Sony’s PS4 has been off to a strong start, selling more than 6 million units worldwide as of March 1st. There are several suggested reasons for this success: a $100 lower price point than the leading competitor; a branding of “being for the gamer”; and it’s a platform that is open to independent game developers. Of all the reasons, those that are true must continue to be unique to the console or else the lead will diminish – if not completely vanish. For example, a price drop of the Xbox One near E3 in June could quickly send gamers to retailers with the hopes of finally getting their hands on Microsoft’s console. Or, if the next Minecraft is exclusive to Xbox One, all of a sudden Microsoft will look like they’re the ones open to indies. So does Sony have enough in their pipeline to keep the lead in the console war?
Both the Xbox One and PS4 are fantastic consoles. But, similar to what happened in the last console generation, at some point they will be nearly identical in terms of features and functionality. I’ve always believed games separated these two manufacturers. We are now five months into the “next-gen” of gaming consoles and neither the Xbox One nor the PS4 have introduced stellar new IP or updated current IP to be next-gen (note: I believe Knack for PS4 is fantastic). The one major gripe folks seem to have with the PS4 is lack of titles. But on March 21st, Sony will launch Infamous: Second Son for the PS4. This is Sony’s first AAA exclusive to release for the PS4 and it has the potential to again boost PS4 sales as well as encourage PS4 owners to get their hands on it. (Editor’s note: Joe was not a fan of Killzone: Shadow Fall…) This could be one of the best selling games of 2014.
With Titanfall releasing on March 11th, mostly for Xbox (note: the game also releases on PC), Infamous will need to rock the world of early reviewers to potential stay the hands of those current-gen’ers that are waiting on a reason to upgrade. This lead Sony has built, as described above, is a gentle thing. All of the promises are yet to materialize and, given time, they’ll have to put up or shut up. Infamous: Second Son is their first real opportunity for critique against their next-gen attitude.
So, at the end of the day, what does Infamous: Second Son mean to PlayStation? It’s Sony’s chance to tell the world that the PS4 is here to stay.