(Pocket-lint) - If you've been eagerly awaiting Nathan Drake's return in Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, then you might want to freeze that excitement - the PlayStation 4 exclusive has been pushed back to a spring 2016 release date.

That represents a delay of several months as it was originally expected for a pre-Christmas release. And while Sony and PS4 fans will be unhappy at that turn of events, Microsoft will no doubt be delirious as its timed exclusive of Rise of the Tomb Raider on Xbox One will have a free-run in the action adventure genre for the holiday period.

The reasoning behind the delay of Nathan Drake's first outing for this console generation was detailed on the official PlayStation blog. Neil Druckmann and Bruce Stanley, the directors at developer Naughty Dog, said the game "deserves every bit of the attention to detail, precise pacing and nuanced storytelling Naughty Dog is known for". They have therefore "made the difficult choice of pushing the game's release date".

It was thought that development was in an advanced stage, especially as a lengthy video of gameplay was released at the tail end of last year. And many thought the title could end up being the talk of E3 in June.

That might still be the case but it seems the E3 2015 build will now be far from the finished product.

The statement continues: "Thank you for your patience - we know the extra wait will be excruciating, but you'll see it will be worth it as we reveal more about Uncharted 4 over the next year. The team at Naughty Dog will be heads down working through 2015 making sure that Nathan Drake's story gets the closure it deserves. Come spring 2016, you and Nate are in for one thrilling, emotional ride.

So that leaves a hole that only Rise of the Tomb Raider will seemingly fill this Christmas. But while we do love Lara Croft too, we were really looking forward to a classic gaming powerhouse showdown, like in the good old days.

Writing by Mike Lowe and Rik Henderson.