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Reaction: The Last of Us' Launch Date Points to the PlayStation 4's Imminent Arrival

Posted by Sammy Barker

Final countdown

Sony, like most other publishers, is not a massive fan of mid-year releases. The platform holder has had some success launching Sucker Punch’s two supercharged inFamous titles during the sunny window, but it typically reserves its heavy hitters for the start of the year or the festive period. It’s interesting, then, that the company has opted to lavish The Last of Us with a 7th May release date. Could it be an indication that the PlayStation 4’s coming next Christmas?

Recent rumours hinted that the Japanese giant is waiting until an event prior to E3 to divulge details about its inevitable next-generation console. With the North American tradeshow not set to open until 11th June, that gives the company ample opportunity to embellish Naughty Dog’s survival horror exclusive with the attention that it duly deserves.

Indeed, the platform holder will be eager to get the hotly anticipated adventure on store shelves before it discloses anything about the future. For starters, the swansong title is leveraging every last ounce of the PlayStation 3’s architecture in order to create a visually stunning experience – an asset that could be usurped by the announcement of fresh hardware. Furthermore, the sheer presence of a new system alone might take the spotlight off Joel and Ellie’s journey, potentially impacting the game’s performance at retail.

Launching in May allows the publisher to effectively clear house before it focuses on what’s next. There’s no doubt that The Last of Us would be a banner holiday blockbuster in any other year – which makes the title’s release date even more indicative of what’s to come over the next 12 months.

Analysts tend to agree too, with controversial forecaster Michael Pachter predicting an October or November arrival for the PS4. Granted, the company has serviced its aging platforms with big budget titles in the past – God of War II actually followed the PS3’s release in 2007 – but we suspect that the company will prescribe to a different strategy this time around. That’s evidenced by the scheduling of its remaining first-party titles, with Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, Puppeteer, Until Dawn, and God of War: Ascension are all due out prior to E3. The only anomaly is Beyond: Two Souls, which has just hit alpha according to creator David Cage.

Still, we suspect that Quantic Dream’s interactive adventure will join The Last of Us in the summer, leaving the platform holder free to focus on the PS4 throughout the second half of 2013. The question is: with so much life left in the company’s current console, are you even ready for the next-generation to arrive?

Do you think that it’s too early for the PlayStation 4? Which PlayStation 3 titles are you most looking forward to playing next year? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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User Comments (23)



ShogunRok said:

It's really looking like this is the case. I'm ready for next gen, but Sony have a lot to prove with the PS4 - it could be make or break for them as unfortunate as that is.



get2sammyb said:

@ShogunRok I get the impression they're really looking forward to the challenge to be honest. Financially I know they're struggling, but I think the PlayStation brand is in a really exciting place right now. I think they're itching to get started.



Dambuster said:

For the first time in 20 years i'm not to bothered about the next gen, there are loads and loads of games from this gen i've still got to play, and I have less gaming time nowadays, but that will prob change come E3!



tulaib_100 said:

really really excited for 2013 E3, but i dun want sony to give xbox360 another chance with next years holiday season becuz lets face it, weather ps4 launches or not ps3 is now making serious money for sony now and i want them to win next year with their all three platforms and also hoping for ps vita slim



Knux said:

I don't think Sony is in any position to launch the PS4. They need to worry about making the Vita sell like hotcakes first. Not to mention that the PS3 is selling very well. Why switch to a new console now? Even if the PS4 launched in the next two years, I probably still wouldn't buy it at launch. There are just so many PS3 and Vita games to play right now that I'm not even interested in the PS4 right now, and I'm sure that I'm not the only one.

Also, I'm beyond excited for The Last of Us.



get2sammyb said:

@Knux With regards to launching now, I think you've got to strike while the iron's hot. I'm not a sales analyst or anything, but looking at this year's figures, this generation is just starting to decline. Of course, that doesn't mean that the PS3's not still selling really well — it is — but it's going to start decreasing from here on out. There's no point in them waiting until the PS3's been totally exhausted before replacing it.

The PS3's going to have good legs anyway, purely because it still hasn't reached mass market price. Just because it gets replaced, doesn't mean its irrelevant. After all, the PS2 still sells well in emerging markets now.



pikku said:

I think it's pretty likely that the PS4 will be announced at E3 and be released by December, just look at the PS2, that thing kept on getting a ton of support for YEARS after the PS3 came out. I think Sony's trying to do the same thing with the PS3.



get2sammyb said:

@pikmaniac Sony's able to really extend the life of its platforms because it has longer distribution arms than both Microsoft and Nintendo. It's easy for the company to sell PS3 in emerging markets like India.

Also, it sounds like the PS3 is going to finally launch in China, which could be huge. So, yes, I agree. There's plenty of life in the old dog yet!



Scrible said:

The vita has nothing to do with PS whatever number comes next, if it fails, as probably will, thanks to the games on mobile phones, it means nothing in regards to the PS console, if that was the case, wouldn't the console ALREADY be in trouble



Scrible said:

And besides, according to game informer, the ps3 was only 2 million units sold behind xbox, which is awesome since it came out a year later, and another year because of its ridiculous price, which will be the only thing to hurt the ps4



Azikira said:

I'm excited and terrified at the same time. I just got my Vita when it came out, (which was a whopping $300 with the memory card) and a Wii U on launch day ($350) and I am just not sure how much more I will be able to afford. I'd almost wait until the PS4 is out for a good while before I get it.
If I ever get bored, I can just pop in Little Big Planet~~



rastamadeus said:

Will be a good 2-3 years before I move on to a next gen console so I couldn't care less to be honest. By that time the price will have dropped and they'll (hopefully) be the start of a good library of titles.



hamispink said:

I'm finally ready for the next gen. I'm just curious to see whether it will be Sony or Microsoft that impresses me the most to buy their next console first. At this point I'm more likely to go for the PS4 because I'm so heavily invested into the PSN and Sony games, though the price and features will of the next consoles will be interesting. I expect Sony to go for the standard gaming market with a standard controller(I hope!) and I'm guessing that Microsoft will push Kinect 2.0 and Media integration.
It's completely possible that Sony could be the only console manufacturer to focus on the core gaming market (I'm not ready to count the Wii U in on that just yet).



Kage_88 said:

Cannot wait for Last of Us...especially considering its arrival is so close to my birthday.

I'm definitely excited for Orbis and Durango...but I probably won't buy them at launch until they go down in price and gain respectable libraries.

In the mean time, there are still a buttload of games I've still got to play on the PS3, X360, Vita and 3DS (not to mention the Wii U). I still even have a quite a few unplayed Wii games that have sat on my shelf for the last 3 years!

Oh, and Last Guardian. Give it to me Sony. Now.



Gamer83 said:

My thoughts exactly when I saw the release date. I'm happy mainly because we're getting The Last of Us a lot sooner than I expected and on top of that it does look like Sony could be setting up to release the PS4 in time for next holiday season. If that is the case, I'm almost positive MS will be launching the next Xbox around the same time and honestly I'm ready. The PS3 and 360 have each been great but it's time to move on. There's some good stuff early next year to send those consoles out on a high note, hopefully the latter part of the year will be about next-gen consoles.



rjejr said:

Are you really predicting the PS4 launch date based on the date of a game release? That's stretching it a bit, no? Maybe the game is just releasing then b/c that's when it will be ready to be released?



Ginkgo said:

Not sure this release date relates to the PS4. They we hoping to make it for Christmas 2012 but weren't ready in time, perhaps they just don't want to wait a whole 6 month extra after it is done. That would be money they are not earning.

Having said that, I think Christmas 2013 is very possible date for the PS4. Personally I can't wait. Having seen how good Far Cry 3 is and knowing how much better again it is on PC, makes me even more convinced that the time is right for the next gen. Otherwise consoles will just be left behind.



JayMiller1988 said:

I'm looking forward to DmC and Dead Space 3 the most from what I've seen.

I don't think we need a PS4 yet. I once did, but would rather wait till late 2014-early 2015. Though, in any case I'm waiting awhile until I get my PS4.



Hokori said:

A lot of companies actually release in mid year for big hits...
Nintendo with NSMB2
square with KH DDD
Konami with MGS4
Capcom with the RE4 wiimake
The list could go on



NAZA1999 said:

when it releases il be getting 1 but wont buy any games yet an will still play on my ps3



SuperKMx said:

I'm ready for something new. I'm awaiting Kryptos and Orbis announcements prior to or indeed at E3. Without them, next year will be the same old routine. Another AC, another COD, another FIFA, another NFS title maybe, and little-to-no innovation as everyone banks on a sure thing. New consoles = new risks to be taken.

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