Sections

Sony’s FY12 starred by NGP, Team ICO and Naughty Dog

Tuesday, 5th April 2011 08:19 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Sony is on the march. With PS3 charting an insuppressible ascendancy and Uncharted 3, The Last Guardian and NGP all hitting this fiscal year, the next 12 months will show anything but decline for the manufacturer.

Sony’s Fiscal 2012

FY 2010: April 1 2011 to March 31 2012

Core offering expanded with Resistance 3 and SOCOM over FY2011′s Killzone 3.

Uncharted 3 is likely to follow in its precursors footsteps as a Q4 must-buy.

Team ICO’s The Last Guardian may squeeze in before the holidays.

Launch of the “next generation portable” expected before close of fiscal year.

Sony Computer Entertainment’s 2011 fiscal year, which closed last week, was one of its strongest since the PS2 era. The holiday quarter was kind to PS3, which draws ever closer to the 360′s raw install base, and is now believed to have a higher user-base per unit sold.

Sony has turned its attention to new hardware – the NGP, without question the biggest event on Sony’s calendar over FY 2012 – but with PS3 sales on the rise, its first-party line up shows diversity and strength in the coming year.

The line up

This month sees the first of Sony’s heavy first-party hitters with SOCOM 4: US Navy Seals. It’s been five years since the series saw a major release on the PS2, but Zipper Interactive has MAG under its belt since then, and will bring that experience to what Sony is clearly hoping will be a multiplayer stayer. The US sees the game on April 19, with Europe following on April 20 and the UK trailing to April 22.

Level-5′s multiplayer RPG, White Knight Chronicles 2, arrives in Europe in May, with an US release still undated. The sequel includes the entire first game as well as a whole new campaign and the chance to control one of the single-player only robots during multiplayer. A massive hit in Japan, the raid-based JRPG gameplay didn’t go down quite as well in the west. Not likely to prove a major event.

Happily, Sony has one stellar summer hit lined up with InFamous 2. Newly inducted into the Play.Create.Share family, the continued adventure of electric superhero Cole sports a mission editor, with community offerings integrated neatly into the main campaign. The US is expecting to get it in early June, with other territories to be announced.

Resistance is futile

After summer, Insomniac is set to deliver Ratchet & Clank: All4One. Family friendly four way drop-in, drop-out multiplayer will act as a gateway drug, luring Sony’s younger fanbase onto the PlayStation Network.

Before the holiday season kicks off, Resistance 3 gets a good run at sales thanks to a September release. Another Insomniac production, and yet another core action title for a year filled with all things shooty. Resistance 3 is certainly aimed at being one of Sony’s largest games of the year, but Insomniac has it all to prove after failing to garner unanimous positivity with the series’s first two installments.

Uncharted 3 gameplay footage

November delivers the follow up to two multiple award winners in the form of Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. Naughty Dog is one of the few developers, even among first-parties, to really knuckle down with the PS3 hardware, and with two iterations under its belt, expect this to be standard-setting. Again.

And there’s more for the core this Christmas. Somewhere in the holiday quarter, David Jaffe will return with his iconic racing combat series, Twisted Metal. Aside from a brief outing bundled with the PS2 network adapter, this will be the franchise’s first console multiplayer experience.

While you’re plotting what to request for the seasonal gift-fest of your choice, don’t forget to send a few fervent wishes towards SCE Japan, addressed to Team ICO. The Last Guardian is tentatively scheduled to turn up before the end of 2011, but if it needs more time Sony won’t hesitate to delay it – too much critical expectation rides on the studio’s third outing. Expect Ico & Shadow of the Colossus – The Collection a few months beforehand to get the franchise buzzing in the hive mind, probably bundled with a demo.

The other stuff

Easing into 2012, Sony will no doubt follow up its annual baseball series with MLB 12 The Show, which usually drops around March.

Over the course of the year, we can also expect to see Sorcery, The Workshop’s PS Move showcase, and thatgamecompany’s lonely multiplayer experience, Journey. Both have yet to be dated, although the latter should turn up by summer.

Sony plays reveals close to its chest, but if we’re sticking to tradition, we can expect one major announcement at E3. Further reveals will likely be kept for gamescom and the Tokyo Game Show, with E3 reserved for promoting upcoming releases, tech, and NGP.

Sony’s NGP concept trailer

NGP – a new era

Sony’s second portable console – code named NGP, or “Next Generation Portable” – has been rumoured for a November 2011 release, with multiple comments from Sony representatives suggesting a staggered global launch starting in Japan before the end of the year.

Recent disruptions to manufacturing and transport in Japan have apparently jeopardised the console’s launch in all but one region. If Sony can only muster enough stock to launch in one territory it will be Japan, the original PSP’s most constant supporter, with an international release to follow, possibly in FY Q4 (January to March, 2012).

Should the new handheld miss the holiday season sales are sure to take a hit, but most importantly, Sony has to find a workable price point to recover consumer confidence after PS3′s heart-stopping $599.

Excitement for the new hardware is high, and with the 3DS’s less then stellar “launch window” line up, all Sony has to do is follow through with the catalogue of first- and third-party titles teased at the NGP’s media debut.

A startling list of developers and publishers are already well invested in the platform: Activision is bringing a version of Call of Duty over, and tech demos of Metal Gear Solid, Dynasty Warriors, Lost Planet 2, and Yakuza have been shown.

NGP catalogue
Sony has been coy with its expected NGP release line up: probably wisely given the fiasco over the 3DS’s startlingly diminished list between debut and launch.

Multiple first-party properties have been confirmed as in development for the new console: Killzone, LittleBigPlanet, Resistance, Uncharted and WipEout.

New IPs are also on the way. Evolution child studio BigBig is working on the touch-pad utilising Little Deviants, while other internal teams are working on the mysterious Gravity Daze and Reality Fighters.

Sony is unlikely to ignore other properties, so expect Ratchet & Clank, SOCOM, Syphon Filter, God of War, MLB The Show, SingStar and Eyepet to turn up, possibly at the handheld’s E3 showing.

Breaking news

29 Comments

Sign in to post a comment.

  1. dtyk

    put monster hunter on NGP and I’ll blow someone for it… I will…

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Christopher Jack

    The best year Sony has had in quite some time, a AAA title almost every month, I don’t think any publisher has been able to do this before.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Johnny Cullen

    Out of the first-party lot, Sony easily has the best line-up for this year by far. Microsoft has Gears 3 and Forza 4 for the hardcore, not to mention anything Kinect as well, and I don’t even know what Nintendo has bar 3DS and Skyward Sword.

    It would take something colossal from Sony to fuck it up right now. By the looks of it, that’s not happening.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Razor

    Too bad none of them are real system sellers.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Gadzooks!

    I’ll take the ICO/SOTC remake, the rest are totally ‘meh’.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Blerk

    “It would take something colossal from Sony to fuck it up right now. By the looks of it, that’s not happening.”

    Never underestimate Sony’s ability to pull a fuck-up out of a hat at a moment’s notice. :-D

    Some excellent-looking titles in that line-up, for sure. I’m pretty interested in Infamous 2, Uncharted 3, Journey, and The Last Guardian.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Johnny Cullen

    @Blerk – Good point. :D

    @Razor – Uncharted 3 maybe. Uncharted 2 did so well critically and sales wise that there may be more behind it now. That’s just my guess, though.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Blerk

    I think a lot of the ‘system seller’ power of a title has gone once it’s reached it’s third iteration. People run out to buy systems for the first example of something, and although Uncharted 3 will most likely be an excellent game, I think it’s appeal will be mostly to people who already bought the first two games, in much the same way as I don’t expect Gears 3 to sell many more 360s.

    It’d be nice to think that The Last Guardian could be a system seller – it’s certainly the one I’m most interested in by quite some distance. Sadly I suspect it won’t have the wide-ranging appeal to actively drive sales of the machine.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Christopher Jack

    @4, Well they all are AAA games but I don’t expect any of them other than Uncharted will give a huge boost to console sales. I do think Resistance & inFamous will give it a bump but nothing major. Ratchet & Clank All 4 One & Sorcery may give a decent boost to Move sales.
    MS & Sony really don’t care much about console sales, they’re more interested in the install base, which is the opposite approach from Nintendo.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Patrick Garratt

    I assume they’re banking on the full package to sell hardware, and I don’t doubt their console sales will keep accelerating. I guess the sell is, “If you want Uncharted 3, The Last Guardian, Killzone, more LBP, etc, etc, then you have to have a PS3.” I bet there are a lot of 360 owners in the market for “more” that’ll be pushed off the fence this year by some of that lot.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. polygem

    there´s a lot of good stuff coming these days. no question. but still i end up being slightly disappointed by many games i was very excited about. another problem that really bothers me personally is that i got less and less time to play games, while there are shitloads of games coming that i actually want to play. this summer / fall it´s brink, rage, deus ex and of course BF3 that i absolutely must play – these alone will be a tough task to handle timewise – battlefield 3 will kill hundreds of hours alone probably. i´m kind of glad that i don´t own a ps3 anymore because these sexy exclusives would just kill me – at the other hand it´s kind of sad at the same time that i miss out on great games. the ngp looks so promising. it could become a cool compromise to play some sony exclusives on the handheld. i really hope they won´t cut down the quality for these games though.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. AHA-Lambda

    “Both have yet to be dated, although the former should turn up by summer.”

    Assuming you’re talking about journey there dont you mean the latter?

    PS: do one for activision and MS next……..XD

    #12 3 years ago
  13. Patrick Garratt

    @12 – Yep, my bad. I’ve changed it.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. StolenGlory

    @1

    Well, pucker up and get ready to work the shaft since I don’t can’t see a Sony handheld platform not ever having a Monster Hunter title.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. Ge0force

    That’s an impressive list of exclusives, I’m looking forward to almost all of them! But I’m afraid the heavy marketing for Kinect is much more effective than loads of exclusive quality games. Only core gamers will shift to PS3 for this reason.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. DrDamn

    Didn’t know White Knight Chronicles 2 included the first – have had the first on my rental list for some time, so may just dive in at the second.

    SOCOM 4 I have on pre-order based on the beta. ICO/SOTC + TLG are a given. Resistance 3 I’ll wait and see on. I thought Resistance 2 was ok but had some odd design decisions and quirks. Uncharted 3 yes please.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. AHA-Lambda

    For me:

    Rental:
    Infamous 2
    Resistance 3
    Ico/SOTC HD
    Last Guardian

    Day one must buy:
    Uncharted 3
    Journey

    If the price is right and uncharted is a launch title, i’ll get an NGP/PSP2

    #17 3 years ago
  18. 2plus2equals5

    All i want is the ngp ASAP!

    #18 3 years ago
  19. Erthazus

    I’m dissapointed only with PSN. there is not much except for Journey.
    Yeap, Journey is going to be a fantastic game… But thats it.

    System sellers? Maybe Uncharted 3 but thats it.
    LBP 2 and Killzone 3 already bombed with 1 million+ sales and nothing more but as Patrick said, Sony’s message is to bring as much people as possible by exclusive lineup.
    If you want more? Get the PS3.

    remember gran turismo 5? It was not a system seller, but hot damn that thing sold for 6+ million units in about 4 months.

    Sony really need to create new IP’s and i mean really start to do something.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. Lahanas

    Try doing this kind of article for Microsoft’s offerings this year and you will be amazed at how short it will be.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. TaTaTow

    I wonder what they have for 2012. I mean they’ll release a lot for the NGP but what about the PS3? There’s a sequel too nearly every Sony Franchise coming this year.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. Mike

    Some good-sounding games listed there.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. OlderGamer

    I want an updated Champions of Norath.

    Honestly nothing listed uptop interests me. Over all its a nice line up, but individualy … nothing stands out. Just more sequals.

    I think we need new hardware. Not because the games look bad or anything, but to me the freshness faded a while ago.

    Nice to see Sony set for a good year. Its been a while. I do wonder, will NGP and the quake/tsunami slow potential PS3 growth?

    #23 3 years ago
  24. Ireland Michael

    Uncharted 3, Team Ico Collection, and the Last Guardian.

    That’s enough to keep me happy.

    #24 3 years ago
  25. OrbitMonkey

    Uncharted 3
    Uncharted 3
    Uncharted 3 :-)

    #25 3 years ago
  26. osric90

    Dude… I need money so bad right now. Wish me luck in jobs.

    #26 3 years ago
  27. aprotosis

    How is this news? There is nothing we didn’t already know here. It reads like an advertisement. Is VG247 just shilling for Sony now?

    #27 3 years ago
  28. Ireland Michael

    @27 It’s not meant to be news. It’s an article.

    Jeez, don’t be paranoid.

    #28 3 years ago
  29. onlineatron

    @4

    It’s probably too late in it’s life cycle for one title to boost the PS3′s sales exponentially; but I’d like to think that the sheer strength of the line-up, and what’s already on the console, would sway quite a few new investors.

    #29 3 years ago