At the PS4 the reveal event on Feb. 20, Sony showcased a selection of titles that will be coming to the PS4 platform. Along with a few multi-platform titles, Sony also displayed a few titles that would be coming exclusively to the PlayStation 4. One of these titles was the “exploration-puzzle game” called “The Witness,” which will be coming to this platform as a timed exclusive.
Speaking of the exclusivity deal with Sony, through a post on the official website for “The Witness,” Jonathan Blow explains a few details surrounding this exclusivity. It is explained that this exclusivity deal with Sony is a limited time deal that only applies to competing consoles, such as the Xbox 720 or Wii U.
With this being said, this still does not prevent “The Witness” from appearing on the PC or iOS at launch. In addition to this, Blow also explains why this is exclusivity deal is in place. “The real situation is that, because we are a small developer, we only have the ability to launch on a small number of platforms at once. We liked the idea of being on a console, and originally we thought we might be on the PS3 or Xbox 360, but eventually we decided not to target either of those, due to the relatively low system specs and the work required to do the ports. After some more time went by, and our release date drifted further into the future, we realized that the next-generation console launch time might be a good time to release the game. (For a while we were hoping to be out substantially earlier than the next consoles, e.g. right now, so we didn’t start thinking seriously about this until recently).”
“To launch a high-spec version of the game on a console, it came down to a choice between the next Microsoft console or the next Sony console. There were people at Sony who really liked the game and were keeping in touch with us about it, and so we naturally started going to their PS4 developer events, got a dev kit, and started playing with it. I don’t have good communication with anyone at Microsoft right now, but all our technical people like the PS4 specs a lot more than the leaked Durango specs, and we like the positioning of the PS4 (it’s about games) more than what we perceive Microsoft’s positioning is going to be.”