Sony’s Foray Into First Party Titles Going To The PC Market To Massively Expand

from the about-time dept

For the past couple of years, we have been tracking Sony’s long overdue foray into making its first party titles available to the PC gaming market. Sony, famous for walling off these titles and making them Playstation exclusives, began loosening that grip in 2020. MLB: The Show suddenly appeared on other consoles (though not on PC, grrrr), while Horizon: Zero Dawn got a long-awaited PC port that helped propel that title into incredible sales territory. Perhaps as a result of that success, Sony then acquired Nixxes, a company that specializes in porting console games to the PC. Many of us took this as a sign that Sony was ready to jump into PC gaming with both feet.

It appears we read those tea leaves correctly, as Sony announced it would massively expand the percentage of first party titles that would get PC appearances.

Sony plans to expand significantly into PC gaming, according to an investor briefing published this week. By 2025, Sony says, roughly a third of the games in PlayStation’s portfolio will come out on PC. From a player’s perspective, Sony’s continued foray into PC undeniably rules. And considering that it’s still tough AF to get your hands on a PS5, even as we approach the point in this console generation where developers leave the PlayStation 4 behind, PC versions will help more games reach more people.

And that’s plainly true. More places to play a game means more people have access to it. And, while it’s true that it’s quite difficult to buy a PS5 console right now due to supply chain issues, I think that is mostly coincidence. Yes, Sony for a long time kept titles exclusive in order to sell more consoles, but the plans for moving off that strategy certainly must have been formulated well before the pandemic hit, setting off the supply chain issues.

No, what’s going on here instead is almost certainly that the company has realized two things at the same time: a huge percentage of its revenue comes from the gaming market and it can generate more revenue through a wider distribution of its games than it can trying to coerce the public to buy Playstations. And we are talking about serious amounts of money.

Horizon’s port helped propel the game’s total sales across an impressive benchmark: To date, it’s sold more than 20 million copies. And it’s not just Horizon that brings in a ton of money. In the investor brief, Sony estimates that its PC portfolio is on track to earn $300 million in revenue during the company’s 2022 fiscal year—more than triple the revenue from the same segment for its 2021 fiscal year, and close to 10 times the segment revenue from its 2020 fiscal year.

While this might largely be a “well, no shit!” type situation for us, turning the Titanic that is global strategic policy for a multifaceted and massive corporation isn’t fast or easy. We criticize Sony all the time when it does the dumb stuff, but we should also acknowledge that this move is pretty much great for everyone. More gamers get access to more games and Sony makes more money, allowing it to make more games.

I can’t seem to find anyone that loses in this scenario.

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Companies: sony

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Comments on “Sony’s Foray Into First Party Titles Going To The PC Market To Massively Expand”

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Anonymous Coward says:


I have never understood the mindset of anyone who cheers for console exclusivity out of meaningless fanboyism. It’s just not good business sense in the modern age when so many platforms are this ubiquitous, to limit your customer base. It hurts consumers and it hurts publishers. Nobody wins.

Rocky says:

Re: Re:

The stated reason for console-exclusivity is that without the exclusivity they wont recoup the real cost of the console, ie the console is actually sold at a loss and the exclusive games are supposed to help recoup that.

I guess there is (or was?) some truth in that but I have no idea how relevant that is today, especially if we consider the massive market-segment PC-players represent.

James Burkhardt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Microsoft has seemed to weather the change just fine. Per sale Licensing fees and game pass subscription revenue seem to have worked out to replace exclusives.

You have to understand that the game is no longer the money maker. Reliable subscription revenue (stable baseline) and microtransactions (nearly pure profit) are the leading drivers of game industry revenue. Sony’s subscription services appear to still be limited to the console, so the recurring subscription revenue would subsidize the console, allowing sony to continue to pull 30% cuts of digital sales and, importantly, microtransactions.

I don’t think it succeeds, but thats in part to sony being years too late and having cut themselves out of the cross play discussion.

Anonymous Coward says:

With the release of this news, it gives me hope that they’ll take the same mindset when they release the Playstation VR2 headset. As it now uses a single usb-c cable and has proper motion controllers it should be a lot easier to make it PC compatible.

As PC VR gamers are crying out for a next gen, decent priced VR headset, this could extend Sony’s market share even further.

Anonymous Coward says:

If you spend millions making games you may as well release them on pc , you open up new markets, not everyone likes to use consoles, also many pc games sell for years as new mods make them look better or add extra levels and maps that attract users. Consoles like the ps5 are basically pcs with extra DRM . It’s not hard to convert ps4, ps5 games to pc compatible games.

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Good luck with that.

Sony still faces a big content challenge and they haven’t done much to even address it!

Their censorship policies drove away a measurable number of developers and players.

The name and the sub-brands are now toxic to more than one group in the gaming community.
Despite still holding higher market share than the competition, they have lost many from the ps4 era.
Sales figures also fail to count how many people got pissed off and sold their unit. Or put it aside, or stopped buying more games for it.

So sure, fans of the games have another choice to platform. Maybe. The question is, does anyone else care?!
Time will tell.

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