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PS4, Xbox One : Redefining Exclusive?

by Daniel Opitz

Destiny-Beta1

From the US Oxford Dictionary

Exclusive (adj) – (Of a commodity) not obtainable elsewhere

The term exclusive has been thrown around quite often of late. It was to be expected, with the release of next generation consoles from Sony and Microsoft. Something that was unexpected by fans is how loosely both companies have been using the term. So far, there has been some deliverance of exclusivity with titles such as The Last Of Us : Remastered, Killzone : Shadow Fall, Resogun and inFAMOUS Second Son coming out on the PS4. The Last Of Us : Remastered was the big one in that group, breaking Day 1 next gen sales records and pushing the PS4 along to even greater succes, making it a profitable launch console, something unheard of so soon after a console launch.

Xbox One, in the meantime, has motored along with exclusive titles such as Forza Motorsport 5, Killer Instinct, Powerstar Golf and Kinect Sports Rivals. You may have noticed a couple of big titles I left off that list, making it look like a pretty sombre list compared to the PS4. Both Ryse : Son Of Rome and Dead Rising 3 were exclusive to Xbox One at the time of their release. Now Microsoft have decided to flip those into timed exclusives, as both games will be available for Windows PC in the near future. Whilst I’m certain Sony would have done the same if they owned a PC operating system like the almost world dominating Windows, it is sure to have pissed off a lot of Xbox One early adopters. Titanfall, in the meantime, is also available on the Xbox 360 and PC. Perhaps this is why the Playstation 4 is selling like hotcakes compared to the Xbox One which is selling like.. I dunno.. muffins? *not a statistically accurate analogy

Two highly anticipated titles yet to come to the Playstation 4 are –

No Man’s Sky –

Uncharted 4 : A Thief’s End

Only one of these is exclusive to the console though. The other is coming to Windows PC later, thus making it a timed exclusive (No Man’s Sky).

On the other hand, we have the Xbox One, with these two highly sought after titles coming –

Rise Of The Tombraider –

Halo : The Master Chief Collection –

Both these titles have been announced as purely Xbox One exclusives. One is a collection of already released games with a bunch of new stuff added to refresh the playability, the other (Rise Of The Tombraider) has sparked massive internet rage and a petition on change.org, which has gathered over 8,000 signatures since its inception, putting it very close to the target figure. Whilst I appreciate the passion of gamers, being an avid one myself, excuse me for vomiting a little bit in my mouth. There are thousands of more important issues in our world to try and fix that we can put our name behind. Anyway, that’s not the point of this article, so I’ll leave that one there for you to think about.

Two upcoming titles of note that are releasing on both the Xbox One and Playstation 4 are Destiny and Evolve. Destiny is to receive substantial exclusive content for the PS4 until Fall 2015, where the Xbox One version will receive the same content. Evolve’s Beta is coming exclusively to Xbox One and when the DLC drops, the Xbox One will receive that first too.

There are a plethora of Indie titles coming to both systems, which will for the main part be exclusives. I have yet to see any evidence that Indie titles are driving console sales though, which is why I am leaving them out of the focus of this article, although I will note the Indie sector is growing and both publishers look to be on par with their Indie offerings, for the moment.

In ages past, brands like Nintendo and Sega lived and died thanks to their exclusive games. Nintendo had great franchises like Mario, Zelda and Donkey Kong. Sega had Alex Kidd, Wonder Boy and Sonic. Note the term had. Well, Nintendo still have their exclusive franchises (besides Pokemon which is on mobile devices) and perhaps that is a large part of the reason they are still here. They have a lot of big name franchises they can revisit. Exclusive ones. The downside here is Nintendo have been taking revenue losses thanks to the Wii U – so maybe keeping a heavy hitting IP exclusive to your own hardware just doesn’t work in this day and age. I wouldn’t count them out just yet though. Wait until next year’s financial reports.

It is still the place of AAA titles to drive console sales, but given the way ‘exclusive’ content has been handled to date with this new generation, I don’t have a lot of faith in games remaining exclusive with Microsoft or Sony. Sure, there are other big games announced like Quantum Break, Sunset Overdrive, LittleBigPlanet3  The Order : 1886, supposedly exclusive titles to either platform, or company. I know I am not alone in thinking that many games announced as exclusives will come out onto other platforms down the track. We’re only basing our opinions on the growing evidence. It makes sense for third party developers, from a financial standpoint. Perhaps the days of guaranteed exclusives are over for the majority of games, and we are now entering the era of timed exclusivity, whether it be whole titles or content.

I honestly don’t know what to feel about that, aside from perhaps suggesting an amendment or addition to the dictionary, exclusive for video games :

Exclusive (adj) – (Video Games) not obtainable elsewhere until a later date

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