Despite last year’s splashy release of next-gen consoles, it’s clear the gaming landscape is still in a transitional phase between console generations. Just look at blockbusters like Far Cry 6, Rainbow Six Extraction, Battlefield 2042, and Tales of Arise, which are planned for release on PS4, Xbox One, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S. All the while, true next-gen exclusives, like Returnal or Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, remain rare.
Still, we’re fast approaching the point at which PS4 and Xbox One players are left behind, with more than a dozen major games on the horizon planned as next-gen-only releases.
Granted, most of those are also coming out on PC, since the technical capacity to run cutting-edge games has and always will be present on that ever-evolving platform. And while this list is based on currently-available information, platforms aren’t always set in stone. To wit: Godfall, which was initially released on PC and PS5, will come out on PS4 next month. So, yeah, anything can happen. Still, if you’re a console player—one who, like millions, has had difficulty getting your hands on a next-gen machine—don’t get your hopes up for the following games.
Everwild (Xbox Series X/S)
Precious little is known about Everwild, the forthcoming adventure game from Rare, other than the fact that it’s very, very pretty and is currently plagued by development woes (which now suggest it might not come out until 2024). When it eventually comes to consoles, it’ll only do so on Xbox Series X and S.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl (Xbox Series X/S)
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.’s console debut, out April 28, 2022, won’t happen on older consoles. Rendering the irradiated wastes of Chernobyl just seems like too much strain for the poor Xbox One. Last fall, based on remarks made by Xbox’s Matt Booty, it seemed Xbox games would release across generations for the first year or two after the release of the Series X and S. But, speaking to Kotaku, Xbox boss Phil Spencer couched that a bit, saying, “I think we’re going to take it on a case by case basis … we’re just trying to be transparent with people about the roadmap of games that would be coming for last gen.”
Starfield (Xbox Series X/S)
Despite a $7.5 billion dollar allowance from Microsoft, Bethesda will still publish some PlayStation-exclusive games. Chief among those is Deathloop, Arkane’s uber-stylish time loop shooter about eating the rich. It’s currently planned for release on PS5.
Ghostwire: Tokyo (PS5)
Bethesda will also publish Ghostwire: Tokyo, the supernatural horror-adventure from Tango Gameworks, for PS5. Bethesda hasn’t confirmed an Xbox Series X/S release yet.
Redfall (Xbox Series X/S)
But Microsoft isn’t letting PlayStation nab all of the Bethesda-published exclusives. Arkane’s Redfall—a vampire game that caused everyone to summarily lose their marbles following its reveal at Microsoft’s E3 2021 event—will only come out on Xbox Series X/S.
Shredders (Xbox Series X/S)
The Amped series of snowboarding games is long dead, but its spiritual successor, the realistic-looking Shredders, looks among the raddest snowboarding sims ever. It’s planned for Xbox Series X/S.
The Outer Worlds 2 (Xbox Series X/S)
The original Outer Worlds came out in 2019 on both PS4 and Xbox One. Obsidian, now under Xbox’s umbrella, won’t release the sequel on PlayStation. It’s currently planned as a next-gen Xbox exclusive.
Avowed (Xbox Series X/S)
Avowed, Obsidian’s other big RPG in the pipeline, is also planned as an Xbox Series X/S-exclusive. It’s fantasy-themed, set in a fictional world called Eora, but details are otherwise scant.
Fable (Xbox Series X/S)
Good news: Fable’s coming back! Bad news: When the fantasy-RPG does return, it won’t come to Xbox One. And it might be a while until it does, as the developer, Playground Games, currently has Forza Horizon 5 in the pipeline, planned for a November 9 release.
Gran Turismo 7 (PS5)
At the moment, Gran Turismo 7 is listed as a PS5-only game. But comments made last month by Hermen Hulst, the head of PlayStation Studios, raise some uncertainty about a possible cross-gen release. “Where it makes sense to develop a title for both PS4 and PS5—for Horizon Forbidden West, the next God of War, GT7—we’ll continue looking at that,” he said in an obviously PR-approved PlayStation Blog Q&A.
A Plague Tale: Requiem (Xbox Series X/S, PS5)
A Plague Tale: Requiem, Asobo Studios’ eye-popping followup to A Plague Tale: Innocence, is planned for next-gen consoles—and, per publisher Focus Home Interactive, the Switch. That last one’s curious. Rumors have long swirled about a Switch model with 4K capabilities, to the point where the thing’s all but confirmed, though Nintendo hasn’t officially unveiled it. Requiem comes out next year.
Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora (Xbox Series X/S, PS5)
Most Ubisoft games come out on as many platforms as possible. (Profits!) Not so with Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora. The first-person action game set in James Cameron’s reductive yet lushly beautiful world is planned for next-gen consoles.
Pragmata (Xbox Series X/S, PS5)