2016 will be looked back upon as a very important year for Sony. The Japanese console maker managed to launch an enhanced system, the PS4 Pro, and entered the virtual reality realm with PlayStation VR. Both of these decisions will have a long-term impact, and it’s currently unclear if these gambles will ultimately pay off.
On top of exciting new hardware, Sony also published 20 new pieces of software. That certainly seems like a lot from first glance, but when the company has to support three separate platforms now (PlayStation 4, PlayStation VR, and Vita) it starts to look less impressive. Before any judgment can be made, let’s take a look at what Sony put out in 2016.
The list below is divided alphabetically into three categories: PS4 releases, digital titles, and PlayStation VR games. If you noticed that the Vita wasn’t listed it’s because Sony didn’t publish a single PlayStation Vita game in 2016.
Looking Back at Sony 2016 PS4 Exclusives
The list breaks down to just five retail releases, seven digital games, and eight PlayStation VR exclusive titles (six if you don’t count the Hustle Kings and Super Stardust updates, but we’re counting them for the purpose of this article). Furthermore, two of Sony’s retail releases were very familiar experiences that diehard Sony fans had likely played before (Ratchet & Clank for as gorgeous as it was is still a faithful remake, and Gravity Rush is a straightforward port from Vita). That leaves just three major retail releases that were new: the yearly MLB The Show installment, an Uncharted sequel, and The Last Guardian. All three games managed to resonate with their intended audiences, but can quality trump quantity to that degree?
I think it’s pretty clear that Sony has to up their output once again, as relying too much on third-party software makes it too easy for gamers to jump ship without losing much (it’s one of the main reasons why the PS4 succeeded initially and was able to get so many Xbox 360 owners to change platforms). It’s ultimately a business, and that third-party support will always go to whichever system is selling well. For a historical comparison, back in 2007 when Sony was also supposed to be supporting three gaming ecosystems (the PSP, PS3 and PS2) they managed to publish over 65 games. That’s a huge drop in less than 10 years, and the amount is jarring even if you remove the handhelds from the conversation.
Let us know in the comments what you thought of Sony’s 2016 output, and what your favorite Sony 2016 published games were!