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Ctrl+Alt+Del: PlayStation and Xbox are turning me into a PC gamer

OPINION: There’s been a lot of chat this week about the future of console gaming, from Xbox and PlayStation directly as well as their respective communities. The general vibe is one of openness, and that could present a bright future for PC gaming.

Over the majority of my three decades on this planet, I’ve been a devout console gamer but, given my role as Computing Editor and extensive testing of gaming laptops, I’ve spent more and more time in the PC gaming realm. That has only grown in recent years with the PC experience being broader and richer, from Xbox providing better native support, streaming from the likes of GeForce Now enabling higher performance gaming with less costly hardware and the growth of PC gaming handhelds providing an exciting new way to play.

With Xbox and PlayStation now openly talking about their plans to accelerate by having even more open platforms and game launches, it seems like PC could end up being the best platform to get the best of all worlds. And, I’m expecting to eagerly convert into a fully-fledged PC gamer.

So, what are PlayStation and Xbox actually saying? Xbox has been the talk of the town this week, with Phil Spencer being part of an impromptu “Xbox Business Update” podcast following on from the ramping up of rumours relating to the company’s future strategy on exclusives and console form-factor.

But, before I get into the meat of that, Sony also dropped in a tidbit on a similar theme. Sony president and PlayStation chairman Hiroki Totoki revealed on a financial call the company wants to get more “aggressive” in how it drives profit margins around its first party games (via VGC).

Totoki stated, “In the past, we wanted to popularise consoles, and a first-party title’s main purpose was to make the console popular,” adding, “… if you have strong first-party content – not only on our console but also other platforms, like computers – a first-party [game] can be grown with multi-platform, and that can help operating profit to improve, so that’s another one we want to proactively work on.”

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These comments fit perfectly with PlayStation’s latest moves, which have seen Helldivers 2 launch on the same day on the PS5 and PC. That’s quite a difference compared with the long wait there has been for other first-party titles, like the God of War series, to come to PC.

But, such a move with a live-service game doesn’t necessarily mean the next huge single-play title from the brand will come to PC sooner, though it does now seem more likely. Either way, in the same call, Tokoki revealed we won’t see a new major franchise release until 2025 (via IGN), with such lag time being another factor that is making me consider my options this year.

That’s potentially speedier and more frequent PC releases from the PlayStation side of things. What of Xbox? The aforementioned business update saw the company reveal that four previously-exclusive games would be coming to multiple platforms, including the PS5. The identities of those games weren’t revealed, but The Verge reports they are set to be Hi-Fi Rush, Pentiment, Sea of Thieves and Grounded. Xbox also played down reports that Starfield and the new Indiana Jones games will come to PS5, but rumours remain that it is being considered for some point down the line (via The Verge).


Despite the multiplatform chat, Xbox was keen to stress Game Pass will remain Xbox and PC only, while also revealing there is new hardware that is the “largest technical leap you will have ever seen in a hardware generation” coming “this holiday”. It’s a reiteration of the line that its consoles will be the best place to play Xbox even with the move towards being more open.

Xbox is already head first in the multiplatform world, with PlayStation and Nintendo Switch being the last holdouts when it comes to where it expands its web too. The platform is now accessible across consoles, laptops, desktop PCs, PC gaming handhelds, phones, tablets and smart TVs in one way or another. 

These moves by PlayStation and Xbox speak to a broader trend across technology where innovation in software and flexibility in hardware is becoming a greater focus for new products, over just the latest and greatest hardware specifications. 

And, it’s this trend that is pushing me towards embracing PC as my primary platform. Do I want the best performance and viewing experience for PlayStation’s luxurious AAA titles? Of course, but PC is going to come pretty damn close. Do I want the benefits of using Xbox Game Pass and its high-end hardware? Absolutely. But, with a version of Game Pass on PC, and many Xbox titles being well supported on the platform, PC seems like a more than a viable way into Xbox.

All of that combined, along with having easy access to launchers like Steam and the variety of hardware available, like the emergence of handhelds and game streaming, is adding up to a bright future for PC gaming – a future where having a console is becoming far less of an essential purchase.

Ctrl+Alt+Del is our weekly computing-focused opinion column where we delve deeper into the world of computers, laptops, components, peripherals and more. Find it on Trusted Reviews every Saturday afternoon.

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