Returnal PC port all but confirmed by tiny details in GDC talk

Returnal coming to PC has to be one of PlayStation's worst-kept secrets, and here's the latest slip. Back in May a Steam listing appeared with the codename 'Oregon', accompanied by tags and text that lined-up with Returnal's contents, and shortly afterwards some screens leaked. In July the 'Oregon' listing was updated with Steam Deck support, and now some of the game's developers have gone and given a talk containing what looks very much like footage and screens of a PC version.

Risto Jankkila and Sharman Jagadeesan, both of Returnal developer Housemarque, gave a GDC talk on VFX, during which they used clips and screens of the game. The game is running on a PC using a debug readout, first noticed by Digital Foundry's Alex Battaglia, which is not a smoking gun in itself but includes some eyebrow-raising details.

See more

The obvious point to be made is that Returnal was developed on Unreal, so of course the debug version is a PC version, and this in and of itself doesn't mean a PC version is imminent. However, the debug menu references features that do suggest this: dynamic resolution, which is not in the PS5 version, as well as references to mouse and keyboard controls.

Returnal would be something of a milestone for PlayStation on PC, inasmuch as Sony has yet to bring any PS5 exclusives to the platform (though it has promised The Last Of Us Remastered at some point). That was inevitable of course: Sony's games have met with great commercial success on PC and the platform-holder is pivoting towards giving the gaming public what they want. When that means we get games like God of War and Spider-Man, you won't catch us complaining.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."