The PlayStation 4's launch lineup, a mix of 23 big budget blockbusters and smaller indie games, doesn't have a stand out, must-have title in it. That's in part thanks to delays of games like Evolution Studios' DriveClub and Ubisoft's Watch Dogs, but Sony's Scott Rohde says the PS4 will have a steady flow of software in the coming months, and that's crucial for a new platform.
Rohde, software product development head at Sony Worldwide Studios America, tells Polygon that in addition to having a substantial day one lineup, there's plenty "just around the corner" for PS4.
"When you look at a platform like the Vita, we did launch with a pretty robust lineup on day one and we got some flak for what came in the next couple of months," Rohde said. For PS4, Rohde promises "a pretty decent flow, especially from that small indie scene, both internally and through third-party indie games."
Sony has "practically pre-sold [its] entire allocation of PS4s" at launch, Rohde said, evidence that there's no shortage of demand for the new console.
"People know that there are games coming," he said. "I love the fact that you've got a couple big first-party retail games at launch, all the third-party and indie games, DriveClub coming a couple months later and Infamous: Second Son right around the corner. There'll be something to talk about in the months to come, as opposed to cramming everything into the first month, and then not having anything to talk about for three or four months. I like the way this worked out quite better, frankly."
"There'll be something to talk about in the months to come, as opposed to cramming everything into the first month"
Rohde said that a firm release date for Infamous: Second Son is coming soon, as is information about another PS4 exclusive, The Order: 1886.
"Everything else is just a little trick up our sleeves right now," Rohde teased. "Worldwide Studios is a giant organization."
The PlayStation organization, Rohde said, has its sights set on games that won't be released until well into the future, beyond holiday 2014 and as far as four or five years out from the PS4's launch.
While Rohde said one could easily make the argument that there should be as many games as possible available on day one, "It makes good sense for us to stagger [the release of] these games."
The choice to delay some third-party games, including Ubisoft's Watch Dogs and The Crew, like DriveClub, was "the right decision," he said.
"From my development perspective, launch games are tough."
"Paramount is making sure the game is the game we want to release," he said. "You have to let that decision sit in the hands of the dev teams. Everyone will be happier two years from now when they're talking about Watch Dogs, they'll be happier that [Ubisoft] spent that extra four or five months making that game great, because that game has so much promise."
Rohde expects that the PS4's slate of independently developed games will help round out the system's weekly and monthly releases. In a perfect world, he said, Sony would have something new and exclusive every month on the indie game front, and he expects they'll exceed that goal.
"I'm proud of what's there," Rohde said. "From my development perspective, launch games are tough. There's a reason that across first and third-party things shifted. I love the fact that because we've embraced indie, there's a huge area of games that supplement that retail launch lineup. I really do think that's a good thing, that you have a flow."