Earlier today, Naughty Dog announced that Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End will be pushed back from its 2015 release window to spring 2016. Naturally, the announcement was met with typical knee-jerk, ‘sky is falling’ reaction from the gaming media and public.
What will Sony do to fill the gap for the holiday season!? Microsoft’s Xbox One will dominate the holidays with Halo 5: Guardians and Rise of the Tomb Raider! How will Sony be able to compete with all of Microsoft’s exclusives AND what’ll likely be a very attractive Xbox One price?! Game over, Sony. Just pack it up.
I’m joking, obviously. These are just a few examples of the types of comments I heard. To be fair, they are legitimate concerns, but is it really the end of the world for Sony and its PS4, which as of last week has sold 20.2 million units worldwide?
The answer is no, but because this is huge news, here’s your obligatory “What Uncharted 4’s delay means for the PS4 and Xbox One.”
Nothing, there’s still plenty of reason to own PS4, including more exclusives coming in 2015
Unless the only reason you were planning on buying a PS4 was for Uncharted 4 (and I hope this wasn’t the case), then there’s still plenty of other exclusives to look forward to. This month we’re getting Bloodborne and MLB 15: The Show, two very promising PlayStation exclusives — one of which is only releasing on PS4.
Uncharted 4 wasn’t the only PlayStation 4 exclusive planned. It may have been the most mainstream, but there’s a bunch of other exclusives still planned to release in 2015. They may not be as flashy, but sometimes the “smaller” games turn out to be the best. I always use Journey as my example. Games still on track to release in 2015 exclusively on PS4 include Until Dawn, No Man’s Sky, The Tomorrow Children, Tearaway Unfolded, Fat Princess Adventures, a new Ratchet & Clank, Drawn to Death, and I’m sure we’ll get more.
Nothing, third-party games will continue to drive PS4 sales
Let’s be honest, up to now most PlayStation 4 exclusives have been rather disappointing. But despite the lackluster exclusive lineup, the PS4 has sold incredibly well on the backs of third-party publishers and indie developers. There’s still a ton of games coming to PS4, including Project CARS, Mortal Kombat X, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Batman: Arkham Knight, Mad Max, and tons more. Sure, a lot of these games are multiplatform, but there’s no doubt they’ll look better on PS4 than last-gen, and historically PS4 games have higher resolution than Xbox One (though that’s not always the case).
Nothing, there’s still E3
Let me remind you that we’re only in March. We still have three months until E3, the biggest event for video games. In case you’re not aware, companies tend to wait until their individual conferences at E3 to make their big announcements. I’m not a gambling man, but I’d be willing to be Sony has something planned. Let’s wait until we hear from Sony at E3 before we hit the panic button. I find it incredibly hard to believe that Sony won’t have something planned for later this year.
Nothing, Halo 5: Guardians was going to sell well regardless.
For most, I don’t think there was the debate “should I buy an Xbox One for Halo 5 or a PS4 for Uncharted 4”. I just don’t see much overlap in the two audiences. One is a first-person shooter with a great story and an addictive multiplayer with a focus on eSports. The other is a third-person action-adventure that’s driven heavily by narrative with a tacked on multiplayer. By now, most of you have already made up your mind what system you will get if you haven’t already purchased one or the other (or both!). Halo 5: Guardians was going to sell well and be a very successful system seller for Microsoft, regardless of what Sony was doing.
Nothing, both systems are going to have great deals for the holidays
With both systems turning two this year, it’s probably time for a discount, or at the very least a temporary holiday price cut. Odds are, we would’ve seen some sort of PS4 bundle from Sony; we’ve already seen them with just about every newly released game. Same goes for Microsoft and the Xbox One. Uncharted’s delay will have absolutely no impact on the type of discounts you can expect to see this holiday season.
A promising start to 2016
With Uncharted 4 leading the way and rumors of Street Fighter V releasing in 2016, next year is already shaping up to be a big year for PS4 owners. If anything, a strong early 2016 might encourage consumers to take advantage of attractive holiday offers and hop on the PS4 bandwagon while the price is right.
Rise of the Tomb Raider might have better sales
Rise of the Tomb Raider was already going to sell well on Xbox One, serving as Microsoft’s counter to Uncharted 4. Of course, depending on the length of the timed exclusivity deal, it’s possible the game could become available on PS4 before Uncharted 4, giving PlayStation gamers the third-person action-adventure they desperately want. Crystal Dynamics original Tomb Raider reboot didn’t particularly live up to Square Enix’s sales expectations; a delay for Uncharted 4 means more potential to sell, which is good for everybody!
Fans will finally get the awesome PS4 exclusive they deserve in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Again, I think we all can agree that Sony’s first-party PS4 exclusives have been pretty disappointing. Personally, I’m glad Naughty Dog is taking the extra time they need to polish the game. Naughty Dog has very high standards for their Uncharted series, and I think we, as consumers, deserve to have our expectations finally met. If a few months’ delay is what’s needed to make Uncharted 4 the best gameplay experience possible, I’ll gladly wait.
Sony is going to be just fine, even if they don’t find a blockbuster replacement for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End this holiday season. With over 20 million PS4s sold already, it’s not like Sony is pressed to make up for a slow start. And with a promising lineup already slated for 2016, it’s not like the PS4 won’t ever get blockbuster games again. Microsoft’s Xbox One may claim the holiday season once again due to attractive sales and blockbuster releases, I appreciate Sony’s willingness to give Naughty Dog the time it takes to ensure a polished gameplay experience.