The Burning Question: How important are exclusives to you?

Since the start of the great console war we’d look forward to the next big conference to get a glimpse of games slated for release on our most loved platforms. Over the last few years we’ve seen more additions to existing exclusives sprawling onto every platform to sate the players appetite, but is it really the only thing that we’re hoping for when it comes down to it? Is the only reason why we purchase a console because of the exclusives that have been developed for that specific system?

At the last E3 we saw PlayStation getting some exciting titles in the form of Monster Hunter World and Days Gone, but unfortunately they’re slated for release in 2018 so it’s going to be a bit of a wait. Nintendo have a flurry of their own coming this year and the next which coincides with the successful hardware sales they’ve had since launch. Microsoft however, seems to have taken the hardware route punting true 4K gaming with the Xbox One X and very few AAA exclusives with a large library of indie exclusives. This left a bitter taste in most players’ mouths with the lack of games and the only honorable mention being Forza Motorsport 7, although an amazing showing, just doesn’t seem like it’s enough to gain the interest from the larger player base.

If you look at some of the stats based on console sales in correlation with exclusives being released, there is a definite impact that new titles have on the sale of hardware. Simple sales logic, really. But even though there was a lack of exclusives, the hardware was still selling based on various titles that have a massive player base across every platform out there. I’m looking at you, FIFA and Call of Duty.

In our previous podcast we had a bit of a discussion around the topic, you should definitely check it out to hear some of our contributor’s views on exclusives and the current market, but what I’d like to know is during this period where there’s talks of greater cross platform compatibility and certain big companies not willing to come to the party, will exclusives still be the thing that gets you to buy the next new console? If you think of it, to an extent PC gaming will always be a step ahead in terms of power and if the AAA exclusives decide to go the cross platform route, there’s nothing stopping you from getting the game you want on the platform you prefer.

I know what you’re thinking, those big companies won’t let go of the thing that started it all. The titles that made the platform what it is today and generated the loyal fan base it enjoys. But, business is business. If they can somehow come to an agreement where we see something like Halo on all platforms or God of War jumping onto other consoles, it’s more of an accessibility strategy exposing more players to a franchise. Doesn’t sound too bad, but lets not forget the graphical differences you might get in the end. And let’s face it, the Switch wouldn’t handle something like Horizon Zero Dawn too well. Still a great concept though…

So, what’s your take on all of this? Are exclusives what drives you to stick or swap to another platform and is it the only thing that’s keeping respective console developers alive? Would you rather Feel True Power or Play More Games?

I Game, I Design, I wish I could Game Design.

  • Fortunately being a multiple console owner it’s not something that bothers me, but when you consider that I bought a Nintendo GameCube back in the day purely because the Resident Evil series jumped ship from the PlayStation that tells you all you need to know.

    Today you can get that same Resi Remake/Zero/4 on all formats known to mankind.

    • Darksirius

      On the same boat: PC, Xbox and PS. Also doesn’t bother me.

    • Samashan Pillay

      Yep I felt pretty shafted when Monster Hunter made the jump to Nintendo handhelds (pretty sure they felt the same way about PSP owners)

  • MonsterCheddar

    Its only important to me when its an awesome game, and I can’t play it because its exclusive.

    Looking at you Horizon Zero Dawn.

    • eVolVee

      I know the feels…

  • Samashan Pillay

    I always wonder though, whether developers get to fully stretch the hardware they are developing for when focusing on an exclusive, as opposed to multi-format where it has to be compatible with different hardware? Might be a valid reason but I could be wrong

    • It generally comes down to what they’re being paid to make it exclusive to a format (if they’re generally regarded as a third-party developer, such as Soul Calibur 3 from Namco back on the PS2). However, when that developer puts all their efforts into one format the outcome will always be better, as they’re pushing the hardware as far as they possibly can.

    • Valshen

      I know for example that Naughty Dog is given very close to the metal access to the PlayStation so that they can make sure their games look super good and run as well as possible. If they were multi-platform I don’t think they would have that access on both systems, and you wouldn’t want one version to be superior, because that would open a huge can of worms.

    • it’s the “only” reason [publisher greed notwithstanding.] and in the current market? i doubt it. remember: the guts of the ps4 and xbox one are basically pc’s. the only real console with a different interior right now is the switch, so when making games, the process probably is: develop on pc. turn off all the stuff you can’t do on that console. ship the game.

      so, no real “stretching” as far as i can see.

  • Bionic

    Owning the PS4 and PC combo, getting the best out of the lot in terms on playing all games. Yes, Nintendo has some good exclusives, but it doesn’t feel worth buying another console just for those 2-3 exclusives. Did it with the Wii, nearly made the mistake of getting a Wii U, so I won’t get a Switch now.

    So Xbox doesn’t have anything worth buying it for really

  • DemonGamer

    Think exclusive has a impact on what system you purchase , but for me it has been mostly brand loyalty. I’ve been owning a ps for years and it has never let me down , I like the controls and features . And in terms of exclusives , other systems don’t offer anything to warrant a switch. I can mostly get a similar game on my preferred system. (I am looking at maybe getting a average pc next year, miss the old rts games)

    But I do enjoy exclusives , cause it usually takes advantage of all the features of it’s system. But I have never seen/played a exclusive that I would buy a system just for it (if I had the money , maybe it would’ve been different).

  • Dave

    Eh honestly there are more than enough games out there that I don’t have to play exclusives to be happy. Obviously the nintendo exclusives are important to me, because the number of exclusives I want to play on their consoles determines when I’ll buy them. There needs to be more or less 1 game I want to play on the console for each R500 I spend buying the console for it to feel worthwhile. IE: If I pay R4000 there needs to be 8 games I really want to play on the console. Something the switch doesn’t meet just yet, but between Mario rabbids and Mario odyssey, the critical mass is getting closer.
    But on the Sony platforms, there’s never more than 1 or 2 games I would be interested to play on them, that I can’t play anywhere else, so it’s just not worth buying them.

    • Something tells me that you’ll be moving over to the Switch by this time next year. Nintendo aren’t messing around this gen.

      • Dave

        Yeah i think you may be right, funds permitting. Odyssey carries the weight of 2 games for me, and being as the Wii U didn’t have a big level 3d mario game like galaxy or sunshine, there’s definitely an itch. (Not taking away from 3d world, but it’s a different beast really)

  • “exclusives” are the bane of an industry that should never have started thinking this way at all. sure. in the 80’s, i could /sort of/ buy the idea, because every platform had it’s own particular innards and not every graphical/sonic touch could be replicated on every other machine, but that time has /long/ since passed.

    most of the consoles in existence today [except special snowflake nintendo, because that’s just how nintendo rolls] are basically “lower tier pc’s” with a shiny exterior. what this means is that /lots/ of the work of making a game happens on pc’s, the programmers then go right ahead and “port” by making the game essentially worse so it’ll run on the target hardware.

    there’s no conceivable reason [other than publisher greed] to have exclusives at this point anymore. and that’s really all it boils down to: publisher greed. if i can push this particular machine through software sales, then this particular machine will do better. [which is dumb, by the way: having MORE of a product on DIFFERENT machines instantly probably DOUBLES your sales figures. why would you cripple yourself like that? i mean…your clear greed notwithstanding.]

    so, exclusives are dumb and should go away. they never will because…publishers.

  • Drake

    I take what I can get, and don’t mind what’s exclusive to what, and what isn’t.
    I do mind if a series changes its loyalty though. Be it full-blown switching from one platform to another, or switching from exclusive to non-exclusive while dropping game quality.
    Don’t like timed exclusives at all though, regardless which platform gets it first.

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