PS4 Countdown: The Launch Line-Up

By Darryl Kaye on November 8, 2013, 6:31PM EDT

In a week's time, gamers across North America will be clamouring to rip open packaging, connect their new PS4s to a TV and get down to some serious next-generation gaming. But what's a console without some great games to experience?

Much has been made of launch line-ups in the past, but this time it's even more pertinent as Sony and Microsoft go head-to-head in a fight for the attention of early adopters. However, before we get onto what the PS4 will offer on day one, it's only fair that we should address the elephant in the room "“ Watch Dogs.

Yes, Watch Dogs will no longer be a launch title for either the PS4 or the Xbox One, as Ubisoft has decided to delay the title. This delay also applies to the PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U and PC versions too, so don't fret if you were intending to get it on the PS4 "“ everyone is affected. Still, it's a bit of a blow as the PS3 and PS4 versions will be coming with exclusive content.

Anyway, back on to what you will be able to play. To start off with, we're going to be talking about the stuff that's front and centre "“ the exclusives.

Killzone: Shadow Fall
Everyone remembers that trailer from E3 2005 and the seemingly impossible gauntlet thrown down by Sony. Everyone also remembers that Guerrilla Games delivered. Killzone 2 took the franchise to new heights and with Killzone 3, they were able to expand even further upon their vision.

This generation Sony aren't just teasing gamers with a trailer, as Killzone: Shadow Fall is landing straight at the launch of the PS4.

While a title of this nature won't appeal to everyone, it's certainly a coup for fans of the previous games. Given the series' history when it comes to technical achievements, it's also the perfect game to lay down a marker in terms of what we're going to expect from the PS4.

Knack is being developed by SCE Japan Studio under the watchful eye of Mark Cerny, who is also the lead architect on both the PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 4.

According to Cerny himself, the game will be "a little bit like Crash Bandicoot and Katamari Damacy, with a touch of God of War". That's because Knack, a creature who's the main focus of the game, will be involved in a range of activities. He will be able to incorporate different materials into his body, meaning the experience will change rather dramatically.

Unlike Killzone: Shadow Fall, Knack is a new IP for Sony and it comes from a studio who are known for making quirky titles. Titles such as Echochrome and Ape Escape.

Injustice: Gods Among Us
Now, this isn't strictly an exclusive title as Injustice released on current generation systems earlier in the year, but Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition is a next-generation exclusive for Sony.

On the surface this might not seem like much, but it does give the PS4 a draw for the fighting community, especially with the Xbox One flaunting Killer Instinct as an exclusive title. It's worth noting that the Ultimate Edition of this game releases at the same time on all systems, so unlike other titles such as Call of Duty: Ghosts and Madden 25, Sony will be hoping there is a less of a draw to purchase the game on a current generation system.

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
Assassin's Creed IV is a must-have title for any fan of the franchise (as detailed in our review!) and on the PlayStation 4, Ubisoft will be offering an additional 60 minutes of content. Numerous retailers are also offering trade-ups for a small fee, which will allow gamers to swap over their current generation version for the PS4 version when it comes out.

Yes, the experience will be the same from a mechanics and story perspective, but on next-generation systems the visuals and overall stability will be far greater. And with the additional content being exclusive to Sony platforms, getting Black Flag for the PS4 should be a priority.

Here's a video courtesy of GameSpot, where they discuss the merits of the PS4 version against the PS3 of the game and highlight how the atmosphere is affected:

Housemarque has already shown more than enough quality throughout their time working with Sony to justify Resogun's inclusion as a launch title for the PS4. Compared to the previous titles mentioned, this is unlikely to be heralded as a system seller, but titles such as Super Stardust HD and Dead Nation are perfect for people who're looking for a fulfilling experience, but at a fraction of the cost.

With Resogun, Housemarque are pitching a spiritual successor to the highly addictive Super Stardust franchise and it will be launching as one of the free PlayStation Plus titles.

Digital Exclusives
Sony are pushing digital download titles quite heavily with the PS4 and they've managed to secure a variety of titles through this medium as a result. It's worth noting though, that some of them have already been released on Sony platforms in the past, while others are only considered a next-generation console exclusive.

Even still, the list is quite extensive, so if you have a hankering for some digital downloadable action, Sony will have you covered with the following:

  • Contrast (Next-Gen Console Exclusive)
  • Divekick (Next-Gen Console Exclusive)
  • Escape Plan (Previously released on PS Vita)
  • flOw (Next-Gen Console Exclusive)
  • Flower (Previously released on PS3)
  • Pool Nation Extreme (Exclusive)
  • Putty Squad (Next-Gen Console Exclusive)
  • Resogun (Exclusive)
  • Sound Shapes (Previously released on PS Vita)
  • Super Motherload (Next-Gen Console Exclusive)
  • Tiny Brains (Next-Gen Console Exclusive)

Additional Third-Party Support
No console launch is complete without a huge list of supporting third-party titles. The only difference this time around, is that the vast majority of them will not only be available on Xbox One and Wii U, but they've already been released on the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.

There will of course be those of you who are stern enough to hold off playing huge AAA titles as you wait for the launch of the next-generation, but equally, you'd be forgiven for caving and just buying the games on a current generation system.

Still, if you have managed to hold out, here's a list of third-party games that will be appearing as launch titles for the PS4:

  • Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
  • Battlefield 4
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts
  • FIFA 14
  • Just Dance 2014
  • LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
  • Madden NFL 25
  • NBA 2K 14
  • NBA Live 14
  • Need for Speed: Rivals
  • Skylanders: Swap Force

Also, for those who're interested in the digital side of things, Sony has also managed to get some non-exclusive titles in this field too. Here's a list of the third-party digital titles you can expect on the PS4:

  • Minecraft
  • The Pinball Arcade

Whether you decide to get a PS4 or an Xbox One, there will be a ton of games to enjoy. The PS4 definitely has some pros when it comes to the software, but we'll be looking to delve into the pros of the Xbox One's launch line-up next week.

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