Sony wants its PlayStation exclusives to come to PC earlier

Sony may shrink the gap between the launches of its PlayStation exclusives and PC ports. Company president Hiroki Totoki suggested in a post-earnings call Q&A session Wednesday (via VGC) that he wants PlayStation to go “aggressive on improving our margin performance,” with “multi-platform” games playing a significant role. He clarified in the talk that, by multi-platform, he meant on PlayStation and PC — not Xbox or Switch.

When asked about Sony’s profits not keeping up with increasing gross income, he said hardware and first-party games were two areas of focus. He noted that hardware cost reduction this console cycle was “difficult to come by,” suggesting we won’t see any permanent console price drops.

“I personally think there are opportunities out there for improvement of margin, so I would like to go aggressive on improving our margin performance,” he continued. Totoki hinted one way to get there is to cash in more on its (often critically acclaimed and commercially successful) PlayStation Studios titles, like Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 and God of War: Ragnarok.

“In the past, we wanted to popularize consoles, and a first-party title’s main purpose was to make the console popular,” Totoki said in the Q&A. “This is true, but there’s a synergy to it, so if you have strong first-party content — not only on our console but also other platforms, like computers — a first-party [game] can be grown with multi-platform, and that can help operating profit to improve, so that’s another one we want to proactively work on.”

Screen from The Last of Us Part I. Joel and Ellie walk among abandoned cars in an abandoned small town.

The Last of Us Part I (Naughty Dog / Sony)

That’s a clear shift from PlayStation Studios head Herman Hulst’s thoughts in 2022. He said then that PC gamers would have to wait “at least a year” before seeing first-party PlayStation games (minus live service titles) on their computers. God of War (2018) and the first Marvel’s Spider-Man had about a four-year gap between their PS4 and PC launches. The latter’s Miles Morales spin-off saw about a two-year turnaround.

On February 8, Sony launched Helldivers 2 on PS5 and Windows simultaneously. VGC notes the game led to PlayStation Studios’ highest concurrent Steam player count — beating God of War (2018), The Last of Us Part I and Horizon Zero Dawn. Helldivers 2 was developed by Arrowhead Games with Sony Interactive Entertainment publishing.

It isn’t clear if Totoki meant we can expect future PlayStation tentpoles like the upcoming Wolverine game or the ever-popular Spider-Man, God of War or various Naughty Dog franchises to appear on PC on the same day as console. But a strategy shift is underway regardless, and Totoki will have the leverage to put the plan into action: He takes over for Jim Ryan as interim CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment in April.

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