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Why “The PS5 has No Games” Argument is Nonsense

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Iain McParland
| June 26, 2024
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“PlayStation 5 has no games”

I’ve heard it a few thousand times now. At first, I thought: “This is typical console war bullsh*t. It’s being said to get a reaction from people and not because they’re actually serious.” However, when enough people say something this enough times, it starts to seep into the public consciousness as if it’s the truth. 

And in reality, it’s freaking nonsense. 

Let me prove it.

Hypothesis

PS5 has no games

Prove this statement.

Yeah, that’s right; I’m getting all Math on you right now. You can’t handle the Math! So, let’s assume the opposite is true and go from there. 

I’m fully aware there are multiple interpretations to this statement, so let’s go through them.

The Literal Interpretation

This is the most absurd interpretation and the easiest to disprove. Has any game been released on the PS5? Yes, yes it has. It’s also not what the majority of people mean by the statement so let’s get this out of the way. At the time of writing, approximately 2,500 native PS5 games have been released

On a personal level, PSNProfiles tells me I’ve played 68 PS5 games since I bought my PS5 in October 2020. That’s a fair few games, right? 68 is more than zero, so I think we can say the literal interpretation is disproven.

NEXT!

PlayStation Doesn’t Have Any Exclusive Games

Another hilarious interpretation, hardly worth addressing. There are many console-exclusive titles available on PlayStation. You only have to look at some PlayStation Studios to be able to prove the contrary. 

Insomniac Games have released Spider-Man Miles Morales, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 and Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart all in the last four years. Guerilla has Horizon: Forbidden West and Call of the Mountain. And then you have Housemarque’s terrific Roguelike, Returnal, and Arrowhead’s Helldivers 2 to add a couple more!

Naughty Dog? Well, they’re doing Naughty Dog things and releasing The Last of Us in a kajillion different ways. Not the most exciting thing in the world at this point, but you get my point. All of these are only available to play on a PlayStation console. 

I haven’t even mentioned any third-party console exclusives! PlayStation has exclusive games.

No, Only Games You Can Play Exclusively on the PS5

Why? 

This is one of the aspects of the argument that doesn’t make any sense to me. Why do we have to exclude any game that can be played on any other console or even PC? Any multiplatform game doesn’t exist on the PS5 because you can play it elsewhere. That’s discounting freaking great games like Baldur’s Gate 3, released on next-generation consoles, because you can also play it on your PC. It’s dumb. 

Take Helldivers 2, for instance. It’s a fantastic PvE shooter available to play on PS5 and PC. And because it’s on PC, it’s like it doesn’t exist. To exaggerate a point, this means that all PS4 games do not exist because they are all available to play on PS5 through backwards compatibility. It also means anything playable on Xbox Cloud Gaming also doesn’t exist because you can stream on PC.

Hell, if I really want to exaggerate, Nintendo has been going through some legal battles for emulation lately. That emulation meant everything on the Switch was available to play on PC (allegedly, but definitely not legally).

So, what’s that? The Switch, Xbox, PS4 all have no games because multiplatform games don’t count. Cool cool cool. So PS5 actually has them beat with platform exclusive games like Demon’s Souls, Astro’s Playroom, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, Stellar Blade, and Final Fantasy 7: Rebirth

With this spin, it’s the only console with games. 

OK, PlayStation Doesn’t Have Any GOOD Exclusive Games

Here’s where things get tricky because it depends on your definition of “good”. Good takes on various guises for different types of people. If you were to ask me what makes a good game, it probably wouldn’t be the same as you. I love single-player narrative adventure games, metroidvanias, and puzzle platformers. In general, I don’t like multiplayer games, huge open worlds, and difficulty spikes that make me want to smash my head against a wall. 

You might love Elden Ring. Jokes. But you see my point. 

For lack of anything else, let’s look at Metacritic averages for some of the games we’ve identified as PS5 exclusives. 

  • Demon’s Souls – 92/100
  • Astro’s Playroom – 83/100
  • The Last of Us Part 2: Remastered – 90/100
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 – 90/100
  • Rise of the Ronin – 76/100
  • Stellar Blade – 81/100
  • Final Fantasy 7: Rebirth – 92/100
  • Final Fantasy 16 – 87/100

These titles are, at the time of writing, only available to play on the PS5. I think we can agree that over eight games with an average of 86 is not too shabby. 

But, There’s Nothing Coming Soon

Ok, this is where you may have something. There’s no doubt the PlayStation’s last few conferences haven’t hit the way other conferences have (holy crap, the last Xbox Showcase was lit). Ever since Jim Ryan announced the live-service push, it feels like new games have not been announced at a good cadence. 

However, we do know Astro Bot, Concord, and Silent Hill 2 Remake are all coming this year, along with some big-hitting third-party multiplatform releases only available on next-gen hardware like Star Wars Outlaws, Assassin’s Creed Shadows and Black Myth Wukong. That’s if you have the time while still struggling through the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC for Elden Ring. 

Officially, we don’t know what’s going on at some of the studios like Sucker Punch, Sony Santa Monica and Bend, but it’s safe to assume they are working on the next Ghost of Tsushima, a God of War Project, and I dunno, pitching another Days Gone that will be ultimately rejected by Sony. They’re all talented people, and I’d expect to see what they’re cooking pretty soon. 

And if we don’t, let’s revisit this conversation. 

I’m reliably told this is the same kind of sentiment around Xbox in the last generation. It was bullsh*t then, and it’s bullsh*t now. I’ve just told you why. Am I wrong?

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