There's one game that's absolutely dominated the PC space over the past 18 months and that's PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. The Battle Royale game, which is basically the brainchild of one guy, Brendan Greene, pits 100 players against each other in an ever shrinking playing field and tasks them with being the last one standing. And it's so good that it's spawned tonnes of brilliant games like PUBG.
It’s been the most played game on Steam every single day for months, with concurrent players usually standing around four times higher than any other game on the platform. In fact, it was the first game to achieve the massive milestone of two million concurrent players, and it doesn’t look like the player base has any signs of shrinking.
In December, PUBG launched on Xbox One, just in time to pull out all the stops on Xbox One X. It’s definitely not perfect, by any means, but it was a big boon for Xbox owners looking for an exclusive console game release. Now, of course, the question on the majority of gamers’ lips is whether it’s ever going to come to PS4.
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Is PUBG coming to PS4?
Well, it’s looking incredibly likely that we’re going to see a PS4 release for PUBG at some point in the future. It’s just a case of when, rather than if.
“As it’s going to be an exclusive title on Xbox One for some time, we’d like to focus on completing the Xbox One PUBG for now,” says Chang Han Kim, the CEO of PUBG Corporation to InvenGlobal. “If we have the opportunity, the final goal would be to launch the title on every platform.”
"We definitely do have plans for other platforms," adds Kim in a Business Insider interview in June 2017. "But no details have been finalized yet."
It’s not the first time that either Kim or creator Brendan Greene have mentioned ideas of wanting PUBG on every platform ever. It seems that total domination isn’t just the idea for the gameplay.
“I’d like PUBG to become a universal media franchise based on the game. We want to take part in diverse industries including eSports, movies, drama, cartoons, animation, and more. In fact, we received a couple of lovely calls from a number of developers in Hollywood and Netflix. Our dream is to build a new game-based culture through various ways like this, and have the lead of that culture,” says Kim in the InvenGlobal interview.
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The Early Access Dilemma
One of the main reasons that Xbox One gamers got access to PUBG before PS4 owners is because of its Game Preview program. Basically, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds isn’t anywhere near finished yet. It originally launched on Steam through its Early Access program, and only actually launched properly on the main Steam page in December 2017 with its PC 1.0 Update.
On the Xbox One though, it’s very much still a work in progress. It exists only within Microsoft’s Game Preview service, which is basically the Xbox’s version of Early Access. It’s the only console with this type of preview service, allowing gamers to help test the quality and performance of games ahead of full launch - albeit usually for a fee, with PUBG on Xbox One costing $29.99/£24.99 at this point, or free when you buy a new Xbox One X. Neither PlayStation nor Nintendo offer such a service on PS4 or Switch, so it’s more difficult to offer access on those platforms until the game is actually finished.
“We see Xbox Game Preview very much like Early Access on Steam, so we are trying to evolve the game more with the feedback of the users,” explains Kim in an interview with OXM in December. “We want to push out as many updates as we can, but it’s very difficult to do frequent updates when it comes to the console platform, so on this we’re currently consulting with the Xbox team on how to make this happen more quickly.”
“Early Access on Steam and Game Preview on Xbox One are like pre-release, so they don’t have a restriction on quality,” explains Kim to InvenGlobal. “However, PlayStation is very strict about this. There were cases where a game took 6 months more to launch even when it was already completed. We are still in the stage of learning the console development environment and console gamers’ taste. We need to think about other platforms after evaluating and completing the Xbox One version first.”
So there’s basically good news and bad news when it comes to getting PUBG on PS4. You will get it eventually, but you’re going to have to wait. However, when it does arrive, you are going to be getting the best version of the game, without having to wade through framerate issues, downgrades in graphical quality or any other pre-release issues. You’ll probably even get both maps, the first-person mode and more when you get to play on PS4. It’ll be worth the wait.
Just check out the difference between what PUBG looks like on Xbox One vs Xbox One X in this video to see what kind of issues Xbox gamers have been having.