Sony is gearing up for the release of its next-generation PlayStation 5 console, currently scheduled to release towards the end of 2020. Sony remains committed to that release window, even in the face of supply chain challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Speaking to gamesindustry.biz, Sony gave an update on some of its plans related to their first-party games in the future.
As part of their preparation for the next console generation, they have announced revised branding for games released by their internal first-party studios. Games developed by the likes of Naughty Dog (Uncharted, The Last Of Us), Media Molecule (Little Big Planet, Dreams), Guerrilla Games (Killzone, Horizon Zero Dawn) and Insomniac Games (Ratchet & Clank, Marvel’s Spider-Man) will now all be branded as “PlayStation Studios” games. They’ve had an excellent run of releasing loads of great PS4 exclusive games in recent years, and perhaps the hope here is to signify to players a commitment to continue that into the future.
Going forward, all games developed by Sony’s internal studios will start with a splash screen, highlighting some of the characters from their most beloved games. Eric Lempel, who is the Senior Vice President and Head of Global Marketing at Sony Interactive Entertainment said the following:
“We have been thinking about how we unite all of these great games under one brand, and really the purpose of that is to make the consumer understand that, when they see this brand, they’re getting ready for a robust, innovative, deep experience that they’ve come to expect from games coming from PlayStation. So we came up with PlayStation Studios.”
We did hear back in March that Horizon Zero Dawn is going to be getting a release on PC, something that seemed perhaps unthinkable not that long ago. Perhaps it was a unique situation because Sony was already going to be working on porting the Decima engine used by Horizon Zero Dawn over to PC for the release of Death Stranding on PC. Death Stranding is releasing on PC, but it’s being published by 505 Games rather than Sony, so it did come as a surprise when Sony announced that they would be releasing Horizon Zero Dawn on PC. At the time, Sony said:
“And to maybe put a few minds at ease, releasing one first-party AAA title to PC doesn’t necessarily mean that every game now will come to PC. In my mind, Horizon Zero Dawn was just a great fit in this particular instance. We don’t have plans for day and date [PC releases], and we remain 100% committed to dedicated hardware.”
It left plenty of wiggle room for it to either be a one-off experiment, or the start of a broader new initiative of bringing many of their games to PC.
Currently, any first-party games published on PC by Sony are released under the somewhat confusing “PlayStation Mobile, Inc.” label, including the four games they currently have listed on Steam. This stems from the simple fact that for the first few games they released on Steam, mostly smaller games, the release was handled by the PlayStation Mobile division. Perhaps because of their experience working with third-party digital storefronts such as Google Play and Apple App Store.
Could part of the goal of this PlayStation Studios branding to formulate a consistent brand that can be used for game releases across other platforms? Horizon Zero Dawn will be launching on PC before the PlayStation Studios has launched, so it will miss the boat, but a subtle detail revealed about this new branding initiative suggests that Sony might be thinking about more future releases on PC.
As per the gamesindustry.biz report, Sony has said that “any future games it releases on other platforms will also carry the branding”. “Other platforms” is obviously fairly open-ended, but it’s not a huge stretch to imagine this would include bringing their other games over to PC too. Perhaps they’re still dipping their toe in, and I don’t think any exclusive games they hope to use to sell people on PS5 consoles will be their first priority for porting over, but the door is open now, who knows what else could walk through it.
We’d love to see more of Sony’s first-party games hit the almighty grey tower. The idea of being able to bump up the frame rate, resolution, and image quality on games like Bloodborne, Spider-Man and Uncharted is extremely appealing, but it’s also somewhat clear that Sony is only interested in a cautious approach to bringing games over to PC. They would not want to do so at the expense of a compelling selling point for their very successful line of games consoles.
What do you think: Could this be a sign of future plans for Sony to release more first-party games on PC? Are there any formerly PlayStation only games you’d love to play a PC port of? Would you be more or less inclined to buy a PlayStation console if you could get some of Sony’s games on PC instead? Give us your take in the comments.