Killzone 3, Resistance 3, Ratchet & Clank All 4 One, Uncharted 3, LittleBigPlanet 2. Few would contend that 2011 was a year of blockbusting exclusives for Sony and PS3. But while there's a slew of multi-platform big-hitters on the 2012 horizon, from Rockstar's GTA V to BioWare's Mass Effect 3, purebred Sony titles are few and far between.
Does this mean PS3 is entering its twilight months, fed on a diet of third-party blockbusters and PSN titles? Is Sony clearing the decks for the PS Vita launch on Feb 22? Are exclusives being saved for a shock PS4 announcement at E3? And with Sony's broader focus on creating an online entertainment network of movies, music and games - what are their long-term plans for our living rooms, PS3 and beyond?
This feature is taken from issue 147 of PSM3, which also features reviews of Skyrim, Modern Warfare 3 and Assassin's Creed: Revelations. Order it here and have it delivered straight to your door
"Where we go after [PS3] is an interesting one," Sony Computer Entertainment UK (ex) boss Ray Maguire told the Guardian newspaper earlier this year. "The online side is very interesting and is a big part of our business going forward. But in terms of what sort of technology we'll be using, it's far too early to say yet because we're only half way through the lifecycle of PS3 - there are many years to come on that machine."
Likewise, Bethesda's Todd Howard, game director of the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, told us that we should not expect follow-ups to PS3 and Xbox 360 until 2014, at the very earliest.
If these assertions are correct then there exists a considerable stretch of time left for Sony to fill with PS3 releases. While the current trend for reissues, remakes and HD re-releases of classic PlayStation titles such as the recent Ico and Shadow Of The Colossus, God Of War and the forthcoming Metal Gear Solid HD Collection is a welcome one for gamers who want to revisit firm favourites from yesteryear, surely past glories alone cannot keep the wolves from the door till 2014?
So what next? Insomniac creative director Marcus Smith admitted that, despite the strong critical reaction to Resistance 3, there are currently no plans to make Resistance 4, saying: "We've done Resistance 3 and we're really proud of it, but we're not currently slated to do a Resistance 4." However, earlier this year the writer of the God Of War licensed novel inadvertently revealed to PSM3 that the fourth game in the series was in production (co-inciding with his next book), implying the game's 2012 release.
Meanwhile, in a lecture last month at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts, Konami's Hideo Kojima presented the company's stunning new multiplatform graphical Fox Engine. While Kojima was eager to point out that the Metal Gear-esque footage shown at the event was not taken from a game currently in development, rumours abound that the studio will reveal a new, triple-A title in the next few months.
We're not currently slated to do a Resistance 4Insomniac
Team Ico's stunning The Last Guardian is the only first-party Sony exclusive on the horizon (and it has only moved into 2012 due to slippage, rather than scheduling). Ueda's past titles have found critical acclaim and a dedicated audience, but their whimsical, artistic approach could hardly be described as mainstream. But there's still a slew of interesting third-party multiplatform titles aimed squarely at the mainstream gamer for next year. Rockstar's Max Payne 3 will release ahead of the recently announced Grand Theft Auto V.
Capcom's Dragon's Dogma looks set to build on the huge success of Namco Bandai's hard-as-nails fantasy title Dark Souls, while Soul Calibur V and Street Fighter vs. Tekken will keep the fighting community in cuts and bruises till the announcement of a fifth title in the core Street Fighter. Also from Japan, Final Fantasy XIII-2 hopes to do away with the issues in the 13th game in Square-Enix's long-running series, with a new emphasis on exploration that aims to please those disenfranchised by the most recent game.
From Western studios, meanwhile, The Darkness 2 had a strong showing at Gamescom in the summer, as did Borderlands 2. Mass Effect 3 and Aliens: Colonial Marines will take us into space, while Prototype 2, Amazing Spider Man and GTA V hope to re-invigorate the free-roaming genre.