Sony presses its advantage with a string of big exclusives •

Sony presses its advantage with a string of big exclusives •

All signs indicate that Playstation 5 came out of the traps when it went on sale late last year. This was to be expected: The new Sony console had a number of advantages over its Xbox rivals, including the momentum of the previous generation, brand loyalty in many markets, and a more solid range of software. launch (that is, any new exclusive game at all).

The Xbox Series X and S also sold well, and Microsoft can point to several strategic initiatives to show he’s playing a long game: his cloud gaming platform, his mainstream S-series game, his Game Pass subscription service, and his recent frenzy of studio acquisitions, culminating in the purchase of Bethesda. Acquisitions may not bear fruit for a few years yet, but Microsoft can afford to bide their time and watch these pieces grow. Sony, on the other hand, has to hit the ground and push hard to sell, sell, sell PS5s, while selling game consoles is still a thing. He really only has one strategy for this: exclusive games.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, seen in awesome gameplay footage from its reveal last year, is Sony’s PS5 showcase in early 2021.

Fortunately for Sony, this is the best strategy, proven time and time again over the years, notably by Nintendo. And it’s a strategy Sony is enviably well equipped for, having spent a quarter of a century building a network of talented studios and releasing eye-catching, critically acclaimed branded games. This is how the company was ready for the PS5 launch – in terms of quality, if not quantity – with Spider-Man: Miles Morales, the awesome freebie Astro’s Playroom, and Demon’s Souls, a PS5-exclusive fanbait. . It looked a bit thin on paper, but in the real world, at the end of a pandemic year, it was an impressive display.

Worldwide Studios, the production group headed by former Guerrilla boss Hermen Hulst, is committed to keeping the pace. There are no less than four major releases in fan-favorite PlayStation franchises slated for 2021. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, from recently acquired Spider-Man developer Insomniac, is slated for the first half of the year; this could be our best indication yet of the new experiences these consoles can offer, with the PS5’s fast loading allowing instant and smooth transitions between the colorful and bustling worlds of the game. Emitting from the depths of the comfort zone of the game. ‘Insomniac, this should also be an uncomplicated blast.

Gran Turismo 7.

Gran Turismo 7 appears to have drifted from a first-half release window of just “ 2021, ” which could sound the alarm bells – Polyphony Digital’s record of delivering its totem race series on time is less than stellar. But the game is considered to be quite advanced, reaping the benefits of the all new technology base ready for the next generation of Gran Turismo Sport and its step-by-step approach to building a library of content. Essentially, Polyphony has half-ignored a generation to make sure it would be ready to honor the PS5 with the kind of heavy build that PlayStation fans associate with the series. (Incredibly, it seems likely that Polyphony will beat its much more prolific former rival Turn 10 in the market. Both studios released their last games at the end of 2017, but the Forza Motorsport reboot is apparently still a long way off.)

In the second half of the year, we’re due to sequel to two of Sony’s biggest and most beloved hits of the PS4 era. Open-world action-adventure Horizon: Forbidden West from Guerrilla – undoubtedly a graphically lush and sprawling game, although it will honor the PS4 as well as the PS5 – was pinned in the second half of the year. And God of War: Ragnarok, which almost nothing is known about beyond its unsurprising existence, also has a date of 2021.

horizonHorizon: West prohibited.

If any of these games drop next year, it will be God of War. Nonetheless, as a release schedule, there remains one powerful statement of intent – the definition of Bringing Out the Big Guns. Horizon, Gran Turismo, and God of War are all potential $ 10million sellers, and they’ll all be selling consoles by truck – though it’s worth remembering that of those games only GT7 and Ratchet & Clank are guaranteed. exclusively for PS5. (Sony’s commitment to generational switching has, it seems, faded slightly in the face of the sales potential represented by PS4’s titanic install base.)

There is more. In March, we get Returnal, a sci-fi shooter game released by Sony from Housemarque in Finland. PS5 gamers can also look forward to two highly alluring timed console exclusives from the most unlikely source – Microsoft-owned Bethesda. The Arkane Groundhog Day assassination, Deathloop, and Shinji Mikami’s Tango Gameworks thrilling paranormal action game Ghostwire: Tokyo may not be blockbusters, but they both have serious concept flair.

ghostGhostwire: Tokyo.

Perhaps the least clear part of the picture is what major third parties intend to do. There are a few valuable AAA releases confirmed for 2021 as it stands, and we don’t yet know when publishers like Ubisoft, EA, and Activision will feel comfortable releasing their games exclusively on new consoles rather than to pass from one generation to the next. Among the few games that have been announced, Resident Evil Village and Far Cry 6 stand out, and of course, there’s Grand Theft Auto 5’s remarkable prospect of expanding its unbroken seven-year run into a third generation of hardware.

But Sony’s editorial weight is such that it hardly needs a third party to be successful this year. It has a fantastic slate. If everything takes place in what continues to be an extremely difficult work environment for just about everyone, this will be just the start the PlayStation 5 needs. If games sell consoles – and they do – then the PS5 is going to have a great year. And it will.

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