Even though the game has been delayed until the Spring of 2018, Red Dead Redemption 2 is still hot on the minds of fans. Originally slated to be released in the Fall of 2017, the hype for the game surpassed that of any other AAA title immediately after the initial announcement, and only ever grew since then. Amid the general lack of information, the same few questions popped up time and again, with “Will it come to PC?” being one of the most frequent ones.
Thing is, even if Red Dead Redemption 2 will eventually get a PC port, players shouldn’t expect an announcement anytime soon. That said, the chances of this happening are really slim – and you can blame Sony for that. The reason for this can be found when looking at the lack of a PC version for 2010’s Red Dead Redemption.
No Red Dead game has ever graced the PC before, though there weren’t any crowds pining for a port of Red Dead Revolver. Red Dead Redemption made some major waves seven years ago when it was launched, and gamers have been vocal about their interest in a PC version ever since. For some odd reason, Rockstar opted to ignore the demand. With the announcement of the sequel, Red Dead was thrust back into the spotlight and rumblings around a PC version of the predecessor returned to the forefront of discussion.
And so Rockstar delivered. Kind of. Red Dead Redemption can be currently played on PC through, and only through, Sony’s PlayStation Now streaming service, which is subscription based. For $20/£12.99 a month, PC players can access a library of PS4 and PS3 titles, including Red Dead Redemption, but there is a catch. You can only play with a PlayStation Dual-Shock controller, and performance is generally terrible.
And yet, PS Now is the sole method of playing Red Dead Redemption on PC, so people are buying into it anyway. Incidentally, Rockstar Games has a partnership with Sony, the details of which are not fully known. The only visible signs of this deal are the additional PS4-oriented marketing RDR2 is getting, and that players on the PS4 will gain access to post-launch content in Red Dead Online, the game’s multiplayer component, earlier than players on Xbox One.
Let’s collect all that – Rockstar has a deal with Sony, and currently a paid Sony service is the only way to play Red Dead Redemption on PC. It’s pretty clear where this leads: there will be no PC port of Red Dead Redemption because buying it once and playing with all the benefits of an actual port beats subscribing to play only with a controller and poor performance. Meaning Sony would lose out on a monopoly and we’re sure that this was part of the deal between the two companies.
As for Red Dead Redemption 2’s PC version, well, the same rules apply. It’s a good bet that the game will be included in the PlayStation Now library sometime after launch, once again excluding the possibility of a port. The only question that remains is whether the block on a PC port will be lifted when the deal lapses, or if Rockstar signed off on it permanently.
On the flip-side, if a PC version is on its way, we won’t hear about it at least until the game’s launch on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Rockstar’s previous major release, Grand Theft Auto 5, benefitted greatly from a staggered release schedule. The game being launched in three waves – first on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, then on current-gen, finally on PC – resulted in many players buying it twice or even three times. If a PC version is announced before launch, a good chunk of players will hold off and wait for that release instead of buying the console edition and then re-buying the game for PC later on.
At the end of the day, this just means that on the off chance that Red Dead Redemption 2 does hit the PC, which is unlikely, we won’t be hearing about it until at least the release of the game. Thanks, Sony.