Sony’s planning with software this generation has been exceptional.
The one thing that Sony is known for over everything else is their excellent long-term support for their consoles (albeit, not their handhelds- RIP PS Vita, you died too young). The original PlayStation was getting major new games well after the PS2 had hit the market; the PS2 ended up lasting 13 years on the market, and Sony themselves were releasing major new titles for it, including Shadow of the Colossus, MotorStorm: Arctic Edge, and most memorably, God of War 2, after the PS3 had launched. The PS3 itself had a superlative 2013, in spite of the impending launch of the PS4- it got God of War Ascension, Puppeteer, Beyond: Two Souls, Gran Turismo 6, and of course, The Last of Us that year, which was, incidentally, seven years after the console had launched.
What I am trying to say here is that when you buy a PlayStation console, you can expect great long term support for it, leading all the way into the next PlayStation system’s release- as a matter of fact, you can argue that the strong support Sony continues to provide PlayStation consoles well into the end of their lives and beyond, can be the reason we can attribute the relatively weak starts for PlayStation consoles in terms of meaningful first party support on. Where Xbox consoles and Nintendo consoles wind down support in their twilight years in preparation for their new machines (though Nintendo handhelds tend to have very long tails, to be fair), PlayStation consoles simply keep going for a very long time.
With the current generation now in its fifth year, rumblings of full successors to the PS4 and Xbox One are on the horizon- and, if history is precedence to go by, then a PS5, at least, can be expected by 2020, or maybe 2021. And yet, it doesn’t look like the relentless onslaught of games Sony has planned for the PS4 is going to stop any time soon. In fact, much like how they did with the PS1, PS2, and PS3, it looks like Sony will be looking to close out the PS4 generation with a bang.
There are major PlayStation games lined up for this year, and beyond- Days Gone, Spider-Man, Detroit: Become Human, God of War, and Dreams, just off the top of my head. But going into 2019 and 2020, it looks like Sony will still have some major games coming up. Sucker Punch’s Ghosts of Tsushima, assuming it lives up to the promise that it exhibited in the reveal trailer, could become a late generation new IP revelation, much like The Last of Us was for the PS3. Speaking of The Last of Us, Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us Part 2 is likely to launch in 2019 at the earliest (and if it hits production delays, maybe even into 2020)- which means it is likely to be one of the milestone swan songs for the system, much like its predecessor was for the PS3.
"Much like how they did with the PS1, PS2, and PS3, it looks like Sony will be looking to close out the PS4 generation with a bang."
Signing the PS4 off with The Last of Us Part 2, and then maybe bringing the game over enhanced to the PS5 a year or so later, would actually be poetically reflective of how Sony handled the original game; and just like how Nintendo now seems to rely on Zelda to handle its console generation transitions, so too could Sony begin to fall back on The Last of Us (or Naughty Dog, at the very least) to help transition its console generations- you need a whopper of a game to cap off your existing system and launch your new one- for Nintendo, that is Zelda. For Sony, what better game to do that with than a beloved blockbuster like The Last of Us?
All of this is also ignoring the obvious elephant in the room here- Death Stranding, which is the upcoming masterpiece in the making by Hideo Kojima, and his newly reformed Kojima Productions. Death Stranding is being funded by Sony, and will, at launch, be coming exclusively to the PS4- a PC version is planned, but for later. Death Stranding, while well under development, is likely at least a year and a half, if not more, away- Kojima games have historically and famously long development cycles, and so far, two years since the game was first announced, we have seen exactly zero minutes of gameplay footage for it. While I expect that to change this year, I also don’t expect Death Stranding to be out this year- maybe late next year at the earliest.
"Having the PS4 be capped off with The Last of Us Part 2 and Death Stranding in the twilight of the PS4’s life will give it a final push of momentum, which will sustain sales for the console for a few years, well after the PS5 is out, and also generate enough goodwill and mindshare for the PlayStation brand as a whole that the PS5 itself is likely to be viewed favorably by customers"
If so, then having the PS4 be capped off with The Last of Us Part 2 and Death Stranding– two PS4 exclusives from some of the most beloved developers in the world, and both likely to be met with rave critical acclaim, and sell millions upon millions of copies- the release of both these games in the twilight of the PS4’s life will give it a final push of momentum, which will sustain sales for the console for a few years, well after the PS5 is out, and also generate enough goodwill and mindshare for the PlayStation brand as a whole that the PS5 itself is likely to be viewed favorably by customers. Again, this is exactly how Sony played the PS3 to PS4 transition, and there is no reason to believe they are not looking at repeating the feat again with the PS4 and the hypothetical PS5.
Even without me making the case for any of this happening, however, I think this should be readily apparent to most- as I said in the opening of this piece, Sony historically supports its consoles over the long term, for well after their successors are launched- often at the expense of meaningful early support for said successors, in fact. With the PS5 likely to continue using an x86-64 hardware base like the PS4, making development transition to it easier than with previous generations, I fully expect that trend to not be bucked this time around either. I personally can’t wait to see how Sony plans to cap off the PS4’s very successful run on the market, that’s for sure.
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.