While PlayStation is arguably the more popular of the consoles, its quality exclusives such as Horizon Dawn, God of War and The Last of Us mean a large portion of the gaming community misses out or is forced to purchase a PlayStation to play them. Recent comments from a Sony executive suggest, however, it’s considering making things a little less exclusive for some upcoming titles.
Shawn Layden, Chairman of Sony’s Worldwide Studios, told Bloomberg in a recent Gamescom interview the console giant might be looking to expand its platform territory for first-party games.
“We must support the PlayStation platform — that is non-negotiable,” Layden said. “That said, you will see in the future some titles coming out of my collection of studios, which may need to lean into a wider installed base.”
The future of consoles is just over a year away. There's plenty of key questions still unanswered, like how the major publishers will approach retail versus digital sales in 2020 and beyond. But if you're interested in knowing what the next PlayStation can do, there's a ton of info already out there.Read more
The last part of that quote is the interesting part. It’s unlikely it’ll release first-party exclusives like Horizon Dawn, Spider-Man or God of War to competitors like Nintendo or Microsoft. So, it only really leaves one option as to what it might consider expanding to with the next generation of games: PC.
Bloomberg suggested the comments were more directed at “multiplayer titles designed to be played on personal computers”, which means the flagship singleplayer titles like Uncharted might never make it to the PC.
Still, it’s an interesting omission because aside from the obvious contradiction of exclusives not being so exclusive, Sony has infamously been an opponent of cross-play between players on games like Fortnite and Minecraft.
Sony eventually caved for the world’s biggest online multiplayer, Fortnite, in 2018 but have yet to enable cross-play for other popular titles.
PlayStation Now, a video game streaming service, already allows you to play its library via a PC, though it’s not available to Australians. The site suggests the service is “the only place to play PS4, PS3 and PS2 exclusives on PC” but I wasn’t immediately able to find actual Sony exclusives on the games list. Still, it shows that the concept of playing PlayStation exclusives on PC is not completely mad.
While the PlayStation 5 is not due for release until late 2020, some titles are likely to be released just ahead of its launch with backwards compatibility (PS4). This means, we’ll probably have a better idea of what Sony’s planning to do with platform distribution of its exclusives in the next year or so.
If Sony does follows through with its comments, it’ll be great for PC gamers who refuse to move to consoles but would love to play the quality games Sony has on offer.
Sony also recently purchased game developer Insomniac Games Inc., the studio behind the successful PS4 exclusive, Spider-Man, the same day as news broke Sony had parted ways with Disney over its partnership with the Spider-Man series.
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