Given that the PS5 launched in late 2020, 2021 was always going to be the year that Sony's new console shines. And having sold 10 million units so far, the PS5 is certainly going gangbusters — even if a PS5 restock is a tricky thing to come by.
We’ve also seen a brace of impressive, exclusive games in the form of Returnal and Ratchet & Clank: A Rift Apart this year. And yet, I had hoped to see more from Sony on the PS5 exclusives front. Sure, the Xbox Series X isn’t flush with exclusives either, but Microsoft has optimized that console for running Xbox games from multiple generations. Sony touted the PS5 as a next-gen-exclusive gaming machine.
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Aside from the previously mentioned games, the other major exclusive on the PS5 is Demon’s Souls, effectively a nice remake of a rather old game. I was hoping to see Deathloop earlier this year, but it's now coming out in September instead.
And that was just the first delay domino to fall. God of War 2: Ragnarok, originally slated to release in late 2021, will now come out in 2022, to the surprise of no one. But now there's a rumor that Sony is “leaning towards” delaying Horizon Forbidden West until next year, according to relatively reliable tipster Jeff Grubb on the Giant Bomb show.
PS5 exclusive game delays
I’m all in favor of game developers taking the time they need to make a game as good as it can be, especially as Sony now wants $70 per PS5 title. But seeing some heavy hitters for the PS5 get pushed back stings.
I am very fortunate to have a PS5, and I love using it. But recently, I’ve found myself only running on the console for work purposes rather than major gaming sessions. There just aren’t a huge amount of compelling games to play. Sure, I’ve said the PS5 is the place to play God of War, now that the game can take advantage of the PS5's power. But I’ve already sunk plenty of hours into God of War on the PS4.
I was hoping for more new exclusive games to play this year, since I don't have the patience or skill for Returnal. I’m also slowly inching my way through Demon’s Souls with my shield up, both in-game and mentally, in real life.
But these exclusive game delays, both confirmed and alleged, have had me rethinking my previous declaration that that 2021 would be the year of the PS5. Now, it looks like 2022 might be that year instead. There’s a catch, though, in that the Xbox Series X is set to get a bevy of big games next year, notably Starfield. The PS5 could be facing stiffer competition from its rival.
And with more and more optimized games being released for the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, including the likes of Microsoft Flight Simulator, I’d now argue that 2021 is the year of the Xbox Series X. I’ll double down on that if Halo Infinite delivers the goods this fall.