After blowing the doors off with the PlayStation 4‘s price point in 2013 and cementing the console’s reputation as the go-to platform for quality games the following year, the last two E3 showcases have witnessed Sony pull ahead of the competition by a healthy margin. But on the eve of E3 2015, there’s a general feeling that the wheels are beginning to slow on the Japanese powerhouse; one only exacerbated by Microsoft’s reinvigorated sense of direction.
In fact, the very moment Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was pushed out of 2015, the PlayStation faithful were left wanting a big triple-A exclusive to fill the void in time for the crucial holiday season. It’s something that Sony can empathize with, after the company’s PlayStation President Andrew House admitted that the PS4’s slate of first-party titles is “a little sparse” at the moment.
“We are working very hard to continue very strong support from third-party publishers and developers. Our first-party lineup is a little sparse this year so I think this places an even greater emphasis on getting good third-party support. I think that E3 this year will be an exciting show.
“I think it will be a show where we see the next generation of hardware really start to deliver great content and experiences that, if not take full advantage of the platform, take a lot more advantage than we’ve seen before.”
Though its almost a given that Sony’s roster of studios have some secrets up their sleeves – the likes of Sony Bend, Media Molecule and Sony Santa Monica have all been conspicuously quiet of late – House revealed that the publisher may have to look further afield, and to third-party developers, in order to bolster the PlayStation 4’s offerings.
“Rather than seeking for complete exclusives, we have looked to publishers to really try to maximize the use of the feature-set on PlayStation 4 versus the competition. And I think that the use of Share and SharePlay functionality, those have been sort of defining platform features which can be seen not just in first-party content but across the whole range of titles. I would also say that we are not without partnerships in the area of third-party titles. Which are not necessarily around full exclusivity.”
Striking deals over third-party titles was common trend at E3 2014, and it looks set to continue unabated. Granted, Sony is yet to secure a property on the scale of Microsoft’s timed exclusive deal with Crystal Dynamics for Rise of the Tomb Raider, though the likes of No Man’s Sky will reportedly have the publisher’s “full backing.”
What do you think, though? Is this the equivalent of the calm before the storm for PlayStation 4? Give us your thoughts below.