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Now that 2016 is behind us, its time for both Microsoft and Sony to hold their self-stroking press conferences in which they recap how well they did in the previous year while making the results sound as good as possible. At the same time, both Xbox and PlayStation promise a big year full of games, but which one will get more exclusive content?
First, the not-so-humble statistic bragging, and there is definitely a noticeable difference when comparing the press releases. Sony is all about the big, hard numbers meant to shock and awe, while Microsoft’s press release lacked big numbers and instead focused on engagement. Pretty easy to guess who came in second. Sony’s press release is short and to the point, mainly consists of number-filled bullet points. The PS4 has apparently sold 53 million units globally now, and that includes the jaw-dropping 6.2 million sold during the 2016 holiday season alone.
In addition to selling six million new PS4s, Sony sold a metric ton of games during the holiday season. Software sales across retail and digital totaled more than 50 million in the last couple of months. The big winner of those software sales was none other than Naughty Dog’s Uncharted 4, which has now sold more than 8.7 million copies globally, which is very impressive for a platform exclusive. Even though Sony’s sales numbers have been going high for all of 2016, there doesn’t seem to be any sign of them slowing down for the new year.
Meanwhile, Microsoft’s blog post about the Xbox in 2016 was little less awe-inspiring and a lot less specific. There were no information on how many Xbox One S units or Gears of War 4 copies were sold, nor was there any mention of plans for the spring season. They did, however, let everyone know how many Xbox Design Lab controllers they sold and reminded everyone how great the Gears of War 4 reviews were. Clearly, Microsoft is grasping at straws. That blog post, written by Mike Nichols, Corporate Vice President of Marketing for Xbox, highlighted some other nonspecific statistics about “engagement,” like the fact that Xbox One players spent more than 265 million hours playing Xbox 360 games in 2016, and that there was 3.9 billion hours of Xbox Live engagement in November and December. But that brings up an interesting question: why is Microsoft bragging about their previous generation of games instead of the current one?
Nichols also wrote about the success of another Xbox exclusive, Forza Horizon 3. Though we didn’t learn how many copies were sold, Nichols mentioned that it was the best-selling, highest-rated racing game of 2016, and the franchise has seen more than 14 million players on Windows and Xbox One. That brings up another question, though: Were there really any other racing games in 2016?
Despite having wildly different press releases, both Microsoft and Sony teased great things to come for 2017. Sony’s 2017 plan includes:
Broadening the PS4 title portfolio, further enriching the revolutionary gaming experiences on PlayStation VR and high quality gaming experience on PlayStation4 Pro, while also expanding network services.
Microsoft, on the other hand, had a slightly different focus, saying:
We will not only launch the most powerful console ever in Project Scorpio, but we also plan to bring a number of exciting enhancements to Xbox Live. And we’ll deliver a terrific portfolio of new games with Xbox Live support on Xbox One, Windows 10 or both this spring.
With both consoles promising great exclusives this year, here’s a close look at the titles that are confirmed to be coming out this year.
For the PlayStation4, there are a number of notable confirmed titles, including Gran Turismo Sport, Horizon Zero Dawn, Detroit: Become Human, Ni no Kuni II, Ace Combat 7, Persona 5, and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. Other upcoming exclusives include Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8, Gravity Rush 2, Tales of Berseria, Hellblade, Drawn to Death, Yakuza 0, Dreams, as well as the VR exclusive Farpoint and a handful of indie games. That list doesn’t include a handful of other potential titles that could come out in 2017, such as God of War 4, Bloodborne II (or another IP from From Software), Spider-Man and the Final Fantasy 7 remake. Its a pretty long list for PS4 exclusives this year.
Meanwhile, the list for upcoming Xbox One exclusives isn’t quite as robust. That list includes Halo Wars 2, Crackdown 3, Tacoma, State of Decay 2, Scalebound, Sea of Thieves, Phantom Dust, Cuphead and Conan Exiles. Though there don’t seem to be many notable titles coming this year, there could be some surprise hits this year for Xbox One.