When can we expect Sony's exclusives for PlayStation 4?
With the launch around the corner, we look at Sony's upcoming PlayStation 4 exclusives and when we can expect them to arrive...
Recently we've looked at the exclusive launch line ups of the PS4 and Xbox One, with our thoughts on which of the two is the stronger. However, that's just the beginning, and soon enough both platforms will have their own fleshed out exclusive line ups, with each attempting to make the competition green with envy. Of course, these exclusives will make their respective console owners happy, but another reason these titles exist is to attract new owners, and to tempt others to jump ship.
So, what can we expect from next gen exclusives? What titles are incoming and when are we likely to get our sweaty mitts on them? Let's take a look, today focusing on the PS4, which has a lot of exclusive content upcoming. This was recently bolstered as Sony revealed that it had signed exclusivity deals with 21 different publishers, covering exclusive games and content for multi-platform titles. Let's have a look as some of the highlights.
Infamous: Second Son
The next in the successful Infamous series is Second Son, and it's a bonafide Sony powerhouse that offers open world super hero play with a collection of impressive superhuman abilities to get to grips with.
This time around the title follows new protagonist, Delsin Rowe, who takes over the series' hero mantle from Cole MacGrath. Delsin, however, won't focus on a single ability, but can instead absorb super powers from those he comes into contact with, including the already shown control of smoke.
Utilising the increased power of the PS4, Second Son looks like it's going to up the ante considerably, with a larger, more detailed world, and more interactivity. It's a true showcase title, and a series that's always had that pulling power, attracting new fans to the PlayStation.
Infamous: Second Son is due to arrive in February 2014.
The Order: 1886
Co-developed by Sony Santa Monica and Ready at Dawn Studios, The Order: 1886 is an intriguing alternate reality third person adventure shooter. Taking place in London during the 1800s, the game focuses on a top secret order of monster hunting heroes that utilise advanced technology. Think Torchwood with horse-drawn carriages, dapper costumes and twirly moustaches.
As it's a totally new IP, it's hard to judge how well the title will do for the PS4, and there's still not all that much known about the title. It'll mix in real historical events with a sci-fi twist, and Ready at Dawn is keen to push the PS4 to get the most out of it.
With respected developers behind it, and Sony pushing the title as a major release, here's hoping it'll be an impressive new action license that can sit comfortably alongside other action stablemates like Killzone.
The Order: 1886 is due out in early 2014, probably around February.
Hailing from Capcom, Deep Down will be powered by the Phanta Rhei engine, and is an online-focused title that's as mysterious as it is promising.
Not much is known about the title at the moment, but it is going to make a playable appearance at this year's Tokyo Game Show, so we'll know much more then. What we do know from screens is that it's going to be some form of fantasy title with armour-clad knights, dragons and cooperative online play. It looks very interesting, that's for sure.
As we know hardly anything about the game, a release date is obviously hard to predict. However, if it's going to come in the first wave of PS4 titles, expect it sometime in the first half of 2014.
Galak-Z: The Dimensional
Full-on retro shooting is the order of the day here. Already being compared to classics like Gradius, R-Type along with contemporary shooters like Halo, Galak-Z will fuse old school and modern mechanics to bring a quality shmup to the PS4.
In particular, the game is going to include, of all things, stealth elements. Enemies will have detection ranges, meaning you'll be able to get the drop on them, instead of every enemy onscreen instantly making a beeline for you, as in most shooters of this type. Inertia will also play a part, as you'll control the ship, Thrust-style, by using its jet to propel yourself in 360 degrees, and enemies will have specific AI behaviours.
Galak-Z's release date is currently pegged for 2014, and we'd expect to see it fairly early on in the year.
What do you get if you breed Red Dead Redemption with classic shooter Commando? You may get an offspring that looks just like Switchblade Monkeys' Secret Ponchos. Seeing its debut on the PS4 in 2014, this Wild West shooter features highly stylised cowboys going at it in a top-down blaster.
Fast and fluid online combat is the buzz word here, and the game will pit players in all-out deathmatches or one-on-one duels, with the winner earning a name for themselves as the fastest gun on PSN.
We'd expect the game to arrive in the first quarter of 2014.
Also releasing for the PC, but exclusive to PS4 in console form, Zombie Studios' Daylight looks like it's going to be a very creepy horror title in a similar vein to indie gem, Amnesia.
Stuck within a decidedly terrifying abandoned hospital, with only the light from your mobile phone to keep you from the dark, it'll be a white-knuckle adventure that's also going to be randomly generated, so no two games will be the same. This should ensure a constant stream of scares, as you'll never be able to prepare yourself for what's around that next corner.
Daylight will arrive in early 2014.
Headed to both PS4 and PC, The Witness is the next project Braid creator, Jonathan Blow, is working on. That alone is enough for most gamers to take note, even if very little is known about the game at this time.
Played in first person, and set on a mysterious island split into sections, the goal is to reach the mountain in the centre of the landmass by solving numerous puzzles in the various themed areas.
If Braid is anything to go by, then we can expect a puzzler with a few unique tricks up its sleeve, and the fact that the console exclusivity lies with the PS4 should make Sony fans happy, although it's a timed exclusive, so will arrive on other formats eventually.
Expect The Witness any time during 2014.
It's well established on PC already, but the free-to-play SOE title, Planetside 2 is a big thing for PS4. It's a massively multiplayer team-based shooter that mixes on-foot and vehicular combat on a large scale.
Sony has already confirmed that the power of the PS4 will mean the console port should be every bit as impressive as the PC original, and it'll even include DualShock 4 features. As with other free-to-play titles, you won't need a PS Plus subscription to play online either.
There's no release date for the game on PS4 at the moment, but we'd expect it in the first half of 2014.
This is another change of underwear game, and is set to arrive on PS4. Already out on PC (via Steam), Outlast takes place in an asylum, always an effective place to bleach your hair white. It's also another Amnesia-style shocker, with an emphasis on running away from all manner of creepy threats, set against a ridiculously foreboding and oppressive atmosphere.
Sony currently has Outlast slated for a winter 2014 release, so there's some time to wait until this spook-fest arrives on the PS4.
That covers some of the confirmed PS4 exclusives, but what else can we expect in the next year or so? Well, it goes without saying that the PS4 will be graced with the big name exclusive the platform is known for, and a certain Naughty Dog should have a lot to offer in the form of another Uncharted and undoubtedly, The Last of Us, both of which will probably break all records and demonstrate the power of the platform with the studio's usual flair. In fact, the developer is already working on an as-yet unknown next gen title, which could be one of the above, or a totally new IP, we'll have to wait and see what emerges.
Other Sony stalwarts will surely arrive too, including God of War, which is a total no-brainer, being a huge hit for both the PS2 and PS3, and maybe even long-running sci-fi racer, Wipeout will return. In fact, it was rumoured earlier in the year that 'Wipeout Deceit' was in development. Sony closed its Liverpool-based studio, however, leading many to believe that the project was cancelled, but we think it'd be crazy for Sony not to release a next gen version of the game. It's always been the go-to technically demonstrative title for Sony, and so it'd benefit the PS4 just as much as it did the PS1, 2, 3 and handhelds.
Little Big Planet is another practically guaranteed exclusive. The PS3 version already demonstrated excellent creation toolsets, and with the Xbox One getting Project Spark, Sony will surely want to counter-attack, and what better weapon than Sackboy?
Alongside LBP, will we see Modnation resurface? It's admittedly unlikely, given Modnation Racers' relatively poor outing, but it's an exclusive Sony title, and one that may return on next gen.
Popular party title Buzz will, in all likelihood, arrive on the PS4, especially with the all-new social networking elements of the unit. Buzz would be the perfect game to make the most of these features.
There are a few other titles that fans may want to see return too, but some are relatively unlikely. Heavenly Sword, for example, was a major launch title for the PS3, but has shown no signs of returning in the entire life cycle of the unit, so a showing on PS4 probably won't happen.
Likewise, Resistance, which was once the PlayStation FPS poster child, will likely not return. This is partly due to Insomniac now producing multi-platform titles (such as Fuse), and also as many critics, including Insomniac itself, felt the series has hit a plateau with Resistance 3.
Finally on the gaming front, there's Twisted Metal. Although the last game was pretty ropey, and was poorly received, the series is still hugely popular, and an exclusive PS4 outing shouldn't be ruled out. However, due to the iffy reception of the last game, we doubt David Jaffe will be in a hurry to continue just now.
No place like Home?
Although not a gaming exclusive as such, one question many PS3 owners are asking is, what will happen with PlayStation Home? The social networking virtual world has become very popular, with a hugely loyal user base, and it's a micro-transaction goldmine for Sony. Support for Home on PS3 has continued for the lifetime of the platform, even if the virtual world is still in beta form.
The much-vaunted social elements of the PS4 would surely mean that Home is a perfect fit for Sony's new machine, but so far there's been no word on whether there'll be PS4 port, totally new version or if the service is to be scrapped. Screenshots of the XMB are believed to hint at the Home icon being present, but there's nothing official yet. However, Home could certainly benefit from the PS4's increased power, with a larger, more open world and less loading between areas being a common request. Meeting up with friends in the world and then instantly jumping into another game together would be interesting too.
That covers a good deal of known and possible exclusives for Sony's next gen platform, and we'll certainly be introduced to a lot more in the coming months. For now, though, it's clear that the PS4 has a strong line up of games incoming, with plenty of possibilities for strong exclusives in the future.
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