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Sony posted an interview with PlayStation Studios head Hermen Hulst today. In it, he notes the company’s commitment to the PlayStation 4, an aging piece of hardware that has sold more than 114 million machines. This involves the surprising reveal that the next Gran Turismo will be releasing for each PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4.
“You can’t build a community of over 110 million PS4 owners and then just walk away from it, right?” says Hulst. “I think that’d be bad news for fans of PS4, and frankly not very good business. Where it makes sense to develop a title for both PS4 and PS5 — for Horizon: Forbidden West, the next God of War, GT7 — we’ll continue looking at that. And if PS4 owners want to play that game, then they can. If they want to go on and play the PS5 version, that game will be there for them.”
This approach is not new. Sony currently released Spider-Man: Miles Morales, a launch game for PS5, on PS4. We knew that it was undertaking the exact same for Horizon. But there’s one thing weird about seeing this philosophy applied to Gran Turismo, a series that has often touted graphical fidelity.
“That being said, it’s also very important to have showpieces for PS5, hence the development of Returnal and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart that are exclusive to PS5,” Hulst continues.
Now, I do not want to twist his words right here, but there is a bit of an implication there that games made for each consoles — like Gran Turismo 7 — are not showpieces for PlayStation 5. Or, at least, not as a lot as one thing like Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart.
Ratchet & Clank can throw a huge wrench (heh) into Sony’s dual generation plans. It is only releasing on PlayStation 5. Because of that, it is in a position to take benefit of the hardware in some quite unique strategies, which involves working with the system’s SSD challenging drive to practically quickly teleport players to various levels. If players get a hold of Rift Apart on June 11 and really feel that it is a greater encounter than games created to also come out for PS4, Sony could face some backlash more than its selection to release its other upcoming huge games for each consoles.
Or perhaps people today will try to remember how fantastic Miles Morales was on PS5 even even though it also came out for PS4. And it is not like Sony is struggling to sell PS5s. Thanks to higher demand and chip shortages, quite a few people today who want a PS5 cannot even get one. Others may well not be in a position to afford one. That’s yet another argument for releasing more games on each systems. Plenty of people today are “stuck” with a PS4, and they may well appreciate nevertheless becoming in a position to play new games when waiting to get the new hardware.
I’m not convinced it performs like that, even though. I assume the people today who want to play Miles Morales and strategy on obtaining a PS5 ultimately will just wait till they can safe the new hardware. If you look at NPD sales numbers and see how nicely Miles Morales keeps promoting every month, the information appears to assistance my argument. When people today do ultimately get a PS5, they are purchasing Spider-Man. They didn’t bother with the PS4 version.
And that is for a PS5 launch title. Gran Turismo 7 is set for 2022. I visualize it will release late that year, if it does not slip into 2023. By that point, even more PS4 owners that want to upgrade will have carried out so. Are there seriously going to be sufficient people today who want Gran Turismo 7, do not have a PS5, and do not want to wait till they get a PS5 or strategy on under no circumstances obtaining one? Rather, are there sufficient of them to justify building a PS4 release of the racer that could hold back the PS5 version?
Sony is also the corporation that last year was saying, “We believe in generations.” I do not want to make as well a lot of that. Marketing is advertising and marketing, and organization approaches alter. But it is a quite public piece of hypocrisy that will be quick for angry gamers to use against Sony. And if they really feel that Gran Turismo 7 does not live up to expectations, you know that they will be undertaking just that.
I can practically comprehend Sony wanting to play it a small secure with Horizon and God of War. But it is strange to not have Gran Turismo be one thing that leans into becoming a PlayStation 5 showpiece. Look, the PS5 is going to be fine no matter what it does right here. It’s a fantastic console that has some impressive searching games on the way. But in 2022, the PlayStation 4 will turn 9 years old. Getting your higher-finish initially-party games to run on that aging hardware has to be a discomfort. Right now, Sony is betting that it is worth the hassle. They’re betting on black.
I’d be placing my chips on red.