inFAMOUS: Second Son

Sucker Punch is supposedly planning to cough up inFAMOUS: Second Son in time for the PlayStation 4’s launch later this year. While the Bellevue-based studio failed to cite a timeline during its dramatic portion of last month’s PlayStation Meeting press conference, a couple of employee resumes uncovered over the weekend hinted at the title’s 2013 release. But with the PlayStation Vita’s post-launch struggles still ringing in Sony’s ears, should the platform holder resist the temptation to release too many first-party titles at once?

Content coming overboard

With the likes of Killzone: Shadow Fall, DriveClub, and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag all more or less guaranteed to be deployed alongside the next generation system this holiday, as well as the usual mix of sports games and digital downloads, Sony has the chance to really spread its exclusive wares out, and ensure that the console’s first six months on the market aren’t plagued by the kind of adverse headlines that still haunt the Vita to this very day.

Obviously, finding the right balance is important. There needs to be enough software available on launch day to ensure that early adopters are properly satisfied. But gamers are greedy, and easily forget. For the platform holder’s most recent handheld, a day-one offering of Uncharted: Golden Abyss, WipEout 2048, Super Stardust Delta, and many, many more, quickly devolved into complaints of “no games” as the four month wait for Gravity Rush took its toll on content-starved consumers. Sony must avoid the same situation with the PS4.

Gravity Rush ended the Vita drought

It’s not like it doesn’t have the resources to pack the next generation platform’s launch window with high-profile software. Earlier in the year, Worldwide Studios executive Shuhei Yoshida noted that every single team under its first-party umbrella was working on the futuristic machine. Many of those outfits – such as Naughty Dog and Sony Santa Monica – have divided into multiple units over the past couple of years, meaning that there’s guaranteed to be a wealth of content in production behind the scenes. And that doesn’t take into account second parties such as Quantic Dream and Ready at Dawn, both of which are thought to be working on exclusive titles, too.

With such a wealth of content presumably in the pipeline, it’s pivotal that the platform holder plans its release schedule properly. Dropping everything on one day will definitely prompt fervour from early adopters, but the enthusiasm will be swiftly displaced by disappointment if the momentum isn’t continued through the full launch window. Sony needs to ensure that as soon as consumers get restless, it has something new to offer. The likes of inFAMOUS: Second Son and Knack would be ideal titles to bridge the gap between release and E3.

Sony has a knack for poor release schedules

These games could still play a part in the launch, too. Sony could ensure that demos for each of the upcoming titles are available from day one, driving traffic to the PlayStation Store and also giving consumers a taste of what to expect from the PS4 over the coming months. The important thing is that the system stays in the limelight throughout its full launch window, occupying headlines on specialist websites and advertising spots in magazines and newspapers. Unlike the Vita, the post-release discussion must centre on what is in the pipeline, rather than what isn’t.

And this is an area that the PlayStation manufacturer has a distinct advantage over Microsoft. While we’re sure that the next Xbox will launch alongside a decent roster of software, the strength of Sony’s aforementioned Worldwide Studios portfolio will allow the company to really pack the PS4 with content. But it needs to ensure that those titles release at the right time in order to keep the system in the minds of consumers. Deploying everything on launch day will only result in the releases cannibalising each other. Let’s have a nice steady stream, please.

Would you prefer an enormous PS4 launch line-up, or a more spread out launch window offering? Is there any title in particular that you think must be available on day one? Let us know in the comments section below.

Do you think that Sony should spread out the PS4's launch line-up? (27 votes)

  1. Yes, don’t repeat the same mistakes as the Vita70%
  2. I'm not really sure, to be honest15%
  3. No, I want to play everything on day one15%

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