Sony Admits PS4 First-Party Lineup This Year Is "a Little Sparse"
"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."
Speaking today during Sony's annual Investor Day conference, PlayStation president Andrew House acknowledged that the PlayStation 4's first-party lineup for this year is looking "a little sparse." For this reason, House said Sony will need to lean more on third-party games in the short-term.
"We are working very hard to continue very strong support from third-party publishers and developers," House said. "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."
House said Sony has an advantage in this department due to the fact that the PS4 is the leader in the current-generation sales race with more than 22.3 million consoles sold.
Two high-profile first-party PS4 games recently delayed to 2016 include Uncharted 4: A Thief's End and the new Ratchet & Clank. This year's remaining PS4 first-party lineup includes titles like Tearaway Unfolded and God of War III Remastered, as well as whatever Sony might announce at E3 next month.
"I think that E3 this year will be an exciting show," House said. "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."
But House points out that Sony can still benefit from multiplatform games, provided developers make use of system-exclusive feature or provide some content exclusively on PlayStation. This was the case with Destiny, which offered a range of timed-exclusive content for PS4 that made Sony's console "the best place" to play the game, House said.
"Rather than seeking for complete exclusives, we have looked to publishers to really try to maximize the use of the feature-set on PlayStation 4 versus the competition. And I think that the use of Share and SharePlay functionality, those have been sort of defining platform features which can be seen not just in first-party content but across the whole range of titles," he said.
"I would also say that we are not without partnerships in the area of third-party titles," House added. "Which are not necessarily around full exclusivity."
Looking ahead, June's Batman: Arkham Knight will offer some content first on PS4, while Sony has also said it is treating No Man's Sky basically like a first-party game.
Also during the presentation, House mentioned Street Fighter V, which will be released exclusive on console for PS4, though it's also coming to PC. Complete exclusives of this nature are becoming increasingly rare, House said, due to rising development costs, among other things.