Although it is not news that RETURNAL will arrive on PC via Steam and the Epic Games Store at some point, since it was previously leaked through SteamDB (whose entry is still updated almost daily) and images of its supposed graphic options appeared in a leak from Reddit, however, it is still unknown if it will be released this year or next.
The following PlayStudios Studios titles to come to PC, confirmed via the new PlayStation PC games site, are Spider-Man: Miles Morales and UNCHARTED: Legacy of Thieves Collection in 2022, and The Last of Us Part I, which will probably arrive in 2023.
Alexander Battaglia from Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry division, who had previously mentioned seeing the game running on the PC platform, posted a tweet with a screenshot from GDC 2022, in which staff from studio Housemarque showed off the game running on PC.
Returnal's presentation from GDC on its VFX and particle work is really cool – but I enjoy the bonus it has of once again confirming the PC version. Debug, readout!
Link to presentation:https://t.co/slu0GIEu12 pic.twitter.com/xz4CUxqqU3
— Alexander Battaglia (@Dachsjaeger) September 5, 2022
The video shows how Housemarque used its programmable particle system to create the main visual effects features in Returnal. This encompasses things like volumetric fog powered by real-time fluid simulations and the use of particle hierarchies for tentacle-like character effects. The scene posted by Battaglia starts at the 13:31 mark in the video below (where you can see the SDR video output: PC).
Previously, a SteamDB entry was spotted suggesting that the game will have official support for the Steam Deck controller, suggesting that the PC port of Returnal will launch with reasonable optimization.
RETURNAL is currently listed in SteamDB as Oregon, but it’s clear that all of its tags (rogue-lite, female lead, third-person shooter, bullet-hell, sci-fi, etc.) refer to the Housemarque game. Its localization strings also include words like “Atropos,” “Tower of Sisyphus,” “In Helios,” and “Returning,” making the identity of the game clear.
In addition to those mentioned above, the RETURNAL entry in SteamDB counts achievements for the game and localization for 19 languages, among other changes, implying that the port is progressing quite well.
Of course, this is all mere speculation based on SteamDB logging activity. For example, GOD OF WAR was magically announced on PC from one day to the next, and its developers commented that its port was 2 years in development.
Beyond that, the RETURNAL entry on SteamDB was spotted in May this year; the Finnish studio Housemarque has already released other titles from its catalog on PC (such as the acclaimed Nex Machina). However, it is unknown if the port will be in-house or done by an external developer (or both).
On the other hand, PC gamers are wondering what happened to UNCHARTED: Legacy of Thieves Collection, the bundle of remastered versions of UNCHARTED 4: A Thief’s End and UNCHARTED: The Lost Legacy that was announced for PC and PlayStation 5 in September 2021, but it was only released for the latter in January this year.
Most likely, there have been problems with the port (by Iron Galaxy), and perhaps Sony has advanced its plans for a title like Returnal and Sackboy: A Big Adventure (also leaked through SteamDB) to make their debut on the PC platform before the Uncharted bundle.
Lastly, let’s remember that Sony has projected net profits of $300 million by 2022, so we wouldn’t be surprised if Sony decides to release more titles from its PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 exclusives after Spider-Man and Spider-Man-Man: Miles Morales.
In addition, after it was revealed how many copies of Days Gone, Horizon, and God of War have sold since their release on PC, as well as what profits they have generated, Sony CEO Jim Ryan commented that the company expects that half of annual PlayStation Studios title releases are on PC and mobile by 2025.
Returnal is another leaked title in the big GeForce Now leak, so there’s not much else to add. The game was released on April 30, 2021, for PlayStation 5 to critical acclaim, earning an average of 86 on Metacritic across 115 reviews.
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