System Exclusives: A Way Of The Past

26 06 2015


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.


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?

Month in Review: February

2 03 2009

Another new feature this month is our monthly review where we will list all of the posts during that month along with a small sample of that post. So if you don’t regularly check the site, how dare you, this is a great way to see what you have missed while away. If a particular post interests you simply click on the link to read the full article and by all means check back with us more often so you won’t have to read these updates. Anyways, here is the month that was February…

Welcome to a new weekly feature called “What to Play” where we will post the weeks releases of playable content, including all the retail games. This list will not only highlight the U.S. releases but will encompass all of the regions for our friends all over the world. I found it hard enough to keep […]

Playing video games is a hobby in which I enjoy but at times can take up a huge chunk of my time, while some have that time to waste others like myself have a wife and a family making it difficult to strike that perfect balance. How can we as gamers find that time […]

This year Sony expects to reap the rewards of many exclusive titles set to release on the PlayStation 3, such as Killzone 2, Uncharted 2, Heavy Rain and InFamous just to name a few. But in the future can we expect these titles to stay exclusive or even expect exclusive titles at all? It is […]

This is the second entry in what I hope to be a continued monthly feature where I get the opportunity to interview someone in the gaming/blogging culture. If you would like to check out any of the previous interviews they will all be archived here as will all the future interviews. So check back often […]

Although this blog generally covers video games and the video game industry I choose the name Beyond The D-pad to give me the freedom to also talk and express things that effect me, a gamer and much more, while I go through this journey that is my life. While I usually would not share such […]

With such exclusives releases as Little Big Planet, Metal Gear Solid 4 and Resistance 2 many people claimed 2008 to be the year of the PlayStation 3. Now I won’t refute or echo that statement however if that was the case then 2009 seems ready to build on that momentum. Those signs are evident with […]

As always we welcome your feedback not just on this particular post but on all of the content we provide. Feel free to leave us a comment or provide us with feedback we would love to hear from you.

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What’s The Future of System Exclusives?

19 02 2009

This year Sony expects to reap the rewards of many exclusive titles set to release on the PlayStation 3, such as Killzone 2, Uncharted 2, Heavy Rain and InFamous just to name a few. But in the future can we expect these titles to stay exclusive or even expect exclusive titles at all? It is of my opinion that the days of system exclusives is coming to an end and a different model will be born.

First off its not financially sound for game companies to not include a potential market by omitting a console, especially in our current economic market. Games are taking more and more time to develop as a result the resources in which it takes to produce is also increasing putting a bigger burden on the sales of the finished product. Therefore if a certain title under-performs the company is in a bigger financial hole than previous years. A prime example of this is the long PlayStation exclusive Final Fantasy series that upon its next release will be available on BOTH major consoles.

So, how does this affect us as gamers? Despite the constant battle between fanboys on which console is better which ultimately boils down to PS3 exclusives vs. 360 exclusives I think this will benefit gamers. For instance, I only own a PlayStation 3 and would love to play such franchises as Gears of War or Halo as I am sure Xbox owners would enjoy playing the Metal Gear Solid series or God of War series. Conversely I can also see this as being portrayed as a negative with some saying that if both major consoles have the same releases then what is the need for two different consoles. This would eliminate the competition which directly motivates each company to improve and provide more for their consumers, gamers. To counter that argument I believe that can be alleviated by such things as exclusive content, DLC, or timed exclusives releases.

This brings me to what I believe the gaming stratosphere will begin to look like. It is of my opinion that these exclusive titles will soon become obsolete instead the tides will shift into something like exclusive content like GTA 4 or timed exclusive releases like that of Bioshock. This in my eyes will benefit both the game companies by allowing them to tap into a different market as well as allowing us gamers the opportunity to try different games.

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What do you think? Whether you agree or disagree let your voice be heard by leaving a comment below. Also feel free to check out some of our other articles as well.