Sony Studio Acquisition Of Nixxes May Portend Company Opening Up The PlayStation's Walled Garden To PC Gaming

from the finally dept

Late last year, we discussed Sony's corporate report on where its income sources were detailed out and laid bare the fact that the biggest revenue generator for the company was in gaming. We noted at the time that what made all of this really interesting is that this revenue generation occurred under Sony's famous walled-garden policies, where the company went to great lengths to silo its own games into the PlayStation console while also trying to gobble up exclusives for the PlayStation. Coinciding with all of this, though, were some cracks starting to form in that policy. Sony finally opened up games on the PlayStation to cross-platform online play, allowed the PlayStation Now service to run on PCs, and even moved some of its first-party titles onto other platforms, such as having MLB: The Show appearing on the Xbox for the first time and Horizon: Zero Dawn getting a belated PC release.

But those are toe-in-the-water type things. It would be reasonable for anyone to wonder just how committed Sony was going to be in opening up the garden and exploring a wider program of getting first-party games on other platforms. Well, Sony just announced the acquisition of gaming studio Nixxes and it sure looks like it's the answer to those concerns, given what Nixxes does.

If the name Nixxes doesn't ring a bell for most gamers, that's because the studio hasn't developed any original projects in its over-20-year history. Instead, Nixxes has primarily specialized in creating a variety of PC and console ports for games from the likes of Eidos Montreal and Crystal Dynamics (both now Square Enix subsidiaries).

That makes Nixxes an especially intriguing acquisition for Sony, which has been slowly dipping an increasing number of toes into the PC gaming space in recent years. After Horizon: Zero Dawn hit the PC last year, Sony said in its annual report that it "will explore expanding our 1st party titles to the PC platform in order to promote further growth in our profitability." Then, in May, Sony listed Uncharted 4 under the "more PC releases planned" section of an investor report, alongside the recent PC port of former PlayStation exclusive Days Gone.

Save for some sort of mystery work nobody could see coming, it appears that there is exactly one reason why a company like Sony would acquire a studio like Nixxes: to bring PlayStation games to the PC. And, while there is a long history of console ports on PC being done quite poorly, Nixxes actually has a pretty good reputation when it comes to this sort of thing.

So what does this mean? Well, at the very least it portends that we're all going to see a real-time experiment performed by a company that has preferred to have an iron grip on its IP, and what it will do to revenue to slacken that grip. It will come as no surprise to readers here that it is my belief that this will be an absolute boon to revenues. The days of console exclusives are waning. The days of the public having little choice when it comes to options in the gaming space are gone. In its place is an industry where opening things up for fans to give them plenty of options and choice in how to spend their money with you is quickly becoming the norm.

While I'm happy to criticize Sony when the company deserves it, it's worth recognizing that these sorts of culture shifts cannot be easy to pull off. If Sony is actually going to go head first into a new way of operating, I'll be here cheering them on and hoping for its success.

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Filed Under: cross platform, playstation, walled garden
Companies: nixxes, sony


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2021 @ 8:34pm

    God I hope so. There are so many interesting Playstation games that should have come to PC already.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 8 Jul 2021 @ 9:12pm

    One does wonder if this sort of forward thinking will spread.

    I get why they like consoles, one set of hardware no surprises.
    I've always wondered why they didn't just build 1 console.
    Share the dev costs to make the next one bigger & better, while not having to fight over acquiring exclusives.
    1 platform means even small studios know the limits of what they can do, so there might be more games written meaning more income.
    They can have their brand flagship games (resident evil/halo/etc) but more games means they might discover the next halo franchise without having to put money into development.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2021 @ 9:19pm

    Oh, the plain input form is back to blocked out of sight!

    Got in first click prior today, but now several attempts, so trying this. The mysterious "spam filter" is evidently back up -- because Techdirt can't stand any dissent.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jul 2021 @ 8:44am

      Re: Oh, the plain input form is back to blocked out of sight!

      Where's your proof? Or did you just pull that outta your ass, spammer?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 12 Jul 2021 @ 5:16am

      Re: Oh, the plain input form is back to blocked out of sight!

      Well, yeah, normal people run into it at least once in ten posting attempts.

      The difference between us and you being that we just sit back and wait whereas you try to hammer another fifteen comments through, teaching the filter that anything from that ip address is spam.

      That and you using the "poor man's proxy" means it's already a miracle that any of your comments are let through. An unholy one I'd gather since no one appreciates reading the demented ravings of a lunatic unable to write a single line without lying.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2021 @ 9:20pm

    "toe-in-the-water type things" are NOT "head first"

    First, your verbosity removes the last shred of vivacity from trite phrases. It's surely all alcohol-in-the-brain type thing.


    And I'm IN after prior blocking...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2021 @ 9:22pm

      Re: "toe-in-the-water type things" are NOT "head

      You clearly just copied the "toes" bit from block quote:

      Sony, which has been slowly dipping an increasing number of toes

      [Lousy writers abound among woozy leftists / lazy gamers. Makes a bad mental image, should be replaced because trite, or at least some version of "deeper", not invoke image of a monster with indefinite number of toes...]


      Which means that it's not any sort of rational literal straight-forward keywords type "filter", but some sort of AI that attempts to block -- nominally "spam" but usually catches me -- then lets the same text through after a "trick"! Weird, like all of Techdirt.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 8 Jul 2021 @ 11:14pm

        Re: Re: "toe-in-the-water type things" are NOT "h

        ""Which means that it's not any sort of rational literal straight-forward keywords type "filter", but some sort of AI that attempts to block -- nominally "spam" but usually catches me -- then lets the same text through after a "trick"!"

        You've literally been told how the filter operates many times in the past, and now you're trying to "guess" during an argument with yourself but still get it wrong ? Wow...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Graham R Nazee, 8 Jul 2021 @ 11:39pm

        Re: Re: "toe-in-the-water type things" are NOT

        Of course it is quite reasonable to stand at the edge of a body of water and dip your toes in to test the water, then dive forward (head-first) from that position once you are satisfied it is safe enough. As opposed to standing at the edge then sliding or dropping, or being lowered, in.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 12 Jul 2021 @ 5:23am

        Re: Re: "toe-in-the-water type things" are NOT "h

        "Lousy writers abound among woozy leftists"

        Referring to yourself? You are one of the rare few to persistently hammer out lines from The Communist Manifesto to back your assertions.

        "Which means that it's not any sort of rational literal straight-forward keywords type "filter""

        No, you've been told a few times how standard filters operate. And yet like a child with bad potty training you just keep shitting in your pants.

        Fork out the moola for a decent VPN rather than keep using Tor anbd you'll find many of those issues you keep having will go away since Tor exit nodes keep ending up in firewall software as suspect.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2021 @ 9:22pm

      Re: "toe-in-the-water type things" are NOT "head

      Worst, you witlessly reverse from Sony cautious to being reckless:

      If Sony is actually going to go head first into a new way of operating,

      SIMPLY BAD WRITING. Give up, Geigner. You've been putting out text here for over a decade now, yet confuse toes and head.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jul 2021 @ 12:40am

        Re: Re: "toe-in-the-water type things" are NOT "h

        Ha, you whiney prick, you say Tim has bad writing, you've been leaving your mind shits here for years and still haven't managed to say anything.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Lostinlodos (profile), 12 Jul 2021 @ 11:59am

        Re: Re: "toe-in-the-water type things" are NOT "h

        Are you just trying to test the filters? Or are you implying something?
        Because Marmaduke and Lady Bell retired the yellow dress when the shag went under.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jul 2021 @ 11:31am

    Theres 2 xbox models , one with no disc drive,
    we need competition,
    xbox one wanted more online drm for all games
    sony said you are welcome to give a ps4 game on disc to anyone.
    consoles are now using standard pc cpus, and grahics cards,
    it does,nt cost much to develop a game for ps5 into a PC game.
    sony may as well get more revenue from pc game releases maybe a year
    after games are released on ps5,
    also many people cannot afford to buy a new ps5 console.
    nintendo does not make hd 4k consoles so they dont really compete
    with xbox or ps5.
    theres more pc game players than sony console users .

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Darkness Of Course (profile), 9 Jul 2021 @ 11:32am

    Sony profits

    The PS4, and the games associated with it have been generating profit for the entire Corp for a few years.

    Their corpo-rat mindset was to license all their brilliant stuff and then, apparently, sit on their butts and cash the checks. Sadly HDMI, and Blue-Ray are not the guaranteed money trains they planned on.

    Next thing I hear they put the Play Station head in as CEO, then Sony was profitable again. Mighty Sony, needing consoles and video games to be profitable. Wonderful. Sad to an extent. Yeah, all that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Lostinlodos (profile), 10 Jul 2021 @ 9:06am

    Wrong premise?

    This is more likely to do with the change in instruction set architecture in my opinion. After 2 decades of watching emulators do what they couldn’t as a company, pc play, the nearly off the shelf hardware makes PC play really simple.
    Even the 4 was still dependent on custom instruction that was less than direct to PC.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 12 Jul 2021 @ 5:11am

    Sony and PC gaming?

    Grand.

    In other words Sony now offers to bundle game executables with the Rootkit?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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