It’s been a somewhat discouraging couple of weeks to be a PlayStation 4 owner, between the lackluster reveal of the PS4 Pro, the Bethesda diatribe on mod support and yet another delay for The Last Guardian.
Coupled with the impending reveal of Nintendo’s NX, Xbox One’s launch of Forza Horizon 3 that is smashing expectations, and the seeming dearth of PS4 exclusives through the remainder of 2016, I wanted to take a minute to hash out why I’m sticking with PlayStation. I’m going to touch on a few overarching reasons first, before I get into the games — first- and third-party — that I’m most excited about.
PS4’s slogan, Greatness Awaits, has been made fun of recently. While I believe the PS4 is an awesome console, greatness is clearly still on the horizon (pun intended).
Reason #1: The ecosystem
This may not be an exciting reason to stick with PlayStation, but it is definitely an important one. I’ve had PlayStation Plus since early 2013. I have access to dozens of games on PlayStation Plus, many of which I haven’t actually played yet. My subscription runs through September of 2017, so I’m not turning my back on a year’s worth of Instant Game Collection games.
Of course, I’m also immersed in the rest of PlayStation’s library. Uncharted, No Man’s Sky and Resogun are some of the PS4 games I jump into or want access to in the future. I have access to a library of more than 70 games, easily, that I can jump into tomorrow.
Reason #2: The cost
I get it. Console gaming is a luxury expense. In my household, it’s basically my entertainment expense. We don’t go out to movies; we don’t have cable; we play games and watch Hulu or Netflix. While you can get good deals, gaming has an inherent luxury cost. But I’ve already paid that entry fee on the PS4. I can’t pay it again for the Xbox One or the Wii U. If I bought brand new, with no trading in, an Xbox One S will cost a minimum of $300 with the Halo bundle. That doesn’t count an extra controller or other games.
The Wii U is still sitting at $225 for refurbished consoles, not counting the cost for extra controllers and games.
Even with trading in the PS4 — which would be forfeiting reason #1 — I’d be spending at least $100 on a console, plus extras. It might be different if I’d squeezed the juice completely out of my PlayStation, but I haven’t.
Reason #3: The time
There just isn’t enough time in the day, week, month or year to make owning multiple consoles a viable option. It takes me a while to “beat” games, in general. I’m one of the seemingly few gamers who loves No Man’s Sky, and I’m still 165,000 light years away from the center of the galaxy after six weeks — and that’s not for a lack of trying to get there, either. I just picked up NBA 2K17, which, if I’m being honest, could fully occupy me for months on-end.
A typical 15-hour campaign will take me two or three weeks to play through. There is simply no reason for me to add to my available gaming library.
Reason #4: The upcoming games
The running joke with the PS4 library is that most of the big-name exclusives have been delayed. The Last Guardian just got another delay; Uncharted 4 was delayed; GT Sport has been delayed. We also still don’t know what everybody is working on (Sucker Punch!) or what the heck Dreams is. However, as a PS4 owner, there are plenty of games that I’m interested in that are on the horizon. This doesn’t mean that I’m for-sure going in on them, but they are games that I am moderately-to-extremely excited about. I’ll start with my most anticipated, then run through a list of known games coming to the platform in relatively chronological order:
Mass Effect Andromeda
Mass Effect 2 is at the top of my list of favorite games on the PS3. I know very little about the new game, aside from the main characters being brother-sister, and you choose to play as one of them. I also know we’re exploring a new galaxy. I need to know nothing more about the game; just that I will pick it up on day 1, whenever that happens to be.
I just like that Quantic Dream tries different, interesting things with their games. Heavy Rain is absolutely a must-play. I think that the studio’s style has spread across the industry, with the branching paths and multiple endings. The base story of Detroit, in which you control rather lifelike androids that are trying to fit into the world, is compelling. The sheer number or purported permeations in the story is staggering. I am all-in on this game.
So little is known about Insomniac’s new game that it’s hard to get too excited. But it looks great so far, and comes from a studio with a known pedigree. The game is running on Insomniac’s Ratchet and Clank, and it is taking place in an open-world Manhattan, giving gamers dreams of Spiderman 2 on PS2. Next to nothing is known about the timeline for release. While it could make for an awesome Fall 2017 game, I’d think it more likely that we will see it in 2018.
What Remains of Edith Finch
What Remains of Edith Finch is forthcoming from Giant Sparrow, which released Unfinished Swan in 2012 on the PS3. Playstation.com describes the game as a collection of short stories about a cursed family in Washington state. The stories range from the early 1900s to present day, with each story ending in a family member’s death. Why is Edith Finch the last person in her family left alive? Based purely on the studio’s pedigree, I’m looking forward to this game.
Horizon: Zero Dawn
As I write this, a new report from Game Informer was just released, which gives readers more insight into the story, trading and more in the game. I’m not going to read it, as I hope to go into Horizon as blind as possible. In Horizon, you take on the role of the red-headed Aloy, who is a Chosen One of sorts in a future society, long after machines have taken over and humans are living primitive lives. The game world looks awesome, the story seems interesting, and the combat seems fluid and reactive. This seems like a can’t-miss hit for Sony, despite its delay into February 2017.
A continuation of 2D Sonic, upgraded to look better on the big screen. I was a Sega kid growing up, and have many great memories playing as the speedy blue hedgehog. I’m hoping that this game does for Sonic what New Super Mario Bros. did for Mario 10 years ago.
Supergiant Games has developed two of my favorite games that are available on the PS4 — Bastion and Transistor. The latter release, in particular, spoke to me with its setting, music and strategic combat. Bastion’s western motif was also a treat. Supergiant could make just about anything and I’d be interested. According to a blog post on their site, Pyre sees the player-character leading a band of exiles through “an ancient competition spread across a vast, mystical purgatory.”
Rise of the Tomb Raider
I know that this came out a year ago on a different system. And, being honest, I was a bit torqued off when Tomb Raider’s sequel was announced as an Xbox One exclusive. But time has passed. The rebooted game was awesome on PS3, and I look forward to continuing Lara Croft’s journey.
God of War
I’ve never beaten a God of War game. I’ve only played the third one, and even then for just about two hours. The introduction of the new game at e3 earlier this year was awesome, and made me interested in God of War for what is really the first time.
This isn’t a complete list of upcoming games, for sure. There are a ton more games coming up in the next year or two that make PS4 a great place to play. Here is a brief list of more games that I hope to give a shot:
Cosmic Star Heroine; Dragon Quest Builders; Battlefield 1; Gravity Rush 2; Steep; The Last Guardian; Stardew Valley; For Honor; Persona 5; Injustice 2; Days Gone
That is not at all an exhaustive list, but I guarantee that it’s more than I’ll be able to play — both in time and money. It also doesn’t include whatever Naughty Dog and Sucker Punch are working on, which is assuredly something great. PlayStation is still a great place to be a gamer, with many great games coming out. And I’ll happily hunker down in PS4 Land until I hear a reason why I shouldn’t.