‘Others Charge People a Second Time Years Later on PC’

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Microsoft’s Head of Gaming Phil Spencer is usually known for his endearing stance towards competitors in the gaming industry. He’s publically praised Sony and Nintendo, both rivals of Microsoft’s Xbox in the console space, multiple times.

However, for once Spencer has taken a direct stab at Sony in his pre-E3 2021 briefing with the press (as reported by GamesIndustry). More specifically, he noted that ‘others’ bring console games to PC years later, charging them a second time.

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The bottom line is that we simply put out more top-quality games in front of more people than other companies. Across the Xbox ecosystem, we are now reaching hundreds of millions of people every month, and our total addressable market is going to grow, while others are relatively static. As the Xbox ecosystem grows in both content and total size, it becomes more valuable to both players and our partners.

Right now, we are the only platform shipping games on console, PC, and cloud simultaneously. Others bring console games to PC years later, not only making people buy their hardware upfront but then charging them a second time to play on PC. And of course, all of our games are in our subscription service on day one, full cross-platform included.

Spencer is obviously referencing Sony’s most recent stance on PC game releases. Guerrilla’s Horizon Zero Dawn was released on PC three years after debuting on PlayStation 4, while Bend Studio’s Days Gone recently came out two years after launching on Sony’s console.

This doesn’t seem to be changing any time soon, either. Hermen Hulst, Head of PlayStation Studios, said as much last week while talking to the official blog.

I want to emphasize that PlayStation will remain the best place to play our PlayStation Studios titles at launch. But we do value PC gamers, and we’ll continue to look at the right times to launch each game. Bend Studio just released the PC version of Days Gone on May 18. So that’s about two years after the PS4 release.

And I hope that a new set of fans can and will enjoy that title. And that’s the goal — we want to reach new gamers who haven’t yet experienced the great stories, characters, and worlds that we’ve built. Releasing games on PC will not come ever at the expense of building an exciting lineup of great console games.

It’s a different strategy, which makes sense as Microsoft has a much greater interest in the PC platform than Sony. That said, from the point of view of a PC gamer, it’s hard to disagree with Spencer.

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