For the players. That is the motto that has been at the center of Sony’s marketing strategy for the PlayStation 4 from the very beginning, and quite rightly so; this focus on the core gamer is what has propelled Sony to the top of the next-gen gaming premiership in decisive fashion. However, we gamers are a notoriously demanding bunch and corporate slogans and hyperbole will only get you so far in this industry. A lot of the goodwill that the PS4 enjoys from core gamers is based upon Sony’s proficiency in delivering exclusive games that really make the PlayStation brand a force to be reckoned with. However, whilst Microsoft scramble and strive to deliver a wide variety of core content, 2014 looks rather bleak for Sony fans when it comes to exclusive content. Should Sony be given the benefit of the doubt here? Absolutely not.
the much maligned Xbox One appears to have a superior stable of exclusive games for another year running.
Sony were actually given the benefit of the doubt several times last year, simply because they took an admirably pro-consumer stance compared to Microsoft’s now reversed policies on DRM and used games etc. From E3, then to Gamescom, then the Tokyo Game Show and finally the VGX award show, we repeatedly gave Sony the benefit the doubt, hoping that they would finally show us the gameplay experiences that they supposedly were so committed to delivering. Come E3 2014, and we were not prepared to wait any longer. It was time to back up their words and show us what they have been making us wait for, for so long. Thankfully, Sony delivered, but only marginally so because here we are, in 2014, and the much maligned Xbox One, often regarded as the ‘media-box’ appears to have a superior stable of exclusive games for another year running.
Sony started off E3 2014 strongly. Similar to Microsoft, Sony also started off their conference with a third party title, published by Activision. Destiny is a far more exciting prospect than Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare for several reasons; it is a brand new I.P and one that is trying to inject a fresh new take on console FPS’ by combining RPG elements and focusing on real connected gameplay experiences. As impressive as COD: AW looks, its a different take on the same old formula, we have seen every year since the Call of Duty franchise became an annual affair. The announcement that PS4 gamers would get to sample the Alpha this weekend just gone by also had us a lot more excited than the not-so-surprising announcement regarding early content for Xbox owners for COD: AW.
Next up, Sony showed off The Order: 1886 and this time we were treated to some of the more survival horror elements of the game. The game looks set to deliver a standout experience and visually, the game is gorgeous to behold. The Order: 1886 is the PS4’s biggest new I.P’s, arguably only being bested by Uncharted 4. Here’s hoping that it lives up to its promise.
The announcement for Little Big Planet 3 took us by surprise. Whilst its being developed by Sumo Digital as opposed to Media Molecule, the DNA of the original games is clearly present in the latest sequel, which looks even more fun thanks to the introduction of Sackboy’s adorable new companions. Couch co-op has taken a back-seat for far too long recently and therefore we are even more excited about the return of Sackboy. Its time we sampled some next-gen experiences with our friends locally. Thankfully, Little Big Planet 3 will be released later this year and is one of the few ‘heavy hitters’ releasing exclusively on the PS4.
Bloodborne, the title from Project Beast that was leaked prior to the show and previously known as Project Beast is another exclusive that will be making its way to the PlayStation 4 in 2015. If you have played the Demon Souls games, you will be familiar with the premise behind Bloodborne and the leaked gameplay trailer looks impressive. Have a look below:
Exclusive content for third party games aren’t exactly something we get excited about here at Gameondaily but Far Cry 4 is an exception. Far Cry 4 takes what makes Far Cry 3 brilliant and take it to a whole new level. PlayStation 4 owners get to play Far Cry 4 with their friends, even if only person has a copy of the game! A player with a copy of the game can invite any of his friends and they can play the game with them. That, in our books, is exclusive content done right and we really hope other developers take note of this.
Similarly, timed exclusivity for No Man’s Sky is a big deal. No Man’s Sky is one of our most eagerly anticipated title and the prospect of PS4 owners owning this incredibly promising looking title before anyone else should not be downplayed. It is one of the biggest announcements at E3 in our opinion and this is a big point in favour of Sony.
Other indie titles were also shown off at the presentation and it looks like the PS4 will be home to a wide variety of different titles from budding game developers. The sheer ingenuity and originality of many indie titles often leaves us astounded. Indie games are the future and rightly so; these games take risks that often, the ‘big boys’ hesitate to take and Sony appear committed to indies.
Grim Fandango returns! After missing in action for FAR too long, Grim Fandango will be making its way exclusively to the PS4 this year. We are however, hearing reports that the game will be a timed exclusive. Nonetheless, we cannot wait to finally have a go at this cult classic. Colour us very excited!
It doesn’t make any sense. Why would you work so hard to build momentum for your show, only to have it all come crashing down with long over-drawn rambling bits showing very little gameplay and discuss TV, of all things. Sony hired out cinemas to air the E3 show live in the USA; imagine sitting there and having to listen to all that talk for almost half an hour. These segments were not only unnecessary in our opinion, but dragged the whole show down from what was an overall, great show.
Naughty Dog games always set a new standard when it comes to visuals so we thought were prepared. We weren’t.
Luckily, the closing segment of the show ended with a bang. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, Grand Theft Auto 5 on PS4, Batman Arkham Knight, whilst these are all third party titles, they will most likely run better on the PlayStation 4 than on any other console and these titles really are at the top their respective classes.
At the end of the show, Sony decided to go off with the bang. As the lights dimmed, the orchestral music steadily increasing in volume, the Naughty Dog logo appeared, and attendees as all viewers all over the world no doubt felt the hairs rise on their bodies and then, finally, we saw it. The first glimpse of one of the most awaited next-gen titles of them all, Uncharted 4, and the first glimpse at Nathan Drake, in next-gen glory. We knew it would look good. Naughty Dog games always set a new standard when it comes to visuals so we thought were prepared. In the end however, we weren’t. Ultimately, that’s a testament to sheer majesty and talent of Naughty Dog. To blow away our often ludicrously high expectations in such decisive fashion, Naughty Dog really have to be commended. If the visuals of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End are what we can expect this ‘early’ in the generation, we can’t even imagine what’s in store for us in the future. Whilst it was disappointing not having a glimpse at actual gameplay, we were grateful just to have a glimpse at the next blockbuster title.
All in all, Sony delivered a great show but answering our, featured question, we cannot see how anyone could argue that the so-called greatness of Sony’s next-gen titles have been delayed for yet another year. Little Big Planet, free-to-play racer, Drive Club and The Last of US remaster are all great games, but they just simply aren’t enough, especially for early adopters of the PS4 who have been waiting for that big blockbuster exclusive title. Whilst third party titles will no doubt keep gamers more than occupied this year, it would seem hypocritical to rely on this ‘defence’ when 360 owners got crucified for relying on the same in the last generation. Greatness does indeed await PlayStation gamers, but as far as exclusive content is concerned, Xbox One owners will taste greatness a lot earlier on.