With the PS2 era still a fresh memory for many, people expected most third party games to be PlayStation exclusives simply ‘because it’s PlayStation’. This was the year those expectations were shattered, with massive franchises like Devil May Cry going multiplatform, and Grand Theft Auto IV even getting exclusive DLC (that was later revealed to be timed) for 360.
But, while many feared that Metal Gear Solid would move multiplat, Guns of the Patriots stayed faithful to PlayStation, becoming one of the best selling PS3 exclusives ever, and the best selling title on any platform starring a geriatric. Sony’s first party teams helped kick things into gear with the ‘don’t you dare call it a paid demo’ demo Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, the first entry in the mind-blowingly-ambitious Play.Create.Share title LittleBigPlanet, the gorgeous Wipeout HD and a Motorstorm that actually had local multiplayer, Pacific Rift.
Sega’s exclusive TRPG Valkyria Chronicles was a surprise cult hit, but sadly never broke sales records. Second party studio Insomniac came out with Resistance 2, which split critics and fans alike alike as it changed tone drastically. Sadly, the second party guys at Slant Six released the depressingly poor exclusive SOCOM Confrontation, while Zipper cried themselves to sleep, and Free Radical released the atrocious exclusive Haze, while a monkey shot itself.
Online gaming was forever not changed with the release of the PlayStation Home beta.
2007’s groundbreaking 360 exclusive BioShock finally came to PS3, after it was revealed most of Microsoft’s third party exclusives were actually timed. Other third party highlights include Mirror’s Edge and Dead Space, after Electronic Arts experimented with a novel idea called “new IPs”. EA also brought out the stellar open world racer Burnout Paradise, while Bethesda released the massive and massively-buggy Fallout 3 and Volition produced the GTA-on-drugs Saints Row 2.
The utterly unstoppable music genre continued its march forward towards global domination with Guitar Hero World Tour and Rock Band 2.
Oh, and Activision released Call of Duty: World at War.
Just as Sony finally gained some traction this generation, reports of the PS3 ‘Fats’ starting to die spread. Luckily, the Slim was released to give people a more stable and compact console, as well as introducing a much needed price cut (and better profit margins for Sony). Thankfully, this year wasn’t only about the hardware, as Sony was also able to bring a few first party big hitters. The most notable, and possibly the greatest game of this generation and before, Uncharted 2, hit shelves and showed that the PS3 really was the home for AAA exclusives. InFamous launched and instantly became an icon for the system, as did Killzone 2, which had been hyped up with the now ‘infamous’ E3 trailer, and Fat Princess hit PSN, ushering in a bunch of ‘your princess is stuck in another castle’ jokes.
Jenova Chen’s next must have game started out as a wet dream by Peter Molyneux and Elton John, but went on to turn the games industry on its head. Flower had you playing as the wind blowing petals around, showing that not all games need to raise your blood pressure.
Published exclusively for the PS3, Demon’s Souls caused gamers to kick, scream and break controllers around the globe, while Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time caused them to go back to the future.
2009 marked the year that third party titles started to level out with the 360, as developers finally got to grips with the difficult-to-program Cell architecture, and PS3 gamers started to see less of the short end of the stick. Ubisoft’s much anticipated and highly improved Assassin’s Creed 2 launched, Gearbox saved Borderlands by redoing the art style, and the now-defunct Lucas Arts developed Star Wars: Unleashed – showing off the power of the Havok physics engine, and utilized NaturalMotion’s Euphoria.
BioWare proved that Lair didn’t cause all dragons to go extinct with Dragon Age: Origins, and Batman Arkham Asylum showed the world Rocksteady Studios should now handle all comic book related games.
Everyone’s favorite racist co-op game, Resident Evil 5, made its way around the internet proving that people really can find anything to bitch about.
Trying to not milk the music genre too bad, Activision released only a few titles to keep up with the unstoppable demand with Guitar Hero: Van Halen, DJ Hero, Guitar Hero 5, Guitar Hero Metallica, and EA tried to follow suit with Beatles Rock Band, but couldn’t keep up with the Hero. Strangely, only five music based games in the space of a few months seemed to prove too much for the market, and people started pack up their instruments.
Oh, and Activision released Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.