Let's be honest, up until very recently the PS3 hasn't been the most compelling console on the block. Sure, it's a Blu-ray player and has a few great exclusive games, we're thinking Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction and Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, but nothing has been released exclusively for the PS3 that ranks alongside the likes of Halo 3 or Mass Effect in terms of genre leading quality. Now, that looks like changing.
Yesterday we brought you the news that Sony has dated Killzone 2 and LittleBigPlanet for September with Resistance 2 coming in November. This follows Haze, which is coming in May, and Metal Gear Solid 4, which is coming in June. All of a sudden, the PS3 is starting to look like it's worth forking out our hard-earned cash for. With this in mind, we thought we'd bash our Sixaxis pads together and come up with our Top 10: Confirmed PS3 exclusives. Time for all you PS3 owners out there to start salivating, and for those of you umming and ahhing about whether to take the plunge to start saving.
10. Haze, Free Radical Design, Ubisoft - May 2008.
We had the opportunity to get some serious hands-on time with Free Radical Design's much delayed near-future FPS last week and left confident it's going to deliver. We're sworn to secrecy right now, but what we will say is that it's shaping up to be a shooter that should satisfy trigger happy PS3 owners while they wait for Resistance 2 and Killzone 2. Haze sees you play a soldier addicted to a performance-enhancing drug called Nectar. The graphics are nice and shiny, there will be four-player campaign co-op, cool vehicles and enough multiplayer modes to satisfy online FPS addicts. Haze is looking like it's going to be the PS3's best shooter when it comes out in May. Will it shift any PS3s? You'll have to wait for our review to find that one out.
9. LittleBigPlanet, Media Molecule, Sony - September 2008.
We've already managed to get some hands-on time with Sony's quirky DIY platformer, and have brought you more detailed impressions elsewhere, but what we will say here is that LBP, which is beautifully different, could be one of Sony's biggest selling games in 2008, and that's without a muscle-bound marine or a big gun in sight. Sony certainly thinks so. In February Sony's senior product manager Nick Robinson told VideoGamer.com that LittleBigPlanet, which allows users to create and share platform-based levels and objects through PSN, "is potentially our biggest Blu-ray release of 2008. We definitely see it as a triple-A Blu-ray release and will be a full price product." Who are we to argue?
8. MotorStorm 2, Evolution Studios, Sony - Autumn 2008.
The first MotorStorm made a big splash thanks to its impressive visuals, but beneath the surface gamers found a pretty deep racing game. Despite its arcade look, MotorStorm offered one of the hardest racing experiences of 2007 and asked far more of gamers than many expected. With plenty of downloadable content developer Evolution Studios showed a clear commitment to giving fans what they wanted, which can only be a good sign for the sequel. MotorStorm 2 moves the racing away from the barren desert-like setting to a tropical paradise. We currently know that the game will offer 16-player online racing, four-player split-screen, interactive environments and a brand new Monster Truck vehicle class. This could be the best racing game of 2008.
7. Uncharted 2, Naughty Dog, Sony - 2009.
For many, Uncharted was the best PlayStation 3 game of last year, if not the best game on any platform. We felt it suffered from a few niggling problems, preventing it from achieving classic status, but we still can't wait for the sequel. No other PS3 game has demonstrated the console's power like Uncharted has and the characters Naughty Dog created rank as some of the best we've seen on the latest generation of consoles. Seeing what Indiana Jones wannabe Nathan Drake and his unnervingly attractive journalist girlfriend Elena Fisher get up to next will surely be one of the PlayStation 3's highlights when the game is released - we don't know when exactly, but we're hoping it'll be next year.
6. Resistance 2, Insomniac Games, Sony - November 2008.
Sony didn't have a single monumentally stunning launch title for the PlayStation 3, but it did have a number of very solid efforts. Resistance was one of those games, offering some nice next-gen visuals, exciting gameplay and an excellent set of online multiplayer options. Resistance 2 looks set to turn everything up a notch with a single and multiplayer campaign, improved competitive multiplayer and visuals that are already turning heads. You only have to look at Insomniac Games' previous two PS3 titles (Resistance and Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction) to see that Resistance 2 should be a complete graphical tour de force. The PS3 will get plenty of stunning looking games this year, and Resistance 2 will be right up there.
5. Killzone 2, Guerrilla Games, Sony - September 2008.
We're not the biggest fans of the original Killzone here at VideoGamer.com, but that hasn't stopped us from getting mightily excited about the upcoming sequel. Whereas the original game seemed to be pushing the PS2 a little too hard, Killzone 2 appears to be working the PS3 just the right amount. From what we've seen the game looks absolutely stunning, and early gameplay demos suggest developer Guerrilla Games has come on a lot since the series' disappointing debut - PSP spin-off Killzone Liberation also turned out pretty well. Nothing's been seen on the game for some time, which is a little worrying, but we're hoping Sony will blow the lid off the game in the summer.
4. God of War 3, Santa Monica Studio, Sony - 2009.
After a fairly slow start in terms of sales, Sony's God of War has become one of the leading video game franchises, wowing gamers the world over. After two brilliant outings on the PlayStation 2 and a stunning debut on the PSP, fans are desperate to see what Sony can do with the series on the far more powerful PlayStation 3. Absolutely nothing is known about God of War 3, other than it's coming, but given the supremely high quality the previous three games have achieved we don't expect anything less than a next-gen masterpiece. If Sony Computer Entertainment's Santa Monica Studio's magnificent efforts on the PS2 are anything to go by, God of War 3 could potentially be the most visually stunning game we've ever seen.
3. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Kojima Productions, Konami - 12 June 2008.
If there was ever a game series that has the power to shift consoles all by itself, it's Metal Gear Solid. And by all accounts, that's a view held by publisher Konami. Earlier in the month Konami president Fumiaki Tanaka told Japan's Nikkei BP website that many gamers are waiting for Metal Gear Solid 4 before buying a PlayStation 3. And recently we've heard and seen some amazing things about legendary Japanese developer Hideo Kojima's fourth MGS game. Kojima himself has said that the PS3's Blu-ray disc isn't big enough to house Metal Gear Solid 4 as he intended. However, this won't prevent millions of gamers praying MGS4 is everything they hope it will be. Soon enough we'll find out.
2. Final Fantasy XIII, In-house, Square Enix - TBA.
Although there's no official release date (we here at VideoGamer.com reckon European gamers won't see it until 2009), Square Enix's role-playing behemoth is looming over the horizon. Surprisingly little in known about the game, but we have had hints that the Japanese publisher is planning a simultaneous worldwide release. Earlier in the month Square Enix president Yoichi Wada revealed that moving forward the company intends to make "simultaneous releases the norm". That's encouraging news for European gamers who have traditionally been forced to wait sometimes up to a year before they get the chance to play new iterations in the main Final Fantasy series. What cannot be denied is that the popularity of the series should ensure healthy sales of the PS3 when it's finally released - Final Fantasy XIII exclusivity is one Sony no doubt has high hopes for.
1. Gran Turismo 5, Polyphony Digital, Sony - 2009.
If you have any doubt that Gran Turismo 5 will be a monster hit, just take a look at Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, what essentially amounts to a £25 feature-packed demo of GT5. Play.com has already reported that its initial stock of GT5P has now sold out. It's also set to become the PS3's first pre-release platinum title. While Chris Hinojosa-Miranda, Associate Producer at SCEA, has recently confirmed that fans will be waiting for "around a year" for the full game, a wait is unlikely to dampen sales come release. So confident is Sony in the brand that it has bundled GT5P with the PS3, and backed it up with a pervasive marketing campaign. GT5P will shift PS3s, and GT5 will shift even more. More than any game on this list. And that's why it's our number one confirmed exclusive PS3 game.