Alright, that's more than enough of that. We've spent the past month or so discussing, writing, and recording Game of the Year features, and frankly we're more fed up of 2014 than that atrocious Christmas song where the lead singer sounds like he used absinthe to stay hydrated in the recording studio. We're steering the conversation in a different direction today, and looking ahead to the events that will shape PlayStation over the next twelve months. With the PS4 ripping up the record books, will Sony be able to maintain its momentum – and how? Will there be any noteworthy new titles announced, and what will the average gamer find to complain about over the coming weeks? We've assembled a menagerie of Push Square team members to discuss just that, but we want to read your best guesses in the comments section as well.
Sammy Barker, Editor
I don't know. Not exactly the most insightful start, but I feel like this year's already mostly mapped out. Between the likes of Bloodborne, Until Dawn, and Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, I feel like Sony's got a fairly robust roadmap of PS4 exclusive releases, and I don't think that it's going to be overly eager to show in-development projects unless it absolutely has to. I suspect that God of War will probably get an outing at E3, with Guerrilla Games' not-so secret role-playing game following at Gamescom – but outside of that, I doubt that you're going to see too much first-party stuff. Having said that, a horned figure nestling carelessly on my left shoulder keeps leading me to believe that Gran Turismo 7 could make this year, too. Surely it's too soon?
It's not much of a prediction to suggest that the platform holder's market dominance will continue in 2015, but I can't see how the PS4 can be stopped; in fact, I reckon that the Japanese giant will enforce its iron grip on the industry by officially dropping its primary platform's price to $299.99 in the United States before Christmas – and I'm not talking about Black Friday bundles. At the time of typing, the device's install base sits at 18.5 million, but I reckon that it's got a shot at reaching 40 million by the time that this year's calculations are complete. I think that it'll have one more massive third-party marketing deal – similar in scale to Destiny – to help it to achieve that, probably for Fallout 4. As for other external software, I reckon that No Man's Sky will be one of the biggest releases of the year, selling over one million copies before we sing Auld Lang Syne.
Robert Ramsey, Associate Editor
As we march into 2015, it seems as though there's no stopping the PS4. Having sold over 18 million units, I can't see Sony's juggernaut slowing down any time soon, so I'm going to go ahead and predict that this year will be another big one for the sleek black box. I reckon that the momentum will be partly carried by third-party marketing deals, which will include – wait for it – Fallout 4. Bethesda's post-apocalyptic sequel won't release this year, but I can certainly see it being revealed.
Speaking of games we've been waiting an age for, I think that Final Fantasy XV will get a release date in 2015, but knowing good old Square Enix, it won't actually launch until sometime in 2016. What will launch this year, however, is the Mass Effect Trilogy on the PS4, and that'll come alongside our first proper look at the next game in the series. And finally, if you thought that these predictions have been annoyingly safe, wait until you hear my last one: there will be at least one game to be announced this year that makes use of a mechanic that's taken directly from Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor's Nemesis System. Making open worlds more dynamic through the use of such mechanics will be the trend in 2015, I'd wager.
Kell Andersen, News Reporter
It's obvious, but I predict that we'll finally be seeing The Last Guardian at E3 this year. In fact, I think that it'll be the centrepiece of Sony's conference. What evidence do I have to support this prediction? None at all, but if the Japanese giant doesn't unveil the game soon, I think that it'll lose what little relevance it's still managing to cling to. I also suspect that we'll be getting another PlayStation Experience this year, and that it'll probably play host to a fair few massive first-party reveals. Finally, I think that Gravity Rush 2 will get a re-reveal at the Tokyo Game Show, and that it will be coming to the PlayStation 4 instead of the Vita.
Of course, I couldn't live with myself if I didn't include something a bit more outlandish. Indeed, at the risk of sounding a bit smug, you may have noticed that my silly prediction last year actually came to fruition. So, with that in mind, I predict that we'll see Shawn 'E3 Yawn' Layden totally revamp his stage presence at this year's Los Angeles press conference. He will take to the podium in his usual business attire and proceed to make a handful of jokes about his appearance the previous year. When the jokes inevitably fall flat, he'll rip his well-pressed suit off in one swift motion, revealing a full-body PaRappa the Rapper costume. "We're very excited to announce," he'll say, leaving a pregnant pause. "That this year's press conference is now over."
Nicola Hayden, News Reporter
I come just bearing three game predictions this year, but seeing as last year's hit the mark, I hope that I can go two for two. I believe that Robert's burning desire for a Mass Effect Trilogy re-release will come true this year, as BioWare pads out its release schedule. With Dragon Age 2 spawning from its previous attempts to fill the gaps, I doubt that it will dare rush again, so why not run a HD collection instead of almost ruining a franchise?
My second prediction is also my biggest wish: that Danganronpa: Another Episode will head West this year. After staying up till 04:00AM on my son's school night completing Goodbye Despair, I'd hate to miss this. My long shot prediction, however, is that Kingdom Hearts III will be released in time for Christmas. With hushed rumours floating around the Internet that the English voiceovers have finished being recorded, I think that Square Enix could surprise the world with holiday Disney tie-ins three years in a row.
Alex Stinton, Reviewer
2015 will see the continuation of one trend from last year, with more and more games requiring an Internet connection to function on any level. Not only will this mean a number of releases get delayed to ensure that their online aspects work properly, but also that there will be titles that still end up launching horribly broken. To make matters even worse, there will continue to be occasional DDoS attacks on the PlayStation Network by childish attention seekers, looking to upset gamers the world over. Still, I don't think that The Division will suffer because of this in 2015, as I just can't imagine a scenario in which Ubisoft aren't pulling out all of the stops, making absolutely sure that this shooter really delivers. As a result, there's no way that it'll release until the second quarter of 2016 at the earliest.
At E3 2015 we'll see the console VR arms race kick off big style, as Microsoft unveil what it's been working on in this space. While Sony will most likely have already accelerated work on Project Morpheus, we won't be seeing anything outside of tech demos and proof of concepts this year. Some of those shown will almost certainly be among the first wave of Morpheus-only titles, but with it not likely to launch until late in 2016, they will be quite a way off. Furthermore, I'm also going to say that, yet again, The Last Guardian will be conspicuous in its absence for the entirety of 2015.
Graham Banas, Reviewer
During the lead-up to the PS4's release, it seemed like 2014 was going to be the year for gaming. Unfortunately, it was bogged down by terrible launches, controversy, and generally disappointing games. I'm going to make the super bold prediction that 2015 will be a better year. Indeed, we'll see so many exclusive PlayStation games launch this year that we won't know what to do with them all. In that spirit, I am going to start with an early year prediction that The Order: 1886, in spite of being marketed horrendously, will be one of the best selling PlayStation games of the year. Between its visuals and the awesome world it's built for itself, it will surprise the doubters.
I also predict that we will see the impact of just how successful PlayStation Experience was for Sony, as its presence at E3 and Gamescom will be noticeably diminished as it ramps up for an even bigger show in 2015. Not only that, but we will see the announcement of an old beloved franchise making a return in some form on the PS4. I predicted that all of the little Crash Bandicoot rumours would actually build into something meaningful last year, and I was, well, super wrong. But because of how much I'd love to see that, I still predict that we'll hear something about a new Crash title in 2015.
Jamie O'Neill, Reviewer
As the first main year of the PS4, 2014 was more challenging to predict; for example, I don't think that anyone foresaw the superb Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor receiving the Platinum Trophy in Push Square's Game of the Year vote. While developers become more proficient with the hardware, 2015 will be dominated by established gaming franchises, which will be reflected on Game of the Year 2015 lists with a celebration of continuing series titles like Batman: Arkham Knight, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
Trends from 2014 will continue, and publishers will need to decide between delaying an ambitious game, or facing the backlash of releasing it incomplete. It's beneficial for gamers if developers are given extra time to fine-tune and add polish to a large project, so I won't be complaining if Final Fantasy XV, No Man's Sky, or even Uncharted 4 are deferred until next year. A 2016 delay is also feasible for online dependent multiplayer games, such as The Division. Remastered ports of PS3 games will persist on the PS4, but will be overshadowed by new releases and fresh properties. I think that it'll be an especially great year for pixel-art and sprite games on the PS4 and Vita, with Axiom Verge, Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, and Shovel Knight among some of the highlights.
Joey Thurmond, Reviewer
"Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future," Master Yoda once said. I'm inclined to agree with him, especially since I'm not proficient in making predictions, but I'll take a stab at it anyway. I'll start with my depressing suspicion that Sony is still going to do nothing substantial with the Vita. While it certainly has its hits every now and then, I believe that it's doomed to an existence of housing countless Japanese RPGs, much like the PSP. I've held out multiple times for the company to bring life to it like Nintendo did with the 3DS, but I think that that window of opportunity has closed. I do believe that this is the year that the PS4 will truly shine, though. There's a solid list of exclusives, AAA titles, and indies that will make the console a must-have, and just you wait until E3 2015 – Sony should rock the house.
I'm going to be risky and say that we won't hear anything about The Last Guardian. The project seems to be getting along after bumpy development, though, so in 2016, we'll hear about it for sure. Kingdom Hearts III won't be out this year either, but I bet that we'll get a peek at a sequel to Arkane Studios' Dishonored and a redefined vision of Resident Evil with the seventh main game. Also, can I get a "whoop whoop" for a new Crash Bandicoot? We have to believe anything is possible, like Star Wars: Battlefront being our 2015 Game of the Year. Believe!
Nathan Michalik, Reviewer
2015 feels like it might be the year for new original ideas. We've already had a taste of a couple of new ideas such as The Order: 1886 and No Man's Sky, but I think that we're in for a lot of surprises. We'll obviously still see our share of sequels and re-releases, but it will be the fresh ideas and announcements that will make this year particularly special for PlayStation fans.
Project Morpheus is also sure to make headlines as a fresh technology, and if we're lucky, maybe we'll even see a holiday release. Speaking of hardware, everyone needs a wild and crazy prediction, too, right? Well, brace yourself: a Vita 2 announcement or leak will hit the headlines late in the year.
Marcello Apostolico, Reviewer
The PS4 now enters its second full year with heavy hitters, including The Order: 1886, Bloodborne, and, of course, the immensely anticipated Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. However, there are numerous announcements that we shall see unveiled throughout the course of 2015. First off, I really feel that we'll get an additional tease from Naughty Dog – be it The Last of Us 2, Jak & Daxter 4, or even a new intellectual property. Next, Capcom has been continuously working on its gorgeous free-to-play project Deep Down, and I reckon that that will get a proper release date in 2015 – in Japan and in the West.
Elsewhere, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is nearing its release, and I'm banking on a holiday release of November 2015. It's a no-brainer timeframe to release the game, and it still gives Kojima and his team ample time to finish the project by the end of the year. And finally, PlayStation Now is finally getting a reasonable and proper subscription service, focusing strictly on PS3 titles at the moment. However, by E3, I'm expecting Sony to announce full support for PSone and PS2 titles – and maybe even a surprise list of PSP releases as well.
Ryan Oehrli, Reviewer
2015 is looking like a promising year for the PS4 in many ways, but one factor that might have been overlooked is PlayStation Plus. As the console's library continues to grow, the quality of each month's free games will, too; the past few have been some of the best that the service has seen in a while, and January in particular stood out from the crowd.
The biggest complaint with Plus so far is that it gives away too many indies, but now that there are more games for the system, it's very likely that the PS4 will be able to get rid of that stigma. Don't be surprised if 2015 is the year where Sony gives you some of 2013 and 2014's best games – free of charge.
Bet you thought that we were never going to shut up, huh? That's the problem when we've got an interesting topic – we can gabble for hours on end. Are our predictions on the money, though, or do you reckon that we're way off base? Discuss our picks and share some of your own suggestions in the comments section below.