It's looking like another PS4 exclusive title — also playable on PS5 — will not be limited to PlayStation platforms for much too longer. During a Sony investor presentation, the company accidentally revealed that the critically acclaimed Uncharted 4: A Thief's End will be coming to PC. We believe it was maybe a tad unintentional given that Sony has not formally announced the port.
The release of Uncharted 4 on PC follows a slew of other PlayStation exclusive titles that have made the jump to computers, such as Horizon Zero Dawn and Days Gone. Interestingly, according to Sony's presentation (opens in new tab), Horizon has seen a 250% return-on-investment (ROI). That means Sony made double what it cost to port the game to PC.
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Without getting too into the weeds of game publishing, Horizon released on PS4 and PS4 Pro in February of 2017. By 2020, the game had been discounted, and could be found for as little as $10 on Amazon (opens in new tab) when on sale. But when Sony decided to release the game for Windows in 2020, it could start charging that initial $60 all over again. And clearly, PC gamers were willing to pay full price for a three-year-old game.
According to Nielsen's SuperData, as reported by VGC (opens in new tab), the launch of Horizon Zero Dawn on PC was about as large as the Witcher 3's. Considering that The Witcher 3 is the second most awarded game in history (opens in new tab), that's saying something. The launch also eclipsed Assassin's Creed Odyssey's 2018 launch.
At the moment, 2016's Uncharted 4 can be found on sale for $10 at Best Buy (opens in new tab). And that's for a brand new copy. A used copy can likely be found for less. And obviously, Sony doesn't make money from used sales. So, from a purely business perspective, releasing years-old PlayStation exclusives on PC makes financial sense.
It's still unsure if Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection will also be making the jump to PC. It's a remastered collection of the first three Uncharted games released on PS3. But honestly, it would be a major misstep for Sony not to release the collection if Uncharted 4 is already on the table for PC.
Sony uses it's suite of exclusive titles to leverage sales of its console. It's the reason why many gamers choose to buy PlayStation hardware over Xbox just to play games like The Last of Us: Part II. By porting more of its AAA titles to PC, there's a chance it could cannibalize its console business. We suspect that Sony will only bring games to PC after titles are sitting in bargain bins. And it's not like hardware sales are the bread-and-butter for Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo. Producing hardware costs a lot of money. Manufacturers tend to lose money on consoles, and aim to make that cost back with long-term game sales.
Currently, 2019's God of War is sitting at $10 on Amazon (opens in new tab). Maybe Kratos will be the next Sony character to come to PC.