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Trying to push players over from PC to console is a terrible idea, PlayStation

Hermen Hulst's announcement will be a bitter-sweet moment for PC gamers.
Last Updated on May 31, 2024
A man with short hair and a serious expression, possibly the new CEO, is looking into the camera against a blue-grey background.
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Sony PlayStation’s new co-CEO in waiting, Hermen Hulst, has revealed the company’s new approach to encourage PC gamers to switch over to PS5 and it has caused quite the stir. In a video filmed at Sony Business Briefing and shared on X by The Verge’s Tom Warren (@tomwarren) that has already garnered over 3 million views, Hulst announced PlayStation’s plans to “release titles simultaneously day and date on PS5 and PC” which is welcome news for PC gamers who have often had to wait for several years for PlayStation games to be made available to them, as was the case with the recent PC release of Ghost of Tsuhima: Directors Cut a full four years after it’s initial release on PlayStation.

However it turned out to be a bitter-sweet moment for PC gamers as Hulst also intimated that the sequels to these games would only be available on the PlayStation console, in a move that is sure to frustrate PC users by effectively dangling the carrot of exciting new titles only to block PC access to the franchise after the first iteration. With PC users happy to purchase Sony’s games once they become available on their chosen platform, it feels like Sony could be overestimating the PS5’s appeal to PC gamers.

This sentiment seems to be backed up by the multitude of gamers taking to X to question the logic of PlayStation’s strategy, with one user Jake (@FSAPOJake) summing up the general consensus ‘Not sure how well this strategy will work out for them (getting PC gamers to buy PS5s). The entire point of them releasing games on PC is because the vast vast majority of PC gamers don’t buy consoles, for any game.’

Why Sony has suddenly changed tack with bringing games to PC

Sony’s attitude seems to have shifted somewhat over recent years, bringing many of their exclusive titles over to PC, and even releasing some games such as Helldivers 2 on PS5 and PC simultaneously. PlayStation has obviously cottoned on to the huge potential in the PC gamers market and is now attempting to lure them into popular gaming franchises on their preferred PC platform and then anticipating that they will be so invested in that narrative that they will jump ship over to PS5 when the sequels aren’t available on PC.

Personally, that seems like a bit of a leap. The majority of PC gamers are happy with their chosen platform and the greater customization, versatility, and improved graphics potential on offer with PC, and that view seems to be backed up by the pushback to Hermen Hulst’s announcement this week. Sony remains confident however, with Hulst stating “We have high hopes that we’re actually able to bring new players into PlayStation at large, but into PlayStation platforms specifically.”

PlayStation and Xbox are doing things differently

With PlayStation announcing its own future tactics to draw more users to its platform, Microsoft’s Xbox is going about things altogether differently. Xbox has, by its own admission, been struggling to grow its user base, particularly in Europe, and is moving towards a more multiplatform release strategy for its games. Xbox Game Pass, despite its flaws, gives users the opportunity to purchase games regardless of platform preference, and as more of its catalog of games become available as multi-platform offerings this gives gamers the choice to enjoy their favorite titles on their preferred machine, which seems more democratic.

Hulst also revealed that PlayStation hopes to further grow and diversify its user base via TV shows based on its most successful game franchises, on the back of titles that have successfully migrated from console to screen like The Last of Us and Fallout, bringing in a whole new global fanbase, which is a tried and tested formula.

Only time will tell if Sony’s strategy will be successful, but PC gamers can be a stubborn bunch, loyal to their platforms, and the plans to titillate us with a taste of Sony’s latest and greatest titles only to remove access to the sequels could foster resentment as much as loyalty.

A keen gamer in his spare time, Benjamin Scott has worked in the media and technology sector for many years, bringing a passion for helping consumers find the best deals on tech.

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