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If you’re sick of only seeing upcoming releases that have numbers in their titles, maybe you should take a look at what Sony has been up to lately. The PlayStation 3/Vita maker has been working to put together a solid catalog of exclusive, original games. From its this season's string of PlayStation Network hits to some of its pleasantly surprising reveals at the recent Gamescom conference, Sony is taking plenty of risks to distinguish itself.
Will the investment pay off? The answer already looks like a "yes," since right now the PlayStation platform’s current and upcoming lineup is great for core gamers looking for something new.
Sony has had a pretty good summer so far with several critically acclaimed, downloadable indie titles for the PS3. Journey came first. It's a whimsical dialogue-less, online-co-op romp through the desert. Then came Dyad, a sort of psychedelic take on the classic arcade-title Tempest that played more like an unorthodox racing game. The beautifully minimal musical-platformer Sound Shapes (also on Vita) arrived last week. And recently, critics have been digging the tragic Papo & Yo, which takes players on a trip with a young boy and an abstract representation of his abusive father.
At Gamescom, Sony revealed a handful of new original games like Puppeteer, Rain, and Tearaway.
Puppeteer is a 2D platformer where a puppet hero uses a pair of magical scissors to help him navigate a dark fairytale play. Rain puts you in the depressing but intriguing scenario of being invisible (except for when water pours down on you). In this release, you're on a quest to chase down another young person in a similar predicament. Finally, Tearaway embraces the different functions of the Vita — like the rear touch pad, camera, microphone, etc. — for a papery Legend of Zelda-esque adventure that’s oozing with creative gameplay.
Let us also not forget about the previously announced PlayStation All-Starts Battle Royale (aka Sony Smash Brothers), Until Dawn (the survival-horror genre at its creepiest), and The Last of Us (daddy-daughter day fighting the undead).
In regards to the stellar PlayStation lineup on display at Gamescom, IGN’s Mitch Dyer noted how, “The level of imagination and accessibility in these original, exclusive games is so much more interesting to me than another Halo.” Microsoft might want to rethink its Xbox 360 battle strategy if it still wants to compete in the traditional video game market. And here’s hoping it does.
Sony’s push away from the countless sequels that fill the marketplace to gamble on fresh new games is just what the industry needs right now. And the more companies that imitate that approach, the better.