As Sony puts emphasis on AAA games for the PS5, will some gamers be left out?

sony playstation next gen software games big publishers developers indie
Captain John Price from Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

The next generation of home console gaming is right over the horizon and two of the big three are gearing up for brand-new console releases. A new report gives us insight into the strategy for one of them, as anonymous Sony officials spoke about which companies are competitors to the PlayStation and which games are the focus for next-gen console.

The Wall Street Journal spoke with a couple unnamed Sony officials, who broke down a part of the software strategy for the next-gen the PlayStation 5. When it comes to supporting large game publishers and smaller games, the officials made some interesting statements. The report says Sony’s thinking is that gamers buy consoles to play “high-quality games” only available on the platform and not “smaller games also available on smartphones,” so the emphasis will be on building stronger relationships with bigger publishers. 

The comment could be off-putting to some gamers simply because it focuses on two extremes and leaves out the small to midtier publishers and developers that make up the majority of any game console’s software library. This comment comes with the news that Sony won’t be showcasing independent game developers during the Tokyo Game Show in September. Sony has dominated this current generation of home consoles, but that only translates so much when it asks gamers to buy into the PlayStation 5 or whatever the official name of its next console ends up being.

Major AAA games are high-profile draws but most of them will be available on competitors’ platforms. Platform exclusives will be key and lesser-known developers are being treated as key differentiators in the gameplan for Xbox thus far. Microsoft has secured a collection of studios like Obsidian, Ninja Theory, and inXile, and will likely be cultivating relationships with developers that have even lower profiles. If Sony is planning to front-load with big publishers, gamers looking for variety outside of titles like Call of Duty, Ghost Recon, or Madden may end up finding better bounty elsewhere.

There’s still a lot of time between now and when the next-gen PlayStation releases. The PS4 still has plenty of life with games like Ghost of Tsushima and The Last of Us 2 still on the way. Those games and a handful of others will potentially be rolling out the red carpet for the PS5 with ports to the new console, but even PlayStation’s strongest exclusive games can’t carry the load alone.

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