Has the ‘arse’ in ‘Sparse’ Finally Caught up to Sony?

It’s one thing to have a game delay for the better of the game as a whole, but it’s another to have an entire year’s worth of first-party line-ups go entirely absent throughout the year. Not only was the launch of the PS4 underwhelming in its game line-up, but now facing its third year of the console’s life-span, PS4 owners have yet to see any must-own exclusives beyond Bloodborne come out of the system since its birth back in 2013 and it seems as though it’s going to remain that way for awhile.

Yesterday during Sony’s Annual Investor Day, PlayStation President, Andrew House, admitted that there has been a severe lack in PlayStation 4’s first-party lineup for the 2015 year. “Our first party lineup is a little sparse this year, so I think this places even greater emphasis on getting good third-party support,” said House. Because of Sony’s lack of first-party games, House mentioned that in order to make up for this short stack of PS4 exclusives, Sony would lean more on third-party games to even out.

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“Our first-party lineup is a little sparse this year so I think this places an even greater emphasis on getting good third-party support” said House, but is this what PlayStation owners bought their console for? Obviously, gamers don’t want half finished games to be rushed out for a quick release, but third-party games can be accessed from other outlets and consoles and many gamers have switched to Sony’s console for their impressive first-party line-up of exclusives.

The biggest red flag that has been hoisted up on Sony’s pole is that Capcom pulled bug-ridden PS4 third-party title Ultra Street Fighter IV as it was filled with animation lag, audio bugs, and plenty more game breaking bugs. “Also, a few of you hardcore Street Fighters out there said that there was minor input lag in the controls of Ultra Street Fighter IV for PS3. Well, don’t worry: we’ve eliminated it to make the PS4 edition the ultimate version on any platform, so it’ll be good to go for all your tournament needs,” said, Gio Corsi, Sony’s director of third-party productions. If the director of third-party productions thinks that bug ridden Ultra Street fighter IV was the ultimate version of the game, then we have an issue, as Corsi was being extremely dishonest with this statement. This is not only a problem for Sony’s announcement of putting a greater emphasis on third-party titles, but for a game that is being used for tournaments and large sums of prize money, should be in tip top shape should it not?

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E3 is coming up fast and Sony has yet to put out many of the first-party games they promised us from last year’s E3. “I think that E3 this year will be an exciting show, I think it will be a show where we see the next generation of hardware really start to deliver great content and experiences that, if not take full advantage of the platform, take a lot more advantage than we’ve seen before,” said House. This is all well and good, but it’s not clear if Sony plans on announcing new first-party games coming later on this year, or if they will just rehash game announcements from last year that we are still waiting to place in our disk trays amongst a “sparse” few new first-party IP announcements.

PS4 owners might be looking at an underwhelming E3 this year as it is  likely that at Sony’s E3 conference on June 15, we will perhaps see one or two announcements for this holiday season with more news on already announced titles like Uncharted 4. With the drought of a robust first-party lineup which was first fashioned when The Order: 1886 failed to become the flagship game Sony wanted it to be, along with the delay of Uncharted 4 and the recent Ratchet and Clank delay on top of it, it doesn’t seem like Sony will be putting out a defining first-party game for their console until 2016.