Remember last summer when Microsoft held an Xbox press event at Gamescom but Sony didn't? This week is Paris Games Week and this time out Sony held a press event but Microsoft didn't. I guess there is once again balance in the video game universe.
I've dinged the Playstation 4 quite a few times for its lack of exclusive titles in 2015. 2016 is just around the corner and I've been hoping to see signs that Sony will have more exclusives on its platform next year. I mean real exclusives, not just an extra map or level that shows up on the PS4 but not the Xbox One.
I'm happy to say it does seem like things are changing, with quite a few exclusive games being teased. Some we already knew about, like Horizons:Zero Dawn, where you play a primitive (?) hunter stalking robot-dinosaurs. Others were new, at least to me. Boundless is an "open world universe" with terrain strongly reminiscent of Minecraft but characters that appear more organic. The hook seems to be a portal system that lets you jump from world to world.
But Boundless is also a cautionary tale. During the press conference it was called a Playstation exclusive, but it turns out its coming to PS4 and PC (and in fact supports cross-platform play). In this instance at least, "exclusive" meant "console exclusive." These gaming execs play fast and loose with the term.
Another new title that is surely a true PS4 exclusive is Gran Turismo Sport, the latest in Polyphony's popular Playstation motorsport series. Beta for Gran Turismo Sport will arrive in early 2016 but no launch date was offered.
David Cage of Quantic Dreams announced Detroit: Become Human. It's about what happens in a world where human-acting androids become common. It seemed like it'll explore the same kinds of conflicts that we saw in AMC's excellent Humans TV series last summer. No release date mentioned.
Fighting game fans will want to know that both Street Fighter and Tekken 7 will be Playstation exclusives, with the latter coming to Playstation VR.
No Man's Sky has been at just about every Playstation event of the past two years, and the Paris Games Week presser was no exception, but we FINALLY have a release date: June 2016. No Man's Sky is the space exploration game where stars and planets are generated procedurally and the developers say that if players discover a planet every second it'll take 585 billion years to find them all. Honestly I've gone luke-warm on No Man's Sky. It seems like an incredible technology demo but I'm worried the gameplay will become repetitive long before 585 billion years. Or even 585 hours.
Michel Ancel brought Wild to the show. We saw the briefest teaser of it at E3 (I think it was E3) but got to see more today. You play a shaman in a pre-industrial world. You befriend, or take control of, animals to explore your world and help your people. In the demo one of your tribe has been bitten by a venomous snake and you have to find an antidote. You ask an eagle to capture a snake for you, then fight your way to a snake shrine on the back of a bear in order to make an offering and learn how to make a cure. It looks really interesting and I can't wait to learn more about the game. We did not get any kind of a release date so it's not clear if it is a 2016 title.
Sony devoted about 20 minutes of the show to Playstation VR, which we know is coming sometime in the first half of 2016. Eight playable games are on the show floor and we're told 200 developers are working on content for Sony's VR headset. Notable examples were RIGS, a futuristic sport played in exo-suits, and Robinson: The Journey, a game that has you playing "don't get stepped on" as you weave your way through the legs of dinosaurs. Don't get me wrong, that's not the entire game but that's the section they showed during the event. Getting to walk with dinosaurs in a VR environment sounds like an easy win to me.
Uncharted 4, of course, had a presence in the event, but this time they opted to show multiplayer footage. The multiplayer beta arrives in December and the game releases in March.
Playstation darling Media Molecule showed a little more of their upcoming Dreams. Dreams let's you build whatever you want and then invite folks in to play in your world. They tried to pitch it as cute and fun but it seemed super creepy to me; not that that's a bad thing. Beta is coming in 2016.
Overall it was a decent showing and it looks like the PS4 exclusive library will be ramping up in 2016. Exclusives are currently the weakest aspect of the Playstation ecosystem so this show was good news for fans of the system.
Sorry to end on a down note, but neither the PS3 or the Playstation Vita were mentioned at all.