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Sony's exclusive games coming to PC make sense when done right
Αnd the Japanese giant should not be afraid going all the way with this new approach
This week marked the release of not a few noteworthy video game releases, from Subnautica: Below Zero to Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, but the Days Gone remaster for the PC is especially important: not only does it solidify Sony's plans about taking many of its widely-known PlayStation titles to a whole new market, but it seems to be in a much better shape as a conversion than the first such title, Horizon Zero Dawn, which was released last August. Days Gone is currently sitting at 78/100 in Metacritic's critic reviews, a respectable score, but its user score is sitting at 9/10, which means that consumers are perfectly happy with it (not so much with Horizon as it is still sitting at a 6.2/10 almost a year after launch despite the 84/100 critic score).
For all intends and purposes, then, Days Gone for PC had a successful launch. The general feeling regarding this new initiative of bringing its PlayStation IP to PC gamers, though, is that Sony is still reluctant - or at least extremely cautious - about the whole affair. It did practically zero marketing for this new version of Days Gone (it had done the same for Horizon Zero Dawn), it did not invest enough resources so as to take the port to the bleeding edge of PC graphics (ray tracing and DLSS are not supported) and, let's face it, Days Gone is not the title PC gamers would pick first among so many PlayStation gems of the PS4 era. So, what gives?
That is a question only Jim Ryan, head of Sony Interactive Entertainment, can answer with any kind of authority - but, maybe tellingly, in every interview published during 2021 all he had to offer was the vague promise that we'll be seeing more PC versions of "PlayStation games from the latter half of the PS4 cycle". It's clear that Sony is not fully committed to bringing its ultra-valuable exclusives to PC yet. Maybe it rather not appear to be, as PlayStation fanboys have expressed disappointment or even anger in the prospect of "their" precious franchises being played by gamers other than "them".
But, the thing is, that is exactly what Sony should do. They should announce more PC versions of their most successful franchises, do the absolute best job they can on a technical level in bringing them over and promote them as the AAA, unique productions they are in the PC space. All the "sacred cows": Gran Turismo, God of War, The Last of Us, Ghost of Tsushima, Spider-man. Even smaller, but still unique in the PC world, titles such as Dreams or Concrete Genie. These are titles PC gamers would love to play and Days Gone is proof that quality conversions of those are doable. Expectations are high, yes, but Sony has more than enough resources to deliver.
Doing things halfheartedly is never the best approach and if Sony means to expand the audience of its most popular game franchises, it needs to go all the way. It can still keep the newest and best productions exclusive to PlayStation at first, yes - nobody is expecting anything different. But everything else can come to the PC sooner rather than later and, eventually, every single AAA production worth promoting. The PlayStation fanboys get to keep the bragging rights and sense of special treatment they seem to need, PC gamers get to play some of the top video games in existence and Sony gets to make more money out of the same (more or less) development costs while building a fanbase bigger than ever. It's a win-win-win situation and, in time, this will be apparent to all.
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Have a nice weekend!