Sony’s lineup of first party exclusives is without a doubt one of the biggest reasons to get a PlayStation console, and that obviously isn’t going to change any time soon. With the PS5, however, Sony has adopted a bit of a different approach early on in the console’s life, with a focus on cross-gen releases. While there certainly have been some big PS5 exclusive games already in the likes of Demon’s Souls, Returnal, and Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, it seems Sony wants to release its biggest tentpole releases on both PS5 and PS4, with upcoming games such as God of War: Ragnarok, Horizon Forbidden West, and Gran Turismo 7 being confirmed as cross-gen releases.
So what exactly can we expect Sony to fully commit to exclusive PS5 development? Industry analyst Michael Pachter fielded the question in a recently uploaded video, and he believes that simply given the fact that Sony is going to want to sell large quantities of its biggest games, it’s going to keep on releasing them for the PS4 as well until it’s confident that enough PS5 units have been sold for exclusive releases to be able to sell as much as they want them to. According to Pachter, we might start seeing some exclusive PS5 games by late 2022, but you shouldn’t expect them to fully commit to the same until 2023.
“They cannot really ignore the PS4 until they have enough PS5s to really cover enough units that they think they can make money on a game,” Pachter said. “You wanna sell about 3 million units just to break even, and if you don’t have more than 7-8 million PS5s or 10 million PS5s out there, you just can’t do it. There will always be exclusives early on in a console’s cycle because they want people to buy the hardware. So it’s chicken and egg, you know, you’ve gotta sell some eggs at a discount to get people to buy the chicken.
“That’s really what goes on on the exclusives. But on bigger games, if they want to sell 20 million units, they’ve gotta make it on old and new consoles. Truthfully, I think they’ll support the PS4 through 2023. Ten years. So I think you’ll probably start to see more [PS5] exclusives in 2022, and probably all exclusives in 2023.”
So far, the PS5 has shipped 10.1 million units worldwide, and Sony expects to have shipped over 22 million units total by the end of the current fiscal year (which runs until April 2022). Early PS5 exclusives have already been achieving impressive sales, with Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart having sold 1.1 million units during its launch month, so it should be interesting to see how long it takes for Sony to decide that there are enough PS5s out there to start releasing exclusive games.
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