On 1st January, Sony put out a video showing off the PS4 console exclusives coming out in 2017. I spotted 23 games, a mix of Sony-made games coming only to PS4 and games from external developers coming to PS4 as console exclusives. It's a tidy list of titles. Let's have a look:
- GT Sport
- Drawn to Death
- Nier: Automata
- Detroit: Become Human
- Yakuza 0
- Uncharted 4: The Lost Legacy
- Gravity Rush 2
- Wipeout Collection
- The Show 17
- New Hot Shots Golf
- Persona 5
- World of Warriors
- Nex Machina
- Knack 2
- PaRappa HD
- Starblood Arena
- Horizon: Zero Dawn
This list is Sony's 2017. Now the PS4 Slim, Pro and PlayStation VR are all out the door, it's time for the company to focus on pumping out new games. That, for me, is welcome. Neither the Slim, the Pro nor the VR headset have done much for me. This year, I'm looking forward to getting stuck into some games.
Before we dig into the detail, let's take a moment to mention what's not on Sony's list. Insomniac's Spider-Man game isn't on there. Neither is the new God of War. The Last of Us 2's omission is no surprise - Naughty Dog has said it's a long way off. But I'm surprised the Crash Bandicoot remaster doesn't make the cut. People seem to love that.
Looking even further, Hideo Kojima's Death Stranding, Yu Suzuki's Shenmue 3 and Square Enix's episodic Final Fantasy 7 remake, all of which have starred during Sony's press conferences, are nowhere to be seen.
So, going by Sony's list, the company's got a strong, albeit uninspired collection of games coming to the PS4 in 2017. GT Sport isn't for me, but it most definitely is for our resident racing fan, Martin Robinson. Nioh looks like an interesting riff on From Software's Dark Souls formula, according to Jeffrey. Persona 5 looks cool. Media Molecule's Dreams continues to look interesting. And Guerrilla's Horizon looks stunning, although I'm not convinced the gameplay will hit the heights of the visuals.
But nothing on the list truly excites me. I look at Detroit through the lens of David Cage's last game, the awful Beyond, and it makes me crease with concern. I can't help but feel Ninja Theory is struggling to get across what Hellblade is trying to do. And then there's Knack 2. Knack. 2.
In short, Sony's got a relatively quiet year ahead, but it does have a load of games to get PlayStation through it.
What will be interesting is Sony's reaction to Microsoft's impending Project Scorpio. One of the reasons PS4 has been such a gargantuan success is that its message early doors was so positive. Back in 2013, the console was, clearly, more powerful than the Xbox One, and so the expectation was multiplatform games would look and run better on PS4. This Christmas, Sony will get a taste of its own medicine when Microsoft surely hammers home the "most powerful console in the world" message in its marketing. I can't see that Sony has a compelling counter to that, so it'll no doubt point to its console exclusives for the year. AKA: this list.
And, I suspect, Sony will reinforce its console exclusive marketing and DLC deals for the biggest third-party games due out in the latter part of 2017. Destiny 2 DLC and Star Wars Battlefront 2 DLC timed exclusivity, that sort of thing. Sony remains in a position of strength with the PS4, which some reckon has outsold Xbox One an incredible two to one so far. Money talks, and so does that 50m install base.
So, 2017 for Sony seems to me to be a case of steady as she goes, with big hitters waiting in the wings. But don't take my word for it. Let's hit the YouTube comments to get a sense of what the players think.
Here's "Jason Wierman" with a good summary to kick us off:
"Meh. No God of War, Spider-Man, Death Stranding, Days Gone, The Last of Us Part II, etc. 2018-2019 will be better. I am hyped for Nioh, Detroit, and Horizon though, just disappointed that at least one of those games from my list won't be coming this year."
Massive GT Sport fan, "atif fan", has dreamed up a sick burn for Forza I hadn't heard before:
"GT sports 1st day sales will be more than the lifetime sales of all flopza games combined ..flop flop flopza....horizon will outsell and outscore all games on suck box 720p based on just 1st month sales"
"WWEdeadman" has an... interesting take:
"Sure looking forward to Knack 2. Not so much for the rest of this. Well, maybe I'll try Horizon Zero Dawn. Depends."
Here's a cool exchange:
But here's my favourite, from PlayStation sceptic "ionic0": "ho boy... glad i didnt get an xbox. or even worse a wii u shutters"
From what I can tell, a lot of people hope 2017 will be a good year for PS Plus games, and the handful of Bloodborne fans who also own a PS4 Pro get the performance patch they've been banging on about for months.
I'd like to end with this, from "Muzur57_TV", who hits the nail on the head:
"I hate exclusives! Give us Forza and we can give them Uncharted and Gran Turismo! And with that I mean that both consoles can play the 3 games.
"Exclusives are the biggest Joke in Videogame history.."