Xbox One Vs. PS4 Launch Title Line-Up Jul 28th 2013, 15:00
Both the Xbox One and PS4 have a lot of exclusives in the works. Here are the ones coming during the systems' launch.
Both the Xbox One from Microsoft and PlayStation 4 from Sony have a number of exclusive games you won't be able to get anywhere else.
Both consoles have even more content that will only be available on one console or the other, but also show up on PC, current-gen systems or Vita.
For instance, Titanfall isn't coming to PlayStation systems, but it's not limited to the Xbox One either. Gamers will be able to pick it up for the PC or Xbox 360 as well.
Perhaps the most important exclusives, at least in the beginning, are the exclusive launch titles on offer from Sony and Microsoft.
Which of the new systems will have the better line-up of games you won't be able to play anywhere else? Does either system offer up a real system seller?
Microsoft's Xbox One exclusive launch line-up looks like this:
- Dead Rising 3 (Capcom)
- Forza Motorsport 5 (Turn 10)
- LocoCycle (Twisted Pixel)
- Killer Instinct (Double Helix)
- Ryse: Son of Rome (Crytek)
Forza Motorsport 5, Turn 10 Studios
Many of the Xbox One games integrate Kinect. Dead Rising 3, for instance, will allow gamers to use the Kinect to shout at zombies or make other noises to distract them. Ryse: Son of Rome can be played either with the motion sensor device or through what appears to be an endless chain of Quick-Time Events (QTE's.)
Forza Motorsport 5 makes use of both the Kinect and Microsoft's cloud technology in what Andy Robertson describes as a pretty impressive experience. For Killer Instinct, the Kinect can determine exactly who happens to be playing at any given time, and automatically switch over to your preferred button-mapping, favorite character, and so forth.
Simply by picking up the controller the Kinect can get all the data it needs—which is remarkable, to be sure, and a little unsettling.
In any case, the Xbox One games all, to one degree or another, make direct use of the Kinect 2.0 and this, more than anything else, is what sets these games apart from the competition. It's no wonder, really, that Microsoft is selling the second Kinect as a mandatory piece of the package.
Meanwhile, Sony's PS4 exclusive launch games are:
- DC Universe Online (Sony Online Entertainment)
- DriveClub (Evolution Studios)
- Killzone: Shadow Fall (Guerrilla Games)
- Knack (SCE Japan Studio)
- Warframe (Digital Extremes)
Killzone: Shadow Fall, Guerrilla Games
On Sony's side, only three of the games are entirely exclusive to the PS4.
DC Universe Online is also available on PC and PS3 already, and you can fire up Warframe right now on your PC. Both these games are free-to-play.
For PlayStation Plus members, DriveClub will also be free (at first.) Killzone: Shadow Fall and Knack will be regular old-fashioned pay-to-play games, and these two, along with DriveClub, are coming exclusively to PS4.
So we have more of a free-to-play focus on Sony's side, and Kinect dominating the Microsoft half of the ring.
Both have racing games (though DriveClub is PS4 only whereas Forza Motorsport 5 will also appear on Xbox 360) but Sony has the only major first-person-shooter exclusive in Killzone. Microsoft has the only fighting game in Killer Instinct.
The Xbox One has the Roman ultra-violence game while Sony has the only real platformer in Knack.
Microsoft dominates the Zombie genre but avoids the MMO space that DC Universe Online attempts to fill for Sony, and Sony has Warframe to fill in the third-person shooter space.
In other words, neither system has a terribly impressive line-up of exclusive launch titles, though both have a couple that look quite good.
Of all these, I'm probably most interested in Knack since I'm not a race-car gamer and don't see myself getting excited for games already available on PC any more than I do for games featuring gorgeous graphics in an ancient Rome setting that promises nothing but Quick Time Events. Dead Rising 3 looks fun, too, though I'm quite possibly starting to experience the dread zombie burnout.
That being said, you can apparently dress as a light-saber wielding knight in Capcom's open-world zombie affair:
Dead Rising 3, Capcom
…which reminds me an awful lot of the image I photo-shopped some months ago for my Jedi Souls piece (in which I argue for a Dark Souls style Jedi game.) So that's cool and helps solidify the game's lead as my most-anticipated Xbox One launch exclusive.
Of course, there's a third next-gen console in the running: the oft-overlooked NintendoWii U.
While the Wii successor has already launched, we may as well compare its game offerings with the ones Microsoft and Sony will be serving up. Between today and Christmas, here's what Nintendo will be bringing to the table:
- Pikmin 3 (August)
- The Wonderful 101 (September)
- The Legend of Zelda Wind Waker HD (October)
- Wii Party U (October)
- Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (November)
- Super Mario 3D World (December)
- Wii Fit U (December)
Pikmin 3, Nintendo
Alas, no new Starfox or Metroid or actually new Zelda (unless you count the upcoming 3DS Zelda, which I'm not.) And none of Nintendo's more adult titles like Bayonetta 2 or Xenoblade until next year.
Even still, it's an impressive, diverse line-up of games including new installments in a number of beloved franchises as well as a new IP, The Wonderful 101.
In 2014 we can expect plenty more new exclusives from all three console makers and plenty more games that haven't been announced yet.
For now, though, it's the launch window that's crucial and none of the exclusives on either platform are system sellers. Killzone: Shadow Fall is an impressive looking game, but I'm not sure the Killzone franchise is really a hardware mover, and certainly not in the way that Halo is for Xbox.
Fortunately cross-platform launch titles are slightly more robust, though most of these will also launch on PS3 and Xbox 360.
Cross-platform releases for Xbox One and PS4 launch (so far) are:
- Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (Ubisoft)
- Battlefield 4 (DICE)
- Call of Duty: Ghosts (Infinity Ward)
- FIFA 14 (EA Sports)
- Just Dance 2014 (Ubisoft)
- LEGO Marvel Super Heroes (TT Games)
- Madden NFL 25 (EA Sports)
- NBA 2K14 (Visual Concepts)
- NBA Live 14 (EA Sports)
- Skylanders: Swap Force (Vicarious Visions)
- Watch Dogs (Ubisoft Montreal)
Watch Dogs, Ubisoft
Ultimately, for people who really want a Kinect experience I think the Xbox One will be a great machine. Some of the features sound like fun—though until I have a chance to try them out, I remain skeptical thanks to the underwhelming original Kinect.
For people who don't see added value in that, the PS4 is $100 cheaper, leaving you with enough cash saved to buy nearly two full games, plus the two free-to-play games and, if you're a Plus member, DriveClub. In theory, you could almost afford the entire line-up of PS4 exclusives for just a touch over the price of the Xbox One.
And for those of you own the Wii U, things are definitely starting to get interesting, especially with Pikmin 3 just around the corner and a brand new Donkey Kong Country on the way. As a huge fan of the franchise, I must admit I'm pretty excited about that.
In 2014 I think we'll start to see the consoles really distinguish themselves from one another, as both continue to launch more exclusive titles that harness the particular advantages of each system.
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