What Does Sony Have Left Up their Sleeves for PS4?

Beyond manufacturing hardware, Sony is an insanely massive video game publisher. Sony owns dozens of first-party studios outright, and has partnerships with various second-party and even third-party developers that keep exclusive games coming. They also have a tendency to announce games years before release. What does that add up to? It means the PS4 has many exclusive games coming in 2018 and beyond.

Even though there are a lot of PS4 exclusives announced already, Sony still has some studios that aren’t currently accounted for. Hardcore Gamer is here to flip some tarot cards and deduce what games they’re likely working on and a few other long-shots that wouldn’t be out of the question. If you’re interested in what games Microsoft has left up their sleeves or what games Nintendo has left up their sleeves – look no further, but for now, here’s what Sony has tucked away for the future.

Announced Releases:

Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom (January 19, 2018)

Team: Level-5

First out of the gate is Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom – and it’s just about a month and a half away. A sequel to the warmly-received original, this unique JRPG takes everything fans loved about the first game and turns it on its head. Revenant Kingdom still employs a gorgeous Studio Ghibli-esque art style, but the famed animation house isn’t collaborating on the sequel this time around. The battle system looks faster paced and a bit more action oriented than the original, and it’s dropped captured creatures as allies and instead focuses on humanoid characters as fighters. Even the cast of characters is completely different, as Revenant Kingdom takes place hundreds of years after Wrath of the White Witch. Though some may lament these changes, this follow-up isn’t resting on its laurels. Fans will see if these major changes pay off on January 19.

Shadow of the Colossus PS4 (February 6, 2018)

Team: Bluepoint Games

Next up is the Shadow of the Colossus remake by Bluepoint Games. This team already handled the PS3 remasters of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus back in 2011, but this version of the game is a whole different kind of Colossus entirely. Instead of cleaning up some assets and upping the resolution to high-definition, this is a ground-up remake. Though it’s unlikely that any new Colossi will be added to the game, Team Ico’s notoriously finicky controls are being modernized, and will hopefully make this remake of a classic better than ever before.

God of War (First Quarter 2018)

Team: SIE Santa Monica Studio

Though it retains the same title as the original God of War, this is anything but a remake. God of War finds Kratos in a state of flux: he now has a son, Atreus, and must journey with him in Scandinavia to deal with foes (and possible allies) that stem from Norse mythology. The game will retain the series’ tried-and-true melee combat system, but it looks to be more fleshed out and flashier than ever before. Whereas all previous God of War games were highly linear in nature, this entry looks to open things up substantially and present a sweeping adventure that follows a father and his son. Kratos has typically played the role of raging demigod (and sometimes regular god) that kills or sleeps with whatever is in plain sight. It will be interesting to see this softer side of Kratos emerge during his journey. Thankfully, the wait will soon be over: God of War is set to come out first quarter 2018.

Spider-Man (First Half 2018)

Team: Insomniac Games

Insomniac, the studio that brought the PS4 Ratchet and Clank and the Xbox One Sunset Overdrive, is hard at work on an open-world adventure starring everyone’s favorite web-slinger. There hasn’t be a great Spider-Man game since 2004’s Spider-Man 2, but this looks to (hopefully) blow that classic out of the water. Insomniac hasn’t shown off too much of the game, but it appears to combine open-world traversal with Arkham-style combat for a spidey-sense-tingle-inducing effect. Though licensed properties often fall short of the mark, Insomniac has a fantastic track-record and honed their open-world chops on Sunset Overdrive. No solid date has been given for Spider-Man, but it’s planned to come out in the first half of 2018.

Detroit: Become Human (First Half 2018)

Team: Quantic Dream

Detroit: Become Human looks to build off of what Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls set before it. Picked as one of our Best of E3 2017 Adventure Games, Detroit is a choose-your-own-adventure-style game centered around three androids that look and act nearly identical to humans. The first playable character is Kara, an android that works for an abusive father and must decide the best way to save his daughter before it’s too late. Then there’s Connor, a detective who hunts down other androids that have become deviant. Lastly there’s Markus, who dedicates his existence to freeing fellow androids from slavery. Each storyline looks to be a complex adventure full of extremely difficult choices that will impact the parallel adventures in the process. Quantic Dream has been perfecting this sort of complex gameplay and storytelling marriage for over a decade now, and the latest output from this French studio may just prove to be their best.

Days Gone

Team: SIE Bend Studio

Though Bend hasn’t built a console game from the ground up since 2004’s Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain, they’ve made quality handheld titles like Uncharted: Golden Abyss in the years since. Seeing as this is their first console title for quite some time, Bend has performed admirably in delivering 4K graphics on the PS4 Pro, and a much larger experience than they ever have before. Days Gone is a zombie survival game, but unlike The Last of Us, it looks to build a more open world that is filled with mindless mobs of zombies. Instead of taking down every zombie (or fellow human) one-by-one, Days Gone appears to let players trick the massive groups of zombies into taking down more intelligent humans for them. No solid release window has been set for the game, but late 2018 feels like a natural time for its development to wrap up.

The Last of Us Part II

Team: Naughty Dog

Naughty Dog is one of the best game developers in the industry, having recently crafted the incomparable Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, and the short but oh so sweet Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. They’ve been working on The Last of Us Part II since 2014, and the smaller team that worked on The Lost Legacy has since joined the rest of Naughty Dog to help finish this sequel to one of the greatest games of all time. There was a bit of backlash to the brutally violent trailer Sony showed off at Paris Games Week, and the response to its reveal trailer at PSX 2016 was mixed, but it would be foolish to lose faith in Naughty Dog. Very little is known about this third-person, zombie survival game, but we do know that it’s a “game about hate,” where the creators felt that the original was a “game about love.” If The Last of Us was about love and was as violent and bloody as it was, this hatred could result in some extremely grim situations. There’s no release window for The Last of Us Part II, but it could very well receive one at PSX on December 8. The game could come out late 2018, but a 2019 release isn’t out of the question either. Naughty Dog isn’t known to rush games, and they definitely won’t be releasing this one before it’s ready.

Ghost of Tsushima

Team: Sucker Punch 

Revealed just last month, Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima is an open-world samurai game set in feudal Japan. Though no gameplay has been shown off, Sucker Punch has a great track record with games like InFamous: Second Son under their belt. Traversal is sure to be much different from in the InFamous games (the main character Jin isn’t likely to propel himself with electricity or turn into smoke and travel through vents, after all,) but horseback riding is a solid bet. There’s a lot of unanswered questions about the title, including when it’s coming out. Sucker Punch hasn’t released a title since the stand-alone DLC InFamous: First Light in 2014, so it wouldn’t be crazy to bet on a late 2018 release. Until then, expect to see this game at E3 2018, and maybe even The Game Awards or PSX in less than two weeks.

Dreams

Team: Media Molecule

Nobody knows exactly how Dreams is going to work, but if Media Molecule’s work on the first two LittleBigPlanet games are anything to go by, fans should trust that they know what they’re doing. Media Molecule hasn’t release a brand-new game since 2013’s Tearaway on the PSVita, so this waltz down imagination lane has been percolating for quite some time. Dreams is reportedly a game centered around user-generated content, and gives players the tools they need to create almost any kind of game their hearts desire. They can use either PlayStation Move controllers or a DualShock 4 to create this content through some sort of “imp” avatar. Like LittleBigPlanet before it, Dreams will also come with a campaign of its own content created by Media Molecule on the same creation tools they provide the players. Dreams may very well be vaporware at this point, but don’t count it out just yet. A 2018 release isn’t out of the question at this point, and hopefully it delivers on all its grandiose promises.

Death Stranding

Team: Kojima Productions

If people don’t know what Dreams is about, they really don’t know what Death Stranding is about. After Kojima’s acrimonious split from Konami in 2015, the video game auteur immediately got to work forming Kojima Productions and sealing a deal with Sony to make a brand-new IP on the PS4. Besides the vague information conveyed through two teaser trailers, Kojima has said the game is about “life and death” and that the gameplay belongs in a genre that nobody has ever seen before. He said most games use “sticks” as gameplay mechanics – things like guns, fists, and the like that push characters away from one another. He also said Death Stranding uses “ropes” as mechanics instead – things that help bind people together. Nobody knows what the heck he’s talking about, but the game is set to run on Guerilla Games’ Decima Engine: the powerhouse that facilitated the gorgeous Horizon Zero Dawn. It’s set in an open-world and stars Norman Reedus, Guillermo del Toro and Mads Mikkelsen. It also has disappearing babies, mysterious floating bodies and anything else that nobody but Kojima would think could make a great game. Regardless, there are few games that have hyped so many people with so little information and fans may just be getting more at the upcoming The Game Awards or PSX.

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Team: Square Enix Business Division 1

Fans have been clamoring for a remake of Final Fantasy VII ever since Square Enix made a PS3 tech demo featuring the opening sequence of the game way back in 2005. They then announced an HD remaster of Final Fantasy VII at PSX 2014, but did so with the most ill-advised trailer off all time, making most fans think they were actually attempting the full remake until the trailer ended. Then, finally, at Sony’s E3 2015 briefing, Square Enix officially, actually, no-take-backs announced a complete remake of Final Fantasy VII for the PS4. Because of Square’s tendency to move at a glacial pace, nobody expected to see gameplay for the remake for quite some time. Fortunately, they ended up coming back only six months later with a gameplay reveal at PSX 2015 that showed a new action roleplaying battle system for the game. Of course, Square can’t just give fans what they want, so there was a catch: they were going to split the remake into multiple parts. It’s been nearly two years since that announcement, so whether or not Square decided to give in to fan backlash and keep it as a single game remains to be seen. There’s a decent chance we’ll see more of the FFVII Remake at TGA or PSX, but don’t expect the game to release any time soon.

Wild

Team: Wild Sheep Studio

Wild (or “WiLD” as the French studio Wild Sheep stylizes it) has flown under most gamer’s radars – because, frankly, just look at all those exclusives listed above. Even though Sony doesn’t own Wild Sheep, Sony is publishing this procedurally generated, open-world game. The game takes place during the Neolithic period (think cave men,) and the player can control various animals in order to explore, survive, and more. It’s basically Flintstones meets No Man’s Sky, though hopefully it hits its mark a bit better than Hello Games’ fumble. Wild was announced at Gamescom in 2014, so it’s well into production at this point. Whether that means it comes out in 2018 remains to be seen, but it will be interesting to see how Wild Sheep manages to keep players interested in this sort of world for an extended period of time.

VR Games

Teams: Various

For a second there, it looked like Sony had dropped support for the PSVR as quickly as it was released, but if this supercut from Paris Games Week proves anything, it’s that PSVR has got some serious legs. Upcoming games for the PSVR include Stifled, Ace Combat 7, Resident Evil VII’s DLC and so much more. Not every game in the trailer is exclusive to PSVR, or even to VR headsets in general, but as it stands Sony still has the only console capable of playing VR games. That at least gets it a bit of lip service here.

Not Announced, But Possible:

Horizon 2

Team: Guerilla Games

Guerilla Games just finished making Frozen Wilds, the substantial piece of DLC for the fantastic Horizon: Zero Dawn. Don’t expect them to finish with their full-fledged follow up any time soon. A sequel, however long it may take, is almost a done deal. If made, it will once again follow our heroine Aloy, and will double down on the game’s patented killer robot beasts. Given how much time and money Guerilla has put into their Decima engine and on building such an elaborate world from the ground up, making a sequel in the same universe is a no-brainer. By early June, Zero Dawn had passed 3.4 million copies sold, an exceptionally high number for any game, let alone a new IP. The Horizon franchise will continue to grow strong and hopefully Guerilla will get a sequel out in time before the PS4’s cycle is finished.

LittleBigPlanet 4

Team: Sumo Digital

Many gamers were surprised when LittleBigPlanet 3 was announced for the PS3 and PS4 so early on in the PS4’s lifecycle. Media Molecule, of course, was already hard at work on Dreams, so it was outside developer Sumo Digital that took the reins for this third installment of the popular series. Though LittleBigPlanet 3 didn’t quite hit the high critical reception and sales figures that the first two games did, it performed admirably. Sumo has been hard at work on various Xbox One games for the past few years, but a follow up isn’t out of the question. If they’re given enough time to work out the technical kinks they had the first time around, and expand upon the series with more of their own creative ideas, LittleBigPlanet 4 could once again take the series to great heights.

New FromSoftware Game

Team: FromSoftware

Hidetaka Miyazaki, creator of Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls and Bloodborne, doesn’t want to continue the Souls series. In fact, he and FromSoftware have already begun working on a completely new IP. He became the President of FromSoftware in 2014, and now has a much bigger say on the directions his games go: from approving sequels to storytelling to even which consoles they appear on. With most studios, a new IP can take anywhere from three to five years to pull off on average, but FromSoftware has always managed to crank out masterpieces in a timely fashion. Because Miyazaki has tended towards PlayStation exclusivity in the past, it wouldn’t be unheard of for them to strike a deal with Sony in hopes of making another success like Bloodborne. Who knows when it will come out, or if it really will be a PlayStation exclusive, but fans will be waiting with bated breath nonetheless.

Wipeout PS4

Team: XDev

Developer XDev already pumped out Wipeout Omega Collection earlier this year, which contains remasters of Wipeout HD, Wipeout HD Fury and Wipeout 2048. Sony has used remaster collections in the past to gauge whether or not there’s strong fan demand for further entries into any given series. Wipeout Omega Collection managed to top the UK charts upon release and it was critically well-received, so Sony greenlighting XDev to make a brand new Wipeout game for the PS4 isn’t out of the question.

Not Likely:

Gravity Rush 3

Teams: SIE Japan Studio, Project Siren 

The original Gravity Rush surprised players with its beautiful art style, zany world and unique gravity bending mechanics. Then, Gravity Rush 2 came along early this year and took what the original established and built upon it substantially. The game’s director, Keiichiro Toyama, has gone on record saying that if there were a third entry, it would probably end up on the PlayStation 5. Unfortunately, even with positive reviews, Gravity Rush 2 simply didn’t sell well. That, more than anything, will be reason enough for Sony not to green light a sequel. Still, it’s a fresh IP that scratched an itch few other games do and its continuation is a definite possibility.

Twisted Metal

Team: Eat Sleep Play

Twisted Metal for the PS3 received okay reviews and reportedly sold well enough, according to one of the series’ creators David Jaffe. Sony still owns the IP, and Eat Sleep Play, the team that worked on the most recent installment, is still around. They did go defunct briefly this year and Jaffe left the team shortly after finishing Twisted Metal, but it reopened in a smaller capacity not long ago. It doesn’t sound like they’re big enough to handle another Twisted Metal, but it’s still possible. If not, Sony can hand the property off to whichever first- or second-party developer they see fit. Even with all this, it is, unfortunately, an extremely long shot.

New Fumito Ueda Game

Team: genDESIGN, SIE Japan Studio

Fumito Ueda is responsible for Ico, Shadow of the Colossus and last year’s long-awaited The Last Guardian. He once led Team Ico in creating these artful masterpieces, but during The Last Guardian’s tumultuous development, Team Ico technically dissolved and instead Fumito Ueda continued working on the game through his new studio genDESIGN. Sony’s SIE Japan Studio technically finished the game under Ueda’s direction, though his guiding hand was present throughout production. Ueda left Sony in 2011 after the game was delayed by the publisher, but it isn’t clear whether or not their relationship remains in good health. Many of his creative staff from Team Ico still work with him at genDesign, so the spirit of his upcoming games is likely being maintained though the newer team. Who knows if their next project will be a PS4 exclusive, but it’s not out of the question.