With Microsoft’s Game Pass service, subscribers gain instant access to new Xbox One exclusives on launch day at no extra cost. Thanks to a recent PlayStation Now price drop, it seems Sony aims to compete with the Microsoft service on a more even playing field. But what about adding PlayStation exclusives to PS Now on release day? According to SIE President and CEO Jim Ryan, such a move isn’t currently in the forecast. That doesn’t mean things won’t eventually change; however, the launch of most PlayStation-exclusive titles is a huge entertainment event. For the time being, Sony would like to keep it that way.
Ryan expressed this in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, explaining that the publisher wants to treat the release of its first-party titles with “amazing care.” He told the publication,
It’s an area that is fast changing and fluid. The nature and scale of some of the first party games that we are making leads us to think that, right now, it’s better to spend energy on making sure that the launch of those games is a massive entertainment event. I would cite God of War and Spider-Man, and The Last of Us [Part] 2 next year will fall into that category.
That’s where we stand right now. But our stance on the inclusion of first party games in PlayStation Now in terms of what we’ve done this month is very different to our stance 12 months ago. I don’t want to say this is what PlayStation Now is going to be like forever. But certainly right now, given how some of our first party IP is incredibly special and valuable, we just want to treat them with amazing care and respect, and have those launches be clean and pure.
Based on Ryan’s statement, the idea of launching first-party titles on PS Now hasn’t been entirely written off. There may be room for such a move in the future. Should that eventually become the case, it’ll be interesting to see how Sony transitions into that kind of strategy. Presently, the most recently released big-budget PS4 exclusive on PS Now is 2018’s God of War. Yet, it, alongside Uncharted 4, will only appear on the streaming platform until January 1, 2020. The publisher has yet to detail which exclusive titles, if any, will replace them for a similar limited-time window.
PlayStation Now’s drop in price certainly served as a boon for the service overall. Within weeks of the service’s new pricing model launch, Sony announced PS Now had grown to one million subscribers, a massive 50% growth for the service. This is especially notable, given that a report from this past April had the figure at 700,000 users.
Today has been a treasure trove of new PlayStation-related information. Guerrilla Games’ Hermen Hulst, for instance, is now Head of PlayStation’s Worldwide Studios. Meanwhile, Shuhei Yoshida will head up a brand-new indie initiative for the publisher. In addition, Ryan has also unveiled that developers are apparently finding the PlayStation 5 easier to code for, compared to previous Sony platforms. And Cory Barlog is up to something.