I chose to begin this commentary with a popular gif that was circulating around the time of the PS4’s launch as a way to visually express what I felt after reviewing Sony’s press conference they had today on the future of their console. It just fits perfectly. But before I dive into it, I want to throw out a few disclaimers. I do not consider myself to be a Sony fanboy in any way. I never even really cared which one was better, and always got a kick out of listening to my friends argue about it. As a matter of fact, I strongly believe that Microsoft had a better console the last two generations. Talking to my brother about it, he would say it’s blasphemous to even consider the Xbox a better console than the PS2, but I did because it was more powerful and it produced a few of my favorite games of all time, all exclusives. I also believe that for all intents and purposes, the Xbox One is a great console in its own right and is clearly a success. But exactly 24 hours ago, it was already hard to deny PS4 was the top dog at this early stage in the console war. And then today happened.
Greatness Awaits. This is Sony’s tagline for their console. And how right they are. A few years from now, December 6th, 2014 might even be considered the day PS4 KO’d the Xbox One. I use that specific analogy for a reason. More on that later. Why though? What makes a console inherently better than another? Well, ask any real gamer, and they will tell you the main statistic that matters is exclusive titles. Specifically good exclusive titles, and Sony just announced a flurry of them. Let’s begin with what is in my mind the biggest blow to the Xbox specifically. Mainly because it was a great game on both consoles last generation. Street Fighter 5, and it’s gonna be PS4 exclusive. Guys, I’m not even a fighting game fan and I can see the repercussions of this. For all intents and purposes, that franchise is the gold standard of the entire genre. The biggest draw at Evo. The most complex and technical. The best balance. This game is king of its domain. Hell, my buddy Walt could write an entire dissertation on why this is true that would last over 100 pages if he wanted to. This move effectively makes the console the only one to play fighting games on. It’s a big deal. Go ahead, comment and ask Walt how salty he is about this, being an Xbox fanboy and a fighting game fanatic. He will let you know.
The only console you’ll be tossing Ryu’s newest form of Haduken on is PS4
Game of the Year nominations, and wins, are always a big deal. Even bigger if they’re exclusive. Let’s talk about two more games that will only be on PS4 that I’ll go ahead and call now, and put my stamp on, will both be nominees for GOTY. That’s right, you heard it here first. Number one, the game I am most excited for out of this entire crop. Uncharted 4. The final adventure of Nathan Drake. A sequel to TWO GOTY winners. Sony showed us roughly 15 minutes of gameplay. To me that was 15 minutes of I know I’m buying this, I know it’s gonna rock, and I know it’s gonna get an amazing rating. Uncharted is a franchise that will always be remembered for how amazing their games are as a package. I have no doubt this one will be just as solid as the others, and that Naughty Dog will pull out all the stops to send Nate off with a bang. Let’s not leave out game number two either. A new God of War. Not some spin off set in a weird slot of time chronologically, but most likely a true sequel. (Even though my brother can argue with you all day about how even those spin offs are great too). It’s either a true sequel to the end of three or a brand new reboot. Either way this means it’s gonna be awesome. I will argue to my grave that Dante from Devil May Cry would mop Kratos in a fight, but I would never deny how amazing this series is. I know I’ll be buying this at midnight and I know it’s gonna be good. These two games are AAA Titles and will be era defining adventures. Only on Playstation, though.
Nathan Drake will be back one more time, and only where he’s always been.
As if these games weren’t enough, there’s still a few more worth mentioning. Let’s talk about one we already knew about, and finally saw in action. The Order 1886. A cover based monster shooter set in an alternate reality London, complete with King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. I admit, I was skeptical when I first heard about this game and didn’t care. Now that I watched some gameplay, I think it has the potential to be another castle on this chess match of dominance. It seems fun, it looks amazing, and the idea is pretty badass. Another potential top tier game you can only play on PS4. Finally, I want to talk about a specific game in a genre that I personally don’t have too much of a taste for, but recognize that it is important to the future of gaming. Shovel Knight and Indie games. I already told you I don’t care for them really, but there was one game I almost gave a try, and that is Shovel Knight. It’s won a lot of awards. It’s really good. It’s on my brother’s GOTY list. It’s getting ported to PS4. This is a big deal because it’s pretty much the best Indie game ever made. Nick played it nonstop when it released. To top it off, Kratos is gonna be in it. I admit it, I LOL’d when I saw it, but it’s awesome none the less and a win for Sony in the newest field of games.
Shovel Knight and Kratos. Who woulda thought?
As I close this off I want to be clear about something. I’m in no way telling you that if you only own an Xbox One the distant future is gonna suck for you. You still have an amazing set of games to look forward too also. Xbox One is still gonna be great. You still have Halo, the crown jewel of Xbox exclusives. A game that more than stands up to any of the ones I just listed here. But the problem is outside of that, all the other great games you will be enjoying will also be appearing on the PS4 as well. And now, they are really gonna be getting their butts kicked exclusive wise. I didn’t even mention Bloodbourne, which is developed by the Dark Souls crew and looks ridiculously similar, another exclusive. Microsoft better call up Bioware and find some crazy way to get KOTOR 3 made and Xbox only, because I can only see Sony pulling farther and farther away at this point. The fog of the future is starting to clear, and you can now see what is coming. PS4 is about to dominate console gaming. You know it. I know it. Antonio Banderas knows it, and Xbox fanboys are gonna have to admit it. Greatness Awaits.