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Sony lied to you about the PS5

Once upon a time, it appeared as though the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 were taking very different approaches to the next console generation.

Microsoft positioned the Xbox Series X as a nice thing to have but not a necessity. Some games would still be playable on Xbox One, and Microsoft would try to support players on that console for at least a few years after the Series X's arrival.

Sony, meanwhile, talked loudly and confidently about believing in generations. It perpetuated the idea that making games for the PS4 would hold the PS5 versions back. Sony allowed consumers to believe titles like Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Horizon: Forbidden West would only appear on Sony's newest, most technologically advanced machine. Many bought into Sony's philosophy on a clean break for the next gen.

As it turns out, both companies are sort of going at the next generation in the same way. One of them, however, has been pretty dishonest about it up to this point.

Yesterday's PlayStation 5 showcase was supposed to be a joyous time for PlayStation fans. The company showed off a number of games coming to PS5, and the event even included a never-before-seen trailer for a brand new Final Fantasy.

Sony finally revealed the PlayStation 5's launch date and price, too. The console arrives on Nov. 12, and will cost $399.99 for the Digital Edition and $499.99 for the standard version. Sony managed to price a powerful next-gen machine at roughly $400. That is good news for consumers.

But after the PlayStation 5 showcase wrapped up, news started to trickle out that seemed pretty unbelievable, as it flew directly in the face of what Sony had been claiming for so long.

First, fans got word that Spider-Man: Miles Morales is not a PlayStation 5 exclusive, and will also come to PlayStation 4. Perhaps this is a more understandable move, as Miles Morales is more an expansion for the original PS4 Spider-Man than an entirely new experience. Sony does have over 100 million PlayStation 4s out in the wild, and that's a pretty large install base to ignore for the sake of generational exclusivity. So maybe you could give Sony the benefit of the doubt on that one, in that the company isn't leaving PS4 Spider-Man fans in the dust.

Then it got out that Horizon: Forbidden West will make its way to PlayStation 4, too. Yes, the sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn that's set to release sometime in 2021 is not a PlayStation 5 exclusive, either. This one is a lot tougher to spin.

For all of Sony's bluster about drawing a line in the sand between console generations, it doesn't seem like the company is ready to do that just yet.

If you need a bit of a refresher, here's what Sony's Jim Ryan said about Sony's approach to the next generation back in May.

"We have always said that we believe in generations," Ryan told GamesIndustry.biz. "We believe that when you go to all the trouble of creating a next-gen console, that it should include features and benefits that the previous generation does not include. And that, in our view, people should make games that can make the most of those features."

Ryan went even further, using next-gen features to justify next-gen exclusivity.

"We do believe in generations," he added, "and whether it's the DualSense controller, whether it's the 3D audio, whether it's the multiple ways that the SSD can be used... we are thinking that it is time to give the PlayStation community something new, something different, that can really only be enjoyed on PS5."

Maybe that was all just talk.

As it stands now, it looks as though some of the PlayStation 5 exclusives fans have been drooling over aren't exclusives at all. Some will also come to PlayStation 4, which will open Sony up to the same criticism that's been levied at Microsoft about the Xbox One holding the Xbox Series X back.

As Eurogamer put it, "If Halo Infinite is hobbled by Xbox One, shouldn't we now express concern that Horizon: Forbidden West is hampered by PS4?" There will undoubtedly be a lot of discussion in the PlayStation community about whether Sony is doing PlayStation 4 fans a solid or whether it is keeping the PlayStation 5 from reaching its full potential.

One thing does seem certain, though: Whether you're happy to see games like Horizon: Forbidden West on PS4 or not, Sony wasn't very forthcoming about its plans for the next generation. Best-case scenario: the company's communications weren't all that clear, and perhaps the messaging got muddied as a result.

Worst-case scenario: Sony flat-out lied.