Sony just concluded a hell of a PlayStation Experience 2016 keynote – I actually want to say this was the very best one yet – and as we come away from it trying to process the sheer volume of announcements and demonstrations, I think there is one thing that all of us can agree on, whether or not we are PlayStation fans- Sony’s first party support for the PS4 is truly exemplary.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that Sony has the best first party in the world – when they are able to sell an entire system on the basis of nothing but their own games, then I might be willing to concede that point – but I do think that their first party lineup is great nonetheless, and especially for the PS4. Three yeas have gone by since the PS4 launched, and Sony have arguably only launched four games on the system that were truly of note – Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Ratchet and Clank, Bloodborne, and inFamous: Second Son. So far, they have slacked, and basically given us one genuinely good game a year. However, the upcoming lineup for the console, especially in the wake of the just concluded PlayStation Experience keynote, looks incredible, and even if a lot of it ultimately does not stick, it demonstrates just how great Sony’s first party has truly become.
We have another new Uncharted in the form of The Lost Legacy, which is a standalone expansion for Uncharted 4; there are God of War, Dreams, Spider-Man, and Detroit: Become Human, none of which sadly got a berth at the PlayStation Experience today. There is Days Gone, the intriguing open world post apocalyptic action game by Sony Bend; and let’s not forget about all the Sony games that were showcased at the PSX keynote today, including Horizon: Zero Dawn, Knack 2, The Last Guardian, Gravity Rush 2, Patapon, LocoRoco, Parappa the Rapper, Gran Turismo: Sport, Wipeout Omega, and of course, the show stopping The Last of Us Part 2.
"The upcoming lineup for the console, especially in the wake of the just concluded PlayStation Experience keynote, looks incredible, and even if a lot of it ultimately does not stick, it demonstrates just how great Sony’s first party has truly become."
That right there is an incredible lineup- the games are varied, across different settings and genres, pushing different play styles, and targeting different demographics. There is no kind of gamer that wouldn’t be serviced by what Sony have in the works for the PS4, in combination with what already is out on the system. New installments in long running, blockbuster franchises, revivals of older, smaller franchises, new IP, experimental games, Japanese games, western games, that list has it all. Indeed, as far as first party support goes, Sony are lapping Microsoft several times over this generation, even with the latter making a concerted effort to shore up their own first party offerings.
If there are any complaints about Sony’s first party offerings – and there are some, all right – then they have more to do with Sony’s inability to actually get their games out when they promise them. It’s actually become a running joke, but no major Sony title for the PS4 so far has actually managed to release when it was promised to release- inFamous, DriveClub, The Order, Bloodborne, Ratchet and Clank, Uncharted 4, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Gran Turismo Sport, and The Last Guardian have all received delays, and there is no guarantee that this long list of great looking titles that we have been discussing so far won’t be similarly delayed too. This tempers my excitement a bit- I want to get excited for the new God of War and the new The Last of Us (and believe me, I truly am), but is there any point in getting restless with anticipation if the games aren’t going to be out until 2018 or 2019 at the earliest, even if Sony promise otherwise?
"If you have bought a PS4, at least, then you can be assured that Sony intends to support your purchase whole heartily- with all the might of one of the best, most truly impressive first party lineups that there is."
The other thing I do want to point out is that, as frightening as Sony’s first party support is, it is sadly all concentrated on the PS4. The PS Vita having been abandoned and left to die a premature death, its suffering prolonged by independent game developers and Japanese companies who refuse to let it go for some reason, is a running joke- but I was also surprised to see how little there was for the just launched PlayStation VR at the PlayStation Experience. I honestly expected Sony to spend some more time on their just launched $400 VR headset, maybe announce some flagship games for it- instead, they seem content to throw some ‘experiences’ at it, or smaller, indie games, with nothing on the system either justifying the purchase, or compelling others to invest it in. This is actually in line with a fear I had about the headset that I expressed earlier this year- Sony have been known to just leave their secondary and tertiary products out to die (remember the PSP? PS Move? PS Eyetoy? PS Vita?)- and it bums me out that with such a massive and impressive lineup of games and studios, they can’t spread out the love among all their systems equally. It is something that I feel Sony need to be called out on more.
But if you are a PS4 owner, then you have very little reason to complain- sure, Sony always delay their games, but the games do release, and when they do, they are almost always worth the wait. There is a frightening amount of stuff in the works for the PS4 at this very moment, and while it may come later than you expect, it will be incredible and possibly generation defining when it does finally all release. If you have bought a PS4, at least, then you can be assured that Sony intends to support your purchase whole heartily- with all the might of one of the best, most truly impressive first party lineups that there is.
Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, GamingBolt as an organization.