Uncharted 4 Heads To PC As Sony Banks On PC Ports
With over 250% return on investment, who can blame them?
That gaming consoles are sold at a loss is the industry’s worst-kept secret. Hitting strategic price points have always cost console manufacturers like Sony and Microsoft. The lion’s share of PlayStation and Xbox revenue has always come from game sales and add-on content. And with former PlayStation exclusive Horizon: Zero Dawn’s incredible reception on PC, Sony seems to have learned the same lesson as Microsoft: more players equals more money.
The seismic shift towards an exclusive-less future has gained a second wind amidst chip shortages and a pandemic keeping people in their homes. In a reversal from the Xbox One days, Microsoft doubled down on making its games available on as many platforms as possible. Sony currently sticks to its tested formula of exclusive titles but that seems to be changing.
While a lack of exclusive titles might have put a dent in Xbox Series X|S sales, hardware sales were never profitable. On the flip side, with reportedly over 23 million subscribers, Microsoft’s $10 a month Game Pass subscription is raking in millions on both Xbox consoles and PCs. Its exclusives have now found a second home on computers. Sony wants a piece of that very pie. And it has the games to get it there.
For the players
In a presentation shared with investors, Sony seems to have realized the potential of tapping into a new userbase. Despite record sales, the Japanese giant understands that it cannot meet the PS5’s demand. The ordeal of actually getting your hands on a next-gen console is well-documented. And when you can’t get your consoles to people, one might as well reach the devices they already possess.
With Horizon: Zero Dawn’s port making waves with PC gamers, it’s no surprise that more ports are on the way. And that was despite numerous performance issues plaguing the action-adventure title. Days Gone launched with little fanfare on PC but its sales tell a different story, pointing to yet another success story for Sony. Think of the potential of a rock-solid AAA title developed with both PlayStation consoles and PCs in mind.
Uncharted remains one of PlayStation’s cornerstones, mixing blockbuster setpieces with heartfelt storytelling to spectacular effect. The once PS4/PS5 exclusive Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End making its way to PC is fantastic news. And while Sony veterans may sniff at the move, the 250% ROI carrot is one that no company can ignore. And with profits come the possibility of crafting even more evocative experiences for players.
True, some people buy consoles to get their hands on exclusive titles. But for players who pick consoles as affordable entries into gaming, the move benefits all parties involved. You don’t need to spring for a gaming PC when a $300 Xbox Series S or a $400 disc-less PlayStation 5 net you impressive visuals at silky-smooth frame rates. Sure, a PC performs better but at what cost?
Making its games available on PC could even help Sony improve PS5 sales once they’re back in stock. Gamers on a budget will most likely pick a PS5 over a gaming laptop or PC to access Sony’s exotic videogame library. And with the optimization wizardry that console exclusives are known for, Sony could even make a strong case for its console against absurdly powerful PCs.
Making more than double the money Sony invested into bringing Horizon: Zero Dawn to PC is intriguing news. And it means that Sony’s not just flirting with the idea of PC ports anymore. Sony is committed to the idea and I can’t wait to see what that means for the gaming industry as a whole. Perhaps E3 will bless PC gamers with games they never knew they wanted.