With some amazing launch title selections recently in the PS Vita and Wii U, the eyes are now on what Sony and Microsoft will do with their next gen systems. Whether we get one or both in 2013 is up in the air but I’m going to take some recent history and try to predict the launch titles that will come alongside the PS4.
This isn’t as hard as some may think. I don’t think the number is going to be huge. The Wii U should be thankful for quickly done ports being brought over to a close to current gen system. For the Xbox 720 and the PlayStation 4 I’m suspecting we’re going to see roughly 15-20 games available on launch day. For the sake of my fingers and your eyes, I’m going with 15 for the PS4 and this article.
Why 15? I suspect Sony is going to continue with “harder than usual” dev tools for the PS4. I don’t believe we’ll see so many devs crying and complaining about how tough it is to develop on the PS4 like we’ve been hearing since 2006 but I do believe it won’t be as cut and dry as the 720. That means we’ll see less launch titles are more games will either be held back or delayed out of launch window.
With that all said, let’s delve into the games themselves. First, pretend you’re in November 26th, 2013 (my suspected date for the PS4 launch if it does indeed come next year) and you head into a store to pick up your reserved PlayStation 4 Deluxe Bundle or whatever they decide to call the “better” version. You walk up to the shelf and see the following 15 games. Which ones are you going to pick up?
First Party Games
It’s not normal to see many first party games out for a Sony console release. Afterall, the PS2 had only 1 and the PS3 had 2. For the PS4 I’m going with four first party titles so Sony can show how powerful the console is with their own in-house software.
Uncharted 4: Drake’s Dilemma
Obviously just a made up title but it fits the bill. Uncharted 4 will be the major release for the PS4 come launch day. It won’t be the only game people are talking about but it will be the home runner driving system sales. This will show off amazing graphics and whatever controller gimmick they decide on.
ModNation Racers 2
Got to have a first party game tailored towards any age on the list! ModNation had a slip with the very poor excuse of a Vita game but it will bounce back with a feature packed installment on the PS4. This game will have a lot of online options, official tournaments, and a better customizer for karts and avatars.
High Velocity Bowling 2
First off, I loved High Velocity Bowling. It was cool, easy, and fun to play. Holding the controller sideways was weird at first but it was actually a game I could sit down with my father to play with and he wouldn’t get frustrated with the controls or how difficulty or busy the game was. Not only that, he would stop my friends coming over just to make them play with him and beat them in it. Personal stories aside, whatever controller gimmick is coming with the PS4, bowling will showcase it well.
SOE’s newest hit is going to leap over to consoles on the PS4 to help Sony showcase how powerful, easy to use, and robust the new PSN service will be. Planetside 2 will scratch the itch of a huge online shooting game and with all the time between now and the PS4′s launch, SOE has a lot of time to refine the game and make it work like a charm.
Second Party Games
Just like first party, it’s not common to see a flood of these titles. I’m going with three second party titles but we should see a bunch of teasers or logos for a bunch of upcoming ones (think Vita’s presentation during E3 2012).
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale 2
Sony will have SuperBot return to create a heavy hitter to put in shopping bags during the launch and holidays. It seems the first game is doing pretty well so an upgraded experience with a bigger roster and a competitive edge with more online options should be a great launch title. This would help just like releasing the sequel to Smash Bros. for the Gamecube’s launch did.
Hot Shots Golf: Grand Tournament
Again, a made up title but it makes sense with the franchise. Hot Shots Golf is one of my favorite sports game series and I make sure I buy them whenever a new one comes out. They are packed with features, options for controls, and great online. I just hope that one caddie from Out of Bounds makes a comeback. “Do it again!”
New Insomniac IP
That’s right, no inFamous or Sly for the PS4 launch but we will have an Insomniac title on the shelves. Will it be another animal mascot geared towards all ages or another dark and gritty story featuring some type of element? I hope for the latter but I think the former is much more likely. Look for Insomniac to be busy during next gen.
Third Party Games
This is where the stuffing will be filled in. Third party titles are always the most available during launches and for the PS4 we have nine off the bat.
Expect a new PixelJunk game from Q-Games sitting on the shelves for the PS4′s launch. This will be the first retail available PixelJunk because it will be their biggest game. Think of the experiences you had with this series already but enlarge it for a full retail and featured game. Who doesn’t want more PixelJunk and in larger quantities? Bad people, that’s who.
A PS3 young’un is back for another round. Folklore was a charming game. It was different and intriguing plus I was digging the Pokemon style ability uses. I’d like to see a bigger Folklore game with a new setting, characters, and brand new story. Although I put Folklore 2, I hope it’s something like “Dark Folklore” or some type of cool title to throw people off.
Fitness Coach 2014
Did you think you were getting away with a console launch without a fitness game? Hah! No launch day is safe from the digital calorie burners. Seriously though, I don’t even what else to say about this game except that you will be able to buy a fitness game at launch. Bank on it.
Madden NFL 2014
This won’t be a port, either. Madden ’14 will be large and in charge on the PS4 next year as EA Sports will focus their efforts big time on the first entry for the newest console. That’s very unlike EA who usually just gives shoddy or close-but-not versions of the current year for new systems that release. Either way, FOOTBALL. TOUCHDOWN. JOHN MADDEN.
FIFA Soccer 2014
Just like always, FIFA is going to look spectacular on the PS4 at launch time. Look at the Wii U’s version of 2013. It’s ridiculous. EA did a lot of work for the Wii U version and even the Vita launch title was great. Expect big things from FIFA 2014 for the PS4.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4
I wouldn’t have put this as it could be considered a long shot but since Activision made sure Black Ops 2 was out in full force on the Wii U, I have to expect the same will happen for the PS4. Sony’s upcoming console may launch close to the next CoD release. It better be on the shelf for the PS4 or may the heavens have mercy on GameStop employee’s souls for all the questions they will get. “Is CoD out for this?” “Lemme get that Blops for the PS4.” “It’s Modern Warfare this year.” “Same thing.”
There is some rule out there that a formula racing game must be out on a Sony console on or close to launch day. Expect Sony to get this out of the way immediately and put it on shelves on day one. It is known.
Rainbow Six: Patriots
With the recent rumor that Patriots may come to next gen consoles, I suspect that Ubisoft will rush the title to be done with it. That will mean that a poorly reviewed Patriots will release alongside Modern Warfare 4 on the PS4 and get trounced in sales. I seriously hope I am wrong here.
Dynasty Warriors 8: Ultimate Heroes
A made up title but hey, I could have went more realistically and called it “Ultimate Heroes Vengeance Legends XL”. I know, I know. That’s more like Street Fighter but I don’t give Dynasty Warriors a pass, either. These games seem to be a staple for Sony launches. Expect some large scale Dragon Bal– I mean, samurai – fighting on the PS4 on day one.
Well there we have it. This is what I believe we will see on the shelves come launch day for the PS4. Would you consider this an okay launch? A good launch? Meh? What titles would you pick up for your shiny, new PlayStation 4?