A LACK of PlayStation 4 (PS4) games and the ease of porting from PC to the console are the key reasons behind Swedish developer Image and Form’s decision to bypass the PS3 in favour of the PS4 for a release of its critically acclaimed Steamworld Dig title.
Image and Form will release Steamworld Dig next month for both PS4 and PS Vita (PSV) – but not yet for PlayStation 3, bypassing a potential 80 million customers who own Sony’s previous console.
Image and Form spokesman Mikael Forslind said few games were available for PS4 owners, and the console’s architecture made it easy for the small studio to port its recent PC build.
“Being that SteamWorld Dig worked so well on the 3DS we were really excited to see the game on the Vita with its HD-graphics,” he said.
“It just felt natural to release both on Vita and PS4 simultaneously. Especially at this moment when the PS4 is almost brand new on the market and really hasn’t got a lot of games out there.”
Forslind didn’t rule out a PS3 version, but said the small studio had no plans to create one right now.
“Depending on the reception from the PS-community we might consider it. We want everyone to play our little game,” he said.
Gamer Thumb’s opinion:
UPDATE: Image and Form has clarified that the PC-like architecture of the PlayStation 4 makes it easier to port Steamworld Dig HD from PC to PS4 than to PS3.
In light of that, I’ve updated the article, but it also answers a critical question: why choose a console with a smaller install base than a larger one?
Already, Sony’s decision to move to an x86-based architecture is working to its favour in terms of attracting developers. With news that the company has surpassed the 5 million units sold mark, it is also ahead of the Xbox One in terms of global sales.
There is no doubting that other developers with PC titles will watch closely to see how Steamworld Dig performs this March.
It began life on the 3DS handheld, with Image and Form CEO Brjann Sigurgeirsson telling Gamer Thumb at the time that it chose dedicated gaming hardware over mobile in a bid to boost profits.
It certainly is a great opportunity for Brjann and the team to build the game’s profile given the wave of media and community interest it should receive as one of the few titles to launch on Sony’s next-gen and handheld platforms next month.
I wish them luck, and hope that all of you who are yet to discover this title do so on your PS4 or Vita.
Check out the gameplay trailer from the 3DS game here: