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Rockstar Games only just announced that Red Dead Redemption 2 is set to arrive in fall of 2017 next year, and Sony is already jumping on the exclusivity train for the PS4. The announcement actually reveals something key about the upcoming game.
Over on the PlayStation Blog, VP of brand marketing for SIEA, John Koller, announced that PlayStation 4 owners will get first dibs on DLC for the online component of Red Dead Redemption 2. The exact wording from Koller is that PS4 players will have first access to "earn select online content" in the open world gameplay of Rockstar's upcoming Western title.
This instantly confirms that the multiplayer will be making a return in Red Dead Redemption 2. Most gamers probably already expected that multiplayer would be coming back for the sequel, but at least now we know ahead of time what to expect. Apparently GTA V and GTA Online gave Rockstar plenty of groundwork to lay down future games as MMO-style experiences, and it sounds like that's going to be the case for the new third-person shooter.
In addition to the special access to online content, they also announced that Red Dead Redemption, the original from the PS3, will be coming soon to PlayStation Now. That's a huge step back from what Xbox One owners were given this past year when Rockstar worked with Microsoft to make the original Red Dead Redemption and all its spin-offs and DLCs available for backward compatibility on the Xbox One.
The announcement seems more like Sony's way of trying to win back some attention on the PS4 after Nintendo took the internet by storm with the Nintendo Switch, which is really an impressive looking piece of gaming technology.
What's also odd is that we don't even know what the actual gameplay is going to be like in Red Dead Redemption 2 nor do we have any idea how the online component will work. Attempting to win over people by vaguely announcing what new content is set to come to a game whose gameplay hasn't actually been put on display is a little weird.
For instance, we only barely had a glimpse of any characters in the official announcement trailer for Red Dead Redemption 2. There was no gunplay, no hunting, no PvP, no killing, no shooting and no combat. I'm sure it's all coming soon enough as Rockstar prepares to launch their game next fall, but for now, we just have a lot of really spiffy technical showcases out in the wild to represent the game. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that, but it doesn't really say much about the game itself.
Nevertheless, Sony is jumping on the hype bandwagon and promising content to PS4 owners as early as possible. This is probably something that would have benefited Microsoft more because they could have tied it into a digital discount on the original Red Dead Redemption as a backward compatible title on the Xbox One, and maybe even announce that the OG Xbox version of Red Dead Revolver would also be arriving.
For now, you can look forward to the upcoming sequel to arrive next year on Xbox One and PS4, and PS4 owners will get first dibs on select online content for the game. Whatever that means.