If you’re Sony, 2016 was a solid year, and it’s extremely hard to continue the momentum you’ve already started. Going into 2017 would be a difficult follow-up due to your A+ library, solid console support, and PlayStation Plus offers. With Microsoft and Sony continually trade blows, Nintendo has been in the background working hard and blazing trails.
While ignoring this fact, Sony has been hard at work finding ways to continually improve the experiences that the PlayStation 4 Pro and PlayStation VR have to offer. Sony did a solid job at focusing on multiple elements including entirely on new games, hardware innovation, and their influence within gaming. Because of this, Sony has had a strong and successful year thanks to the PlayStation 4, but also thanks to strong third-party support on the PlayStation Vita.
Sony Continually Delivers Unique Experiences on PlayStation 4
Sony’s 2016 was arguably one of Sony’s best years since the PlayStation 4’s launch. Games such as Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Alienation, and Paragon served as some of Sony’s strongest launches of the year, and did better than expected for the company. PlayStation VR also did quite well thanks to the solid reception of games such as Eve Valkyrie and Robinson: The Journey boasted strong support from those that gave them a whirl, but how did 2017 fair in that respect?
Within the following months of 2017’s start, Sony was already off to a solid start with the well received launch of first-party exclusive Horizon Zero Dawn. To keep the momentum going, Sony didn’t back down a year after the launch of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End by releasing a standalone expansion called Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. While Sony’s change in the early year seemed a bit off, they still did quite well releasing a barrage of games and remaining rather strong. The sequel/stand-alone expansion did quite well with its bolstered sales and critical reception.
But Sony hasn’t stopped there in 2017. Instead they would continue their partnership with Epic Games bringing on a new PC-to-Console cross-play title called Fortnite, which would boast well for both companies and eventually launch one of the most successful battle royale style games that began competing against the likes of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. The remainder of 2017 would remain strong for Sony and their third-party partners. Games such as Nier: Automata, Nioh, Yakuza 0 and Kiwami remained rather strong by their follow up partners Persona 5, .hack//G.U. Last Recode and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice.
Additionally, Sony remained strong with cross-platform titles as well, but they aren’t shy about doing so with PlayStation VR exclusive features including Resident Evil 7‘s VR Edition, Call of Duty timed exclusive content, and even Monster of the Deep: Final Fantasy XV for PlayStation VR. Not just that, but Sony remains tightly wrapped within their current partnerships with the likes of Activison, which includes early release map packs for Call of Duty: WWII and Destiny 2.
But for Sony, 2017 didn’t slow down in any way. Gran Turismo Sport was a smash-hit and easily stood up against competitor titles Forza Motorsport 7 and Project Cars 2. While GT Sport was initially received in question do its long days, it’s a game that remains doing quite well in following months since its launch and continually receives a modest amount of fanfare. While its library of cars is seemingly smaller than that of Forza Motorsport 7, it’s clear that Sony doesn’t show signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Not all of Sony’s 2017 Was Paved in Gold
While Sony did have minor gaps in their big 2017 releases, the company did have a few stumbles dealing with strong summer releases, and only attempted to help hold their fans over. While remasters such as Patapon, LocoRoco, Parappa the Rapper, Wipeout, and Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy seemingly did a modest job to keep their fans busy, and only did so moderately.
However, their 2018 announcements at E3 would only begin to stir their fans into a frenzy with the likes of Shadow of the Colossus Remake, Detroit: Become Human, and The Last of Us 2, which would raise the anticipations for some of their highly anticipated games sooner versus later. But that momentum didn’t slow down as the news regarding God of War broke and revealed more of the games highly anticipated content.
But PlayStation Plus would remain staggering with the games would be offered, Sony would begin to lose momentum compared to that of Microsoft’s Games With Gold. Even in 2017 fans have been mildly disappointed by the lack of Tripe-A games that fans have been enjoying. Games such as Shadow of Mordor, Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin, and the Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection would have done quite well for the company. While games such as Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition and Kung Fu Panda: Showdown of Legendary Legends are two solid send off titles for 2017.
But even with a strong finisher, Sony has still remained rather questionable to their future approach on cross-play between Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC titles. After an accidental cross-platform play with Epic Games’ Fornite, we now know how easy it would be for a few developers just to flip the switch and allow fans across multiple platforms to take one another on. Games such as Rocket League, Minecraft, and Fortnite would heavily benefit from such a function.
PlayStation VR Still Hasn’t Become a Global Phenomenon
For Sony, VR is still a lukewarm format. Not many have caught onto the platform despite the wide array of games that are currently available. While VR has been well accepted by developers, the platform is still awaiting that “killer app” that draws fans to purchase the hardware. While Resident Evil 7 offers a breathtaking and terrifying experience, more subtle games such as GT Sport, DOOM VFR, and Skyrim VR still struggle to bode well for those involved.
But the question still remains, what will it take for fans to shell out $399.99 USD in order to join those that’ve already purchased this oddity? Rather, what would it take for Sony to make it more readily available to those whom have yet to adopt the hardware? At this point, this year has been pretty disappointing for Sony’s PlayStation VR headset, something rather similar to that of Microsoft’s recently now-defunct Kinect.
Sony’s Uphill Battle Has Only Begun
Sony’s reluctance to join a cross-play world with Nintendo and Microsoft remains slightly problematic for those whom are ready to join their PC and console brethren. But what does show a sign of arrogance is the fact that Sony has yet to adopt the idea of remaking some of their most classic games on PlayStation 1, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation 3 for the PlayStation 4.
Remakes of titles such as The Legend of Dragoon from PS1, Genji: Dawn of the Blade for PlayStation 2, and even PlayStation 3’s smash-hit Resistance trilogy would do quite well on modern consoles. Even then, Sony could do quite well by allowing more backwards compatibility with their hardware whether or not its by the means of digital or physical releases. Even then, they remain several laps ahead of their competitor company Microsoft whom still struggles to this day to catch up in any form.
Here’s a Glimpse of Sony’s 2017:
- Sony continues to deliver strong first and third party support in 2017 and continues to display that resonance in their 2017 lineup.
- Activision and Sony continue to prove that their partnership is indeed an important one and will continue to be moving forward through timed exclusivity to DLC for Call of Duty and Destiny 2.
- PlayStation 4 Pro Enhancements continue to deliver some of the best looking visuals to date.
- Sony’s allowance for users to replace their internal hard drives remains highly admirable when coincided with Sony’s support of external hard drives.
- VR still remains underappreciated and devalued as each day passes. Sony will have to make strides in order to deliver the “killer app” that VR needs in the future.
- Sony’s continued support for 2018 provides a strong look at early to mid 2018 and even offers promise for later in the year with the likes of God of War, Days Gone, and many more.
While Sony does have some moments worth flinching over, their overall 2017 has been a strong year as they’ve continued racing ahead of their competitors. Seeing as 2017 has been one of Sony’s strongest years yet and continues to show promise through their PlayStation 4 Pro hardware. Unfortunately, the company still has a lot of room to make up for as far as their VR hardware is concerned.
Even with the room to make, Sony looks to be delivering an even stronger 2018 thanks to the likes of games such as The Last of Us 2, Days Gone, God of War, and even the highly controversial Detroit: Become Human. While we certainly know Sony is working hard to keep ahead of the competition, we can only hope to see a revitalized PlayStation Vita moving forward, or at least a few of the Vita’s games being ported over to the PlayStation 4. For Sony, the future looks bright, and we can’t wait to see what Sony has to offer in the upcoming year.
- Sony continues to have a strong exclusive library that remains supported to this day.
- Many third party games are still releasing as exclusive titles even with some of them being re-released games.
- Strong support for classic franchises
- Strong partnerships with third party developers have provided Sony with their strongest year yet.
- PlayStation 4 Pro’s graphical capabilities continues to improve with each release.
- PlayStation 4 Pro’s graphics and hardware performance remains widely encompassed by the Xbox One X’s more powerful hardware.
- A lack of backwards compatibility still serves as a weak point for the company
- PlayStation VR feels like a struggling platform that may die sooner than it launched without proper support.
- Denial of cross-platform play has begun to cause a stir among groups of fans that have rallied at the idea of games like Rocket League and Minecraft featuring cross-play on all major platforms.
- Sony still lacks support of the PlayStation Vita, which still serves as a home to many mobile gamers, even in today’s Nintendo Switch dominated market.
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.