A minor drama played out in fast forward this week as listings for PC ports of a number of high-profile PlayStation exclusive titles -- notably first-party titles Bloodborne and Days Gone, but also Atlus' Persona 5 Royal -- were posted on Amazon France, rapidly followed by Sony's quashing of the rumours this sparked.
This is not the first time that a retail website has started up the rumour mill by speculatively listing a non-existent product, and it almost certainly won't be the last time either. But you can forgive those who chose to attach a little more credence to this particular retail listing than would usually be sensible, given that Sony has already broken with decades of company tradition by approving a PC port of PlayStation 4 exclusive Horizon: Zero Dawn, which is set to arrive in the coming months. Given that Horizon is on the way, doesn't it stand to reason that other PC ports are coming too? Perhaps not those Amazon France took a stab in the dark at, but surely Horizon can't just be a one-and-done arrangement.
Given that Horizon is on the way, doesn't it stand to reason that other PC ports are coming too?
If we take a step back from this, there's an interesting broader question in play here about Sony's strategy regarding the PC platform -- specifically about what has led the company to a change of heart regarding the utility of, and reasoning for, putting major console exclusives onto PC. We're in an unusual position regarding the relationship between PC and consoles at present; there's a dichotomy between Microsoft, which is more or less committed to doing this with all of its titles due to its vision of Xbox as a platform which also encompasses some or all of the PC gaming experience, and at the other end of the spectrum Nintendo, which is about as likely to put its exclusives on PC as I am to win a gold medal in the Olympics this year.
There's a temptation to read Horizon: Zero Dawn's PC launch as Sony taking a somewhat cautious middle approach between those extremes -- but while that would create a pleasing symmetry, for sure, the reality is somewhat more complex.