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Sony's games business could be transformed by the PlayStation PC launcher

Sony's games business could be transformed by the PlayStation PC launcher

Sony could meld PlayStation consoles and PC together with a new PlayStation PC launcher, but it would be extremely difficult to accomplish.

Sony may be preparing its own PlayStation game launcher for PC, according to datamining information. If this is the case, Sony has a remarkable opportunity to integrate the PlayStation consoles with the PC platform, but it will require extensive planning to make it work.

Sony has breached its fortress and is now sharing its valuable, once-exclusive console games with PC users. It's a good business strategy; selling games on as many platforms as possible means more revenue. So far, it's doing well, and Sony expects to make $300 million from PC this year.

Only one thing is missing: console-to-PC integration. Currently, gamers must purchase titles through Steam or the Epic Games Store, both of which are separate from the PlayStation platform. The real money is in cross-platform integration. Sony could solve this problem with its own PlayStation PC launcher, which would integrate consoles and services into a unified ecosystem. It won't be easy...and it might be expensive. However, if done correctly, Sony could make the most of the PC platform.

First things first: Steam is the king of PC gaming. Separate game launchers are nothing compared to Steam's power. Because everyone already owns a ton of Steam games and because of additional features like cloud syncing, friends, sales, etc., everyone purchases Steam games.

But Sony might gain an advantage by incorporating the power of its PlayStation 4 ecosystem into its PC presence.

So how does this operate? Think of the PlayStation PC launcher as being essentially identical to the Xbox app in both form and functionality. We've already covered this in previous articles. Additionally, Sony needs to convince users to use their launcher rather than Steam.

The PlayStation PC app should ideally be a one-stop launcher with the following features:
  1. A full-featured storefront where video games are sold (or links to an online storefront that sells games).
  2. Launch first-party PlayStation Live games, streamable PS Plus games, and games you've purchased for your PlayStation PC.
  3. Connect to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 consoles, download paid games and PS Plus titles to consoles, etc.
  4. Features of the PlayStation Network, such as friends, achievements, parties, etc., are fully integrated (with options for Discord integration, of course).
  5. Instantly launch any natively downloadable PS Plus PC games that may become available in the future, including cloud-streamed games.
  6. Cross-save progression: Although this is extremely difficult and not always possible, it would be very advantageous.
  7. Cross-buy promotions - Although this might reduce Sony's profits, it would be a compelling reason to use the PlayStation PC launcher.
  8. Rewards programs: earn bonus points and integrate PlayStation Stars
  9. Exclusive discounts – only accessible through the app, Steam-like sales on PC games.
However, it might be years before Sony is ready. The PlayStation Plus PC app as it stands now is extremely clumsy and basic.

It's difficult to pull these off. Microsoft long ago combined Xbox and PC, but the interface is still imperfect. Sony needs to study what Microsoft has accomplished and, if at all possible, try to follow in its footsteps while also trying to incorporate its own brand and creativity to create something original.

If Sony is successful, the PlayStation PC launcher will serve as both an extension of the PlayStation ecosystem and a gateway into the online infrastructure. The real objective is to lessen consumer friction and increase player "stickiness" in the multi-billion dollar digital games industry. The install base of PlayStation 4 consoles is enormous, with over 100 million consumers owning them. Sony could continue to enjoy long-term success in the future if they could figure out how to take advantage of the PS4 (and PS5) install base on PC.

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