Back in the good old days of console gaming, say the 16-bit era, there was a clear distinction between what was available on consoles and what elsewhere.
Sure, there were multi-platform titles available for consoles and home computer systems or the PC, but most of the time you had to own multiple platforms to play all the games you were interested in.
Multi-platform pushed to the mainstream eventually which meant that more and more games were released for multiple systems. If you look at the PS3 and Xbox 360 era for instance, you will notice that most blockbusters were released for PC as well.
There were still exclusives though that were released for a single platform only. Many were created by in-house studios or through publishing deals.
If you look at the current generation of console gaming, you will notice that two of the three companies are recognizing the PC as a platform.
Microsoft started to migrate the Xbox platform and PCs to Windows 10 for instance. With the move came the announcement that the majority of exclusives for Xbox One that Microsoft gaming studios create would also come to Windows 10 PCs.
Sony announced yesterday that it would bring its PlayStation Now service to Windows PCs as well. PlayStation Now is a streaming service that was available to PlayStation 4 owners only up until now. Starting this year, PC gamers on Windows may subscribe to PlayStation Now to access a library of over 400 games including many exclusives such as The Last of Us, Uncharted or God of War.
The company will launch the DualShock 4 USB Wireless Adaptor in early September that PC and Mac users may use to connect their DualShock 4 controller to the computer.
PlayStation Now will be available on Windows 7 SP1 and newer devices. This is different from Microsoft's offering which requires Windows 10.
The core difference between the offerings of both companies is clear. Microsoft offers Xbox One exclusives on Windows 10 as well, for the full price of the game. Sony makes the subscription service Playstation Now available which features PS3 games only currently.
Microsoft's games play locally on the PC for the most part, while Sony's PS Now offering streams games to PCs instead.
PC gamers benefit from the new strategy. While some may not like that Xbox One games are Windows Store exclusives for now, Microsoft announced already that this is going to change in the future.
PC gamers who never owned a Playstation console, or owned one but don't anymore, may play games they missed or loved on PC.
The situation is different for console gamers. One of the main benefits of being a console gamer was that exclusive games were available on those platforms that one could not play on PC.
With that barrier removed or at least moving, that argument for owning a console becomes weaker and weaker.
There will still be exclusives for Xbox One, and Sony has yet to make PS4 games available via PlayStation Now though.
Are Microsoft and Sony already preparing to exit the console market and provide their services on PCs or via streaming?
Now You: What's your take on the development?Advertisement
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.