How The Xbox Series X And PS5 Launch Titles Stack Up Against Last Gen

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xbox series x ps5 launch titles games
Image: Ebb Software

The Xbox Series X and PS5 are currently experiencing a rocky launch window, largely due to the rise of the coronavirus pandemic. Gamers have more time than ever, but less money as recession and unemployment hit global economies hard. Similar challenges are being faced by a games industry struggling to adapt to the changes the pandemic brings, including new work from home conditions.

For new consoles, it means a launch line-up severely impacted by these development delays. Many of the flagship AAA titles designed to launch the new console generation have been delayed into 2021 and beyond, like Halo Infinite. Others are yet to be dated as uncertainty continues to plague production.

So far, the Xbox Series X is the only console with confirmed launch titles, although the list so far is very small. Here’s what’s coming when the Xbox Series X arrives in November:

  • Scorn
  • The Medium
  • Tetris Effect: Connected
  • Gears Tactics

Also likely arriving at launch is Yakuza: Like the Dragon, a spin-off of the classic Yakuza series finally localised for Western markets.

The PlayStation 5 does not currently have a confirmed date, so launch titles are up in the air — but these games share the same ‘Holiday 2020’ launch window as the console, and are likely set to release on launch:

Image: Bugsnax
  • Spider-Man: Miles Morales
  • Bugsnax
  • Deathloop
  • Godfall
  • Worms Rumble
  • Oddworld: Soulstorm

Note: These titles are not currently confirmed as PlayStation 5 launch titles and are subject to delays.

Both consoles are likely to have next gen versions of Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla and Watch Dogs: Legion available at launch, but these are yet to be dated and may skip the new console launch windows.

Launch titles for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in 2013 shared a much higher calibre, although it is essential to note they arrived to a very different world.

Here are all the launch titles for the Xbox One:

Image: Kotaku
  • Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
  • Battlefield 4
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts
  • Crimson Dragon
  • Dead Rising 3 
  • FIFA 14
  • Fighter Within 
  • Forza Motorsport 5
  • Just Dance 2014
  • Killer Instinct
  • Lego Marvel Super Heroes
  • Lococycle
  • Madden NFL 25 
  • NBA 2K14
  • NBA LIVE 14
  • Need for Speed: Rivals
  • Powerstar Golf
  • Ryse: Son of Rome
  • Skylanders: Swap Force
  • Zoo Tycoon
  • Zumba Fitness

And these are the titles launched with the PlayStation 4:

Image: Kotaku
  • Angry Birds Star Wars
  • Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
  • Battlefield 4
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts
  • Contrast
  • Escape Plan
  • FIFA 14
  • Flower
  • Just Dance 2014
  • Killzone Shadow Fall
  • Knack
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition
  • Lego Marvel Super Heroes
  • Madden NFL 25, EA Sports
  • NBA 2K14, 2K Sports
  • Pinball Arcade
  • Resogun
  • Sound Shapes
  • Super Motherload
  • Tiny Brains
  • Warframe

There’s a stark difference between the two line-ups here. There’s far more AAA output and almost triple the amount of titles. While the novel coronavirus is to blame for part of this discrepancy, it’s also important to note the reduced importance of launch titles to this console generation. The next gen technology backing the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 provides better loading speeds, higher quality graphics and enhanced processing power — but this comes with a cost. The new consoles are set to cost considerably more and be produced in fewer numbers.

It means rather than focusing on immediate sales, both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 will rely on longtail appeal.

The next console generation is currently occupying a ‘nice to have’ space, rather than a ‘need’ space due to a lack of exclusive games and a perceived lack of appeal. Game consoles are already capable of spectacular graphics, so casual fans may not see the appeal in an unnecessary upgrade, particularly if finances are tight. Those who can’t afford a more expensive console or simply don’t see the value in an upgrade will hold out for longer no matter which titles are available on launch.

In the era of coronavirus, launch titles just don’t matter as much they used to. Instead, it’s all about the long game.

Comments

    • I’m going to be deeeeeep into Cyberpunk at that point, but my partner gives slightly less than zero shits about it, so BotW2 would keep her very happy while I’m in Night City.

      • Ahhh. I am foolishly saving myself for the next-gen Cyberpunk experience. It will be torturous. I’ll read some W. Gibson to get me through!

  • If you’re including games like FIFA 14 with Xbox One and PS4 launch, you have to include FIFA 21 with the Series X and PS5 launch. FIFA 14 for example was released on other consoles two months before the Xbox One and PS4 launched. They will be available to play on the newer consoles on launch day.

    From memory, a lot of those launch titles you listed were similarly cross-gen and initially released before the new gen launch.

    The same will probably be the case with Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Watch Dogs Legion, and countless other games.

    • This was what I thought while reading the list too; lots of games straddle the generations and this one will likely be no different.

  • I’ve been saving bits and pieces since it was announced so as soon as the PS5 preorders open up I’ll be putting my money down.

    Not keen on upgrading my TV so soon though.

  • Lets face it the only launch title that matters is Ratchet and Clank, everything else is just gravy, oh wait thats not a launch title. Sigh.

  • I’d actually be very keen on enhanced versions of current gen games that I missed, eg Ghost of Tsushima and Death Stranding. Put out a PS5 enhancement patch for those and that would certainly be worthwhile for those of us who didn’t get around to them on the current generation.

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