The deck is starting to feel a little bit stacked for the PS5 and Xbox Series X launch in favor of Sony. Microsoft has lost Halo Infinite as a launch title, which was going to be one of the highest profile games to launch with a new console in a few generations, while Sony has Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and exclusive console access to Gearbox’s Godfall and Arkane’s Deathloop this fall.
But yesterday, Sony essentially got an entirely new exclusive with a surprise announcement for its breakout hit of the year, Ghost of Tsushima.
Ghost of Tsushima is getting a free co-op update called “Legends,” which is a 2-4 player mode that will let you take on story and survival missions, and there’s even a four player raid coming as well. Players will pick different class and enemies now have supernatural powers inspired by Japanese folklore.
The release date for this is simply “fall,” which, given that we’re two weeks away from September, implies to me that Sony may end up timing this with the launch of PS5.
We still don’t really know what the deal is with games like The Last of Us Part 2 and Ghost of Tsushima in terms of how you’ll buy or play them on PS5. But it stands to reason that at minimum, a game like Ghost of Tsushima will load faster and perform better on PS5 at baseline, even if there are no other upgrades. And it’s already gorgeous enough where that may be all it needs.
This strikes me as Sony essentially getting another exclusive title for PS5’s launch, given the apparent breadth of this update. I expected perhaps some sort of Tsushima re-release for PS5 (which still could be coming), but I was not expecting this, and this sounds quite a bit better, actual new content to play, rather than replaying the original game with better resolution or what have you.
Microsoft does of course have “enhanced for Xbox Series X” versions of its own exclusives coming like Gears 5 and Ori, but there’s not like a Gears of War expansion coming out or anything like what we’re seeing with Tsushima here. Yes, it’s likely that Tsushima may have released something like this anyway even if we weren’t about to launch a new console generation, but because that is happening, the timing could not be better for Sony, and yes, I would absolutely consider Tsushima Legends a substantive exclusive release this fall, given how beloved that game was, and that it’s fully new content, not a remaster. But that may be coming too.
As ever, this is going to be a challenging fall for Xbox, and it just got a little bit harder with this announcement. Xbox may have the power edge this time, but Sony’s first party studios continue to fire on all cylinders.