Looking forward at 2019: Sony
The Playstation 4 had an amazing 2018 but does the new year look just as bright?
In the past year, Sony released games that were highly praised by the critics and the general public, like God of War and Spider-Man. Other titles, like the remake of Shadow of the Colossus, made their lineup even better, but before the end of 2018, Sony had shocking news about the upcoming year… they were dropping their presence at E3 2019.
Whether being at the biggest video game event of the year will affect Sony in any way, it remains to be seen, but their lineup for this year looks rather weak with some potential to be extraordinary. So far, the only Playstation exclusive with a release date is Days Gone. Set to launch on April 26th, the game faced one delay and had rough previews back in May 2018. This is going be Bend Studio’s first big open world title, it has tons of zombies in a post-apocalyptic setting.
Another Playstation title that will most likely come out this year, is Dreams. It was first shown at the Playstation 4 reveal back in 2013, but officially announced at E3 2015. It’s being developed by Media Molecule, the studio behind LittleBigPlanet and Tearaway. With this new game, the idea is that the player can create anything for others to play. It’s not a new concept, but this one definitely seems to give more freedom and room for everyone’s imagination. The game was delayed once and it’s currently in a closed beta phase.
A small game that’s also a first-party title is Concrete Genie, and it’s probably coming out in 2019. It’s being developed by PixelOpus. This is their second game, the first being Entwined. The concept and mechanics seems interesting, you play as a boy with a magic paint brush and the creatures you paint on walls come to life and help. The game faced one delay but this time it seems it’ll hit the Spring 2019 window.
Beyond these three games, Sony have some other announced titles but their release schedule are still a mystery. Ghost of Tsushima, The Last of Us Part II and Death Stranding…These are the games that could make 2019 huge for the company. Beyond these heavy hitters, there’s also the looming next generation of consoles. Could this be the year for any of these?
For more than 10 years, Sucker Punch Productions worked on the Infamous games. Their last big title, Infamous Second Son, came out on the PS4 and it was a leading game in the consoles’ first year. Now, the studio is working on their new IP, Ghost of Tsushima. It’s open world and you play as a samurai. The game was announced in October 2017 and later had a gameplay demo at E3 2018. Despite being no indication of a 2019 release, it could happen. Sony said in an interview that they didn’t announce this game too soon, which means that releasing it this year would make sense, 2 years after the reveal.
Back at Playstation Experience 2016 (PSX), The Last of Us Part II was revealed. It’s next appearance was almost a year later, during Paris Games Week, and it was only at E3 2018 that gameplay was finally shown. Naughty Dog, the studio behind it, have a pedigree on making exceptional games like the Uncharted series and The Last of Us, so it’s safe to assume that this new one will be a hit. Neil Druckmann, director of the game, tweeted in December a picture of a mocap session. This could mean that there’s still a long way to go in development, putting it at a mid to late 2020 release.
The last announced game without a release date is Death Stranding. In 2015 after a split with Konami, Kojima Productions became independent and stablished a partnership with Sony. Lead by Hideo Kojima, the studio began working on this new game using the Decima engine (created at Guerrilla Studios, same used for Horizon Zero Dawn). It was unveiled to the public at E3 2016 and it had a few trailers since then. It’s hard to grasp how much of the game is done, all we know is that Kojima has been showing the first couple hours of gameplay to other developers recently. It seems to be a big project in scale and Sony would give it as much time as needed, so a 2019 release doesn’t seem possible.
Last but not least, a big factor in this new year is the next generation of consoles. Microsoft already mentioned that they are working on it, so it could happen in 2019. Sony dominated this generation and they probably don’t want to stay behind on the next, so an announcement this year to a release in 2020 seems plausible. All we know is that the next Playstation is a reality and it’s coming soon, opening the possibility for these 3 games mentioned to be also released on next-gen.
The year is just beginning and Sony probably have some surprises in store. By looking ahead and speculating on release dates, it’s clear that Sony is keeping their cards close to the chest, as we near the end of the Playstation 4. The past few years have been really good for video games, so let’s hope that 2019 is no different.