Sony has begun releasing PlayStation exclusives on PC, starting with Horizon Zero Dawn in 2020. Under Jim Ryan, the Japanese company has been ramping up their PC efforts, recently acquired Nixxes Software to assist with its PC ports.
Now, Shawn Layden, PlayStation Worldwide Studios' former chairman and Sony Interactive Entertainment America's previous CEO, has spoken up. Having left Sony in 2019, he appeared on What's Up PlayStation's recent episode to discuss Sony's PC strategy. Within this, Layden expressed doubts about joint day one releases for PS4/PS5 and PC games.
Shawn Layden Doesn’t Believe Sony Will Do Simultaneous PC and PlayStation Releases
As seen by VGC, the ex-Sony CEO believes that PlayStation and PC simultaneous launches are unlikely to occur. Instead, he believes this shift to PC was done to reach new audiences, stating:
The idea of going to PC—and I don’t think you’ll ever see PlayStation do a day and date with PC, but you know, never say never—but the strategy as we were developing it when I was there was that we need to go out to where these new customers are, these new fans could be.
The idea of going to PC—and I don’t think you’ll ever see PlayStation do a day and date with PC, but you know, never say never—but the strategy as we were developing it when I was there was that we need to go out to where these new customers are, these new fans could be. We need to go to where they are because they’ve decided not to go to come to my house so I’ve got to go to their house now. And what’s the best way to go to their house?
The former PlayStation chief believes Sony is not losing out on money or its audience by bringing its exclusives to PC. Rather, transferring games that have been out for several years expands their audience and is a way of "outreach":
Why don’t I take one of our top-selling games, which has already blown up the marketplace, it’s already been out there for 18 months or 24 months, there’s no real retail activity against that title, I’m not trading off one sale for another, and bring that to the personal computer platform and let them have an idea – you guys choose not to come to PlayStation but let me show you what you’re missing.
The full interview with Layden can be seen below.
Layden's also commented recently on Sony and Microsoft's acquisition strategy, explicitly stating that "consolidation is the enemy of diversity". He's also voiced his concerns with Xbox Game Pass, arguing that Microsoft's subscription service may not be entirely sustainable.