It’s been an interesting few months for PlayStation, and we’re seeing games that were once exclusive to the platform now appearing on the PC. As such, I wanted to put on the old speculation hat and peer into the possible future of PlayStation and the PC.
This piece isn’t meant to be seen as port begging or demanding that PlayStation put specific games onto the PC. I intend to look at the past events and look at a possible future that could occur for PlayStation down the road. If this isn’t something that interests you, it’s better off if you don’t read this. But if you’re like me, and a future where PlayStation and PC form a happy family sounds amazing, read on.
What’s happened so far?
If you haven’t been keeping count, many PlayStation games have made their way to the PC over the past year. Those games include Death Stranding, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Days Gone. Since those games were released, PlayStation also announced that Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection, which includes Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, is headed to the PC. Then, in a surprise announcement (not really), God of War is also appearing on the PC on January 14, 2022.
During those announcements, PlayStation mentioned they were vested in bringing more games to the PC. This is because PlayStation has realized that the PC as a gaming platform is too massive to ignore. Not to mention that posting existing games over to the PC platform would allow the company to charge full price for games that have already been released on the PlayStation 4 and aren’t selling anymore. A prime example of this is God of War, which has sold 19.5 million copies worldwide. A game that, in all likelihood, isn’t selling anymore on the PlayStation 4 yet could end up selling a couple extra million on the PC. That’s a win in PlayStation’s eyes. It does two things: it generates additional revenue for the company by pushing PlayStation games onto other platforms and pulling in gamers who usually wouldn’t be interested in those titles.
PlayStation also acquired the gaming studio Nixxes, a company known for developing and porting PC games. And Bluepoint Studios, who worked on the PlayStation 5 port of Demon’s Souls. Both companies that many assume (including myself) will be working in some capacity by working on porting existing PlayStation games to the PC.
In an interview with GQ Magazine, PlayStation’s President Jim Ryan stated that PlayStation was in itself in better shape than ever before. Yet, while the quality of games has improved, so has the price to create those games. Making them available to non-console owners has grown; in layman’s terms, they can recoup money from PlayStation and PC gamers. As such, there’s an opportunity to expose PlayStation’s great games to a broader audience.
Following all of that, PlayStation has launched its label for bringing PlayStation games to the PC, PlayStation PC LLC. In Steam, this label has replaced the PlayStation Mobile label responsible for bringing smaller games, such as Hell Divers, to the PC in the past.
That’s a lot of events in less than two years for PlayStation and its decision to jump on the PC bandwagon.
What’s next for PlayStation and the PC?
It’s already been mentioned that PlayStation will continue to bring its games to the PC; that much we know. Outside of the two recent announcements, we don’t know what other games PlayStation has in store. Yes, there have been several leaks and rumors, but I’d ignore those for now until PlayStation officially makes an announcement. It doesn’t help you or PlayStation when people expect a specific game to be released for the PC (Bloodborne) and constantly get frustrated because it doesn’t happen.
Of course, we can still speculate about the future, and as such, I want to speculate on a question I’ve seen being asked countless times. “Will we ever see PlayStation 5 games on the PC?” If I were a betting man, I’d say yes without a doubt; we’ll see those games on the PC. Now, this isn’t something I’m saying because I want to cause a flame war or that I’m port begging. I’m just reading the terrain and observing the history. PlayStation has gone from “No, we are never putting our games on PC’, to “We’re releasing these games to the PC” to its current position of “Yes, the PC is part of our ongoing growth.”
As for the current strategy, I’m sure PlayStation didn’t come to its recent change of thought on its own. Looking at Microsoft/Xbox, they also had a change of heart a few years ago. This is another company that went from releasing its major games only on the Xbox platform to releasing them via multiple options: Xbox Game Pass for PC, Windows Store, or Steam. Now gamers are seeing games such as Gears of War, Forza Horizon, Forza Motorsport, and even the upcoming Halo Infinite coming to PC. The entire gaming industry saw this new path for Xbox, with other companies slowly adopting the same concept. If 3rd party companies have moved from releasing games on consoles and have expanded to the PC and Xbox, surely PlayStation doesn’t want to be left out.
Tossing a grenade into the equation, we can’t forget that PlayStation, as well as Xbox, the automotive industry, and others, are hurting due to the great semiconductor chip storage of 2020-2021 (and still ongoing). Something that’s going to continue for quite some time. What does this have to with gaming you’re likely formulating in that lovely mind of yours? Don’t worry; I’m getting to that. Silicon is the most widely used semiconductor in the world. It’s used in everything electronic: gaming consoles, CPUs, cars, etc. Due to several variables, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the China-United States trade war, and the Renesas Electronics Corporation fire (this was huge), the companies that manufacture these precious components aren’t able to do so.
Several major semiconductor companies, Intel, TSMC, and Samsung, which supply the world with most of the produced components, have gone on record stating they don’t see this shortage ending until late 2022 or early 2023. And that’s being optimistic at best.
If PlayStation can’t produce enough PlayStation 5s or even PlayStation 4s, for that matter, where will PlayStation games get played? That’s a question I’m sure is being asked in several high-level Sony Interactive Entertainment meetings. You better believe that there have been conversations regarding alternative plans if this chip shortage doesn’t end soon.
Getting back to PlayStation 5 games on the PC, this is how I see it going. PS5 games will continue to be released for the PS5 consoles, and then a PC release will come months or years afterward. This could continue for years until PlayStation decides to do a 1:1 release. Or, if PlayStation was honest about recouping revenue due to games being more expensive to develop, we could see PS5 games arrive on the PC sooner than expected, maybe even same-day releases.
As for same-day releases, I know some people may not agree with that as they see games that were meant for their favorite plastic box now being ripped from them. Sure, everyone can think and feel how they want, but I still don’t understand how it impacts them or PlayStation. Those games will still arrive on the PlayStation consoles, and those gamers will still play those games. If PlayStation ever goes this route, it’s to bring in more revenue to Sony and the PlayStation brand. Of course, if you ask me if I ever want to see this happen, of course I do. I’m all for progress and bringing in more gamers to the fold, whether it’s PlayStation or Xbox. Ultimately, if it benefits PlayStation with more software sales while continuing to tap into the PC gaming market, why do some diehard fans feel this is bad?
Interestingly, this is similar to the “Why buy an Xbox Series X|S when you can get those games on the PC.” Yet, Microsoft’s consoles are still being sold. There’s a big difference between playing a game on a PC and playing it on a console, with the cost of entry included. Whatever reasons you can think of for playing an Xbox game on a console can be applied to playing a PlayStation game on a console.
Things have certainly changed.
The video game industry is constantly evolving. We’ve gone from games that were once exclusive to any of the big three consoles, and now we’re seeing that PlayStation’s 1st-party games can do well on other platforms. So I ask you, where’s the negative to this? PlayStation consoles will continue to be sold; that shouldn’t even be a concern. There’s no way PlayStation will allow that not to happen, and PlayStation games will also make their way to the PC and generate that sweet revenue.
PlayStation gets to sell more software while exposing gamers to games they normally wouldn’t have played if they didn’t own a PlayStation. Meanwhile, existing PlayStation fans will continue to enjoy the games they have for years. It seems like a win on all sides to me.