Sony has been making serious inroads into the PC gaming market over the past few years, with excellent versions of PlayStation exclusive hits like Horizon: Zero Dawn, God of War, and the upcoming Uncharted.
It looks like it’s gearing up to take things further with its own dedicated gaming launcher: In the files of the latest PC release of Marvel‘s Spider-Man, references to a “PlayStation PC launcher” were discovered, according to VGC(opens in new tab).
At the moment, PC games published by Sony may be found through the usual suspects like Steam and the Epic Games Store. Sony may potentially join Activision and Bethesda in creating a closed gaming ecosystem by delivering its titles through a dedicated PlayStation launcher, as has been hinted at in the aforementioned patents.
Since PlayStation games are currently available on Steam, I expect Sony to develop an intermediary launcher similar to Ubisoft’s Ubisoft Connect, which pops up anytime one of Ubisoft’s games is launched on Steam or Epic.
Sony may soon allow PC players to link their PlayStation Network accounts(opens in a new tab) to its games in order to gain access to exclusive in-game content and other benefits, as suggested by the discovery of a reference to a PC launcher and subsequent reports of similar findings.
This is consistent with the rewards provided through Ubisoft Connect. With the release of five first-party PC exclusives over the past two years, Sony has solidified its position in the market.
- Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition (Aug 7, 2020)
- Days Gone (May 18, 2021)
- Predator: Hunting Grounds (Apr 29, 2021)
- God of War (Jan 14, 2022)
- Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered (Aug 12, 2022)
Considering that PlayStation has to pay Valve 30% of all Steam sales (decreasing to 25% after $10M earned and 20% after $50M); and a little less onerous 12% to Epic for EGS sales; a move to a proprietary platform could allow the company to generate more money from fewer sales.
We’re not even talking about rearranging the furniture; Sony projected in May that its PC game sales will bring in $300 million in 2022, up significantly from $80 million in 2021 and $35 million in 2020. Despite having its own launcher, I believe that Steam would still account for the great bulk of PlayStation PC purchases.
An independent launcher, on the other hand, may streamline the incorporation of PlayStation Network capabilities into its games, as well as other gamer-friendly features like Xbox‘s Play Anywhere, which allows access to games across platforms regardless of where they were originally purchased.
In an earlier episode of the XboxEra Podcast in February, co-host Nick Baker mentioned a report about a PlayStation PC launcher, so this isn’t the first time the topic has been brought up. Baker: “I was told that they would have a PC launcher, and I think they are working towards enabling cross-buy with that.”
This means that similar to Microsoft’s Play Anywhere, purchasing a PlayStation version also grants access to the PC version.
Uh…I talked about the PlayStation PC launcher 6 months ago lolhttps://t.co/Q7Ki23tvwc
— Nick (@Shpeshal_Nick) August 16, 2022
If I hear back from Sony, I’ll let you know what they have to say about the PlayStation PC launcher.