Now that Counter-Strike 2 has been confirmed as a real thing that’s actually happening, the Left 4 Dead 3 leaks contained within the shooter’s executables seem very legitimate. But that begs the question: if L4D3 is on its way, will it even release on PS5?
Why was Left 4 Dead an Xbox exclusive in the first place?
The original Left 4 Dead and its sequel Left 4 Dead 2 were both Xbox 360 console exclusives, skipping the PS3 entirely. However, while console exclusives are now mostly the result of either Sony or Microsoft laying down cash to secure a win for their respective hardware, the reason why L4D didn’t make its way to PlayStation systems is more divisive — Valve’s founder Gabe Newell hated the PS3.
Back in 2007, Newell made his thoughts clear on Sony’s then-current-gen hardware, branding it a “waste of everybody’s time.”
“There’s nothing there that you’re going to apply to anything else,” Newell said in an interview with Edge magazine “You’re not going to gain anything except a hatred of the architecture they’ve created. I don’t think they’re going to make money off their box. I don’t think it’s a good solution.”
Considering that Left 4 Dead was released just a year later in 2008, it’s no surprise that the series didn’t its way to the Sony console given Newell’s open disdain for Sony’s hardware. Left 4 Dead 2 was also released during the PS3’s life cycle, with the PS4 launching four years later in 2013. However, Valve did go on to still release some games for the console, with Portal 2 making its way to the hardware in 2011 followed by Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in 2012 — which bizarrely worked with the ill-fated PlayStation Move motion controller.
Is Left 4 Dead 3 coming to PS5?
As Valve doesn’t have an exclusivity deal with Microsoft, and it avoided the PS3 simply because it didn’t want to develop on the hardware, a PS5 and potentially even a PS4 release for Left 4 Dead 3 seems likely.
The PS5 and PS4 are far easier to develop for than the PS3 — in fact, back in a GDC State of the Industry 2021 report, PS5 was the lead console in developer interest just behind PC. As developers now have far less trouble working with the PS5 than they did with Sony’s PS3, it’d be questionable for Valve to skip the best-selling current-gen console at this point.