Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) boss Shawn Layden yesterday alluded to the possibility that first-party PlayStation titles may soon launch on PC. While there’s nothing clear to go on just yet, the move would make perfect sense for the company as it prepares for the next console war with Microsoft.
The news comes from Business Insider’s Christopher Palmeri who reported that Layden, in an interview, said:
We must support the PlayStation platform — that is nonnegotiable. That said, you will see in the future some titles coming out of my collection of studios which may need to lean into a wider installed base.
This, of course, doesn’t indicate that the company’s gone all-in on the PC platform (nor is it any kind of official announcement – take it with a grain of salt or two). But it’s probably the clearest sign yet that the company’s continuing to reconsider its begrudging support for cross-platform play in a major way. And it’s likely we have the success of multiplayer titles like Fortnite to thank.
Sony doesn’t have any problems selling first-party games and, traditionally, those games aren’t available anywhere else. That’s been good for the PlayStation brand for a very long time, keeping it at the top of the console charts. But Microsoft’s Xbox brand has come for the throne as of late with some incredible cross-platform support that integrates a large number of Microsoft first-party titles seamlessly between Xbox and PC.
If Sony makes the move to launch first-party titles on PC it could be big for the company, and huge one for gamers– we all win when there’s more options to play together. And, despite the fact that the company’s largely ignored the PC audience to date, the timing seems pretty good. We’re somewhere around a year or so out from the next console generation – if you figure that both Microsoft and Sony want to be in stores by the 2020 holiday season. It’s almost certain that Xbox will tout cross-platform play with PC – to include Xbox Game Pass and most first-party titles – as a major selling point over the PlayStation 5.
And it could work. Sony’s still king of the consoles, but Microsoft’s made progress year over year. Plus, it’s not like Sony is a stranger to cross-platform play. The PlayStation Vita lets gamers take some console games on the go and the PS Now subscription service allows gamers to play more than 600 PlayStation titles on PC – but they’re mostly older titles and they can’t be purchased for PC-play individually.
Alternately, Xbox titles such as Forza Horizon 4, State of Decay 2, and dozens of other titles support “Play Anywhere,” a feature that allows gamers to play compatible games on a Windows PC or Xbox with seamless integration of save files and full cross-platform multiplayer support.
We’ve reached out to Sony for more information and will update this article if we hear anything. In the meantime, what first-party PlayStation title would you most like to see supported on PC? I’ll go with Persona 5 Royal (not technically first-party, but I can dream) and MLB: The Show 20.