Speculation — Can we expect Solar Ash and other indies as free PS Plus offerings?

Solar Ash has been teased without a release date at the recent Playstation State of Play despite the previous promise during the infamous CES 2021 PS5 Sizzle Reel that showed a June release. Love or hate the February 25 broadcast, it confirmed the official launch of Kena Bridge of Spirits, promised Oddworld Soulstorm as April’s free PS Plus game, and surprised us with Yuffie in Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade, the debut PS5 port that comes with said new episode.

CES 2021 Sizzle Reel Release Date window

Many other familiar games featured a deep dive (Returnal and Deathloop‘s new trailer), some new titles that we already know are coming (Crash 4 and Knockout City), and some new teasers (Sifu and Five Nights At Freddy’s Security Breach). That leaves Solar Ash as the elephant in the room, being the only title from previous PS5 events with an ambiguous 2021 window, previously slated for June.

A new PS5 sizzle reel circulating around Youtube updates the release windows for some of these titles, including revising GhostWire: Tokyo‘s release date from October to “anticipated release in 2021”. Horizon Forbidden West is consistent with all the comms, also verifying Jim Ryan on his GQ interview saying he’s “feeling good” about said title’s launch. You can watch the trailer below:

As it stands, here is the tentative schedule of Sony’s current first party releases:

  • April 30 – Returnal
  • May 21 – Deathloop
  • June 10 – Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade
  • June 11 – Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
  • August 24 – Kena: Bridge of Spirits
  • Anticipated second half 2021 – Horidon Forbidden West
  • Anticipated release in 2021 – GhostWire: Tokyo

Call it a crazy speculation, but bear with me here, if we take a look at Sony’s PS Plus release schedule, every single game that has been offered for the PS5 is either free at launch or is relatively new. Take a look at the previous PS Plus schedule below:

  • November 2020 — Bugsnax (New at launch)
  • December 2020 — Worms Rumble (New at launch)
  • January 2021 — Maneater (Released for PS5 on November 11, 2020)
  • February 2021 — Control: Ultimate Edition (New at launch)
  • March 2021 — Maquette (New at launch)
  • April 2021 — Oddworld Soulstorm (New at launch)
Maquette is free at launch

Now again humor me on this, would it be a good hypothesis that Solar Ash will drop as a free PS Plus title for June given that they’ve given away two indie titles at launch (Bugsnax and Maquette) and a relatively new indie title (Maneater)?

With the PS5 not having an adequate library yet, would it be logical to offer an indie title? They did it with Maquette and maybe the good people at Annapurna Interactive will be generous enough to also offer Stray on October. Let’s go a bit further and throw Little Devil Inside Me for July. Could Solar Ash realistically be the next big PS Plus giveaway?

Don’t quote me on this but it’s merely a hypothesis from observing the trends on how PS Plus operates. I’ve gone way off my predictions before with Avengers as the free PS Plus game for March as a speculation that Crystal Dynamics will utilize the platform with a deal from Sony to help their troubled title.

As I said, it’s only a theory, so take it with a massive grain of salt. Though Sony and the developers wouldn’t be planting a seed in our heads in the State of Play for a game they’ve already featured in the past without a release date like with Kena and Oddworld Soulstorm, it just seems like a random tease if they won’t follow it up some time soon. Sony have been very good with their PS Plus lineups so far, so maybe this generous streak goes on for this year.

Are you also looking forward to Solar Ash?

Solar Ash is scheduled to launch later this year for the PS4, PS5, and PC.

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