Some Sony first-party PlayStation exclusives coming to PC

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by Shifty Geezer, Jan 16, 2020.

  1. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    That's true, but you need to look at the wider financials to see if Sony will ever go all in or not. If releasing their IPs to PC undermines the reasons to buy their hardware, the end result is a net negative. That's why 'experimentation' at this point makes more sense then, "yes, we're going to release every game day one on PC." Sony need to see what PC sales are like, and whether the hardware is weakened, and whether a transition to PC will be ultimately more profitable. Realstically at the moment, that's a definite 'no'. Sony get annual subs for online gaming which they won't get from PC players, and 30% from everything sold on their store which is the exclusive portal, versus whatever they may be competing with on their own PC store-front. If one console generates more money than two PCs, moving to PC doesn't make sense.
     
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  2. PSman1700

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    Optimally, they could gain a market share in PC gaming, while keeping the hardware users. Ports would be a added bonus then.
     
  3. goonergaz

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    You're obviously free to agree with whoever you want. Phil Spencer has his strategy and Sony have theirs...Sony seem to be doing fine woth their strategy at the moment, MS however have had to change tactic as they were not doing very well. Either way, what works for one is not the answer for all (see Nintendo).

    Also I'm not surprised GG dev and CEO of GoW would want their games on other formats, that's a no brainer and very self centered PoV...much like any 'artist' you would want your work appreciated by as many people as possible...what else are they going to say?
     
  4. goonergaz

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    If Sony go the route of MS then I will sell all consoles and get a PC - I will then only buy the games I want which will ultimately mean less money in Sonys pocket from me.
     
  5. PSman1700

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    Sony is doing well with their AAA games because they are great games, it is not neccesary thanks to them being locked down to one platform. MS hasn't got a very great AAA output, if they were excellent games, they would have sold well. The reason that their AAA games aren't as great isn't thanks to them being on the pc also.

    But if Sony still has excellent AAA games, that later see a pc port, you still wouldn't buy a PS anymore?

    If Sony ever entertains the idea of extending the PSN service to the PC platform, Sony could be in a profitable position even there.
     
  6. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    Yes, if it works out well. However, no-one knows if that'd be the outcome, or what the impact would actually be. Hence a need for experimentation rather than a complete commitment to a transition to PC publisher. It's not an argument that one way or the other is clearly better, but which what will be the economic sweat-spot for Sony. Quite possibly, that's releasing 3 year old 10 million sellers only.
     
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  7. PSman1700

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    True, only time will tell how things work out for Sony. They will do what offers the best economics for them.

    That's what i think will be the best situation for Sony.
     
  8. goonergaz

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    Maybe, but it could be argued Sony have created a brand/game style that fits into it's PlayStation fan base. Moving to PC widens that audience and makes it harder to focus.

    I will have a choice of all games available, therefore I will naturally by less Sony games - and worse, any 3rd party games I buy Sony will get nothing from me whereas at the moment they get a cut.

    PSN is for playing games online, that's free on PC - or are you suggesting Sony introduce a paywall for their online games?

    Which is the not Phils idea...I thought you agreed with Phil?
     
  9. Silent_Buddha

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    Big difference between Windows being a Microsoft IP and Microsoft owning the platform in the same way that Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo own their respective console platforms.

    On console platforms, the platform owner gets a share of the sales generated by ALL game sales on that platform.

    On the Windows platform, Microsoft does NOT get a share of the sales generated by ALL games sales on the platform.

    Thus...
    • Unless Sony releases HZD in the Windows Store, this is basically 100% (OK maybe 99% if someone wants to be pedantic) not Sony releasing a title on Microsoft's platform.
      • Microsoft benefits in almost no way from HZD appearing on Windows compared to if it was released on Xbox. Any additional Windows license sales due to someone not owning a Windows PC now owning a Windows PC because of HZD is a miniscule (statistically insignificant) drop in the bucket.
    • Sony can release HZD in their own store, which nets them the majority of the benefits that they would get by releasing on PlayStation.
      • The biggest benefit is that they retain all sales of the title.
      • However, they potentially don't gain the benefit of additional platform sales revenue if the person got a PlayStation and started to buy titles on PlayStation instead of PC.
        • While they might get more revenue from 1st party exclusives, they could do that by releasing on PC as well.
        • As to 3rd party revenue. If someone also has a gaming PC, what are the chances they are going to now buy multiplatform games on PlayStation instead of PC? Probably slim.
    • If Sony wants to maximize sales of HZD on PC, they'll want to release on Steam as well as their own storefront.
      • They lose 30% of each sale, but they gain access to a far larger audience of PC buyers.
      • They could release on other stores as well but expect lower sales if it isn't also on Steam.
      • Microsoft still doesn't get anything from HZD (or other Sony exclusives) being on PC.
    Oh, but doom and gloom if Sony starts selling games on PC.
    • How many people got a console because they couldn't justify the cost of gaming on a gaming capable PC?
      • None of those people are going to ditch PlayStation and get a PC.
    • How many people are gaming on both a PC and PlayStation?
      • Chances are these people are already playing all their multiplatform games on PC.
      • This means that Sony loses nothing by selling their 1st party exclusives on PC if they only sell the title in their own store.
      • If Sony sells in other stores and whether they lose money will come down to accounting.
        • Does sellnig in other stores gain them more operating profit despite the loss of up to 30% of each sale? IE - if they manage to sell many more compies on another storefront they could still make more money than if they sold less titles on their own storefront while keeping 100% of each sale.
      • How many people can afford to buy a gaming PC by don't game on PC choosing to instead game on PlayStation and buy all of their games on PlayStation purely because of the exclusives? Again, probably a statistically small number.
    These are all things that Sony are likely looking at.

    If we look at the PS4-P, I'm sure someone at Sony are weighing the pros and cons of what is the better strategy.
    • Investing hundreds of millions of USD in a mid gen platform to hypothetically keep people from going to PC?
    • Instead, invest a few 10's of millions of USD to port their 1st party exclusives to PC and retain revenue from those people?
    Important to that discussion is data that Sony now has because of PS4-P.
    • How many people that got a PS4 prior to PS4-P are still buying multiplatform titles on a PS4 platform?
      • To gauge how many players moved from buying all their games on PS4 to only buying exclusives on PS4.
    • How many PS4-P players are buying multiplatform titles on PS4-P?
      • This gives them data on whether the PS4-P was effective in keeping players from getting a gaming PC.
      • IE - for consumers that bought multiplatform games at the start of the generation on PS4, are they still buying multiplatform games on PS4-P?
    That will be important for them in determining whether it's better to invest 100's of millions of USD to keep players from migrating off of PlayStation (for multiplatform game revenue) or to investigate spending say a million USD to port a game to PC?

    The PC experiment, IMO, comes down to this...
    • How profitable can a game be if released on PC?
      • In this case, if released years after release on PlayStation.
    • Does this bring any new consumers to PlayStation?
    The answers to those questions will determine whether this is a one time thing, whether Sony expands on it, or whether Sony eventually adopts a similar position as Microsoft. Note that those 2 questions aren't mutually exclusive. A title could sell exceedingly well on PC and bring in new consumers to PlayStation consoles and Sony could potentially still decide to expand upon this experiment because the revenue generated on PC was significant compared to how many new consumers get a PlayStation. IE - if those new users continue to get all of their multiplatform games on PC, then Sony would get the same benefit by just selling the game on PC.

    And all of this comes down to the same reasons, IMO, that they released the PS4-P in the first place. How do they maximize profits?

    Regards,
    SB
     
    #489 Silent_Buddha, Mar 11, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2020
  10. Silent_Buddha

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    My experience has been different. After being forced to use EGS because the Phoenix Point developers broke their crowd funding promise to release on Steam and GoG, I picked up a few free games on EGS.

    But after using EGS, I can't stand the platform and I've since removed it which also removed my access to Phoenix Point and all it's DLC. And because of this whole debacle, I'm unlikely to ever buy another title from the Phoenix Point developers. All the free games in the world aren't worth using this shitty (IMO) storefront.

    Choice is good, IMO. Removal of choice will just piss people (like me), off. Especially when I had paid for something that was supposed to be on my platform of choice.

    Had the original Kickstarter mentioned it would only be available on EGS, no problem. I just wouldn't have bothered with it, just like I don't bother buying anything on console or titles exclusive to say, EA's Origin store. But that's not how things went down.

    Bleh.

    On a side note, I'm not a GoG customer although I admire what they are doing, but the recent work they are doing on their storefront and launcher have me seriously considering using their storefront. Now, THAT is how you get someone to use your store. Give them a good reason to use it that doesn't involve monopolistic strongarm practices.

    Regards,
    SB
     
    #490 Silent_Buddha, Mar 11, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2020
  11. PSman1700

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    They are not moving to pc, they are, or are experimenting with extending to pc.

    Yes in a way. But PSN isn't only for playing games online, it is a service, for now tied to one device mostly.

    I did agree on Phil, when he wondered why an individual user would cancel his/her preorder based on the game being available elsewhere. MS has their strategy and will probably differ from Sony's.

    @Silent_Buddha

    Completely agree with you. Also, the PC gaming market is rather big too, getting a big chunck of that market to PS boxes seems abit far away. Expanding the PS market to PC could be a good experiment for Sony.
    In the future, i think hardware boxes like they are now are getting less important to both Sony and MS, having all your games on just one device isn't always going to be it, i think.
    The most reasonable seems that Sony would release their AAA games on pc after say 3 years, when sales on PS are exhausted, a port could gain more sales. Porting isn't that complicated as before, keeping costs down. A PS Store on pc could also be an idea, exclusives like HZD, detroid, GoW, spiderman could attract users, if the store is well done.
     
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  12. Silent_Buddha

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    The PC market is large, yes. But it's also fragmented. I'd wager that more than half of the market isn't capable of console (whatever the current gen console is at the time) level graphics, especially at the start of a console generation.

    Additionally, PC gamers can be fickle and they are very demanding. For, example, PC gamers and UBIsoft have had a roller coaster relationship. PC gamers turned on them after their PC debacles with Watch Dogs, AC: Unity, and the Far Cry game during that same period of time. But they love them now due to how UBIsoft has redone how they approach and treat PC gamers. Still not great at times, but the best of the large western publishers.

    And that has a direct impact on how well a title will do on PC.

    Regards,
    SB
     
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  13. Shifty Geezer

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    It mostly is. I don't know that anyone subs to PSN without playing online for the included games. And those games only really make sense as long as Sony is in control of them on that platform. So what if Game X is free on PSN when it was only $5 in a Steam sale or part of a Humble Bundle? I don't think PC gamers would pay a $50 a year subscription for a random collection of games. I doubt PS owners would either! The fee is for online play with parties and chat, which PC has covered other ways.

    Obviously any moves Sony makes to profit from PC is good so long as it doesn't devalue the consoles. What proportion of PS owners would refrain from buying one when they know games will come (eventually) to PC?
     
    #493 Shifty Geezer, Mar 11, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2020
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  14. PSman1700

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    That's still a rather large market :) Although most PC's should atleast match or exceed base PS4 by now, but that's at the end of the generation then. At the start of the generation PS5, most PS users will be left on the PS4 for a while to come i think. Those 100+ million users aren't going to upgrade day one. I probably will though :p

    True, a bad port won't do any stellar sales.

    Good question. Remains to be seen, most of those 100 million owners aren't having a PS4 for the exclusives, so i doubt Sony will see a large drop in sales if ALL their aaa games drop on pc three years after release on PS. Hardcore fans of say GoW probably don't want to wait that long to be able to play it, while pc gamers perhaps do, even if they have played it on PS. I myself own HZD for (base) PS4, and would buy it again on pc, if the price is right, i probably wouldn't like to pay full price. Had i not played/owned it before, i wouldn't mind it as much to pay full price.

    Complicated, time will tell how things turn out. Seems Sony doesn't know either hence the experimenting.
     
  15. DSoup

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    Just for clarity's sake, are you saying that Sony should not release Horizon Zero Dawn on PC unless they release all their other exclusives as well?

    Who did this?
     
  16. RobertR1

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    They can do whatever they want. My preference is that if you're going to release games as multi platform, do so in a regular cadence. Even if you set an expectation of a 6 month or 12 month delay post console release, then stick to it for all your core games. Don't randomly pick a game at a random time and decide to make it multi platform.


    You haven't publishers or studios complain about PC uptake when releasing half ass unpolished ports that don't work? but they blame the audience and piracy instead?
     
  17. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    Why? If you set a regular cadence as you suggest, you are announcing the redundancy of your console hardware to PC gamers. If you still want people to buy the console, you don't release all games and just release a few now and then based on individual merit.
     
  18. RobertR1

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    I dont' see how it's going to move the needle. Releasing just a random game that's already aged to get PC gamers to buy into your platform?

    Sounds like one of those board meeting circle jerks not baked in reality.
     
  19. Shifty Geezer

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    Such a move probably wouldn't be about moving people onto your platform and just be a way to generate a better ROI for an already sunk investment. There are several different strategies that could be attempted to increase PS profitability, each with their own risk/reward potential. Random title releases is low risk, low reward - a safe way to make more money from some titles without threatening the core hardware business.
     
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  20. chris1515

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    And one with a engine ported to PC for another game (Death Stranding).
     
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