PlayStation 4: So Indie You?
At Sony‘s reveal of the PlayStation 4 in February, it appeared that the electronics and entertainment conglomerate had taken a decidedly different approach to indie games and the development of those titles. Even prior to the reveal, changes to the PlayStation store included an indie category, making it easier to find the indie catalog.
Jump ahead to June 10th, 2013 at Sony’s pre-E3 pres conference: While is was widely assumed that the physical design of the console would be revealed, (and possibly, the price) it wasn’t clear whether this new approach to smaller dev houses would endure.
Now that the dust has settled, it seems that Sony is committed to bringing independent games into their PlayStation Network library. The following indie games are confirmed to not only be coming to PlayStation 4, but will be launching on the console first.
The Witness – Thekla Inc
The much-anticipated exploration and puzzle game from creator Jonathan Blow, of Braid fame.
Here is IGR’s interview with Mr. Blow about The Witness at IndieCade 2011:
Don’t Starve – Klei Entertainment
Poor Wilson! Even the most desperate of inventors shouldn’t trust the voices that emanate from antique radios! Deposited in a twisted wilderness, Wilson must master his surroundings if he is to survive.
Watch IGR’s interview with Corey Rollins of Klei at PAX PRIME 2012:
Mercenary Kings – Tribute Games
Graphically, Mercenary Kings seems to exist in a place between Metal Slug and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Loot enemies for materials and craft your weapon of choice. Now wage war against a crazed opposing militia!
Octodad: Dadliest Catch – Young Horses
You’re a devoted husband. You’re a doting father. You’re also an octopus, and no one must ever find out! Can you go about your familial duties without letting on to anyone that you’re actually a sea creature?
Check out IGR’s interview with Young Horses at PAX Prime 2012:
Oddworld: New and Tasty
A hi-res remake of OddWorld, Abe’s Oddysee, one of the best games on the original Xbox, bar none. Very glad to see it resurrected once again.
Outlast – Red Barrel
A gritty, jarring title in which the player must escape from a mental institution that has lost all control over the highly dangerous inmates. Editor’s Note: I’ve had nightmares just watching previews of this game.
GALAK-Z – 17 Bit Games
From the makers of Skulls of the Shogun (our review) comes Galak-Z, an intense open-world twin-stick space shooter. Enemies react in realistic and dynamic ways, thanks to the Cyntient AI system. An open world of combat awaits.
Ray’s The Dead – RagTag Studios
Ray finds that he is quite undead. He must now enlist the help of other zombies to discover that which has made him so lifeless…and take revenge!
Secret Ponchos – Switchblade Monkeys
Saddle up for an online wild west experience where everyone has a bounty on his head. Defeat your opponents, claim his achievements and forge your legend.
Transistor – SuperGiant Games
Not only did we enjoy it, we named Bastion by SuperGiant Games our Indie Game of the Year for 2011. When we heard they were releasing Transistor, we immediately took notice. These digital raconteurs are at it again, and this time the action takes place in a futuristic metropolis and what we saw at PAX Prime 2012 appeared to maintain a very similar graphical treatment as Bastion but with a far richer complement of variables to manage in developing your character.
The Game Is Afoot
It was heartening to see so many games announced even before the console has hit the market. Sony also stressed that indie game developers will be able to publish their titles on the PlayStation Store without paying additional publishing charges. It also seems to fly contrary to competitor Microsoft, whose Xbox One will be the only next gen console to still charge publishing fees.
Will Sony’s change in attitude mean a favorable shift in this generation’s market share? Feel free to chime in via the comments section below!