Monster Hunter Rise Comes to Playstation and Xbox: An Insider Perspective

Monster Hunter Rise first arrived on March 26, 2021 as a major Nintendo Switch exclusive title following the runaway success of 2018‘s Monster Hunter World. The action RPG allowed players to battle epic beasts via 14 different weapon types in immersive, expansive environments. As the fastest selling Monster Hunter game ever in Japan upon launch, Rise cemented itself early on as a hit. And while Sunbreak – the meaty story expansion to Rise releasing June 2022 – remained confined to the Switch, this month brought massive news: Monster Hunter Rise now available beyond Nintendo platforms for the very first time. Both the base game and incoming DLC headed to PlayStation and Xbox consoles on January 20, 2023.

For longtime followers of this beast-battling franchise, though, the move to wider platforms represents merely the latest twist in a long, winding journey spanning various console homes over 19 years and counting.

A Multi-Console History

Monster Hunter first stalked onto PS2 systems back in 2004 as Sony‘s newest exclusive IP. The debut title focused purely onboss fight showdowns rather than any overarching narrative. While a somewhat niche effort back in those experimental early days, the series slowly began to pick up steam via PlayStation Portable spin-offs and eventual ports that spread Monster Hunter outside its PlayStation birthplace.

The inflection point emerged courtesy 2009‘s Wii exclusive Monster Hunter Tri which sold over four million copies and showcased the franchise potential lying in wait. Nintendo and Capcom entered a close working partnership upon realizing Monster Hunter perfectly aligned with Nintendo‘s portable-friendly audience. As such, the 3DS hosted exclusive main entries like 2013‘s Monster Hunter 4 (with nearly 5 million units sold) alongside enhanced Ultimate editions of games as the core foundation shifted to Switch‘s direct predecessor.

World represented the next tectonic shift. By skipping Wii U/3DS altogether and releasing simultaneously across Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in January 2018, the fifth core series entry clearly aimed to continue expanding Monster Hunter‘s global footprint by targeting home consoles. The calculated risk paid astronomical dividends. Between World and companion DLC Iceborne, this new multiplayer-focused take sits at a staggering 21 million units moved; over double the preceding series entry.

Yet when the time came for sequel Rise, Nintendo once again became the chosen partner via Switch exclusivity from launch through its Sunbreak DLC…until announcing PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X availability this month.

Analyzing the Rise Console Expansion

So what motivated finally opening up Rise to rival platforms nearly two years later? As a gaming industry analyst closely following Monster Hunter‘s every move, a few factors clearly jump out.

First, consider Rise‘s sales trajectory. Between launch and the end of 2022, Rise + Sunbreak sold 12 million copies globally. Momentum shows zero signs of slowing either; the base game still regularly appears on the Switch eShop best-sellers tally every single week since launch.

Expanding to PlayStation/Xbox will almost certainly drive millions more in sales by tapping into that built-in audience without harming residual Nintendo earnings power. Our internal team estimates total lifetime units sold could potentially rival World by porting to PS/Xbox now even after two years of Nintendo exclusivity.

Additionally, Rise appears poised to serve as the final major Switch-only Monster Hunter release with new Nintendo hardware expected down the road. As the capstone for Monster Hunter on Switch, releasing to rival devices results in leaving no money on the table.

There is also the relationships between rivals to consider. As Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony gradually break down walls limiting software to singular platforms, releasing titles such as Rise more widely aligns with corporate mandates on crossover play. Government bodies scrutinizing pending acquisitions only heighten the priority.

In all, Capcom expanding Rise availability boils down to striking while sales remain hot in order to boost income from Xbox/PlayStation owners. Simultaneously pleasing corporate partners in the console space dissatisfied over past exclusivity also factored into negotiations for sure.

Fan reception based on sales figures should make all parties thrilled with the decision so far.

Monster Hunter Console Support Moving Forward

Monster Hunter Rise coming to Xbox/PlayStation continues a clear industry trend moving away from permanent exclusivity outside first-party franchises. Sony in particular recently ported former PlayStation icons like Horizon Zero Dawn to PC while allowing key titles at launch on both PS5 and Steam. Nintendo even returned the favor by enabling cross-play with Xbox via cloud streaming partnerships.

The future seems crystal clear: future Monster Hunter efforts will launch simultaneously across Xbox, PlayStation and Switch platforms – at minimum – by default. PC ports either on release date or shortly after also appear like a certainty. While various business relationships and marketing agreements may temporarily limit full cross-platform support during a launch window, permanent singular platform restrictions now feel like relics of the past especially in a franchise with such mass appeal as Monster Hunter.

Console exclusivity worked wonders when Monster Hunter catered directly to portable-craving Nintendo fans for much of the 2010s. Yet Capcom thinks too big in the 2020s to leave billions of potential sales untapped across rival console families. Fans win thanks to reduced limitations, while the publisher wins thanks to diversified earnings from all major devices.

Everyone can now join the hunt regardless of chosen platform allegiance. Monster Hunter‘s doors are fully open; no industry passport required. The more who accept the epic quest to topple larger-than-life beasts through skillful gameplay mechanics, the better.

Monster Hunter Sales Figures and Release Timeline

Let‘s briefly recap key Monster Hunter releases driving this ascension alongside some telling statistics as proper context:

GameInitial ReleaseLifetime SalesSystems
Monster Hunter20041.9 millionPlayStation 2
Monster Hunter Freedom 220075.4 millionPSP
Monster Hunter Tri20094.7 millionWii
Monster Hunter Portable 3rd20107.2 millionPSP
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate20135.4 millionNintendo 3DS
Monster Hunter Generations20156.2 millionNintendo 3DS
Monster Hunter: World201821 millionPlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows PC
Monster Hunter Rise202112 millionNintendo Switch, PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One/Series

While World remains the overall best-seller, Rise continues climbing at a historic franchise pace. Expanding platforms now in 2023 office massive runaway to catch or even surpass World in time. Momentum genuinely staggering.

The future remains cloudy predicting where Monster Hunter goes from here. Consoles? New Nintendo hardware? Perhaps even the mythical Steam Deck? But one thing looks certain 12 million sales later: Monster Hunter Rise prepared to scale even higher summits with four total platforms fueling ascent rather than relying solely on Switch.

The beast now hungers across all modern devices. No limits left; no borders remaining. A true multiplatform triumph cementing Monster Hunter‘s expansive appeal.

Happy hunting, everyone!

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