This isn’t a strong first impression, where this should be Sony’s chance to impress gamers on PC and set the tone for future releases of first-party PlayStation games on PC. Obviously, this connector took more time in the oven, but for some reason Sony felt it appropriate to release it in this state. The release date was a self set deadline, and I don’t think anyone would have been too disappointed if they delayed the release to make sure it lives up to people’s expectations.
It is perhaps especially frustrating because this is due to the back of the extremely well received PC port on another former PlayStation exclusive last month when Death Stranding came to PC in a fantastic conversion from the PS4 version. These games both run on Sony’s Decima engine, so many gamers had hoped that Horizon Zero Dawn would be fair as well. Despite the similarities between the two scenarios, there are some differences.
Death Stranding was always slated for PC release, with the PC version being announced before the game even had a name. While developing the PlayStation version, the team working on it also planned the PC version. Horizon Zero Dawn was originally supposed to only be released on PlayStation. The decision to publish on PC wasn’t made until much later.
Another difference is that Death Stranding has been ported to PC by Kojima Productions itself, while indications suggest that the PC port has been relocated from Horizon Zero Dawn. Kojima Productions worked on PC release in collaboration with publisher 505 Games, and as a small studio with only one game so far, they realized the importance of nailing PC release. 505 Games aren’t the biggest game maker either, and Death Stranding for PC is one of the most notable projects they’ve ever been involved in. So you would have known there was pressure to get it right. Perhaps that’s why they postponed the Death Stranding PC release from its June 2nd release date to July 14th. For Sony, on the other hand, the release of Horizon Zero Dawn is kind of a little experiment where the success or failure of that release won’t have much of an impact on the future of their business. The stakes are much lower which could have contributed to the decision to cut a few corners. The development of the port has been outsourced to Virtuos, a porter house that is by and large quite inconsistent and has laid out some solid and some questionable ports. Perhaps trying to port this great game simply required a bigger budget and more time.