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[Forbes] Sony Should Be Putting All PlayStation Exclusives On PC, Day One

3liteDragon

Member
Look, it’s time.

Sony has nothing to fear regarding PlayStation sales. They have never had a console generation that has tanked in sales, and demand for new PlayStation consoles has only increased in time, with the PS5 only failing to set records because supply can only meet a tiny fraction of demand due to current component shortages. So, it’s time to expand the PlayStation brand where yes, Sony should take a page out of Microsoft’s book, and start releasing its games on PC alongside PS5 on day one.

This is all coming up right now because potential Game of the Generation, God of War, has finally made its way to PC, allowing many players to play it for the very first time if they didn’t own a PlayStation before this. Sony has started putting more and more of its exclusives on PC, but the lag time is still years after the original release. It’s time to change that. I’m not even saying that Sony has to go all the way down the Microsoft rabbit hole. Right now, when you buy a game on Xbox, you automatically get a free copy of the game on PC, or vice versa. As nice as that would be, I’m not even saying that Sony has to do that. Simply allowing the games to be sold on PC at launch would be a good enough start.

I don’t think I’m alone in this sentiment, not just among fans who would like wider availability of PlayStation games, but the same can be heard from PlayStation devs themselves. Being interviewed about God of War on PC, game director Cory Barlog said that the push for this has become incredibly strong among PlayStation studios:

"I think it was the collective of studios all over saying this is a really good idea. We should be looking into this," Barlog said. "Eventually, I think it reached that tipping point. When we had sent so many suggestion box suggestions that they were like, 'I’m tired of hearing all this. Fine, we’ll do this.'"

For generations now, Sony has made a calculation that PlayStation should be the only place where you can play PlayStation games, and so you need to buy a PlayStation console to do just that. But the industry is changing. Xbox is running full steam at this trend, selling not just Xboxes, but allowing its games to be played on PC or streamed to mobile devices day one. PlayStation, in contrast, looks stuck in the past and porting games to PC years later is just the babiest of baby steps in the right direction. PlayStation does not have anything to fear. If anything has been proven the last decade, it’s that everyone still very much wants to buy video game consoles. Microsoft has been doing this “day one on PC” thing for a while now, and the Xbox Series X/S are still setting sales records for the brand.

On the dev side, it’s easy to see why they want this. Devs do not get anything from sales of PlayStation consoles, but they would get more revenue from additional sales of the game on PC. And fundamentally, I just think many of them want…more people playing their games. They worked hard on it, why shouldn’t PC players also get to experience it? Especially given the caliber of almost all PlayStation exclusives, this would seem to do nothing but strengthen the PlayStation brand overall.

If there was some evidence that offering games on PC was destined to crash your console sales, I might reconsider this position, but absolutely nothing about the market indicates that, and PlayStation should consider this idea sooner rather than later, before Microsoft keeps building a big head start in this area.
 

Nautilus

Member
As always, such a short-term view on things.

Yeah, the PS5 would probably still do extremely well, and would still have a solid chance at doing better than the PS4, but the problem is that you would be sending a message to your clients that a PC is all that you will need going forward. So when the PS6 came, and assuming that the cost of PC parts eventually came down, it would make far more sense that someone buys a PC, that would cater to all its gaming needs, excluding Nintendo, and it would also be something that you would use daily in your day to day life, as PCs basically became an essential item in most people lives. So instead of spendinf money on a PC, something that you would buy reagardless, and on a PS6, you would just buy the PC.

I already hate that MS basically went third party, and now it seems that Sony is also going. Hope that doesn't translate to less innovation and worse experiences with consoles.
 

Inviusx

Member
No.

First party exclusives benefit from being designed around a set spec and utilising all unique aspects of the hardware. It should be the job of third party port houses to figure out how to translate that to PC after the fact.

If PC is considered for launch, I feel like we would lose exclusives that truly take advantage of the console hardware and instead just feel like third party PC ports.
 
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Sosokrates

Founder of western console warring.
All right, all right, all right.

Animated GIF
 

Topher

Gold Member
"If there was some evidence that offering games on PC was destined to crash your console sales, I might reconsider this position, but absolutely nothing about the market indicates that, and PlayStation should consider this idea sooner rather than later, before Microsoft keeps building a big head start in this area."

I agreed with this guy, for the most part, up until there. What the hell does Microsoft have to do with it? This has nothing to do with the console war which is the only area where Microsoft and Sony compete.

Are they writing an article like this for Nintendo as well?

Of course not.
 

Kilau

Member
I think if they can do it how MS is doing it, unified with a PlayStation presence while playing on PC and cross buy then it will be good. Keep the games on Steam and wherever else though, no separate store. I'm not a fan of how they are handling PC ports now.
 
"If there was some evidence that offering games on PC was destined to crash your console sales, I might reconsider this position, but absolutely nothing about the market indicates that, and PlayStation should consider this idea sooner rather than later, before Microsoft keeps building a big head start in this area."

I agreed with this guy, for the most part, up until there. What the hell does Microsoft have to do with it? This has nothing to do with the console war which is the only area where Microsoft and Sony compete.
It is really forced too, like what does having a head start even mean? Every single game on PC could be a Microsoft game, if Sony wants to then release one of their own games there is the same barrier of entry as if Microsoft never sold a PC game at all. It isn't like there is some sort of critical mass of Microsoft games being sold where if they reach that level no Sony game will sell. It doesn't work that way, especially on PC where the entire point is that everyone has the same access to the same games.
 
The lifetime value of a PS4/PS5 console owner is worth more to Sony than a insignificant amount of PC copies sold of their first party titles.

The day one exclusives on PS, give people a reason to buy the console and than subscribe to things like PS Plus which makes more money for Sony in the long run. That’s why I don’t see them releasing first party games day one on PC anytime soon.
 
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The lifetime value of a PS4/PS5 console owner is worth more to Sony than a insignificant amount of PC copies sold of their first party titles.

The day one exclusives on PS, give people a reason to buy the console and than subscribe to things like PS Plus which makes more money for Sony in the long run. That’s why I don’t see them releasing first party games day one on PC anytime soon.
They also take the 20% cut of EVERY game and DLC dollar sold.
 
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I already hate that MS basically went third party, and now it seems that Sony is also going. Hope that doesn't translate to less innovation and worse experiences with consoles.
Yeah, I bet XSX owners are missing all the innovative games and great experiences they had on fucking Xbox One lol
 
They also take the 20% cut of EVERY game and DLC dollar sold.
Exactly^

Why would they risk losing potential console owners just to get day one sales on PC? That would not make any sense.

The way they are handling PC releases right now is a much better strategy because it creates a incentive to buy a PS console if you want to play the exclusives sooner.
 
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PuffyCan

Member
I already hate that MS basically went third party, and now it seems that Sony is also going. Hope that doesn't translate to less innovation and worse experiences with consoles.
Microsoft releasing on Xbox and Windows is going third party now? What weird mental gymnastic is this? Microsoft owns windows, it still promote their own product even if the market is more open and you can buy from multiple store.

Anyway back to topic: I don't think it's going to hurt them at all , short or long term. They might sell less consoles a little bit, which they sell at a lost or with super low margin, but reaching a bigger audience and selling more games more than makes up for it.
 

tusharngf

Member
Look at witcher 3 sales.. if the game is really well made it will sell like hot cakes. Sony kinda makes that level of games.
 

Barakov

Member
I'd be okay with simultaneous release with the Spartacus service whenever they decide to do that after 6 months, one year or two years after original release depending on the success of the game.
 

NinjaBoiX

Member
Sony should be doing alot of things. Mainly putting out some games for my PS5!
It’s not a wise business move until they can get more PS5’s out into the wild unfortunately.

Works for late adopters though, there’ll be a swarm of software pushing at the release gate by the time they can produce PS5’s in real volume.
 
The lifetime value of a PS4/PS5 console owner is worth more to Sony than a insignificant amount of PC copies sold of their first party titles.

The day one exclusives on PS, give people a reason to buy the console and than subscribe to things like PS Plus which makes more money for Sony in the long run. That’s why I don’t see them releasing first party games day one on PC anytime soon.
For Sony games you need a good pc and who with a good pc would buy 3rd party games or subscritpions if they can get the games in better quality on pc and don't have to pay for multiplayer?
They also take the 20% cut of EVERY game and DLC dollar sold.
I think that evens out with the physical games. Disc + package + production + logisitcs + storage + retail cut.
 

Nickolaidas

Member
I agree. Sure, Sony may lose a few PS5 sales from people who only bought a PS5 in order to play its games, but I doubt that a person who buys a PS5 for 500 bucks in order to play its games and doesn't game on PC would prefer to buy a 1,000-2,000 dollar PC in order to play those games. People who want to play PS games by only paying a 500 dollar fee to enter its ecosystem will STILL buy a PS5 if its games come to PC at day one. Those people won't migrate to PC.

The majority of PS4 game Steam sales are from people who never really intended to buy a PS4 in the first place, but have no problem buying its games once they go to PC. At this moment, Sony is collecting data and making calculations. Once they see that releasing their games to PC is more lucrative and not less, they will press on with the PS games to PC mentality.

They already have, considering they bought a dev team whose shtick is PC-game ports.
 
That's an idiotic take. Sony still needs to focus on its walled garden strategy, as it does not have the capacity right now to deploy a service ala Gamepass. Any customer dissuaded from going PS5 is a customer who will not be buying third party games on it, or subsribing to the online service, aka abondoning the real money generating moves: Compared to that, whatever profit Sony makes off of any PC copy sale is insignificant in the medium term.
It is easy to go: You got nothing to lose! When you have not crunched numbers as I am certain Sony business people have. I remember when imbeciles were calling for Nintendo to drop consoles and shift into a third party provider before the Switch hit; Nintendo will probably do that, eventually, when the market will no longer reward their current strategy...But not right now: It is not inconsequential. We are talking about billions of dollars at play.
MS had nothing to lose and everything to gain: Videogames money is a fraction of what they make as a whole, and they proved unable to compete under the traditional model, so they proceeded to eliminate all barriers: They've got the PC platform, the servers ready to fire and tons of cash to burn. Sony do not, so they better calculate every step and not alienate their current fanbase.
 
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nush

Gold Member
I think it's a great idea, if you have hardware capable of playing those games with potentially better perfomance than the base console then why leave that money on the table? Street Fighter V worked out great in that regard.
 
I agree. Sure, Sony may lose a few PS5 sales from people who only bought a PS5 in order to play its games, but I doubt that a person who buys a PS5 for 500 bucks in order to play its games and doesn't game on PC would prefer to buy a 1,000-2,000 dollar PC in order to play those games. People who want to play PS games by only paying a 500 dollar fee to enter its ecosystem will STILL buy a PS5 if its games come to PC at day one. Those people won't migrate to PC.

The majority of PS4 game Steam sales are from people who never really intended to buy a PS4 in the first place, but have no problem buying its games once they go to PC. At this moment, Sony is collecting data and making calculations. Once they see that releasing their games to PC is more lucrative and not less, they will press on with the PS games to PC mentality.

They already have, considering they bought a dev team whose shtick is PC-game ports.
Exactly. Sony won't lose many customers since their games require much more than a 500 bucks pc and they don't care about the pc gamers that only get a PS for exclusives and nothing more. They don't make money with them, especially in these times where the PS5 is very rare. Sony will lose money with every pc owner getting a PS5 just for let's say God of War, because why would a pc owner buy 3rd party games on PS or subscribe to their services? Maybe they even get it used on disc and resell it again, that's what i did last gen with Sony games. Day1 pc releases let them profit from their ultra high budget marketing and some people only play the latest games.
 

drotahorror

Member
I think its much easier for them to optimize/prioritize for the console first as opposed to fine tuning everything for PS5 and PC all in one go. I'm happy to see PC players take part in these unique Sony IPs going forward, though!

Sony can have separate developers for PC ports/projects. With the Nixxes acquisition there's no need to worry about extra time for the original developers.

Personally, I won't be buying the next Horizon or God of War on PS5. I know they're coming to PC. I've already did my part, I bought 2 PS5's at launch, Returnal and Demon's Souls digitally at full price. I haven't had another incentive to buy another game since those.
 
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Sakura

Member
Why would Sony do this?
If they release the PC version day 1, there will be people, possibly a significant amount, who would've bought it for the PS5, buying it on PC instead. A PC sale is worse than a PS5 sale for Sony, because they don't get all the revenue.
If they release the PC version later, then all the PC only people who would buy it are still going to buy it (plus double dippers) so what money is being left on the table?
 
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