Third-party exclusives are becoming less common these days, which means platform holders like Sony need to find savvy ways to entice players into their ecosystem. This can be done, one exec says, by making PlayStation the best place to play.
In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, head of third-party portfolio and acquisitions Shawne Benson discusses some of the reasons why such arrangements are less common nowadays and said, "there's room for exclusives where it makes sense, obviously, but really the focus – especially with a digital distribution model that is more prevalent than in generations past – is that there are different types of gameplay out there."
As the industry grows, so too does the breadth of experiences available to the gamer, and a one-size-fits-all approach won't work for everything. Benson explains, "for example, a free-to-play game's business model is most successful when it's on as many platforms as possible and brings the biggest audience possible."
Still, when the opportunity arrives, Benson says that what is more important than any exclusivity deal is making the PlayStation version of a game stand out as being the best, and this can be achieved through the skilful application of existing tech. Benson asks the question, "what kind of innovation can they apply with the haptics in the DualSense or the adaptive triggers? What could they do with 3D audio in the sound design of a game, etc? So there's a lot of things we could do and then create marketing stories around, and that's where some of these partnerships for multiplatform games really focus."
The situation is a bit different for the firm's most recent piece of tech, the excellent PSVR2, because, as Benson describes it, "we definitely are still in this 'raising tide helps all ships' mindsets for the VR ecosystem, so it's not the same kind of competitive landscape as it is, say, in the console space, kind of 'flat' gaming experience."
Instead, Sony wants to support PSVR2 by keeping the development community healthy, supporting studios that want to bring their titles to the platform, as Benson notes, "it's around how we can best support you to be able to bring that content over to PSVR2, and that can be development funding support to marketing support because a lot of these studios don't necessarily have the same kind of marketing infrastructure as a bigger publisher would."
Finally, on the subject of the relatively new frontier (for Sony) of PC, Benson says she doesn't see it as such a contentious space for third-party deals, but that could change, stating that "from my perspective, it's really important for gamers to have choice and variety of opportunities in places to play, and PC is really not in the same kind of competitive space for us, at least currently."
Do you agree with Benson's strategy, that making PlayStation the best place to play third-party games is more effective than an exclusivity deal? Let us know in the comments section below.
People will always stick with their "main" console i feel no matter if the other console has the better version.
Lots of people stick to lowest price choice. Rather than wasting money on exclusivity, they should invest into lowering prices during deals to get closer to Steam deal prices.
Makes sense as Microsoft has been allowed access to all documents of Sony's deals with 3rd party for content/ licencensing from 2012 as part of the FTC trail. So this statement basically is saying if regulators heavily scrutinize buying up 3rd party exclusives we'll spend the money instead to make sure we have the best version on day 1 instead. Which Kudos to Sony if they can deliver on that promise.
Whilst £3000 PC builds stutter horribly on almost every Unreal Engine game and Series X versions often seem second priority (The Callisto Protocol and Wo Long in my recent experience), then they'll get their wish.
~95% of my 1200+ item Switch library is third party, so I sure have some biased opinions on what they would need to do for that.😛
The best place to play any game is wherever you have some gaming time on your hands. As such, the living room qualifies less and less the older you become. Few debate the nigh supreme advantage of portability in regards to music and movies, so it's time to acknowledge that it's one of the best things to have ever happened to gaming as well.
That's never going to be the case for me until they fix the completely broken playtime tracker on PS5. I'd rather my expensive console accurately track time than add a bit of extra controller rumble.
I recently made the switch to buying third-party games on Xbox Series X because of this, where the user experience is much better. PS5 for exclusives and review games only henceforth.
Sony seem to be making good on the old PS4 promise of trying to make the developers' jobs as easy as possible. But it has been noted they lost their way for a short while, particularly in regards to indies.
You can’t really compare portable games, mobile games, console games, PC games, VR games, in that way. They are, to me, completely different user cases that have their own advantages. It’s easier to fit in a mobile or portable game sure, but you take a massive hit to quality; VR increases immersion hugely, but it can be a bit more of a faff to get out and use; PC has the largest potential game pool, highest flat game fidelity, and mods, but It is generally more expensive to get that, games are less optimised at launch, you have more online cheaters, and it’s a bit harder to have a huge screen and comfortable environment. For me portability doesn’t trump all, VR does, but that’s because I’ve been playing games for nearly 40 years and VR is the only truly new experience in town. Less experienced gamers may still be amazed by games that aren’t yet copy paste to them like they are to me. Everyone is different.
You care about a time tracker that much? So much that it dictates platform for you irrespective of which version performs best? That’ll be weird to many of us. But people find it weird I care about trophy challenges, so whatever.
@LiamCroft that's the strangest post I've ever seen made!
Whilst I acknowledge we are all different, valuing accurate tracking of how long you play over the actual game experience is utterly incomprehensible to me. I will never be able to read another article by you in the same light.... our priorities are clearly polar opposites!
Xbox has become my 3rd party machine (mostly thanks to Gamepass) and I only picked up a Playstation 5 for the exclusives late last year. I pay for online with Xbox so this way I dont have to pay a monthly sub for Playstation too.
@thefourfoldroot1 Yes, I do.
@Titntin Actually, I do value the game experience that much that I want the console to accurately track how long I played the game for. I spent £500+ on the system, so I expect it to track playtime correctly.
I know that I value time-tracking of the games that I’ve played over a solid performance for sure 🥸
@thefourfoldroot1 my thoughts exactly.
That makes financial sense, Xbox’s big thing is essentially that it is subsidised gaming for those who play a lot of games anyway. I’d probably be the same way if I thought I played enough to save more money than I’d lose buying the console.
this is sad news , playstation was never a third-party machine , historically multiplats played & looked better on gamecube , xbox, 360, and only recently the ps4 managed to outperform the competition , but once again the competition has a more powerful console than the ps5.
ffs go back to your roots already $ony and send Dim Ryan on his way
I agree, it's dreadful.
Not only are the playtimes so far off in many cases, there are multiple entries for the same game for no good reason. I have two Sackboy: A Big Adventure listings because there was a bonus five minute cinematic "prequel" that required a seperate PS4 download on PS5. Just give us an option to hide it?
Switch is the worst though. Only shows the last 20 played games and rounds up to the nearest 5 hours (ie 20 hours played, 25 hours played etc).
Generally speaking I'll buy most 3rd party games on PC as I'll (mostly) have a much better experience than on any console but I do still buy some on the PS5 like the upcoming RE4. I can use my PS5 and Xbox controllers on that anyway and connect it to my TV, so my PS5 is largely for exclusives and 4K blu ray
@nhSnork but it’s not & previous handhelds did what the switch does but better - PSP .
the switch is an overrated paperweight that killed off the DS and the chances of nintendo ever making an actual console again . & imagine boasting about a handheld with no apps on it 😂🤣😂
@LiamCroft Thanks for replying, but I you appear to have just stated the same thing and I'm no nearing understanding why tracking play time is a big deal? I never look tbh unless I've played a game for ages in which case I just look at my save file or the games own stats.
Such information doesn't effect the enjoyment of the game in any way for me, why is why I didnt understand- - and still don't.
Appreciate that you replied though, thank you.
@thefourfoldroot1 Added bonus is that I got my Series S for free. Then did the Gold to Gamepass Ultimate conversion trick and ended up with 3 years of Gamepass for around €120. So I've had a very cheap few years of gaming lately.
It already is for me because I prefer the dualsense & like the adaptive triggers & haptic feedback I hope developers use them more often
@LiamCroft I really hope you're being sarcastic 🤣
I don't know that any of this stuff is the great differentiator in terms of buying a console.
I think it is much more likely that word of mouth, friendship groups and to some degree people's nostalgia for a platform that make up people's mind in choosing a new platform.
Of course exclusive games play their part but I'd bet a large number of these machines still sit under TVs doing nothing but play a sports title and COD for most their life.
@nomither6 series X is more powerful than ps5 but they also have series S which is less powerful , I don't see them utilising the extra power from the series X when they've got to have it running well on the S aswell especially if the S has a larger adoption rate than the X which I suspect it probably has
@nhSnork I agree to some extent. I think the Switch has almost realised the dream of taking your home console games with you wherever you want and it is very freeing - not to mention, as you say helpful when time is limited.
The reason I feel it is an 'almost' is that the power/size/battery ratio isn't quite there yet and the Steam Deck which plays more games is awkward, big and has a pretty poor battery life to make up the short fall.
I hope the next gen of Switch can make that next leap forward.
I play 3rd party games on my Xbox just because I prefer the controller and the user interface (instant on / no copying of data after updating), and my PS5 is just for the exclusives.
I may switch back to PS5 though just because of where I live (Kuwait). The market is dominated by Playstation, so the physical copy availability of games and the resell / trade-in values are significantly higher for PS5 over Xbox.
That's just not going to happen until they get user-upgradeable parts, M+KB support, ultrawide (+ other custom resolutions and refresh rates) support, etc, etc. Consoles have their place but they'll never be the best by design.
@Would_you_kindly that's going to apply to such a small number of games. Virtually every game that comes out on XSX will also be on PC and so will have to have scalability options. Every PC game has had this for years.
The Series S only really has one potential bottleneck as far as I can see and that is memory. I don't think MS should have cut the memory back to 10Gb - something that doesn't have a huge cost.
This is a bad move from Jim, it is just going to stir up the anti Sony pot from the Xbox fanboys. The forums are already full of people salty over Silent Hill 2 exclusivity (despite the original being a EXCLUSIVE)
Leave third party games as multiplatform, let people play them on whatever system they choose (except switch, that thing is heavily backwards), and don't restrict functions and content from people on other platforms just because they didn't buy a playstation.
Psvr2 will struggle unless they support it heavily with first party games simple.If they carry on with this half hearted approach meta's new quest 3 due out in the autumn will stomp it into the dust!Fingers crossed Sony are gonna support it properly and make it hot property in the coming years
Yes, I might have gone for Series X instead of PS5 if it weren’t for the truly game changing VR, the big backlog of games I have in the walled garden, the fact that the controller is better, and the exclusives. If I only or mostly played third party games Series X is good enough for that and much cheaper.
Overall (as long as the games you like appear on Gamepass).
You mean the meta quest 3 that will be many times less powerful and have the vast majority of its games also ported to PSVR2?
@LiamCroft I have to echo the others.
I genuinely don't even think of the time tracker. I only remember that it exists when I read one of your posts about how it's not accurate.
Having that controller rumble, ie the haptics that enhance my immersion would be far more important to me than a "This is how long you've played this title" feature.
But to each their own. We all have something that makes us tick.
They need to, in all honesty. Sony are absolutely slipping when it comes to their grasp on the market. Their exclusives as of late have been subpar, and they don't really offer much else beyond a fancy controller. It feels to me like the PS5 at present is what the Xbox One was back in 2013. That is to say, not all that impressive and a product of complacency.
@Shepherd_Tallon That's fine, I know it's a weird hang-up to have but it's just something that really bothers me. My Xbox has accurately tracked every game I've ever played on it so I go there now for third-party stuff I'm not reviewing.
@LiamCroft Don't get me wrong - It's a fair complaint. The thing should work properly. It's just one of those features on PS5 that I forget about.
Hey, maybe if it worked I'd pay more attention to it.
It kind-of is already. The games so far often run smoothest on PS5 (probably since it is most of the times the primary target for devs), and DualSense is another reason to play on PS5.
I often check what platform a game runs best on (got high-end PC, XSX and PS5), and I most of the times end up with PS5 due to best optimization and/or DualSense support.
@LiamCroft I can't even see a pattern with the playtime on PS. In somes cases, it is definitely on point. Some others are so far off which made me think the system simply accumulates the time the game is running, regardless whether you're pausing etc. which you could circumvent by closing the game every time you're away from the console. Then again, as a recent example, Hogwarts Legacy shows about half the time compared to the in-game timer. It's really weird. Makes you wonder what the system behind it is.
@Bricktop33 Normally I'd agree with you but MS is buying up entire publishers and putting third party games on thier pass for a dollar. They need something special to attract more people to their ecosystem outside of a few first party releases a year. Its going to be rough competing with MS and their deep pockets.
@thefourfoldroot1 Someday I'll take the plunge on VR for PS5. But not until the price comes down and it has enough games that interest me.
As for the PS controller being "better", personally I prefer the offset thumbsticks of Xbox/Nintendo.Haptics on PS5 are great but so far only one game I've played uses it. Thats down to me though playing catch-up on old PS3 and PS4 games I missed out on back in the day.
@Bricktop33 If you are speaking of the Silent Hill 1 being exclusive then you are correct. But Silent Hill 2 was not a Playstation exclusive. It released September 24, 2001 for PS and on December 20th, 2001 for Xbox. So i would assume thats why some people are upset over the PS5 exclusivity on SH2 Remake.
It already is, I don’t see any platinum trophy equivalent on any other platform 😂
@LiamCroft I thought I was weird for choosing to spend money on games that are basically free on GamePass. Already bought the deluxe edition of Wo Long so I have access to the trophies. 90 dollars vs 1 dollar. I'll do the same with Lies of P.
@LiamCroft I'm not sure I even know how to find the playtime tracker 😂 Although that could be another complaint of its own!
The only way they can make that happen is if they could compete with Game Pass or PC flexibility.
They cannot, that would only leave Indie games, which nowadays are actually very fun to play.
So they need to go back to supporting Indies Devs and VR and having their exclusives and finding new revolutionary methods to play to funnel Devs to their consoles.
I could see in the future, Sony making a gaming distribution platform on PC.
Basically like Steam, but only for Sony games with seamless integration and transition between PC and console couch gaming.
As really consoles are now PCs and consoles are income loss for Sony anyway.
@Bricktop33 - The original version of Silent Hill 2 wasn't exclusive at all. It released on Xbox 3 months after PS2 in NA and 13 months after in EU.
3rd party exclusivity is becoming less common…but thanks to PlayStation, 3rd party exclusive content is not. Sony have took ms playbook and completely ran away and dominated with it. Having the marketing rights is the perfect way to compete against a platform that has the means to buy studios outright…allowing your brand to be the association to the game, getting the mindshare from the majority casual audience, the games may as well be exclusive.
Hands up if you knew the last FF game came to Xbox? Hands up if you knew hogwarts was on Xbox one and switch? Hands up if you think the casual gamer likely does?
You have to wonder though if that reaction/response goes both ways. As we saw with Bethesda, Sony monopolising timed exclusivity deals…starfield heavily/reasonably rumoured to be the next one. How best to securely counter this than buying the publisher outright?
One thing is for sure though, at no point during Sony getting the marketing for EVERY 3rd party AAA game released these few years has parity ever been a concern for Sony, or media outlets. There’s something wrong there. And when charging £70 for both it really doesn’t matter if it’s year long timed exclusivity in full games modes (cod), exclusive missions (hogwarts) or simply exclusive betas or skins -parity is either important to you or it isn’t.
@KaijuKaiser Vinted is a good place to pick up Sony games cheap. People buy in bulk and sell for a lot cheaper than most retail outlets. I got Hogwarts Legacy for just over 30.
You can get delirious
If you take life too serious
It's @LiamCroft Time
I must admit, even though I have all platforms available, including a 3090 4K pc, I usually buy on PS5 already.
I know the issue of controllers can be contentious, but I dislike the series X controller which feels a bit cheap to me in the hand ( my wife wont even hold it - "its scratchy and cheap feeling"), so we have two forza special editions as they feel a bit better , and I use a Xim Nexus with it to get motion control on the xbox because they cheaped out and didn't include it in the pad! Meanwhile I consider the Dualsense controllers to be the best standard controller I've ever used and we have 4 of them.
Games which require mouse and KB input are obviously played on the PC (mainly RTS titles).
Everything else I play on PS5, mainly for the pad unless its on gamepass - I'm not made of money
I guess I also find 'trophies' more valuable than 'achievements'.
I might make an effort to get a plat trophy, but I never even look at achievements.
I don't know how long I've played most titles unless I look at the save file, but couldn't give a fig about that!
Any game I buy can buy on PC no way I am buying on console.
[Except if it's a couch RPG casual Single Player or COOP experience and not a shooter. Then I may buy it twice, now if Sony had a seamless transition between PC and Console gaming like Steam platfrom it maybe otherwise.]
Due to modding community, m+k support, ultrawide support, game pass and sub models on PC (games are just way cheaper).
Aiming on controller is awful, more games need to support gyro aiming and lower aim bot assist.
So shooters only on m+k on PC, itd more fun that way, as it requires more skill.
Sony needs to support indie developers, moding and for VR to hit off, they need to support flat screen to VR, even if a game don't have proper VR mode.
Fully VR-compatibility like in GT7 and RE8 is the way to go! Timed exclusivity is just annoying whoever employs that tactic, so I'd be glad to see it disappear forever.
In the past 6 months I’ve taken the stance of mixing between the two depending on who has the marketing and therefore perhaps features. For example Hogwarts and Callisto I purchased on PS because they had the marketing, and DualSense features. And for Hogwarts the exclusive mission.
ps5 doesnt record hours. So chooses to play on the console that is often regarded to have the 'worst' version of said games. Just so hours are tracked.
Just be honest and say its because GP is good value.
@Perturbator Oh we will see it disappear. Instead of a year we’ll never see some games at all.
@Titntin re: controllers, i way prefer the xbox controller for comfort, but agree that if you put the slightest pressure on it, it creaks and squeaks & feels like its on the verge of breaking. The dualsense on the other hand gives me so much pain in my right hand, its made me consider switching to xbox permanently...
@Swirly my biggest complaint about my XSS is the cheap Controller, feels weak, noisy, light, also i find holding the RT uncomfy when on driving games. Certainly area MS can improve.
@LiamCroft Regarding the time tracker, sounds like a case of OCD.
@jrt87 Sony is rumour to had hundreds of it own developers working on The Callisto Protocol. That part of strategy is strangely missing from the article.
It already is the best place to play third party games, especially AAA timed exclusives.
He's wrong. Exclusives still sell consoles. Look at Nintendo. They have the biggest number of exclusive games and it's the most popular console, despite being an underpowered tablet.
@LiamCroft it's a bit irritating how people are judging you for this, lol. I personally don't care about time tracking either but everyone has their little ticks.
While I agree the PS5 game timing feature is erratic, just wondering WHY you feel it's so important. What purpose does this serve other than idle curiosity? Am I missing something? I get we are different, I'm honestly just trying to understand what is so vital to you, not knocking it.
I like the feature BTW, just don't feel it's anywhere near as important as actually improving the games with decent haptics etc.
@Swirly Ah man that must suck, I'm sorry its so uncomfortable.
Obviously I don't suffer that and can play all day with no issues, but I'd be making them choices too if I had that issue...
"Sony Wants to Make PlayStation the Best Place to Play Third-Party Games"
Mission accomplished. We can all go home now.
PC: Nothing anymore. In my late teens/early 20s I played a fair bit on PC, but I left it behind long ago. I still keep my GoG account for the classics though. Just in case.
Series X: I bought it in March 2021 on a whim to celebrate getting a raise. It's just been sat there ever since beside my TV. Having said that, I'm excited for Fable, Avowed and obviously TES VI (if it's XBOX console exclusive).
Switch: Basically my Mario Kart and Zelda machine. I don't need it to do anything else. Those two franchises are enough and both have been with me for decades.
Although I do also dabble in some Overcooked and Stardew Valley with the missus on Switch.
PS5: Everything else. PlayStation exclusives and all of the third party stuff, it all gets played on my PS5.
@themightyant I just like to know how long I played a game for, sort of like a diary in the same way Trophies can function. I know it ultimately a meaningless stat, but when I have one console that reliably tracks and another that doesn’t, I’ve decided to give my money to the one doing it accurately from now on.
I don’t have any grand reasoning for placing importance on playtime, I just really like to see the stat 😂 It bothers me when it’s inaccurate
so more paid for 3rd party exclusivity and paid for exclusive content
The adaptive trigger and haptic feedback already make PlayStation the best place to play.we already got the best exclusive games.playstation is the g.o.a.t. 🐐 👑.word up son
@LiamCroft One thing I will say about your issue is that at the very least it absolutely needs to be fixed. I own both the PS5 and the Series X, and while it hasn't made me switch so to speak, there is no excuse why it is so broken. I have been playing the PS5 version of Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana and it didn't even track my first 15+ hours. I'm right around 40 hours into the game, but according to the tracking I'm only in the low 20's.
There is no excuse why it continues to be so broken. Sure, it's not a dealbreaker for a lot of people, but it does kind of show the tech team's incompetence or just sheer laziness this generation. Most of the time, I had confidence that Sony would fix issues on the PS4 as that was almost always a really reliable experience, but in the 2+ years of the PS5, it has been kind of a mess on the UI front. There's also the issue of games not showing up properly like Final Fantasy 7 Remake that has several versions and demos, so it might not show that I've played it when comparing with somebody else even though I've played the PS4 and the PS5 version.
They also really need to get rid of the forcing of the Activity Cards. There have been issues with the UI from the start, but at least you could say it looked pretty nice on the Home screen with the game and title artwork. The forcing of the Activity Cards is useless, especially when those Activity Cards are right underneath the buttons anyways.
@LiamCroft So Assistant Editor of a PlayStation specific website likes to play games on his Xbox more? Sure you are working for the right site?
@LiamCroft I can understand that. We all have our own little rituals and things we are a little obsessive about. (You should see my shelves. Patrick Bateman would be proud. lol)
Though while I don't want to add anxiety, I have to say XSX isn't perfect here either. I have several games that are tracked incorrectly there too, some too high, some too low. Quick resume in particular seems to mess with stats. It reported I played Mass Effect 2 remastered for over 100 hours. Much as I love that game, I had played it many times before on X360, and only had a pretty quick 20 or so hour playthrough on XSX.
But thanks for elaborating, that is appreciated.
@render Should not matter where a journalist plays more. They should be impartial regardless. Better than being well up Sony's crack.
I'd suspect most of the PS team, like many of us, play on most platforms. We're enthusiasts, there should be no problem with that.
@LiamCroft The new firmware update moves the playtime tracker under the game title now on the main menu, so it's possible they've made some improvements to it.
I mean, maybe not, but they're definitely trying to bring it more into focus.
@get2sammyb I find that a little terrifying. Not sure I want those stats more front and center. I don't really want to know how many days, weeks... years??? i've spent in Genshin Impact. I stopped looking at 2,000+ hours. Easier to claim the system is busted than face cold realities
Playing Hogwarts on PS5 I am curious how playing without adaptive triggers will work. I’m sure it will be fine to just swap out the half-step trigger to pull up a spell with a full long press, but I just really like now it feels to have that little nuance of forced feedback to feel more in control. The haptics also are just so much better than prior generations (I can’t compare to the Xbox Series X since I don’t have one).
As far as the interview in the article, I found it enlightening and I hadn’t thought about how digital distribution was contributing to phasing out console exclusivity, but I guess it makes sense. Removing the cost of physically producing discs for 2 different systems lowers the barrier to expand to those systems.
Edit: And I’m annoyed by the playtime tracking inaccuracies, but not enough to think twice about aborting the console for it. I would rather PS5 get closer to XBox’s smart play (or whatever it’s called) where the system just “knows” what hardware you’re playing on and optimizes you to the best version without having to fiddle through menus and options. It sounds like the XB firmware is a bit more elegant in that regard. But I’d still rather have a DualSense, given the choice.
@themightyant Haha yeah, I'm the same. I don't have any wild numbers really, but I found having the numbers right there on the home page a little sobering!
@LiamCroft it’s annoying me that people are questioning you liking the stat tracking to be accurate because I 100% do too. Just like I used to hate Xbox 360 achievements that I accidently unlocked “offline” and so missed their date stamp. If the time is inaccurate it’s really annoying. I also have my Switch games ordered by time played on the menu. 3DS is still the best console by a mile when it comes to recording playtime. Xbox is good but could be better. But my PS5 tracker has been broken from day 1 unfortunately.
@LiamCroft Wow, heaven forbid you move to another console to play your third-party titles.
I love the PS5 for exclusives, but I think the Series X has the better services and system features between the two machines.
I will continue to buy third party titles based on which platform has the best performance.
I buy most on XSX but some I’ve bought on PS5 as despite being technically weaker, it benefits from lead platform status and therefore titles can run better.
I would prefer if Sony did try to match MS on the hardware front though. I want a PS5 Pro and I want it to be a closer rival for the mid Gen Xbox than the PS4 Pro was.
@get2sammyb The scariest thing was when I turned my backlog into a spreadsheet (did I mention we can all be a little obsessive at times @LiamCroft) and once I'd pruned the games I realised I'd never get to off the list that left around 2,000+ hours.
Scary conclusion: if i'd never played Genshin, I could have completed my backlog
PlayStation is where it is today mainly due to third party exclusives and marketing deals. Almost every highlight from the PS1 and PS2 era were third party exclusives.
It was not until mid-PS3 generation that first party exclusives started to do some heavy lifting.
Sony wants to make their Platform the 'best' for 3rd Party Multiplatform games by paying them to keep content from all other Platforms. Hogwarts for example has 'exclusive' ONLY on Playstation content as well as paying to 'keep' games off of Xbox (Final Fantasy) as well as timed 'exclusivity'.
If all they did was make their OWN platform and features the 'best', then I'd agree that Haptic Feedback or a VR mode for example would be OK but paying to keep 'content' for Sony and screwing over all the other gamers on their 'preferred' platform is one reason why my PS5 hasn't really been used for 'months'. I also refuse to pay $70+ on ANY game so I won't buy their Exclusives at launch either and where possible, will buy 'Physical' and/or 'used' so Sony get next to 'nothing' back from me - its a 'vote' with my Wallet at the total anti-consumer and BS Sony come out with...
Even with a 10yr deal to 'KEEP' selling CoD on their platform with 'complete' parity, they 'claim' it will hurt their Platform. All the money they could 'save' by not paying other Publishers to 'keep' content off of other platforms, paying for timed exclusivity etc that 'could' be invested in their OWN Studios, their OWN IP's etc. Its not as if they don't have some of the biggest IP's that transcend games - Spider-Man, Wolverine, Uncharted, Gran Turismo, Last of Us etc etc.
Not only that, they also have their 'own' FPS IP's too - Destiny of course, as well as Killzone, Resistance, SoCoM etc and the Award Winning Studios to make their 'own' CoD., Instead of spending money on keeping Multi-platform games/content from other Platforms, invest that money into First Party Studios/IP's - its not as if Sony doesn't have Award Winning Studios to bring Award Winning games to their OWN platform instead of focussing on screwing over 'others'...
Its also one reason I haven't 'bought' Hogwarts because I 'miss out' on Content on my 'preferred' platforms and refuse to support Sony's business model of paying to keep content from others. All this does is make me wait until the Game is 'very' cheap on my preferred Platform or available on Gold/Game Pass or even PS+ Essential tier. It may 'hurt' the Pubs/Devs too, but they shouldn't make 'deals' that screw over the 'majority' of the gamers as Playstation is not 'bigger' than the combined PC/Xbox/Steam and/or any other 'platform' gamers could play on who 'miss out'...
Yeah, PS5 is for exclusives only for me. I play third party games on Xbox because it’s where most of my friends are, and with my screwed up right arm the haptic feedback and rumble crap on PS5 is not a selling point. I just find the Playstation ecosystem to be the least interesting one in comparison to Nintendo’s and Xbox.
@themightyant @get2sammyb @LiamCroft i don’t trust any time tracker 100%, Xbox also can have issues tracking. I don’t think the tracker works on cloud streaming sessions, for instance.
This year I took the extremely obsessive practice of keeping an actually manual gaming diary. It’s a simple spreadsheet where I write the title name, platform, play session start time and end time. Plan to code something at some point to generate nice tables and summaries, but for now, through the entirety of this year, I can find exactly what games I was playing at exactly what times and date.
As for the topic of the article, I play my third party games on Xbox mostly because of quick resume and the auto-syncing of save files. I have multiple rooms I can play games at, and it’s almost miraculous to see files sync as I launch a game without me having to remember to download them, as I must on the PlayStations.
@Tharsman Wow, that's obsessive. I trully admire your dedication!
I also hate micro managing saves for ps4 games, its a real pain, but PS5 titles auto sync just like a series X. This is important for us in this house as we have two Ps5's in our living room (each with its own TV), so syncing saves would be a real nuisance if it didn't do it automatically.
@themightyant Pretty sure I didn’t say he had to be up anyones crack, after all there’s only so much love anyone can give Jim and co and that’s perhaps stepping over the bounds a little 😂
While I do agree with you about people being impartial I would say that as this isn’t a multi platform site then that doesn’t apply so much. For someone to be working on a site like this I would expect them to generally be a fan of the platform, spend the majority of their gaming time using it so as to be an authority on it. That would include playing 3rd party titles on said platform and not telling people that the console they own is useless because it can’t track the time they played a game. Just seems a bit bizarre really.
@Tharsman Conclusion. We're all nuts. lol
But yes I keep a gaming journal but it's just dates based as I don't trust trackers. I also don't really care about the hours. I do like to go back from time to time and at the end of the year to see what I've played. Brings back memories like looking at photos.
Agreed Xbox's auto upload saves is much better if you are quick swapping. But that also understandable as it fits with their ecosystem (Xbox + Cloud + PC) far more than Sony's where this is going to be an exceedingly niche practice. Still would be nice to have!
@Titntin I wanted to have two TVs side by side in the living room to be able to play “couch coop” with without split-screens my partner on any game that supported online play, but they were having none of that. At the end it did give me room to get a way way way bigger TV for my personal gaming room.
@render Understood but Liam didn't say he wasn't a fan of the platform. He said he preferred playing on Xbox for X reason. It's entirely possible to be a fan of 1, 2, 3 or more platforms simultaneously. He also didn't say the PS5 was useless, he said it was bad at tracking hours played... which it is. I don't follow this line of thinking at all.
E.g. The fact that I play on PS, XBox, Switch and PC doesn't make me significantly less an authority on PS. In fact it probably gives me better insight into what PS is doing well or not so well compared to the competition. Same here.
I just think people are making massive mountains out of molehills.
With the exception of playing Mario games on my Switch and Forza on the Xbox. I already play everything else on PlayStation
@themightyant Funny enough, I started doing this tracking because I felt I was not spending enough time playing games, instead spending too much time on volunteer development projects, and wanted this year to have some more me-time, so I started time tracking. At some point I might either find some free-ware time manual time tracker, or code my own, but for now tracking everything since 1/1/23 (only gaming time, not tracking work time on that thing.)
The save system helps with cloud but it predates it by a long run, it's been there since the 360 days. It was basically the result of them incorporating OneDrive technology into the console. I am very unlikely to ever play a game on PC if its on a console, any console, so I have never tested if XBox cloud saves actually work on the PC version. Did get a Steamdeck recently, no much use yet but might start changing my stance on PC games a bit.
@LiamCroft the playtime tracker has been fixed as far as I can tell with the new Beta version system update. All the times are on the game tile in the bottom right corner. My times are accurate.
Might I recommend Exophase.com? They hook up to Nintendo's public API and show you exactly how much time you spent on the games, without rounding. Do note that their API didn't come into effect until, I believe, 2019, so it wont show you older play times unless you at least launch those games to force a sync.
@themightyant If one single thing as simple as time tracking would put you off of playing the majority of games (yes the majority as there are way more 3rd party games than there are exclusives) on the platform that you are supposed to be openly promoting then the sum of all the other great features the console offers can't amount to much.
I also never said that he can't game or like things about other systems, after all I use multiple systems myself, however I would personally find it strange if I worked at PS and did the majority of my gaming on a non-PlayStation system.
Always interesting to read someone else's point of view though and even though I don't agree thanks for letting me know.
@render I agree it seems like a weird reason to me, hence I asked about it. But we all have odd quirks and preferences. If that is why Liam prefers to game on Xbox all power to him frankly.
But I agree always good to hear other views. Happy gaming.
@Tharsman And I promised myself I would spend less time on gaming forums DISCUSSING this hobby we love and more time prioritising work so that I could finish earlier and spend more time actually PLAYING games, and doing other me-things...
Failing that spectacularly.
Yes i'm amazed with their save system. Booted up Skyrim on XSX launch a few years ago and was amazed that it pulled in my old X360 save from almost a decade before. It's great. Though personally I don't use it often, it's handy when it's there.
Yes! side by side TV's for couch coup would be amazing!
Unfortunately mine is at opposing ends of a room, one end is a huge L shaped desk with two PCs, a 32" monitor and a 48 inch LG c1 oled and a secondary PS5. The other end of the room has the HiFi and 65" TV with all the other consoles plugged in (ps5, series X, Ps2 and PS3) Still really handy though as both myself and my wife are gamers.
I can also confirm that cross saves in the Xbox system work perfectly on PC. Me and the misses love forza and we often move between playing on the series X, and then switching to PC (where the 120hz is very appreciated)
It's the only platform you'll get to play FFXVI on June 22 and FF7 Rebirth on Winter 2023 so it's no contest 😛
@Titntin Now I wonder how native time tracking behaves when jumping from XBox to PC....
I too have massive issue with the PS5 time played tracker but that alone isn't enough for me to jump on a SeriesX or S. Playing with the DualSense on both 1st and the many 3rd party games is way more important to me. Can't afford having two of the latest consoles anyways so concentrating on just the PS5 makes things so much easier. I'll defend PS in these huge acquisitions, like all Xbox has done for me personally is potentially take away many hundreds of 3rd party games from PS consoles in the now and the future and is nothing else to me other than a monopoly. But I'm a gamer 1st, prefered choice of console 2nd and all that stupid fan boy nonsense is last where it belongs
"paying them to keep content from all other Platforms."
Unless practices have changed drastically, exclusive content is not content that would have been in the game and it being withheld. A publisher like Sony can approach a dev and ask them to develop additional content and they will pay for the devs time expenses and then some. 'Special levels' and the like are developed with the publishers money and simply would not exist if the arrangement had not been made.
Trying to represent it as content taken away from another platform, represents a fundamental misunderstanding of how these arrangements are made.
Paying for 'timed exclusivity' however IS keeping content away from other gamers. Its been practised by all sides for many years and that most definitely includes Xbox eg - MS paid $100 million to keep rise of the tomb Raider off PS for a year in 2015.
I'm not keen on this approach myself, but its been standard practice for a long time and has been done by all sides.
@Titntin the story, as far as I heard, is that Square Enix (as usual) was not happy with the sales of the first Tomb Rider reboot entry and were not going to develop a sequel without outside investment. MS paying 100 million was not to make it exclusive, they basically co-financed the development without demanding full exclusivity, but they did demand timed exclusivity.
Chances are not insignificant that the game would had not been made at all without MS paying that 100 million.
We have seen at least Capcom information upon their leak, and Nintendo paid "only" 6 million to make the latest entry of Monster Hunter timed exclusive to the Switch, and Monster Hunter is one of the biggest selling IPs out there. Paying 100 million for a sequel to a game with disappointing sales sounds like a very poor investment, unless said game was never going to be made to begin with.
Tangent 1: Is Square ever, ever, not disappointed with their sales numbers?
Tangent 2: In that old article SE stated a goal to "profit" from game development window, before the game even is made. I guess the answer the article was looking for ended up being: finding platform holders that are willing to pay for the development costs.
Personally, I don't mind exclusivity when we get to know the game would had not happened at all without that financing, but we rarely if ever get to find that out. When we find out, it tends to be years later due to leaks and behind the scenes talks.
Perhaps FF7 Remake would had not been a thing at all without Sony paying a lot of money to make it happen. Or perhaps they just money-hatted it, we wont ever know... or will we? (There is that FTC document request thing, and those documents might leak...)
FF16 was a game that was definitively going to be made, with or without outside investment.
As for paying for extra content, I am skeptical. I doubt they would hire additional developers just to make that content, so at the end of the day, the extra content took some time from development time from the core game content. If you are going to go that route, better give me some platform-fan service (like having the Master Sword on the Switch version of Skyrim.)
@Tharsman Thanks for that update - its info I didnt know and it certainly sheds a different light on that particular scenario. I wandered why it was so much.
This clearly falls under the category of financing development of a product, so it definitely more along the lines of what I was first describing. Surprised they let Sony have it at all with that investment!
...and your quite right making a level and some extra creatures or whatever will involve the same dev staff that were making the game, but you are stopping them from moving on to another project which they would have done if no extra level were being made. most dev staff don't sit around waiting till the game gets shipped - they are on something else as soon as they have finished their tasks. Been 13 years since I last did a AAA game, but I doubt practices have changed that much...
...and yeah, sqeenix never seem happy
@nhSnork I play on PC because of my eyesight, and I can sit closer to my monitor where as my PS5 needs to stay connected to my TV so I am sitting farther away. I always say play where it makes you happy.
@Shredderlovespizza Not trying to argue... but there are no laws against hooking up a console to a monitor, in a desk. 🙃
I do can see it being an issue in a household where the console is shared among multiple users.
@Titntin As explained, that co-funded the development of Tomb Raider and ensured it got made - something that was very much in doubt at the time. All they requested in return was 'timed' exclusivity and then when it did come to PS4, you not only got the Complete Game, inc all DLC, you got 'complete' parity with Xbox despite Microsoft paying for that game to be developed.
That's very different to keeping Content locked off another platform forever - I don't agree with any multi-platform game having any content on only 1 platform so the others 'miss out' entirely. Surely after a period of time, that content should be available to ALL - even if Sony 'funded' that 'extra' content, although its more like its kept from others - Exclusive Strikes in Destiny for example - set in areas that 'exist' on other Platforms, exclusive MP maps etc etc
Maybe Sony did help 'fund' Deathloop and Ghostwire, it didn't convince me to 'buy' on Playstation knowing I could wait to play on Game Pass, or wait to play on my 'prefered' platform. Same when Xbox had CoD DLC 4wks early, still didn't stop people buying it and playing it on PS too.
Anything that happened prior to 2016 is also at a time when MS ran Xbox as a 'separate' side project and were 'Sales' focussed - copying the 'traditional' practices of Sony and Nintendo - however, when they 'merged' Xbox into MS, they have significantly reduced their third party deals - inc CoD. There 'exclusives' are no longer 'exclusive' to a Single Platform so you never 'need' to buy an Xbox and now you don't even need to buy their Games either but can play on devices you 'own' for a small monthly fee.
They are a 3rd Party Publisher too - like EA, Ubisoft, Square Enix so will have 3rd Party studios making games they have greenlit and 'funded' to release on Xbox exclusively - games that other Publishers may not have - maybe too 'risky' when its a 'new' IP and doesn't have a legion of loyal fans blindlessly buying sequel after sequel...
@BAMozzy yes thank you, Tharsman had already explained that arrangement to me. Thank you for confirming.
As for your views, I'm well aware of them as you explain them exhaustively whenever you get the chance and you are very consistent!
You may not be swayed by earlier releases or exclusive content, but they are there because they work. Despite attempts to discredit them, these companies are not completely stupid and don't throw money at this stuff without knowing it will have an effect.
I'm an old man, I like my new games, machines to do things they didnt do before, and to that end ensuring your games work across a range of devices is a sorely limiting endeavour that has ensured that a machine like the Series X has very little that shows its true technical potential and power. I understand how that might be good for some, and great for their business, but its not for me and I'd like a whole bunch of titles that really push the series X. The policies they pursue mean that will never happen.
I also never want to stream my games. The only time I ever use that function is to assess if its worth downloading the game.
The picture of a suite of games all made to the lowest common denominator is exactly why I use Xbox for Game pass and nothing else. Its not even remotely appealing to me. Its another part of world that is homogenizing and therefore becoming boring af. I want my series X game to be different than the PC version and better than the Series S version. If that makes me an old git, then at least I'm correctly identified
Thanks for your reply. I know it doesn't often sound like it, but I do appreciate that you engage even when you must sigh at my viewpoints! Have a good one.
@Tharsman Oh for sure, but we use it for our DVDs and Blurays too, and my teens play games on the tv, so I can't just take it to my desk, otherwise I'd be disconnecting a lot. At some point when they start playing it less, I might do that, but that could be a bit.
@Titntin I know they 'work' but that doesn't mean to say that I think Companies - whether its Sony, Microsoft or whatever Platform with the Studios, the IP's and the Publishing rights should 'Pay' to exclude content away from others permanently. I can 'just about' tolerate it knowing that the 'content' will come - even if it wouldn't have been made without the 'additional' funding in the first place - let it 'work' for a 'set-time' (up to a max of 1yr) because after that point, its 'served' its purpose of 'promoting/selling' the Platform - especially if the Platform holder hasn't got its 'own' software to release.
What annoys me most though is that people complained MS didn't have their 'OWN' games, their OWN studios and were buying 'Exclusives' like Tomb Raider, having deals with CoD keeping DLC off of Playstation for 4weeks etc instead of investing their 'riches' in building up a Portfolio of Studio's to 'compete' with Sony's First Party - now they are 'investing' money in buying Studio's, IP's etc, that's 'wrong'
I have said from the very start, I think Sony should be investing their Money in their 'ecosystem' on their Portfolio of Studios, IP's etc instead of paying to 'keep content off of other Platforms - either long term (over a few months) or permanently.
Just think how much Money Sony must pay A/B or Square Enix to keep content 'exclusive' to their platform instead of using that money to invest in building up their 'own' portfolio. They are 'guaranteed' Parity with CoD for at least the next 10yrs, that's 10yrs of not paying A/B for 'exclusive' content or marketing for that game - that's a LOT of money that could be invested in buying new Studio's and/or building up their own studios, money that could be utilised to make their 'own' CoD - they have Bungie (Destiny), Insomniac (Resistance), Guerilla (Killzone) etc so not 'lacking' in talent or experienced FPS developers.
I know you (or I) won't be satisfied with 'Cloud' gaming, but that is not the point of it. Cloud brings 'Premium' Quality games to 'non-premium' hardware - its an 'entry' level way into the Premium gaming space - for $10 a month, you can play on ANY device (limited to 1080/60 - no 'Premium' PQ or HFR option). Series S offers a 'cheaper' alternative to Series X/PS5 - not quite the 'same' Premium Quality' visuals and less likely to have 120fps support - an 'entry' level Hardware option with a 'bigger' Library. Series X and PS5 are 'Premium' Consoles offering Premium Games at Premium Quality and a Premium Console Price Tag, PC of course is the 'top' tier at a Cost.
If you can't afford a 'Premium' console or even Justify spending $500+ on Hardware/Software and/or Sub fees (Gold & PS+ are 'essential' for a LOT of Premium games you can't play without) for a couple of Games you may want to play, Cloud offers a 'Cheap' way to play 'Premium' games on Hardware it couldn't run on.
Take Forza Motorsport with RT in game at 60fps on Series S/X. If you want to play, you don't have to fork out to buy the Hardware and if you own an XB1s, a game never likely to run at 1080/60 on that WEAK hardware, you get an 'upgraded' experience on Cloud to what you are 'used' to.
I can't see PS5 CoD gamers 'opting' to play CoD on Cloud for $10 a month on devices they have, can't see them rushing out to buy a Series X for $500 and paying $15 for GP Ultimate as Gold is required too just to play CoD at upto 4k and/or 120fps (premium Quality they are 'used' to) when they can still buy CoD for $70 and play it for 'Life' on their PS5...
As for 'development' lets not forget that Playstation is the 'outlier' here - operating on its own OS and its own Bespoke Custom built SoC that doesn't support DX12 Ultimate, Doesn't Support Hardware based VRS or Mesh Shaders etc all of which the Series S/X and PC do. Therefore, devs are using Software based solutions or avoiding Mesh Shaders because they want to release on PS5 too. Xbox has the full RDNA 2 feature set and can use these in their 'own' software to give their games an advantage over 'multi-platform' games. It could 'affect' CoD long term, and 'people' will 'cry' that its deliberately hobbling PS5 because they can't run the game at '4k' or hold as stable a 120hz compared to Series X which is utilising 'advanced' rendering options not available on PS. But you'll still get ALL the same Content day and date...
The point is that is more about Consumer/Gamer choice - not being 'forced' to buy a 'specific' Premium Hardware to play 'Premium' Quality games or miss out. Not everyone can afford to own a Premium Console or buy multiple platforms to play 'ALL' the games they want. Just like you can't watch everything you want on one Streaming service for example.
If you can't afford a Premium console or play enough to justify owning one, then MS has an 'option' for you so you can still play CoD. Fortnite can be played 'everywhere' and you get 'Premium' features/frame rates on Premium hardware, but if you want to play 'on the go' or can't afford Premium hardware, you can still play - that is where MS want to take CoD. Playstation is a 'Premium' Hardware so gamers that want 'Premium' 4k/120fps, RT etc etc will 'prefer' to buy CoD on PS5 than pay MS $10 to stream on a device they have.
I can't see Streaming becoming a 'Premium' gaming platform - it just doesn't have the 'infrastructure' in place to 'better' a 'current' gen Console and I doubt it will in 10yrs time either despite the improvements to that 'infrastructure'. You'll never 'eliminate' the latency/lag even if its 'imperceptibly' small, video compression artefacts will likely also bring PQ down a bit so people will 'PAY' for 'Premium' hardware to improve the 'Quality' of the Experience, but those that can't afford or 'justtify' the Premium costs of Hardware and Software don't have to 'miss' out...
That's the 'big' difference between where MS have been trying to take gaming since about 2016, leaving behind the 'Sales' and therefore 'anti-consumer' practices that are still being utilised by Sony today - ie keeping their Games (and other 3rd Party content) from 'other' platforms - forcing people to buy their Premium Hardware or 'miss out' - prey on FOMO. Also forced to pay their Premium' software prices up front too.
As you said, Streaming allows you to assess games before deciding if they are 'worth' downloading, let alone worth purchasing. It can bring games to many more people who can't afford Premium prices and that scares Sony a LOT!!
@BAMozzy Congrats! That must be a record long reply?
I agree with much of it and fully understand some of your points, but anti Sony bias is pretty obvious and I wouldn't necessarily agree with many of those statements.
Trying to equate buying one of the biggest publishers in gaming to "'investing' money in buying Studio's, IP's etc," is a pretty cheeky reach and you must know it, surely:)
My comments about my needs and wants are exactly those. I'm not a business suit looking to predict the future direction of consumer spending - I'm a whole life gamer and ex dev who's dedicated to gaming and simply after the best experiences I can get. I get it, that's not your average guy, but its what I want and I tend to comment more about my feelings than a dispassionate analysis of the business cases'.
Anyhow, I must cook, thanks for the somewhat lopsided discourse! I enjoyed the read..
@Titntin Sounds like he's writing for the wrong site.
I play most of my games on Playstation because it's the console I like best. However, third party games are usually best on Xbox. It's funny they bring up 3D audio when Xbox supports Atmos while Playstation only supports 3D audio through headphones, not speakers. In the past it seemed like framerate was usually better on Xbox- happily it looks like Playstation is catching up on that front. Hopefully Playstation can do as promised and make the PS5 the best place for third party games, but they need improvement to get there!
@Would_you_kindly "series X is more powerful than ps5".
This is a common misconception. Although Series X has a numeric advantage on TFLOPS, that is just one of many variables that doesn't come even close to telling the whole story.
Series X has a wider chip (more CUs) whereas PS5 has a faster chip (higher frequency). Each of these approaches will provide advantages and disadvantages depending on the game.
Now, judging by the first couple years of both consoles in the market, it seems that the single most important variable to performance is actually software optimization, which falls exactly within some of the answers provided by Shawne Benson in the interview.
How do you even figure out it tracks time incorrectly?
Are you sitting with your stopwatch and timing or something?
@Art_Vandelay oh I agree with that , just on paper the series X sounds most powerful & Microsoft advertises it as the world's most powerful games console (when they do bother to advertise it , all I see are emails telling me about the 'simply next gen series S' begging me to buy one lol )
@gipsojo Sony does support 3d audio through speakers...
@Would_you_kindly I think they pulled that slogan because they couldn't actually prove that it was, especially as a lot of benchmarks were proving that it wasn't necessarily. They now just use "The fastest, most powerful Xbox ever" which at least they can prove.
@get2sammyb I wish they had but it is even worse. 40 hours on Hogwarts it shows 16 on the update. 70+ hours on Elden Ring it shows 4!!! That's just 2 examples but many more are so wrong
@riceNpea it 100% has not been fixed. It's worse in my opinion.
@W0rl0ck works for me
@Would_you_kindly Right. The annoying thing is that it's not a blatant lie, but it's misleading and disingenuous.
For me it probably will be the best place for 3rd party. The current PlayStation is usually the most powerful bit of hardware I have in the house at any given time, from the PS3 onward. So I always lean to that.
@WallyWest This is correct, at least for me. Unless the other versions add entire new story chapters or missions/levels.
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