It’s a great time to be a PC gamer as more and more companies start to realize how big of an audience it really is. Microsoft started to focus more on the PC platform a while ago as many games that launch on the Xbox consoles also release on PC at the same time. But Xbox head Phil Spencer recently criticized Sony's PC release strategy for effectively charging PC players twice.
In a recent media briefing, Spencer talked about Microsoft's PC strategy, and mentioned how they disapprove of Sony’s recent strategy plans - which whilst Sony is planning to bring more first party games to PC, don’t expect them to launch on both platforms at the same time.
“We’re the only platform shipping games on PC, cloud and console simultaneously,” said Spencer. “Others bring console games to PC years later, not only making people buy their hardware up front but then charging them a second time to play on PC.”
“We have a huge growth opportunity on PC. We expanded to simultaneously shipping our first-party games on both console and PC. And last year we more than doubled our first-party retail games sales on PC. And we’re also one of the biggest third-party publishers on Steam.”
On the one hand you could make the argument that Sony wants to focus on their PlayStation platform, which makes sense, so getting a game out on their own console takes first priority before they even think about porting it over to PC. That, in turn, takes time and resources, and so charging full price again on PC maybe isn’t that unfair especially since the majority of customers will not be double dipping.
But you also could easily argue it the other way, saying it's a deliberate strategy for Sony to make the most amount of money possible and manipulate their customers into paying full price twice. Unfortunately we won’t know for sure, but we at least know the next PlayStation game coming to PC is likely Uncharted 4: A Thiefs End.
Spencer also mentioned that we should be expecting an “amazing slate” of games from Xbox Games Studios as well as Bethesda over the next year. But Spencer also advocated for cloud gaming, no doubt because of their continued effort into cloud gaming, but also because of how tremendously difficult it is to even acquire a decent PC these days thanks to the global chip shortage:
“With cloud gaming, we now have the ability to bring these great AAA-quality games to the hundreds of millions of below-spec Windows PCs that to date haven’t been able to play the hit games that everybody sees.”
What do you think? Do you agree with Spencer? Is Sony taking too long to port games over? And are they effectively charging twice? Or does it make sense and Sony has every right to do that? Let us know!