With its recent high profile PC releases of formerly exclusive games like God of War and Horizon Zero Dawn, Sony seems to be making a shift to marketing its video game arm as a hybrid console-PC company. Now, newly datamined files pointing to a PlayStation PC game launcher could mean the company wants to ape Xbox in bridging to the computer-based market.
In the days following launch, dataminers found files that referenced a “PlayStation PC Launcher” in Sony’s latest port of Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered, VGC reports. The publication says it has confirmed and verified the files in question, though Gizmodo has not been able to independently verify them. However, this follows on the heels of clues coming out of a web (pun intended) of files conspicuously left inside Sony’s latest port that showed the company may let users link their PlayStation Network accounts to their PC games.
It’s still up in the air whether this means Sony wants to create its own PC launcher/store page, then make its games exclusive to that platform. Of course, users absolutely “love” loading up a game on Steam or the Epic Store only to have that point to another, sluggish launcher, so we hope the company will learn from others’ failures. Sony also has a lot of ground to cover compared to the competition. Microsoft is already far ahead of Sony with its PC-Xbox Live account integration.
It’s clear that there’s an audience for PlayStation exclusive games in the PC market, and the company is making its ambitions clear with its own PlayStation for PC page. Sony’s God of War and Horizon Zero Dawn both proved to be top sellers on the platform. The company showed back in May that, in just two months, the former sold around 971,000 units in the two or so months it’s been available. Meanwhile, the latter has sold just under 2.4 million copies over the past year and a half. Sony also expects sales of its PC titles to exceed $300 million this year. The company apparently wants half of its game library on PC by 2025.
And if concurrent players are any indication, Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered is already a big hit, with around 66,000 players swinging around the streets of Manhattan during peak play time on Sunday.
That said, the number of Sony-exclusive games re-released on PC is minimal compared to its competitors, with only six first-party games available on both Steam and Epic Store. Any new launcher would need to also integrate third-party games to make it worthwhile, although it’s possible that Sony could add some depth to a PC launcher by integrating Playstation Plus’ Xbox Game Pass-like features into it.
It may be a way for the company that’s been hard pressed to produce enough PS5s to meet demand to actually create buzz for its exclusive content. The company has said it wants to rapidly increase production this year, but a move to PC ports will still make its games far more accessible.
Executives have said that by expanding onto PC, they can go from having access to a “very narrow” segment of players to a much larger one. Well, no duh. It’s strange how long Sony has resisted allowing PC gamers access to the company’s library. Maybe that’s because of how deeply entrenched Microsoft, its chief rival in the gaming console space, is in PCs. Last year, Jim Ryan—Sony Interactive’s CEO— told GQ that while the cost of making games has gone up, “our ease of making it [exclusive games] available to non-console owners has grown.”