In 2019 Sony introduced State of Play, a series of pre-recorded, Nintendo Direct-style broadcasts highlighting upcoming first- and third-party PlayStation games. The video series began just a few months after Sony announced it was bowing out of E3 2019 — a decision it’s held to each year since — and represents Sony’s shift to a more controlled, consistent, and cost-effective way to engage its audience.
Coming up on the third anniversary of State of Play’s debut, we’re looking back at the history of the show thus far. Below we’ve chronicled every State of Play (and PlayStation Showcase, which are essentially larger scale State of Plays), highlighting the biggest announcements from each event to give you a better idea of what to expect from future shows in Sony’s post-E3 world.
Note: This article will be updated with new information after the March 9 State of Play.
The History of PlayStation’s State of Play
Iron Man VR was the biggest announcement from Sony’s first-ever State of Play, which aired on March 25, 2019. It was one of several PSVR titles shown off that day, alongside the previously announced Blood & Truth, which received a release date. Sony’s first broadcast was unsurprisingly one of its least bombastic, though the show also featured a new story trailer for Bend Studio’s then-upcoming open-world zombie game Days Gone.
- Days between showcases: 45
- Runtime: 21:26
Final Fantasy 7 Remake was the highlight of Sony’s second State of Play. The FF7R re-reveal provided our first substantial look at the remake in four years and cemented Sony’s newly created broadcasts as potential must-see events. Predator: Hunting Grounds, the console-exclusive licensed asymmetrical multiplayer game, was also revealed during the show, as was the release date for MediEvil, the 2019 remake of Sony’s PS1 hack-and-slash adventure.
- Days between showcases: 138
- Runtime: 21:42
The Last of Us Part 2 received a three-minute trailer during Sony’s third State of Play, giving us more insight into Ellie’s story, showing off more of its brutal combat, and teasing returning characters Tommy and Joel. Most importantly, it revealed the sequel’s February 2020 release date, though that’d eventually be pushed to June.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare showed off its still-impressive visuals in a new campaign trailer, while Tetris Effect developer Enhance announced a new puzzle game called Humanity. The promising reveal trailer ended with a 2020 release window, though Humanity is now due out sometime this year.
- Days between showcases: 77
- Runtime: 22:44
Sucker Punch closed out 2019’s final State of Play with a brief cutscene from Ghost of Tsushima’s gorgeous open world. Sony also showed off more of its creative tool/game Dreams, which was given a new trailer and Valentine’s Day 2020 release date. On the third-party front, Capcom confirmed the then-rumored Resident Evil 3 Remake alongside its forgettable multiplayer companion Resident Evil Resistance.
- Days between showcases: 156
- Runtime: 18:40
This 156-day gap is the longest Sony has gone between broadcasts since State of Play’s inception. During the first show of 2020, Sony focused solely on Ghost of Tsushima, detailing its open world, combat, photo mode, and more ahead of its July 2020 release.
- Days between showcases: 13
- Runtime: 23:34
Sony followed its longest-ever gap between showcases with its shortest; just 13 days after the Ghost of Tsushima State of Play, Sony aired another broadcast dedicated to The Last of Us Part 2, during which we learned more about the sequel’s map, enemies, factions, and combat.
- Days between showcases: 15
- Runtime: 1:14:25
Two weeks later, Sony returned with a doozy — inarguably its biggest and best broadcast to date. Airing as a substitute for its E3 conference, Sony’s June 2020 showcase was most notably home to the PlayStation 5 reveal.
In addition to showing off its next-gen console, Sony revealed what turned out to be nearly its entire first-party lineup for late 2020–early 2022: Astro’s Playroom, Demon’s Souls, Sackboy: A Big Adventure, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Destruction AllStars, Returnal, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, Horizon Forbidden West, and Gran Turismo 7.
Sony also made room for its partners, giving showtime to Capcom to reveal Resident Evil Village and Pragmata; Square to announce Project Athia (Forspoken); IO to reveal Hitman 3; and various independent developers to showcase their upcoming projects, including Kena: Bridge of Spirits, Bugsnax, Solar Ash, and more.
- Days between showcases: 56
- Runtime: 42:37
- Days between showcases: 41
- Runtime: 47:54
Ahead of releasing the PlayStation 5, Sony aired another showcase dedicated to the console, culminating in the announcement of PS5’s price and release date. On the games front, Final Fantasy 16 was announced as a PS5 console exclusive, the Harry Potter RPG Hogwarts Legacy was revealed, and God of War: Ragnarok was teased for the first time.
- Days between showcases: 52
- Runtime: 12:13
2020’s final State of Play had a singular focus: Bluepoint’s Demon’s Souls remake for PS5. Aired days before the remake’s release, the 12-minute broadcast featured new PS5 gameplay and a presentation from creative director Gavin Moore.
- Days between showcases: 110
- Runtime: 31:53
Sony’s first of six showcases in 2021 featured the reveal of Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade for PS5, as well as its Intermission Yuffie DLC. The recently released Sifu was also revealed during this State of Play, while Kena: Bridge of Spirits received its August 2021 release date.
- Days between showcases: 63
- Runtime: 22:28
Another of Sony’s smaller broadcasts came in April 2021, when the company showed off 16 minutes of Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart gameplay. While Rift Apart was the centerpiece, two other games made an appearance: Subnautica: Below Zero got a new gameplay trailer and Among Us was announced for PlayStation consoles.
- Days between showcases: 28
- Runtime: 19:11
May 2021’s State of Play was dedicated to Horizon Forbidden West. During the stream, developer Guerilla Games revealed key details about the sequel’s story, setting, weapons, abilities, and more, showcasing a large chunk of gameplay in a battle against a Tremortusk.
- Days between showcases: 42
- Runtime: 31:44
Sony returned to the digital stage two months later with a modest State of Play centered around a new Deathloop gameplay trailer. Moss: Book 2 was also announced for PSVR, while Death Stranding Director’s Cut was given its September 2021 release date.
- Days between showcases: 63
- Runtime: 42:01
Sony’s best and biggest show of 2021 aired on September 9. Following its tease a year earlier, God of War: Ragnarok was officially revealed by way of a gameplay trailer starring Kratos and Atreus. Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 was announced, as was another Insomniac-Marvel collaboration based on Wolverine. The biggest third-party reveal, meanwhile, was Aspyr’s Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Remake, which was announced as a PS5 console exclusive.
God of War: Ragnarok Trailer Screenshots — PlayStation Showcase 2021
- Days between showcases: 48
- Runtime: 22:33
A third-party-focused State of Play aired the following month, giving us fresh looks at Little Devil Inside, the free Bugsnax DLC, and the latest Five Nights at Freddy’s. The next entry in Square Enix’s long-running action-RPG series Star Ocean was also announced with a 2022 release window.
- Days between showcases: 100
Sony kicked off its 2022 programming with a Gran Turismo 7 State of Play. The entirety of the show was dedicated to the racer; it featured a deep dive into GT7 with 30 minutes of PS5 gameplay.
- Days between showcases: 35
Today’s 20-minute State of Play will feature “new reveals and eye-catching updates” for PS5 and PS4 games, with a “special focus” on games from Japanese publishers, according to Sony. The latter quote has led some to speculate we’ll be seeing more from Square Enix and Final Fantasy 16, though nothing’s been confirmed. It’s also possible we’ll hear more about Sony’s rumored Game Pass competitor, Project Spartacus.
Regardless of what’s announced, we’ll be updating this article after the show with all of Sony’s biggest reveals.
How Often Does Sony Air a PlayStation State of Play?
Since 2019 the time between State of Play broadcasts has ranged from 13 days to 156 — that’s anywhere from two weeks to five months. On average, Sony airs a new State of Play every 64 days (~two months), though by no means is that its standard cadence. That number, however, may be more valuable as a measure of Sony’s target number of broadcasts per year: Following a first year that featured four State of Plays, Sony aired six events in both 2020 and 2021 — three in the first half of the year and three in the back. Should Sony stick with this formula, we can expect the next State of Play before the end of June.