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Trophies and Extending the Ecosystem

When Ghost of Tsushima comes to PC it’ll bring with it something that many of us guessed would never happen. You’ll be able to earn PlayStation trophies through your Steam purchase. This is massive.


I get it. It doesn’t feel massive. In fact, on the face of it, Ghost of Tsushima coming to PC massively outweighs that little nugget of information by an order of magnitude. But that’s only if you’re not paying attention.

There was a time not very long ago when people aggressively argued that PlayStation games would never come to PC at all. Now those same people aggressively argue that it’ll always be a two year wait. The addition of trophies proves that that’s not the case.

Because like Xbox, PlayStation is no longer a device by your TV. Today, being a PlayStation gamer means being in the ecosystemThere are going to be people on PC earning trophies, chatting with friends and updating their profile – and they don’t have a single PlayStation device in their house. And those people are just as likely to buy Horizon 3 as someone who owns the consoles.

This isn’t surprising. A more aggressive push towards PC and mobile devices was hinted at by the company’s acting CEO months and months ago. This feature was obviously in the works long before those interviews. Extending the player base is a simple way of upping profits from existing products. It’s a no-brainer and almost entirely non-controversial outside of a few specialist spaces.

But this isn’t just a case of porting over old games and hoping they sell a decent amount. Helldivers 2 did better on PC than it did on console. And the addition of the PlayStation overlay proves this isn’t just a side hustle for Sony.

Trophies and PlayStation on PC

Every feature of that overlay is designed to connect back to the wider PlayStation service. The more connections you have to the brand – purchased games, friends, and yes, your trophy collection – makes you more likely to stay with the brand.

Trophies is an especially interesting one. A niche of a niche – collecting achievements isn’t something everybody does. But those that do are truly dedicated to it. And where are the most dedicated of gamers? On PC. And that’s going to continue to grow in the coming years. More and more people are dropping console (or in the case of younger gamers, never really bothering in the first place).

Adding this feature wasn’t necessary. And there will be lots of people who don’t even notice it’s there. But for some, this will mean double dipping on a game they’ve already played on console. For others it’ll mean a chance to continue with their trophy collection even if they haven’t invested in a PlayStation 5. This might be subtle, but it’s a connection to something many may have left behind at the start of this generation.

The connected ecosystem is something Microsoft do really well, and I’m not sure they get enough credit for it. It’s something that PlayStation are just starting to experiment with too. It’s a simple but powerful statement about things to come for the brand, and for the extension of the ecosystem.


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blank Mat Growcott has been a long-time member of the gaming press. He's written two books and a web series, and doesn't have nearly enough time to play the games he writes about.

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Twitter: @matgrowcott