This Is Why Jonathan Blow's New Game Is Heading To The PlayStation 4

The Witness heading to the PlayStation 4 was one of many genuine surprises of Sony's conference but according to Jonathan Blow it was an easier decision than you might imagine. We're talking about the man who was reluctant to bring his latest game to any of the consoles, but the power of the PS4, alongside mixed feelings towards Microsoft — as a result of the Braid launch — helped push him towards Sony this time round.

"Yeah, there were a lot of reasons why it was a good choice," he said, speaking to Edge. "Some were technical – we haven’t officially been disclosed on Microsoft’s next console, but we do see the same leaks as everyone else has, and they seem plausible. To me they talk about a console that is not strictly about games. It’s trying to be the centre of the living room device, which is fine and maybe it’s the right thing for Microsoft to do, business-wise. I don’t know; I actually don’t think it is, but they’ve certainly thought about it more than me! As a place to put the best, highest performing version of our game on, it doesn’t seem as good a choice."

According to Blow, his previous relationship with Microsoft also had some impact on his decision. But he still hasn't ruled out working with Microsoft in the future.

Why The Witness is coming to PS4 first [Edge]


    Translation: I'll announce this as also being a future Xbox game when the next Xbox is formally announced.

      That would void the timed exclusivity.

        What timed exclusivity? All he's said is he's announcing it for PS4, just like Destiny and Watch Dogs. The only thing keeping these games from being announced as "Durango" titles is the fact that the Durango doesn't officially exist yet.

        Granted, he didn't help his future prospects with Microsoft by going on record about how horrible it is to work with them, but there's nothing in there about exclusivity, timed or otherwise.

        Edit: Ok, I see in Puck's post below that there's "launch window exclusivity". This will probably turn out to be a mistake on Blow's part because he's assuming there won't be a new Xbox in whatever Sony calls the PS4's "launch window". We know the PS4 is coming this year, Durango is TBA.

        I am still strongly of the opinion (as I have been for over 4 years now) that both consoles will be out in time for Christmas. I'm about 75% sure we'll see the Durango announced at E3... possibly PAX but that's only a week away and we've not had any recent leaks, so more likely it'll be at E3 in June.

        If you think that's too late to announce a console, generate consumer interest and get it on shelves, you are sorely underestimating the power of hype. They announced the Xbox 360S hardware revision the day it hit store shelves and people went crazy for it.

        Last edited 12/03/13 2:40 pm

          The word on the street is that they'll announce the 720 some time in late April/May as a separate event to E3 or PAX, and that it will be about by Christmas to go head to head with the PS4. Pretty exciting if that's the case. I'm sure that The Witness will come to the 720 once he's done the PS4 version. Destiny and Watch Dogs are 100% guaranteed to come out on the 720 simultaneously to their release on the PS4 if both consoles are out at the same time.

          I have no idea how long a launch window is considered, but it would probably be more than a few months at least. He's not making a mistake by assuming the 720 won't come out in the PS4's launch window, it's just that he doesn't have the money/man power to do two simultaneous console versions. Also, he doesn't even have a 720 dev kit, apparently he's as much in the dark about what the next xbox has under the hood as everybody else (which is to say, rumours that seem pretty accurate).

          So I'm a bit late to the discussion, but I thought you might like to know that Blow has explained his reasoning pretty thoroughly on 'The Witness' blog page. Basically with the team they have, they were only ever going to come to one console on release (if any) simply because of the amount of work involved. The reasoning given here is simply why they chose to go with the PS4 as opposed to a current gen system or the new xbox.

    I thought he blew all the money made from Braid already and needed a publishing deal, and figured Sony had put the best offer on the table.

      I doubt it. If Sony were putting money in they'd probably want a bit better than "launching first on PS4". They'd want at least 12 month exclusivity, I reckon.

      He may just be playing hard to get in the hope that MS will throw some money at him to make sure they get it on their new console, though.

      On the witness blog, under "a-clarification-about-our-ps4-exclusivity" Blow states:

      "People have been speculating that we got paid for PS4 exclusivity, but that is not the case. There was no money involved."

      He signed a launch window exclusivity deal so he could be at the PS4 unveiling show. The game was de-facto launch window exclusive because they haven't been working on a 720 version yet, so signing a deal or not, it was always going to come out on PS4 first amongst the consoles. This way he just gets more publicity. It will likely come out on IOS and PC around the same time as PS4, the exclusivity effects the consoles only.

    Didn't the creators of Fez say that it was hell to go through XBLA's hoops?

      I think their issue is that it costs a buttload of money to update your game on Xbox live. Fez launched with a pretty bad glitch but when they patched it it got worse and affected more people.

      Rather than incur the costs and risks of patching it again, they basically said "well, the first problem was only affecting a few people, so... sucks for them but there's nothing we can do" and rolled it back to the original version.

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