It was with some apprehension that we watched Jonathan Blow take to the stage at Thursday’s PS4 reveal and immediately undermine proceedings with a smug diss about explosions. It wasn’t the explosions we were worried about – Lord knows they can take of themselves – but the implication that we might lose The Witness to the other guys.
Thankfully, Blow has since clarified some confusing wording (“In the release window, PlayStation 3 will be the only console that The Witness is on,” which it transpires was code for ‘Sorry, Xbox’.). What he meant to say was that The Witness will release on PC “simultaneously” with the PS4, if he can help it.
The Witness is subject to a limited-time exclusivity deal with Sony that applies only to competing console platforms – a deal that Blow signed “to be in the [reveal] show”.
“Basically it is that you will see the game on the PlayStation 4 before you will see it on the Wii U or the next Microsoft console, if the game ever appears on either of those,” he told Kotaku.
The Sony deal only has a bearing on the PC release date insofar as it incapacitates Blow’s dev team, and might leave them struggling to work on three platforms at once. “The ideal situation for us is to release everything simultaneously or close to simultaneously,” he said.
“Of course, Sony wants that show to point out things that are going to be exclusive or special to their console. So to be in the show we signed a timed exclusivity for competing consoles. But this was just a formalization of something that was already de facto.”
So, good news. What’s more, we got a kooky new Witness trailer out of the reveal show. How would you say it’s looking?