Monday, April 15, 2024

PS5 first party exclusives coming to ‘other platforms’ confirms Sony president

Horizon Forbidden West – maybe it’d work on Switch 2? (Picture: Sony)

While some thought he might only be talking about the PC, the interim head of PlayStation has once again talked about going multiformat.

After the last set of financial results for Microsoft and Sony – that included the all-important Christmas gift-giving season – both companies have been panicking about profits and, rather than cut back on the budget of new games both have come up with the same idea: release first party games on each other’s formats.

Although that’s confirmed to be what’s going on, all the discussion has so far been very vague, with Xbox not even revealing the names of the first four games coming to other formats – even though their hints make it very clear what they are.

Sony has been even vaguer, with many suggesting that when president Hiroki Totoki said that, ‘First party can be grown with the multiplatforms and that can help operating profit to improve’ he was actually just talking about the PC. But now it’s been made clear that’s not the case.

In an investor Q&A, Totoki was asked what the keys will be to improving Sony’s operating margin, which have sunk to their lowest level in recent history.

‘When it comes to PlayStation 5, one challenge that sets this console cycle apart from PlayStation 4 and previous generations is that we find it difficult to reduce our costs during the course of the cycle. Unlike high-spec PCs, PlayStation consoles enable us to offer an immersive experience for many people in a safe environment with affordable price,’ he replied.

‘To offer that kind of experience, with costs for components like chips and memory on the rise, one key will be that we continue to sell consoles without substantial discounts [during the course of its product life cycle] by engaging in product planning that ensures affordability for consumers.

‘Another driver will be first party titles. Strong titles that achieve growth on PlayStation 5, PCs, and other platforms will widen our margins. We believe that we have opportunities for margin improvement and intend to pursue them aggressively.’

PlayStation seems dead set on going multiformat

As you can see, there’s not much else that ‘other platforms’ could mean other than Xbox and/or Nintendo Switch. Potentially it could mean mobile but, ignoring the fact that mobile games are usually very different to their console counterparts, it would’ve been simpler to just say mobile, if that’s what he meant.

Microsoft also couldn’t bring themselves to utter the words PlayStation or Nintendo during their recent podcast, which confirmed they do intend to make at least some of their first party games multiformat.

Totoki has given no indication when any more detailed announcement might be made but he’s likely encouraged by the success of Helldivers 2 on the PC, which has proven more popular than all Sony’s previous PC ports put together and may also convince him that live service games are the way to go.

Speaking of which, he was also asked for an update on Bungie, who are suffering under the threat of not just job cuts but Sony taking over direct control of the developer.

‘I visited the Bungie studios and had meetings with [the] management, and I saw that employees working at the studios were highly motivated, showing great creativity as well as an impressive knowledge of live services,’ said Totoki.

‘However, I also felt that there was room for improvement from a business perspective with regard to areas such as the use of business expenses and assuming accountability for development timelines. I hope to continue the dialogue and come up with some good solutions.’

The future of Bungie, which Sony bought in 2022 for $3.6 billion, is now very much dependent on the success of upcoming Destiny 2 expansion The Final Shape, which has suffered multiple delays and is intended to reverse declining player numbers for the game.

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MORE : PS5 Slim console price down to £409 at Currys and Amazon


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MORE : Now Sony is talking about PS5 exclusives going multiplatform

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