The PC ports of Horizon: Zero Dawn and Death Stranding may just be the first of several Sony first-party exclusives that may come to PC.
Sony recently published its full-year corporate report, which covers its PlayStation division, as well as other units within its business.
The report confirmed that the PlayStation division now generates more sales and operating income than any other part of the company. Also, it notes that they have around 113 million active PSN users and 45 million PS+ subscribers, on top of 2.2 million PS now subscribers.
These numbers, however, don’t seem to be enough. As part of a plan to drive further profitability, the company is now targeting growth in “active users.” One of their proposed strategies to do this is to sell games to people off Sony platforms, which means bringing their first-party titles to PC.
“Targeted outcomes include growth in active users, stronger retention and a shorter cash conversion cycle, from which expanded cash flow can be expected,” states the report. “We will explore expanding our 1st party titles to the PC platform, in order to promote further growth in our profitability.”
What’s interesting about this is that Sony has marked the PC as a major competitor in the near-term. In addition, it also said that “players from other industries” would also be key competitors. (Read: Xbox Series X third party exclusives aren’t so ‘exclusive’)
“Competition from online PC games and players from other industries is expected to continue to intensify. The fundamental growth strategy will be to innovate and evolve the PlayStation Platform,” the report states. “To this end, SIE intends to make proactive investments to reinforce content IP, and work to raise brand value, foster communities and user engagement, while enhancing DTC services that get closer to users.”
PS5 exclusives to PC?
The announcement most likely doesn’t mean that the exclusives coming to the PlayStation 5 will also come to PC anytime soon. Sony has been very clear about how it perceives the strength of console exclusives.
“[PlayStation] can rely on a studio network that can really show off the innovations that we’re trying to put across … when the exclusives are as powerful as Marvel’s Spider-Man or Horizon, they are important games that people want to play,” stated Simon Rutter, Sony’s executive vice president for Europe in an interview with the Guardian last June.
The company has been pretty adamant with sticking with the traditional console model of using exclusive games to attract buyers to the PlayStation brand.
This is in stark contrast to rival Microsoft who has been releasing its games on both console and PC at the same time. This effectively making it so that the Xbox One X, and even the upcoming Xbox Series X does not really have any “true” exclusives.
With this in mind, it’s likely then that Sony’s PC strategy will follow along the same lines as the PC release of Horizon: Zero Dawn—older PlayStaion 4 exclusives getting PC ports months or even years after the original console release. Possibly to help drive players to purchase a PlayStation 5 to play the more recent, exclusive, sequels of these games.
In other words, don’t expect to see Horizon: Forbidden West, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart and Spider-Man: Miles Morales on PC any time soon. Older games, such as God of War, Uncharted 4 and Bloodborne, seem to be the more likely candidates for now.