Sony to Bring Indie Games to PS4, But Will It Help Sell Consoles?

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PlayStation 4 Hardware

Sony (NYSE:SNE) has been clear about this from the start: The PlayStation 4 was designed for people who want to play video games on their televisions. Sure, you can use the console to listen to music and watch movies, but the marketing message has focused on games. Sony’s latest announcement suggests this isn’t just marketing fluff; the company announced yesterday that it’s bringing a dozen indie games to the platform this year, including acclaimed titles like Spelunky and Nidhogg. The question is: Will this strategy move consoles?

While most indie games don’t have the name recognition of heavyweights like Call of Duty or Uncharted, they’re often more creative in terms of gameplay. That’s because smaller teams with smaller budgets can take bigger risks than huge companies that pour millions into would-be blockbusters. If you want to play something truly original, your best bet is to look to the indie scene.

So let’s look at the games Sony has announced. Here are the titles that are coming to the PS4 this year, with their Metacritic score in parentheses where available:

  • Apotheon
  • Axiom Verge
  • Chasm
  • Don’t Starve: Reign of Giants (79)
  • Drifter
  • Escape Goat 2 (76)
  • Ironclad Tactics (69)
  • Jamestown Plus (81)
  • Nidhogg (81)
  • Skulls of the Shogun: Bone-a-Fide Edtion (72)
  • Spelunky (90)
  • Starwhal: Just the Tip

There’s some good stuff on there, including most notably Spelunky, a game that seems like a basic run-and-jump Mario-esque title until you dig a little deeper and discover seemingly endless depth. Nidhogg is another winner — it’s a unique retro-style fighting game that IGN gave awarded their game of the month for January of this year. Jamestown Plus is a shoot-’em-up that takes place in a British colony on Mars in the 17th century. Each of these games is rooted in a classic genre, but veers off in a bold direction that many people enjoy.

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