System Exclusives: A Way Of The Past

26 06 2015

PastFuture_iStock

I’ve written a lot about system exclusives and how I believe the landscape is changing from what we as gamers have seen in the past. If E3 this year is of any indication, which I believe it is, then we may finally see the shift in philosophy that I’ve seen coming for a few years.

While the advances in technology, production value, and expectation have given us gamers a more immerse experience it has also ballooned budgets on the developer side. A misstep no longer is a small setback but instead could cost the company millions. So why would they exclude a possible section of their customer base by having a title exclusive to one system?

We have seen this portrayed more and more over the past years with titles like Mass Effect, Final Fantasy, Grand Theft Auto and more recently Titanfall losing their exclusivity rights and become multiplatform. It appears developers haven’t been wrong either as you look at the top ten rated games of last year a vast majority of them are multiplatform titles and not exclusives.

This transition has left Sony and Microsoft so starved for exclusive content that instead of titles being a system exclusive we now have timed exclusives like that of the new Tomb Raider game Rise of the Tomb Raider for Microsoft or Sony’s timed exclusive  No Man’s Sky. I saw this coming a long time ago as I wrote about it 6 years ago when I saw system exclusives falling to the waste side.

What will the new landscape look like? Well like I mentioned in a previous post when I revisited this topic 4 years ago, its exclusive content. We have already seen this develop over the past year with Destiny and Batman: Arkham Knight and the exclusive content for PlayStation users or with Dragon Age: Inquisition’s timed DLC for Microsoft users.

Obviously this excludes first party developers but in my eyes this makes these developers even more important in this current landscape of gaming. Sony and Microsoft need to do an even better job of recognizing talented teams to add to their holdings as the games they produce will be a large factor in differentiating themselves from their competition as titles like Uncharted, Halo and even the newer Bloodbourne have proved.

Without these third party exclusives to fall back on I believe Sony and Microsoft beyond looking for quality developers to shore up, or providing exclusive content to their system need something more to further differentiate their platform. These systems are no longer ‘just’ platforms to play games on but an entertainment hub in your living room and if either of these companies want to pull ahead this is where I see the most ground can be made.

I personally turn my PlayStation on more to watch Netflix, HBO Go, Amazon Instant Video than to play games. Therefore these collaborations with the companies listed above and others such as Hulu Plus, Spotify, NFL, NBA and the recently announced PlayStation Vue will be the future game changers.

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System Exclusives: Revisited

23 02 2011

I wrote not too long ago on how I saw the future of system exclusives slowly fading away. Since that article we have seen a few trends like the announcement of Insomniac Games going multiplatform and the more recent announcement that Valve is now developing for the PlayStation 3 that heavily supports my thoughts that system exclusives are becoming a thing of the past.

Instead what we are seeing take the place of system exclusives is exclusive content on par with what Sony and Electronic Arts so adamantly announced during E3 along with what Activision and Microsoft made sure to tie up with timed exclusive Call of Duty DLC.

We have already seen this model in action this year when Mass Effect 2, previously an Xbox 360 exclusive, released on the PlayStation 3 earlier this year. As well as when Dead Space Extraction was packaged with the PlayStation 3 version of Dead Space 2 or even on a smaller scale when Kratos was announced for Mortal Kombat exclusively on the PlayStation 3 version of the game.

This obviously excludes first party developers, in fact in this new model I see first party developers becoming more meaningful and much more important than they were in the past. Why? Because as these third party exclusives dry up the game console companies will need an alternate way to differentiate their console from the competition. Thus putting a larger emphasis on first party developers and forcing the game console companies to evaluate good talent and shore up what would be third party developers they believe will set their console apart.

I see this model continuing to flourish and eventually becoming the new wave that replaces system exclusives as companies realize that they need to be represented in both if not all of the current game console systems in order to be relevant and profitable in today’s crowded market while still giving a specific platform leverage.

How do you see the future of system exclusives?





Why The Move Will Succeed and Kinect Will Not

5 10 2010

The PlayStation Move has officially been released and with that the next step in motion controlled gaming has been unleashed. It’s a new war between two giant hardware manufactures that may have already been won by a third manufacturer many years ago.

Whether or not a victory has already been won with the release of the PlayStation Move and the upcoming release of Kinect Microsoft and Sony are directly competing with each other for a slice of that Nintendo success. Here is why I believe the PlayStation Move will succeed and Kinect will not.

In order to declare a winner we must first define what success is. Is it units sold? Is it attachment percent? Or maybe its related software sales? In the context of this article my definition of success is none of the above but instead will be which device I think will provide a superior gaming experience.

Personally as a gamer when I play I need that tactile feedback an actual controller provides. This will not be possible with Kinect and because of that I believe the interactive function which is a cornerstone in all games will suffer. PlayStation Move on the other hand can provide that feedback while tracking your movements on a more precise level granting an even more interactive experience.

Speaking of games PlayStation appears to be more serious about supporting games with this motion technology take Killzone 3 and Heavy Rain for instance where as Microsoft is taking compatibility out of major franchises like Fable 3. Also despite being announced after Kinect PlayStation Move has announced many more titles including first party titles. While on the other hand Kinect has fewer titles and the one exciting title is a third party developed game.

Not to mention the games that are scheduled to release for the PlayStation Move appear to be more of the games I want to play. One great example of this is Dead Space: Extraction, granted it was previously released on the Wii but it will now be introduced to a whole new audience and will provide value to PlayStation 3 owners who plan on purchasing the game. Kinect on the other hand is having a difficult time being implemented into games or the way it is being implemented is just not something I see myself playing. The PlayStation Move also provides a good variety of games, from the Wii like clones of Sports Championship to a more in-depth title like the aforementioned Dead Space: Extraction. At this point I just don’t see that diversity with Kinect.

In my eyes PlayStation Move seems to be more of a game platform obviously due to its similarities with the Wii where Kinect while it has incredible tech and possibility appears in its current form to just be a concept. This is why I believe the PlayStation Move will be successful and Kinect will not.

Which motion controlled device do you think will succeed?  Do you plan on purchasing either of them?





PlayStation “Move”s in a New Direction

22 03 2010

Earlier this month at the annual Game Developers Conference (GDC) Sony officially announced their new motion controller hardware the PlayStation ‘Move’. The concept has been known about since E3 2009 however until now the name and any games has all been a mystery. Now that I have a more concrete idea of what the ‘Move’ is and how it will work I must say I am disappointed.

I understand the need Sony felt to release a motion controlled device as the success of the Wii can not be over looked even Microsoft will be making the transition later this year with Project Natal. But back to the PlayStation, when this device was unveiled as a prototype we as gamers were promised a sleeker design along with a device that would offer something different then what the current market already has. What did we effectively get? A PSWii complete with wand and nuns chuck, I mean sub-controller. They did do a lot of work regarding the design of PlayStation Move, wait it looks exactly the same as it did in protégé form. I know what you may be thinking, I am just complaining about visual aspects and the important issue is that it functions correctly.

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