Weekend Hot Topic, part 2: Next gen game predictions

GameCentral readers try to guess what will be the launch titles for the PlayStation 5 and Project Scarlett, from God Of War 2 to Fable IV.

The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Tully, who asked if you were in charge of Sony or Microsoft what game or games would you ensure were available on the new consoles from day one?

Many people wanted to see brand new franchises over anything else, but most agreed that Microsoft would lead with Halo and Fable IV and Sony would probably start with Horizon Zero Dawn 2.


Marvel’s PlayStation 5

If I had to take a guess at Sony’s launch game I’d go with another Marvel title. Horizon Zero Dawn 2 is a bit too niche, I think, I don’t think God Of War 2 is going to be ready in time. That Iron Man VR game came out of nowhere though so I think there’s a good chance they’ve got more going on in the background. Perhaps a Hulk or Thor game this time, going with the big hitters from the original line-up.

Although I suppose the more obvious guess is simply Spider-Man 2, which we know they have the licence for and was a massive hit. The big question though is where do they set it, because I cannot believe they’d go with New York yet again. But if they set it anywhere else, especially if it’s somewhere fantastical, that might interfere with the grounded feel of the game.

Maybe they’ll go with a Spider-Verse kind of story, so you’d get lots of different variations of New York but it still wouldn’t be outer space or something. Interested to see what they’ll do and I’m sure Sony and Marvel are feeling very happy about the partnership right about now.


Five for five

I would be very interested to know what Sony has planed for the PlayStation 5 launch as we kind of already know Microsoft’s plan: Halo Infinite and (probably) Forza Motorsport 8. Hopefully there’ll be some surprises a well but they’ve already made it pretty clear that Halo is the big one.

Sony though have so many expected sequels to choose from and yet none is an obvious launch game in terms of having hinted at it or any rumours that one is almost ready. If I’m going to guess (and I realise that is the point of all this) I’d say that Horizon Zero Dawn 2 is the most likely, simply because it’s had the longest time in the oven.

I suspect Sony would prefer God Of War 2 though, or Uncharted 5, but I don’t think there’s any suggestion that either is anyway near finished yet. I’m not even sure if there’s ever going to be an Uncharted 5, although matching up the numbers does seem an opportunity too obvious to miss.


No restrictions

I don’t know whether it would be a launch game or not but what I really want to see from Sony next gen is a new Astro Bot. Despite the rapturous reception it almost seemed like Sony didn’t really care about the game and barely advertised. I know it’s a VR game but for me it was a real milestone moment, up there with Doom and Super Mario 64.

It was a bit derivative in terms of gameplay though and I imagine the team didn’t have that much time or bunch so a sequel that had no restrictions would make me want to buy a PlayStation 5 more than anything else.

I assume there’ll be a PlayStation VR 2 at some point too and I think Sony’s experience with VR will be a real advantage next gen. It’s certainly what I’m looking forwards to the most.


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New blood

I’d love to think that Bloodborne 2 would be announced, to please hardcore fans, but I think with the annoucement of Elden Ring that’s never going to happen now. I guess they could do it with a different team, but for me it has to be Miyazaki.

For a launch title you want something big and bold and very mainstream but despite all their successes I’m not sure Sony really has something like that ready to go. Spider-Man and Uncharted are the closest to the description but I don’t think there’s any sign that either have a sequel anywhere close to being finished.

To me that points towards a new IP taking centre stage, which I’m all for. What it’ll be though I have no idea and I’m all for that too: it’s always best to be surprised (unless it’s Knack 3).


Under pressure

Well, I think that Horizon Zero Dawn 2 is almost certain to launch with the PlayStation 5. I’m interested, but I haven’t finished the first one so I can’t say I’m on the edge of my seat for the next. It would be a killer app, though, wouldn’t it? When was the last time that happened? Tekken, for the first PlayStation?

I genuinely can’t say what I would want more. Sony does well for exclusives, a new IP (so long as it isn’t along the same lines as Knack) could be more exciting.

Project Scarlett needs Fable IV. And it needs Fable IV to be able to compete with the very best in the genre. That is a lot of pressure. Like, the kind of pressure a major Zelda game must usually experience. So, you know…


Forza certain

The problem for Microsoft next gen is that the only exclusive franchises they’ve got left are either super obvious (Halo, Gears, and Forza) or already burnt out (Crackdown, Quantum Break, Dead Rising).

We already know about Halo and Gears and I guess Forza Motorsport 8 is a shoe-in for Project Scarlett, almost certainly a launch title really, considering there isn’t one this year. Although I suppose they might go for Forza Horizon 5 now, as I think that’s getting even more popular.

There’s Fable as well, which seems to be all but confirmed, but beyond that… I’m not sure. I guess it doesn’t matter for the purposes of this Hot Topic as Halo Infinite has already been confirmed as a launch game but they’re obviously going to need more than that and I hope it turns out to be something brand new.


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Charted territory

If Sony were going to use a killer series for their brand-new console then it would need a series that has been used for showcasing the best in graphics, the best in set pieces, and the best in story and character development.

The only game I can think of is a new chapter in the Uncharted series with either a new unknown lead character, which would be pretty cool, or using the already established characters to take the game series to new heights of gameplay creation.

Just imagine Sony having this to lead the launch of a new arsenal of next generation games for us gamers. For the Microsoft console, or Project Scarlett, it’s a bit more uncertain about were to lead from though.

The difficulty comes in the reliance on third parties, of which over the years they have usually been seen as temporary exclusives. PC owners would then wait for their own format’s release, which does not help the console industry much.

Halo, Sea Of Thieves, and Gears Of War for exclusive releases would be one thing, but maybe being more adventurous with a new intellectual property would be better for Microsoft. To also have new VR content coming out around the same time, to show a more diverse range of experimental experiences and grabbing the attention away from Sony’s new machine, would be another angle.

I do feel as though it’s the best and more popular titles which will grab the console victory, unless the hardware has features we did not expect. Nintendo are good at doing this and if it’s unique hardware design you want, then Nintendo are your guys.

With the success of the Switch, their next console would be a better version of that but with graphical technology on par with Sony and Microsoft. They can usually do their own things without having to look much at the other two for inspiration, but to step ahead of the pack they’ll need more unique games which make you look at their system with more interest and possibilities.

Either way it will be interesting for all parties involved, but to me it will be how long into the new consoles’ life streaming or downloading games take over from a tangible disc being needed. Maybe the next generation of consoles will signal the end for game discs forever.


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