After several days of rumors swirling around the possibility of delays for the first-party PlayStation 4 launch title Driveclub, Sony has made the news official. Driveclub has indeed been pushed back from its original November 15 launch date and currently is now scheduled to release sometime in early 2014. According to Shuhei Yoshida, President of SCE Worldwide Studios, “Driveclub will be a truly innovative, socially connected racing game, but the team requires more time in order to deliver on their vision — and I’m fully confident the game will surpass your expectations.”
A limited version of Driveclub was also intended as the first game to be featured in the PlayStation Plus Instant Collection for PS4. Obviously this will no longer be happening but Sony does not intend to leave PS Plus subscribers out in the cold. Instead they will be offering Compulsion Games’ highly anticipated puzzle-platformer Contrast as the debut addition to the PS4 Instant Collection along with the first-party side-scrolling shoot ‘em up Resogun. The special Instant Collection version of Driveclub will still be released alongside the full game in 2014 as well.
Driveclub‘s delay marks the second high profile next-gen postponement this week, following on the heels of Ubisoft’s decision to hold back releasing Watch_Dogs until at least Spring 2014. As with that delay, while the necessity of making Drivceclub no longer a launch title is unfortunate, I ultimately feel that Sony have made the right call if they feel the game is not ready. What remains to be seen is if these longer than anticipated development times will become a new trend (at least initially) as the next generation of gaming truly begins.
It will also be intriguing to see what impact, if any, this latest delay has on overall PS4 sales. Already some talk about holding back on buying a PS4 or Xbox One in light of Watch_dogs‘ delay have begun making the rounds. Now Sony has lost a key component of their launch library: the obligatory racing game. While I am not the biggest fan of the genre myself there is no denying its importance in the overall scheme of things (indeed Sony’s most successful first party franchise is Gran Turismo after all). And this could create a vulnerability that Microsoft might be poised to take advantage of, especially with more casual gamers, come this November. Look for more discussion on this topic in this week’s Thumb Wars and stay tuned to Blistered Thumbs for continuing coverage of this story as it develops. Also be sure to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.
Source(s): PlayStation Blog.