2014 is the first full year of next-gen gaming, and Sony (NYSE:SNE) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) each have exciting, new exclusive games for the PS4 and Xbox One. Among these games, two have the potential to boost sales of their respective consoles.
Microsoft's upcoming exclusive game Titanfall won "Most Anticipated Game" at the VGX video game awards, beating out other games like Destiny and Watchdogs. The game, set to release March 11, is a first-person shooter produced by EA (NASDAQ:EA), a company in need of a solid hit game.
The end of 2013 brought several issues for EA. These included glitches in Battlefield 4 that halted production of future games produced by EA DICE, a Chinese ban on the game due to perceived "national security" threats, and a class action lawsuit which accused the company of issuing "materially false and misleading statements [to stockholders] highlighting the purported strength of the company's rollout of ['Battlefield 4']." That's not to mention the critical and commercial flop that was NBA Live 14. The game received a Metacritic score of 43 and a lower user score of 2.6, and it has only sold an estimated 100,000 copies.
EA will partner with Respawn Entertainment, a studio founded in 2010 by Jason West and Vince Zampella, to produce the game. West and Zampella founded Infinity Ward, the studio that created the Call of Duty franchise. They know how to make entertaining, extremely profitable first-person shooters and this could be what EA needs to come back from its recent downturn.
Because EA typically makes multiplatform games, it's likely that Microsoft paid the company to compensate for the revenue it would have received from sales to PlayStation gamers. This shows the confidence Microsoft has in Titanfall being a financial success. The game will only be available on Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC but it's still possible for sequels to be multiplatform.
When it comes to consistency, Naughty Dog, Sony's exclusive studio, has been one of the best. It has created hit games like Jak and Daxter, Uncharted, and The Last of Us. Naughty Dog games provide a competitive advantage for the PS4 over the Xbox One. The company has announced another installment in the Uncharted series which will come out for the PlayStation 4.
Uncharted follows the adventures of Nathan Drake, a modern day Indiana Jones, and the series is known for its enthralling stories and top-tier visuals. Uncharted series creator and writer Amy Hennig has returned as a writer and creative director and Uncharted 3's director, Justin Richmond, has also signed on to the project. With only a short teaser trailer of story information, little is known about the next installment of the franchise, but past Uncharted games have only meant good things for Sony.
Uncharted 1, 2, and 3 sold 4.65 million, 6.29 million, and 6.17 million copies, respectively, for the PlayStation 3. The first Uncharted game showcased the power of the PS3, so expect the upcoming game to be a true next-gen title that utilizes the capabilities of the PS4. It will take time for game makers to produce high quality next-gen game,s so consumers shouldn't expect a release anytime soon.
Uncharted and Titanfall are not being released at the same time, but they each offer an incentive to buy the PS4 or the Xbox One. Microsoft has put a lot of faith in EA and Respawn to produce the next big shooter that will deliver online subscriptions, and Naughty Dog has brought back the creative storytellers who made the Uncharted series what it is today. Both games will most likely be hits for their respective consoles, and their overall sales will depend on which console wins the war for your living room.