Why The Witness is coming to PS4 first
Sony’s developer-first approach makes PS4 preferable to the next Xbox, which is “not strictly about games”, says Jonathan Blow. He also suggested that difficulties working with Microsoft in the past were a factor in the decision to work with Sony.
The Witness was unveiled as a timed PS4 exclusive at PlayStation Meeting last month. Speaking as part of an interview to be published in full on Monday, Blow outlined Sony’s attitude to working with indies on PS4. “I do think they realise that downloadable games are going to be bigger than they ever have been, and I think they realise that part of success in that area is having developers who are making the most interesting games want to be on their platform.”
Blow later explained that past experiences with Microsoft and the direction it is expected to take with its next Xbox make Sony the preferable partner.
“Yeah, there were a lot of reasons why it was a good choice,” he said. “Some were technical – we haven’t officially been disclosed on Microsoft’s next console, but we do see the same leaks as everyone else has, and they seem plausible. To me they talk about a console that is not strictly about games. It’s trying to be the centre of the living room device, which is fine and maybe it’s the right thing for Microsoft to do, business-wise. I don’t know; I actually don’t think it is, but they’ve certainly thought about it more than me! As a place to put the best, highest performing version of our game on, it doesn’t seem as good a choice.”
“I’ve had a bad time working with Microsoft in the past,” he continued. “Maybe not super bad, but a moderately bad time in terms of business relationships. Other developers who are friends of mine have had a horrible time, so the idea of signing up again with Microsoft isn’t something I’d have ruled out, but there’s a certain amount of dread I have about doing that again. I don’t have that with Sony. Who knows, maybe it’ll turn out to be just as bad at the end! But I don’t think so. The people we’re talking to on a daily basis there are just really good people, and we’re happy to work with them. We’ll see how it goes.”