on the internet what PS5 exclusives they are excited for, and you will get a ton of answers. But if you ask them what Xbox Series X exclusives they are looking forward to, you'll likely get nothing but wrong answers.

You see, the upcoming PS5 is full of exclusives, including Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, Horizon: Forbidden West, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Gran Turismo 7, and Returnal. The Xbox Series X, meanwhile, doesn't have an exclusive title (yet). The Series X's dirty little secret is that all of its announced upcoming games will launch on PC. Halo Infinite? Windows 10. Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2? Coming to PC. Scorn? Wishlist it now on Steam.

Granted, some upcoming PS5 games are timed exclusives and will launch on PC, such as GhostWire: Tokyo and Godfall, but the day Ratchet & Clank comes to PC or the Xbox Series X is the day Dr. Nefarious stops trying to take over the galaxy. Meanwhile, Halo stopped being an Xbox exclusive a long time ago.

Ray tracing: The future of graphics

Graphics are on the front line of the video game battlefield. Many studios fall back on time-honored narratives and game mechanics, and tend to "innovate" by blurring the line between video game graphics and the real world. The most recent graphical breakthrough is ray tracing, which simulates how light interacts with objects. Ray tracing enables reflections and other lighting effects to be rendered realistically, and the PlayStation 5 will have the technology for it built right in.

Previously, ray tracing was exclusive to high-end PCs (as in the $3,000 or more behemoths with more RGB lighting than a rave). But during the PS5 reveal trailer, developers announced they will implement ray tracing in their games thanks to the console's powerful hardware. In fact, in Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, Clank looks like he got a fresh oil bath thanks to ray tracing. Judging by the trailer, ray tracing will make the game look superior to the Ratchet & Clank movie, which is no small feat.

Of course, the Xbox Series X will also feature ray tracing capabilities, so why is the PS5's ray tracing such a big deal? Some people believe the spread of ray tracing will result in more games that feature the technology and more platforms that support it, which could ultimately make ray tracing more affordable.

Hear like never before with 3D audio

Audio design can make or break an experience. Nobody would give two blistered thumbs about God of War if Kratos didn't sound like he wanted to perpetually murder mountains. Good thing that Sony, one of the world's leading manufacturers in headphones and speakers (and Blu-ray players) also manufactures the various PlayStation consoles. This ownership gives developers insider tech to push auditory immersion forward, especially in Sony's proprietary VR games.

While the PlayStation 5 video touted all the features of the DualSense controller, it also boasted about 3D audio. In layman's terms, 3D audio is a technique/technology that makes sounds feel like they come from all around you, sort of like surround sound but with the bonus of letting you actually pinpoint a sound's origins. This tech will likely only be possible in a select few PS5 games, and only if players use the PS5's 3D Pulse headset. However, the added benefit is 3D audio could help fully immerse players in PS5 VR games. Granted, the PS5 VR headset has yet to be announced, but you know it's coming, and you know Sony will recommend the 3D Pulse headset for the ultimate VR experience.

If successful, 3D audio could move video game sound forward in a very big way.

PS5 is resurrecting the pack-in game

What is the best way to sell a game console? You include a game, and if audiences want to play it, they'll buy the appropriate console. Console manufacturers learned this tactic thanks to Sonic the Hedgehog, as Sega sold 15 million Sega Genesis units alone by packing the game with the console. Since then, many companies usually have put their best foot forward by enticing potential buyers with good pack-in games, but the previous generation of consoles bucked the trend and didn't include pack-in games, console/game bundles notwithstanding. That's about to change thanks to the PlayStation 5.

The PS5's reveal video had a trailer for Astro's Playroom, a fun follow-up to Astro Bot Rescue Mission that abandons VR functionality. However, the Astro's Playroom trailer probably confused you because it doesn't feature a release date. How can anyone get excited for a game when they don't know when it will release? Well, an extended and standalone trailer states that Astro's Playroom will be pre-loaded into every PS5. No need to download the game or insert a disc — which would prove difficult for the PS5 Digital Edition since that version lacks a disc drive. Just complete the initial PS5 setup and you can play the game.

Unless Microsoft includes a pack-in game with the Xbox Series X, the PS5 might overtake the Series X in initial sales.

Shuhei Yoshida is now a Souls convert

Before Sony unveiled the long-awaited and rumored Demon's Souls remake, Shuhei Yoshida — the company's Head of Independent Developer Initiative – stepped in to introduce the game, stating it was "near and dear" to him. On the surface, this doesn't seem like a big deal. Yoshida has been with PlayStation since the beginning, produced numerous titles such as Ape Escape and The Legend of Dragoon, and even managed studios responsible for games like Ratchet & Clank, Uncharted, and God of War. So what is so important about Yoshida introducing the Demon's Souls remake? He originally hated Demon's Souls.

While Yoshida is linked to many blockbuster PlayStation titles, he is also tethered to Sony's mishandling of Demon's Souls. Yoshida infamously called the title "an unbelievably bad game" because he spent almost two hours playing a demo build of the game but made zero progress. After two hours, he was still "standing at the beginning at the game." This experience convinced him Demon's Souls would be terrible, which is why Sony passed publishing duties on to Atlus and Namco in America and Europe, respectively (Sony still published the game in Japan, though).

In the 11 years since Demon's Souls released, Yoshida has had a change of heart. He's seen the merit of the game — probably thanks to the success of the Dark Souls franchise and growth of the soulsborne genre. As a result he began to love Demon's Souls.

It takes a big man to admit his mistakes, and Yoshida did that to an audience of 12 million and growing.

Sony might have teased the PS5 menu

Each PlayStation console has a different startup screen. The PlayStation 2, for instance, has the ever classic calming tones and blocks of indeterminate length (that vary depending on how many games you have played and for how long). The PlayStation 3 boots into a screen that features the sound of orchestra musicians tuning their instruments. The PlayStation 4 asks users to press the PS button on their controllers. These screens raise the question of how the PlayStation 5 will greet gamers, though thanks to the Future of Gaming presentation, we might already know.

At the 44:16 mark of the PS5 reveal video, the screen cut to a message stating "See important health and safety warnings in the Settings menu." What was this all about? Before fans had time to mull over this mysterious message, the video exploded into glitter and displayed the words, "Press the PS button on your controller," complete with a pulsing PS button underneath. Wait a minute, could this have been a teaser for the PS5 startup screen and menu?

Since the PS4 displays the "See important health and safety warnings in the Settings menu" message whenever it is turned on (not including sleep mode), odds are we will see the greeting from the reveal video when we first turn on our PS5s, or at least something similar.

Destruction AllStars is Fortnite meets Twisted Metal

One upon a time, Twisted Metal was the PlayStation's premier demolition derby franchise. The series mixed vehicular combat, inventive weapons, and dark comedy into a nutritious blend of broken glass, missiles, and liver-flavored ice cream. Twisted Metal introduced numerous PlayStation mainstay characters, the most notorious being the murderous clown Sweet Tooth. Every PlayStation console (yes, even the handheld one) featured at least one Twisted Metal title, but the franchise vanished after the PS3. Twisted Metal might have gone silent, but Destruction AllStars might pick up where Twisted Metal left off.

On the surface, Destruction AllStars and Twisted Metal look like two different beasts, but the more you examine them, you begin to see how Destruction AllStars carries the spirit of Twisted Metal. Both emphasize vehicular gladiatorial combat and require players to pummel opposing cars until they are little more than bumper guard unicycles. Plus, Destruction AllStars and Twisted Metal matches take place in large arenas filled with enough obstacles, deathtraps, and floating platforms to bankrupt entire nations.

Granted, Destruction AllStars steers clear of Twisted Metal's edgelord art style and instead takes a few pages from Fortnite's playbook, but that's probably because Fortnite is so popular. The game's art style is an explosion of color that attracts gamers of all ages, so of course other studios would want to copy it, including the team behind Destruction AllStars. Giving the game a Twisted Metal vibe is just the cherry bomb on top of the cake of destruction that sets it apart from the competition.

Sony kept the DualSense's motion sensor hidden

When Sony announced the DualSense controller, the company was proud of its haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. The pad lets you feel the grittiness of driving through mud, or experience the tension of drawing back a bowstring. These were the controller's key selling points, as was the addition of a new microphone and the return of a redesigned touchpad. Sony had apparently shown its hand when presenting the controller, but that was obviously not true since the PS5 reveal trailer had one more trick up its sleeve in the form of showing off the DualSense's motion controls.

Yes, the motion sensor will make a comeback in the DualSense controller. It's a miracle the gadget has enough room for motion control functionality in its cramped frame, but Sony found a way. While relatively few games took advantage of the DualShock 4's motion sensor, Sony is doubling down on motion controls for the PS5. Only time will tell if developers will actually use the sensor, or if it will just be a gimmick that unnecessarily drives up the price of DualSense controllers.

No, GhostWire's faceless enemies aren't based on Slender Man (probably)

GhostWire: Tokyo intrigued audiences when Bethesda teased the title in 2019. The trailer preyed on irrational fears that many have, from seeing discarded clothes where crowds once roamed to watching dogs pitifully moan for owners who suddenly vanished. Fans got a closer look at the game's action and enemies during the PS5 reveal video, and afterward, discussions about one particular enemy really picked up. It looked like Slender Man (with an umbrella). But was it Slender Man? 

If GhostWire was being produced in a Western country, that theory might hold more water. Since the game is being developed by Japanese studio Tango Gameworks, though, the creature in the video was likely based on something different. After all, many of the game's other enemies have more traditional Japanese origins.

The PlayStation Blog provided a deep dive into GhostWire: Tokyo, complete with descriptions and names of enemies. Two of the three listed creatures are based on emotions such as sadness and loneliness. The third is a straight-up reinterpretation of the Slit-Mouth Woman Japanese urban legend, right down to her obsession with scissors and tendency to ask strangers if she's attractive. What does that mean? Probably that the Slender Man lookalikes are also based on Japanese spirits, specifically the country's resident faceless ghost.

You might see more enemies based on traditional Japanese lore in future GhostWire: Tokyo videos. As for Slender Man making an appearance in the game, you can probably assume that won't happen.

Where's God of War?

The Spider-Man: Miles Morales trailer in the PlayStation 5 video set the tone for the rest of the Future of Gaming experience. A good chunk of the game announcements were destined to be sequels of existing titles, including Gran Turismo 7, Resident Evil 8: Village, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, and Horizon: Forbidden West. Of course the video didn't include The Last of Us Part 2, since that game is already available on the PlayStation 4. But the reveal video still lacked one important announcement for a franchise synonymous with PlayStation: God of War.

The God of War soft reboot is one of the best games on the PS4, having received enough praise to last a lifetime. It was popular enough to join Horizon: Zero Dawn, The Last of Us, and Uncharted 4 in a special dynamic theme (not even the uber-popular Persona 5 can claim that honor). More importantly, God of War features a sequel bait secret ending. The game earned more than enough money to greenlight a sequel, yet it wasn't teased in the PS5 video.

So where is it?

We all know the sequel is a matter of when, not if, so perhaps God of War's sequel isn't ready to be shown just yet. It's possible Mimir knows the answer, but he's nowhere to be found. Typical.