I've already argued that both the PS5 and Xbox Series X, as well as the Xbox Series S, arrived some 12 months too early, due to their lack of games and that more could still be had from the likes of the Xbox One X. And the news that two Sony exclusives will come out early next year, and Horizon Forbidden West will arrive later on in 2021, has cemented my thinking that we have a case of premature next-gen console release.
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Both Gran Turismo 7 and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, along with the olldy-named Returnal, are coming in the “first half of 2021.” And Horizon Forbidden West will see PS5 players take Aloy on a journey westards in the “second half” of next year.
As such, unless you're desperate to play Spider-Man: Miles Morales, I think you could wait a little bit before you buy a PS5; at least in a few months time the console could be easier to get hold of. If you had to get one console, I’d say opt for the Xbox Series X as you’ll be able to play an extensive back catalogue of Xbox games in pretty much the best way possible, as well as tap into the vast library of Xbox Game Pass titles; though you can do that if you have an Xbox One X, so the PS5 might be the better long-term bet.
2021 is also set to see the arrival of God of War 2: Ragnarok, a sequel to the stellar God of War, a personal favorite game ever of mine. While God of War only came out in 2021, and took years of development as it was a franchise reboot, there’s a good chance that the foundations for its sequel are already in place. So come this time next year, we could be seeing how Kratos and Atreus will pick up from where God of War left off in the snow-covered realm of Old Norse Midgard.
And Deathloop, a game being developed by Microsoft-owned Bethesda studio Arkane, is set to arrive June 2021. That game will merge Dishonored-esque action with a Dark Souls-like invasion mechanic, and looks pretty spectacular and a playground for creative action.
With this in mind, 2021 could be the real year the PS5 gets moving. And I believe that in some six to 12 months time, game developers will have got more familiar with developing for the PS5, and that means they’ll be more savvy at getting the most out of the console's 10.28 teraflops of graphics power. Furthermore, game makers are likely to have a better understanding of the haptic capabilities of the DualSense controller and thus develop games that’ll tap into the potential such a controller offers.
And next year we’re likely to see the capabilities of the PS5 expand overall. From a new Sony PS5 FAQ we found out that it won’t be supporting 8K or 1440p resolutions at launch, as they aren’t popular TV resolutions. And there's no support for Dolby Vision or Dolby Atmos, which I hope will be added as a firmware update next year, even though Sony has its own 3D Audio tech.
In short, paying $500 for a PS5 or going through the frustration of trying to order one, might not be a good idea, as much as it would be nice to have a shiny new games console in time for Xmas. But wait a little longer and you could get a console with a lot more features, a lot more potential, and a lot more compelling games.
So I’m calling it: 2021 will be the year of the PS5. But I’ll be quite happy if Microsoft tries to prove me wrong by delivering the likes Halo Infinite and Fable 4, or maybe even The Elder Scrolls 6. But I highly doubt that it will.