Sony might be looking at multiplatform publishing from first-party studios in the next console generation

Posted by Justin 'AdaptiveTrigger' Gordon • August 21, 2019 at 6:39 p.m. PDT

Most Street Fighter fans are more likely to own a PlayStation 4 over an Xbox One. This is probably in thanks to the fact that Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition is exclusive to the PlayStation 4 and PC. Sony did, after all, assist with the development costs.

It appears as though this practice may end up going away in the future with the PlayStation 5. In a recent interview with Bloomberg (via Forbes), Shawn Layden of Sony's Worldwide Studios hinted that some first party titles may be made available on other consoles.

"We must support the PlayStation platform — that is nonnegotiable," declared Layden. "That said, you will see in the future some titles coming out of my collection of studios which may need to lean into a wider installed base."

Now given, the Street Fighter franchise is a property that's owned by Capcom. They have games that has appeared on a variety of consoles throughout their many years.

What Layden is likely referring to are first party IPs. Franchises like Uncharted, God of War, Sly Cooper, Infamous, the Last of Us, and more. Imagine titles like these coming to the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, or Google Stadia.

Although Street Fighter 5 is likely going to remain exclusive to the PlayStation 4 until the end of time, this does open the door for future fighting games. Rumors are still circulating about some supposed Street Fighter 6, for example.

This could also mean that Sony will be providing better support for cross-play. Online interactions between the other consoles might become more common with fighting games.

"We must support the PlayStation platform — that is nonnegotiable. That said, you will see in the future some titles coming out of my collection of studios which may need to lean into a wider installed base." — Shawn Layden

When Mortal Kombat 9 was first released, Kratos from the God of War series was made into a playable character... exclusively for the PlayStation version. Unfortunately, this resulted in the character being immediately banned from tournaments.

Now imagine if a character like Kratos could be playable in all versions of Mortal Kombat 9. In terms of Sony loosening the reins a little with their properties, this could be a possibility in future fighting games.

We're already seeing Microsoft developing games for the Nintendo Switch. It truly was an interesting thing to see games like Cuphead and Ori and the Blind Forest get announced for Nintendo's latest gaming device.

Likely as a result of this developing relationship between these two video game companies, we're getting Banjo-Kazooie in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Some thought of this as being impossible after Microsoft acquired Rare.

Perhaps someday we'll see Sony mascots appearing as guests in Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. or Microsoft's Killer Instinct. This also could open the door for third party developers to have Sony characters in their fighting games, released for all platforms.

For the most part, console exclusive fighters have ultimately become a thing of the past since they tend to just get banned from tournaments anyhow. Perhaps we'll start seeing guest characters appear after an era where their chances would otherwise be too unlikely due to exclusivity.

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