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PUBG’s “console exclusivity” may soon end, as loud hints of a PS4 version mount

This image, along with one with a more obvious "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds" logo, is still live at Sony's official PlayStation.net servers, linked specifically to the logo codes that are normally assigned for retail games. PUBG has not yet been announced for PS4.
Enlarge / This image, along with one with a more obvious “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” logo, is still live at Sony’s official PlayStation.net servers, linked specifically to the logo codes that are normally assigned for retail games. PUBG has not yet been announced for PS4.

Nearly a year after the popular PC shooting game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) launched on Xbox One, evidence has begun popping up to suggest that the game’s launch on the PS4 could be imminent.

For over two weeks, promotional PUBG images have sat unnoticed on Sony’s public-facing PlayStation servers, according to a user at the Sony fan site PSNProfiles.com. (Hat tip to ResetERA forum member Taker34 for discovering the posts on Monday.) The images in question are linked to an apparent digital game ID code, and they reflect two types of logos found in the PS4’s interface: the icon that appears in a user’s library, and the splash screen that appears while the game is loading.

Searches for the game’s unique PS4 ID code do not bring up any other information at official PlayStation sites, particularly about release dates or prices. The only other evidence pointing to a PS4 launch comes from a September filing for a PS4 PUBG game rating in South Korea, the nation where developer PUBG Corp. is headquartered.

Representatives from Sony Interactive Entertainment America did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

After a lengthy (and hugely popular) early-access launch on PC, PUBG‘s twists on one-versus-100 “battle royale” combat arrived as an Xbox One “console exclusive” in December 2017—albeit with mixed results. PUBG‘s Xbox One version, which retails for $30, has regularly suffered from performance issues, even though the game continues to enjoy a substantial playerbase on that system.

That performance issue looked even worse compared to Fortnite, a free-to-play battle-royale game which has enjoyed a far more stable 60fps refresh on both Xbox One and PS4. Epic’s Fortnite had famously restricted its PS4 players from playing alongside other consoles in online play, but that restriction was eventually busted apart like a Fortnite loot piñata. Should this newfound evidence be followed by a PS4 version of PUBG, we have to wonder whether the same cross-platform conversation will begin anew between XB1 and PS4 fans of the series.

Should the Xbox version’s console exclusivity period have a one-year timespan, that would point to a possible December 12, 2018, release date for PUBG‘s PS4 version. Whether a new console’s version has a shot this much later—with both Fortnite and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 racking up their own battle royale audiences—is another question entirely.

ARS T

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