Microsoft Crashes, Sony Rises in Q1 of 2017

A lot of video game exclusives from Sony have been getting generally positive reviews from critics and we are just in a few weeks of the second quarter in 2017. We have been expecting great title contenders from both Microsoft and Sony before Nintendo’s launch of the Switch last March. It was so unfortunate that Platinum Games’ action RPG got axed by Microsoft. It was supposed to be released on February of this year to counter Guerrilla Games’ own action RPG.

Scalebound built hope for Xbox One, and looking at NieR: Automata, the mighty dragon-and-teen duo would have also received positive feedback from the community. But instead, Microsoft relied on Creative Assembly’s Halo Wars 2. It did get favorable comments from critics, but it stayed at a solid 79 score on Metacritic. This means it’s doing well as what Microsoft has hoped for its Halo-based real-time strategy title.

Looking at Sony’s blue neon colored side, SEGA’s Hatsune: Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone started the year for the Japanese console giant with a warm welcome on January. The game received a lot of positive reviews from critics, and stayed with an amazing score of 85 in OpenCritic (Metacritic is unfortunately outdated). Then was swiftly followed by genSTUDIOS’ Gravity Rush 2 thus receiving compliments from IGN, Destructoid, and GameSpot. Gravity Rush 2 is sitting on Metacritic with a score of 80. Sony ended January with SEGA’s Yakuza 0 that sits with a score of 85 on Metacritic.

February is a month for PlayStation 4. Even if there were only 2 games released exclusively for the PS4, Team Ninja’s Nioh and Guerrilla Games’ Horizon: Zero Dawn were met with an array of praise. Reviews are going wild with the 10s and 9s! Even the wildcard and controversial critic, Jim Sterling, giving Nioh a perfect 10 and Horizon a 9.5, it was no doubt a month of blue flags waving on the entire planet.

Then we enter March, the month when Nintendo had launched the Switch. But I’ll put aside Nintendo for now, since we’re focusing on Sony and Microsoft. March was definitely a silent month. With NieR: Automata’s release, everyone in the community have been drenched with massive outstanding quality AAA exclusives from Sony. But that didn’t leave NieR: Automata out from the eyes of PS4 gamers.

A Summary of PS4 Exclusives released in the first quarter of 2017 with their Metacritic scores:

  • Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone – 85 out of 100 (OpenCritic)
  • Gravity Rush 2 – 80 out of 100 (Metacritic)
    Release Date: January 20, 2017
  • Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue – 76 out of 100 (Metacritic)
    Release Date: January 24, 2017
  • Yakuza 0 – 85 out of 100 (Metacritic)
    Release Date: January 24, 2017
  • Digimon World: Next Order – 68/100
    Release Date: January 31, 2017
  • Dynasty Warriors: Godseekers – 70 out of 100 (Metacritic)
    Release Date: January 31, 2017
  • Nioh – 88 out of 100 (Metacritic)
    Release Date: February 7, 2017
  • Horizon: Zero Dawn – 89 out of 100 (Metacritic)
    Release Date: February 28, 2017
  • NieR: Automata – 88 out of 100 (Metacritic)
    Release Date: March 7, 2017
  • MLB The Show ’17 – 85 out of 100 (Metacritic)
    Release Date: March 28, 2017

While at Microsoft’s green carpet, Rise & Shine was set to release exclusively on PC and Xbox One in January; making it the first third-party title to launch exclusively on both Microsoft platforms in 2017. However, Adult Swim Games’ Rise & Shine is sulking in the corner with a 66 score on Metacritic. It has been criticized for its horrible button layout and glitches, and Game Informer states that “it doesn’t change its approach when the formula wears thin.”

Then there’s the approach to February, the month when it’s utterly silent for Microsoft while the sounds of Horizon and Nioh are dominating the entire community. This was supposed to be the month when Scalebound could have launched and helped Microsoft. I had a great vibe about the game but Microsoft didn’t have remorse and conscience. They had to cut the dragon’s head off thus cancelling Scalebound on January 9. It was not looking too good for Microsoft as they are only left with Creative Assembly’s Halo Wars 2 – which did get good reception but wasn’t enough to break that 80 score barrier on Metacritic.

Unfortunately, March is completely silent for Microsoft. Only having third-party games releasing, it was totally clear that Microsoft didn’t prepare for this year except for Project Scorpio’s release and launch titles to come with it. With the amount of cancellation that Microsoft did in the past years, it had proven that they did not prepare anything special for Xbox One owners in the first quarter of 2017 aside from a new Xbox subscription.

A Summary of Xbox One Exclusives released in the first quarter of 2017 with their Metacritic scores:

  • Rise & Shine – 66 out of 100 (Metacritic)
    Release Date: January 13, 2017
  • Halo Wars 2 – 79 out of 100 (Metacritic)
    Release Date: February 21, 2017

The Sony and PlayStation flags rises through the first quarter of 2017. What will Microsoft have to counter before Scorpio comes out? We will soon find out at E3.