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Sony wants its PC ports to help drive PlayStation 5 sales

PlayStation wants to have the best of console and PC worlds with its first-party release approach, but how effective is it really?

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

May 30, 2024

2 Min Read
Jin Sakai in key art for 2020's Ghost of Tsushima.
Image via Sucker Punch/PlayStation.

During a recent business segment meeting, Sony Interactive's Herman Hulst opened up on the company's approach to PC versions of its first-party titles.

Hulst, who'll be co-CEO of PlayStation starting in June, explained single-player games will come to PC after their initial PlayStation 5 launch to drive PC players to buy a console.

Live-service games like Helldivers 2 will have simultaneous launches on both systems. Arrowhead's multiplayer shooter benefitted greatly from the same-day launch and quickly succeeded initial sales projections.

Speaking to the "dual approach," Hulst called those narrative-based games "the backbone of PlayStation Studios. [...] We’re finding new audiences that are potentially going to be very interested in playing sequels on the PlayStation platform."

That same method also applies to how it handles adaptations. TV shows and movies like The Last of Us and Gran Turismo allow PlayStation to "bring new players into our franchises."

Hideaki Nishino, head of PlayStation's platform experience team, noted that players who "focus on PC, if they find value, will go to console. So rather than cannibalization, I think this is an opportunity for growth."

PlayStation needs PC, but does PC need PlayStation?

On its face, Sony's first-party strategy sounds like a solid compromise that keeps those games special to both PS5 and PC. That said, it also butt ups against the performance of those single-player games when coming to computers.

Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered (which came to PS5 in 2020) was ported to PC in 2022 and had the second-largest PlayStation launch on Steam behind God of War (2018). More recently, Ghost of Tsushima's port opened to just over 77,000 players, and that game is nearly four years old.

PC players appear more than willing to wait for ports if the game is good enough or is held in strong regard. Unlike with consoles, there isn't really a worry of a port feeling lesser by being cross-gen.

This is to say nothing of how the PlayStation 5 will be four years old at the end of the year and has yet to see a significant price drop beyond $50.

Outside of Marvel's Spider-Man 2 and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, Sony has also yet to release a sequel that didn't have a PlayStation 4 equivalent, which also undermines its plans.

Sequels can be a driver to players buying more consoles. But in this instance, Sony is butting up against a similar problem as Microsoft: whether the console feels "necessary" to console players or the PC audience it's trying to court.

Read more about:

[Company] PlayStation

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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