Today is February 19, 2013, and gamers everywhere are giddy with anticipation regarding tomorrow’s “future of PlayStation” event. At this point, every bit of speculation flying around the gaming universe is pointing to one thing: Sony revealing the next PlayStation home console. However, one thing that many aren’t absolutely sure about is what games might be released for the “PlayStation 4.” I’ve spent some time thinking about the possibilities, and have come up with a list of five games I believe we can see within the next PlayStation’s first year or so in the wild.
Final Fantasy Versus XIII
Developed by Square Enix
Published by Square Enix
First announced nearly seven years ago at Sony’s E3 2006 conference, Final Fantasy Versus XIII is, as its most recent trailer stated, a “fantasy based on reality.” While the game’s development is being directed by Kingdom Hearts creator Tetsuya Nomura, it’s anything but a lighthearted action-RPG affair, and is even different from previous Final Fantasy titles due to its darker story and more realistic locales. In addition, the combat is different from many big-budget Final Fantasy releases, with more player interaction allowing for a fighting experience somewhat closer to that of Kingdom Hearts. While the game’s promising concept has largely been backed up by impressive footage shown off over the years, the game still hasn’t been released, and given that it hasn’t been seen at all in over two years, it’s possible that Square Enix may have decided to shift development over to next-generation hardware. In addition, given that the Final Fantasy XIII brand hasn’t done so well in the eyes of many, I wouldn’t be surprised if the next time we see Versus, it’s instead called Final Fantasy XV.
The Last Guardian
Developed by Team Ico
Published by Sony Computer Entertainment
If there’s any PlayStation 3 title that’s brought up hopes only to break them down, it’s The Last Guardian. Team Ico’s latest project was initially unveiled at E3 2009, where Sony introduced the public to a young boy’s adventure with his griffin-like ally Trico. The game was stated to have action-adventure gameplay similar to that of Team Ico’s previous releases, Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, with the boy and Trico solving puzzles, traversing waterways, and fighting guards in an effort to escape a castle. While The Last Guardian was at one point scheduled for release during 2011’s holiday season, it never made that date, and in the time since its announcement, key personnel from Team Ico have left the studio, including director Fumico Ueda. Despite the departures and lack of information, however, both Sony and Team Ico have insisted that the game is still in development. With so little time left until the next PlayStation’s supposed release, it would come as no surprise to see The Last Guardian released as a launch window title for the system.
New Naughty Dog Title
Developed by Naughty Dog
Published by Sony Computer Entertainment
Following the successful release of 2009’s Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, developer Naughty Dog split into two separate teams. While one team initially began work on a new Jak and Daxter title, it eventually scrapped the project in favor of the concept that later evolved into The Last of Us. Meanwhile, the other team began work on yet another Uncharted sequel, and in 2011, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception was released. It’s no secret that the first team has been hard at work on The Last of Us in order to finish the game by its June 14 release date, but the second team has been conspicuously quiet over the last year or so, which gives reason to believe that it’s hard at work on its next project. As easy as it is to assume that said group is developing another Indiana Jones-inspired adventure, it’s important to note that Naughty Dog has never continued a franchise on its own outside its originating platform. While it may be difficult to pinpoint exactly what the studio’s next creation may be, one thing is clear: it is definitely creating something new, and due to Naughty Dog being a first-party Sony studio, it would be a surprise if it wasn’t for the next PlayStation.
Tekken X Street Fighter
Developed by Namco Bandai
Published by Namco Bandai
Tekken X Street Fighter is something that’s been a long time coming for fighting game enthusiasts. Announced in 2010 at the San Diego Comic-Con, the game is the antithesis to Capcom’s own Street Fighter X Tekken in that while it does feature characters from both franchises, it focuses on classic Tekken gameplay rather than attempting to be similar to a traditional Street Fighter game. This presents an interesting opportunity for players who are familiar with Street Fighter games, as they can expect to see signature Street Fighter moves executed in an unfamiliar style. Unfortunately, while Street Fighter X Tekken was released last year on a variety of platforms, very little has been said of Namco Bandai’s game. Because of how late into this console cycle we are, I expect to see Tekken X Street Fighter released not only for its previously announced platforms – PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Vita – but also on next-generation systems, and if Street Fighter X Tekken‘s exclusive PlayStation content is anything to go by, we could see bonuses for players who pick the game up on the new PlayStation. Who knows, maybe now we’ll get to see inFamous‘ Cole McGrath fight Jin Kazama in a Tekken-style game?
Developed by EA Digital Illusions CE
Published by Electronic Arts
Battlefield 3‘s release in 2011 was somewhat expected from series developer DICE. It had been a long time since the last main-series Battlefield entry, and after the lukewarm reception of 2010’s Medal of Honor reboot, EA needed something new to go head-to-head against the juggernaut that was Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. However, what many did not expect was last year’s announcement that a public beta for Battlefield 4 will take place this fall, a mere two years after the release of Battlefield 3. It’s already known that the beta will be available on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC, but one thing that isn’t out of the realm of possibility is an exclusive next-gen beta on the next PlayStation, with improved visuals over the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 betas and maybe exclusive features such as YouTube uploading and built-in Battlelog access. In addition, the next-generation release of Battlefield 4 could either see a PlayStation-exclusive launch, or continue Battlefield 3‘s trend of offering downloadable content earlier than on competing platforms. Either way, it’ll be a bit of a shock if EA announces that Battlefield 4 won’t have some sort of exclusivity on the next PlayStation console, and an even bigger shock if the game ends up not being available on the console at all.
All in all, there are a lot of possibilities for the next PlayStation’s launch lineup, and I didn’t even cover some of the other major ones. A new game from Sly Cooper and inFamous creator Sucker Punch? Quantic Dream’s rumored new project? A DICE-developed sequel to Mirror’s Edge in favor of Battlefield 4 exclusives? Okay, even I laughed (and then cried) a bit at that last one, but there are certainly a lot of potential games in the making for Sony’s next home console, and I’m excited to see what’s in store. Let us know your hopes and expectations for the “PlayStation 4” launch window in the comments section below, and make sure to stay tuned to 4P tomorrow as we peek through the looking glass at the future of PlayStation.