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Talking Point: Should Beyond: Two Souls Be a PlayStation 4 Game?

Posted by Sammy Barker

Thinking beyond the current generation

Quantic Dream sure knows how to get our attention. The Parisian developer famous for its work on Fahrenheit and Heavy Rain rewarded our extended patience with a brief glimpse behind the curtain at PlayStation 3 swansong Beyond: Two Souls this week, revealing enough narrative tidbits to leave our taste buds tingling until the game’s 8th October launch. But with the release so close to the PlayStation 4, should Sony be reconsidering the title’s target platform?

The narrative-driven opus does not look like an inexpensive endeavour. Founder David Cage and his equally ambitious crew spent twelve months working with Hollywood stars Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe, shooting groundbreaking performance capture for the PS3 exclusive. For context, the principal photography for the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy took about fourteen months. Furthermore, the studio rebuilt its engine, a move which the company’s outspoken gaffer described as “totally absurd” in a recent interview.

“Does [the engine change] make sense from a company point of view?” Cage pondered. “Not really to be honest. Being the CEO of the company, I can tell you that it’s totally absurd. But we enjoy it so much. We’re just crazy people. We don’t do this for money or fame. We want to take risks because we enjoy trying to push the envelope."

And push the envelope the title surely will, but has the company picked the wrong platform to do it on? Cage has already stressed that Heavy Rain was an extraordinary financial success for an experience of its ilk, pushing over 2 million copies on the PS3. But it also benefitted from the razor-focused marketing clout of Sony at a time when the company was desperately trying to turn the stumbling PS3 around. That won’t be the case on this occasion.

With the PS4 due out around the same time as the supernatural adventure, we can’t imagine that the platform holder’s finances will be fully invested in the project this time. Cast your mind back to 2010: the original PS3 Slim had just launched alongside Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, consumer interest in the system was at its highest in years, and the manufacturer was doing everything it could to capitalise. Heavy Rain and God of War III headlined a star-studded start to the year for the system, and you couldn’t really move without seeing commercials for either game.

But this holiday, assuming the console maker has any sense, it’ll be the PS4 that fills those spots rather than Quantic Dream’s game. We doubt that the company will ship the title without the support it requires to survive, but it seems unlikely that the release will get the colossal backing needed to propel it into the spotlight like its predecessor. That could prove a problem for a new intellectual property designed around innovative but hard to explain gameplay mechanics. But it really shouldn’t be that way.

The frustrating reality is that the impending epic and the PS4 shouldn’t be competing against each other for marketing dollars, but rather sharing them to create an even more convincing campaign. Imagine how much value an exclusive title starring Ellen Page would add to the launch window of the next generation platform’s catalogue. It’d be an easy, impressive promotional point that Sony’s competitors wouldn’t be able to counter. But furthermore, it would drive interest in both the game and the futuristic console at the same time. Suddenly, the conflict of interests would evaporate.

Of course, there’s every chance that the narrative-driven adventure could end up on the PS4 at some point. In an interview with IGN earlier this week, Cage admitted that the game has been built using a “toned down” version of its next generation engine, suggesting that it would be relatively easy for the developer to port the release to the impending platform in the near future. Furthermore, asked if the title was only coming to Sony’s current console, Guillaume de Fondaumière answered: “So far, yes.”

The tone of the comments leads us to believe that Quantic Dream intends to port the release to the PS4 at a later date – but wouldn’t it have a bigger impact if it was available on the futuristic hardware at the same time as its current generation counterpart? Staggering the launch across two different platforms will only detract from the anticipation of each version.

And for that reason, we just can’t help but feel that Sony’s planned this project wrong. We can understand why the platform holder may want to continue supporting current generation efforts such as Wonderbook and Puppeteer around the time of its next system's release, but a big budget endeavour like Beyond: Two Souls should be targeting the company’s impending console from the off. We just hope that the decision to focus on the PS3 doesn't come back to haunt the manufacturer in the future.


Do you think that Beyond: Two Souls should be a PS4 title? Will the platform holder be able to effectively market the game on the PS3 at the same time as its next generation console? Let us know in the comments section and poll below.

Do you think that Beyond: Two Souls should be a PS4 game? (29 votes)

Yes, it would really strengthen the system's catalogue

31%

I'll happily buy it on either device

24%

No, the PS3 deserves one last blockbuster

45%

Please login to vote in this poll.

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User Comments (18)

Superconsole

#1

Superconsole said:

I can see why having Beyond as a PS4 exclusive would be highly beneficial for Sony to boost next gen console sales, but from a totally selfish stand-point, I'd rather it be PS3 only or a dual release, to save myself from forking out extra money for a new console at launch again.
For consumers, it never seems to pay-off buying consoles at day 1 - especially with the recent Wii U price drop fiasco.

get2sammybAdmin

#2

get2sammyb said:

@Superconsole I guess the question is, though: if titles like Beyond were in the launch window (i.e. the first three months of a console releasing) and didn't get delayed, could it change that poor perception that tends to surround system launches these days?

Probably a different topic, but still...

rastamadeus

#4

rastamadeus said:

1. I can't see the PS4 doing well this Christmas. It's a recession still and with the many amazing PS3 - and Wii U, Wii, Vita, 3DS Xbox, PC - titles out there I just don't think enough people will pick up a next gen console this years end. So games like this are vital to keep PS3 ahead of the pack.

2. The console won't be releasing in Europe this year. Dunno why but I have a feeling we'll be waiting til at least January, so games like this are again vital.

hydeks

#5

hydeks said:

NO WAY! This is one of the last PS3 blockbusters, it's a great way to go out with a bang, before PS4 steals everyones money ;) I also like how this game is looking, and it's a PS3 game! Just imagine the future games on PS4 will look like! drools alil sorry :(

fishwilson

#6

fishwilson said:

Nope! Going out with a bang is the way to go for the ps3. Beyond: Two Souls, GTA V, FFXIII - Lightning Returns, The Last Guardian and The Last of Us. What a way to go out!

lem798

#7

lem798 said:

We need one last blockbuster for ps3 but also i don't want to but a ps4 to play this amazing game. Not everyone can go out and buy a ps4 when it comes out. Especially if your a teenager who just wants to playan amazing game with out buying a 200+ dollar console.

Visiblemode

#8

Visiblemode said:

They should stick with their plans. A great way to alienate a loyal fanbase is to reward that loyalty by robbing them of what's been promised. That's not a good way to start off a new console cycle.

naruball

#9

naruball said:

Yes, it most certainly should have been a ps4 exclusive. The ps4 needs good exclusives from the get go. Sony can't afford a WiiU fiasco, as it may bankrupt them. God of War Ascension and Beyond should have been ps4 exclusives. I'm sure Beyond would have been much more impressive on ps4. The ps3 will keep selling anyway.

JavierYHL

#10

JavierYHL said:

nope ps4 with killzone,infamous,driveclub and many others i think its enough for the ps4...while the ps3 need beyond and last of us to end with a bang...moreover i think QD have a new IP in the wings for ps4 :)

naruball

#11

naruball said:

@JavierYHL
-Driveclub= new ip, right? They usually don't sell consoles (unless there's something truly unique about them)
-Infamous games don't sell that well (look at the sales of the second)
-Killzone isn't a big hit like Gran Tursimo, Uncharted and God of War. It's a moderate hit which will shift some consoles, but probably not enough. The ps4 needs all the attention it can get.

hamispink

#12

hamispink said:

I wouldn't mind seeing it release on both consoles, but I'll be buying it on PS3 no matter what. The game looks great as is, and a story driven game like this doesn't really lend itself to multiple purchases. I wouldn't mind if Quantic Dream ports the game to the PS4 as long as it doesn't take too much time and resources away from their actual PS4 game.

NathanUC

#13

NathanUC said:

It already looks amazing on PS3, I couldn't imagine how good it'd be on PS4.

I think for now, releasing it on PS3 is very smart since the install base is so high and the console is still so capable. Later down the line, it would be cool to see an "HD remake" (seems weird saying that about a game of this quality...) of this and Heavy Rain on PS4.

DVD_Sandwich

#14

DVD_Sandwich said:

Having it on the PS4 would probably increase PS4 system sales, but they will sell alot more copies of this game on PS3 since so many people have PS3s compared to how many will have a PS4 immediately after the console's release.

bauckster

#15

bauckster said:

I agree with the general sentiment on this thread, I think that the PS3 and its audience deserve another heavy hitter, and this game was built from the bottom up with the PS3 hardware in mind. It would be cool if they eventually port it to PS4 as well.

rjejr

#16

rjejr said:

Easy to port it to the PS4 later on, hard to back-port it to the PS3 if nobody picks up a PS4 at launch. (see Wii U sales) From a financial perspective this is a no-brainer. Close to 100 million PS3 in Oct., maybe 4 or 5 million PS4, or maybe zero if Sony delays the systems release? That's a big gamble for a game this expensive to make. How did GoW 2 sell after the PS2 was left for dead? I don't recall it doing poorly. And I wouldn't worry about marketing, Ellen Page and Willem Defao will be on Kimmel or Letterman promoting this.

craigun

#17

craigun said:

So what should we call PS3 remakes for the PS4? HD isn't going to cut it, LOL!

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