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New PlayStation exclusives and first-party studios key in Sony's PlayStation strategy

By leaning into (and continuing to improve) its brand strength, Sony aims to help PlayStation face off against increasing competition on PC and other platforms.

Sony is doubling down on the strength of its PlayStation brand, and expecting those investments to pay dividends as it moves into the next console generation with the launch of the PlayStation 5 later this year.

That continued focus is one of the core topics in Sony’s 2020 corporate report, a report that totes PlayStation’s plans for its first-party studios and their creations as a major part of its strategic direction moving forward both on its current PlayStation 4 platform and with the PS5.

By leaning into (and continuing to improve) that brand strength, Sony aims to help PlayStation face off against increasing competition on PC and other platforms. Part of that, as PlayStation execs have touched on before, means launching the PlayStation 5 as an innovative and “truly next-generation console.” While that chiefly means PlayStation doesn't share Xbox's vision for cross-generational game launches, Sony's future plans still keep the PlayStation 4 in mind

“Through introducing new technologies in speed, haptics and sound, we can further improve on the exclusive experience available on the PS4, and aim to make the PS5 a truly next-generation console by providing game experiences that were not possible before,” reads the report. “Games for the PS5 that deliver this new gaming experience are being made by first, second and third party developers, and we plan to introduce a compelling line-up of titles to our users.”

One note in particular from the report mentions Sony Interactive Entertainment’s plans to continue to pour resources into launching and enhancing exclusive PlayStation games, a bullet point that jives with what we’ve already seen from Sony moving into this new console generation.  

Sony mentions earlier on that first-party titles are specifically particularly important “for future value-creation and earnings,” and that thanks to that its future plans include continuing to invest in its current corral of 14 studios under the PlayStation Worldwide Studios umbrella, or eye investments of “firms with abundant creativity and cutting-edge technologies” to build out that brand even further.

“To reinforce content IP, SIE will accelerate the enhancement and rollout of its portfolio of exclusive PlayStation titles,” reads the report. “As a result of cooperation with in-house development and partner companies, sellthrough of PS4 software titles continues to grow, and the intention is to further enhance the lineup with compelling content.“

The ultimate goal here, and for much of the PlayStation-focused parts of the report, is for PlayStation to boost active users and play time across the board by giving players more and more reasons to live primarily in the PlayStation ecosystem.

But while PlayStation talks eagerly about leaning into exclusives for this generation, there’s also talk of letting that exclusive status fade from older PlayStation games. Two former PlayStation exclusives, Horizon Zero Dawn and Death Stranding, have already gone on to release for PC after first having launched only on PlayStation 4. While Sony hasn’t committed to the idea of giving more games a similar treatment, it does note that it plans to “explore expanding our first party titles to the PC platform, in order to promote further growth in our profitability.”

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