Xbox head Phil Spencer criticizes Sony for forcing PC players to pay twice for games

Written by Stuart Thomas on Sat, Jun 12, 2021 2:00 PM
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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!

Do you think Sony is taking too long to port games over?

Do you think Sony is charging too much for PC ports years after console launch?

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14:39 Jun-14-2021

Where are your games from the Xbox 360 like Fable 2, GoW, Forza, Project Gotham Racing...? Lying Phil

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23:53 Jun-13-2021

You know... I'd pay full price IF THE GAMES WORKED AT LAUNCH. I love Horizon Zero Dawn but that has to be one of the worst ports ever. I think it really hurt the sales for it too.

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09:26 Jun-13-2021

Well, Sony is the opposite of costumer-friendly, what did you expect when they actually pay on purpsose just to delay games on PC or persuade their developers to don't enable crossplay between platforms. (Monster Hunter World).

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08:47 Jun-13-2021

As everyone has written, those who buy the game for PC usually do not have PlayStation.
But it really makes sense to make a discount for those who bought for PlayStation

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22:56 Jun-12-2021

That is just MS flexing their muscle where they are good at, nothing new. As for whole pots, sooner and cheaper would be nice, they are old games and all. But then again, even this is huge step forward from before when exclusives were forever exclusive. Plus there are Steam sales, they are as inevitable as change... except change from vending machine. :-D

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21:14 Jun-12-2021

I never had non-portable Playstations, so I don't personally feel like I'm "paying twice" for a game that I only ever maybe get to buy once (on PC) to begin with. Did I feel ripped off when I bought Detroit: Become Human on Steam? No - I was very happy that this game made it to PC!

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20:50 Jun-12-2021

Doesn't seem like fair criticism . Sony isn't in a position to create a PC-console-cloud ecosystem like Microsoft, because Microsoft has plenty of experience, making Windows and plenty other stuff. At least they are trying, with PC games...

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13:59 Jun-13-2021

Sony and Disney had differences when it came to filming the next Spiderman film and it might not have happened if not for a select group of people. It seems Sony doesn't like sharing its intellectual property and losing control over it. They wait years after the money has run dry before releasing games outside their ecosystem. If anything can be said of them having to deal with Disney and Microsoft, it means that they have spread themselves thinly in several markets. Sony is 29 years older than Microsoft. Sony has no excuse for being unable to acquire the ecosystem Microsoft boasts. Currenly, Microsoft has made better descisions.

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19:58 Jun-12-2021

Ok so first thing. No, im not paying twice for a game that was exclusive to a console i never owned.
Secondly. The only games that have been ported have been rather new games, for me at least, that are also on the steam store which has sales regularly. So if you're not in a hurry you can get them for cheaper. Currently death stranding is on a 50% sale. But that's still 30$ or so.
Honestly it would be a real problem if they charged alot for pretty old games. But i can see why people are upset at the current prices.

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16:26 Jun-12-2021

Yes at least we're getting out dated games & pay dearly for, when Xbox wants to release a brand new game every 3 mnths to try b4 you buy, where's the best choice.

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15:38 Jun-12-2021

at least we're getting PS Exclusives on PC

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15:35 Jun-12-2021

Microsoft pricing for games is way better than sony.

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