Should Microsoft Be Concerned with This Year’s Xbox Exclusive Line-Up?

Within the last few day’s GameSpot has released YouTube videos showcasing the year’s announced exclusives for each major platform. PS4 was the longest of the bunch at a length of 7:33. They followed it up with the PC list, which came out at 3:25, but keep in mind there’s no way – with a multitude of online distributors – that they could list them all. The video for Xbox One lasted an astounding 1:29. In disbelief that their lineup could be so thin, I compared it to the other videos. The announcer did cut them short, spending 10 seconds or less on each game but even if she had put in as much time into each title as the PS4 narrator did, she would only have ended up at 2:09. The comment section for the Xbox One video was a bloodbath but to no one’s surprise, and the top comment on the PS4’s video was “Now make a video for the Xbox. Oh, wait…”

The problem here is not the war between the two factions, in the scheme of things, that doesn’t matter. The fact that one console is outselling the other might trouble Microsoft’s execs when they’re sitting in their boardroom, but it doesn’t affect us when we’re sitting down with our systems of choice in front of our televisions. But there is a part of this war that permeates into our lives, and it’s that buying a console is an investment. When we drop $300-400 on a system, it comes with an expectation that there will be content for it that will drive us to the edge of our seats. That developers will rally around a system and it’s technology and put their time and dedication into making important games. AAA games, games that flip a switch in us and make us fall in love – whether it’s with the gameplay or the story. And although there will always be players that stick to one system or another, what’s more important is which system the developers stick with. Whether it’s about money or signed contracts, exclusivity not only sells consoles for Microsoft or Sony but it leads consumers to make decisions on which consoles they’re going to buy, which device we’re going to invest in. And I’m wondering if this generation the scales seem more than a little unbalanced.

I will fully disclose that I am fortunate enough to own both an Xbox One and a Playstation – but I’m fully cognizant of the fact that not every person is in that position. Some are forced to decide, sometime following a console’s launch, which one of the system’s they’ll stand behind. This decision-making process is multifaceted. Brand loyalty, which system a player’s friends are going to be on, and game exclusives. All of your friends might be on Playstation, but if you’re a Halo player there’s no choice for you to make – you’re going with Xbox. But looking at the video length for announced exclusives alone, Xbox seems to be on the “losing” side of this battle – at least if you’re measuring quantity.

Larry Hyrb announces “new games available for Xbox” everyday, but how many of those games launched on twelve other platforms the same day?

As an Xbox owner I can’t help but feel a little disappointed. I bought my console for Halo, waited for the special edition and everything, but after that, Forza was the only thing I felt I had to look forward to. 2017 was going to be a fantastic year for me, but only because I had Scalebound on the brain. I didn’t see myself playing my Playstation for months upon its release. Then for whatever reason Microsoft couldn’t sort out their issues with Platinum Games and squashed it. I can’t say I’m pissed at Microsoft because I wasn’t promised anything, but when I placed the pre-order for my Xbox it was with anticipation of playing that game.

If you ask me why I decided to buy an Xbox, it was for the social aspect. I believed they had a better online system that was more reliable, and the majority of my friends said they were going to buy it – they didn’t. They all boarded the Playstation train, and I was pushed into getting one. Every multiplayer game I own, I own on Playstation. The pride and joy of my Xbox is Ori and the Blind Forest, and I feel to say that is sad. My favorite exclusive on my $400 Xbox is a $20 game that was later released for PC. The PC that I owned before purchasing my Xbox and am currently using to type this right now.

Brand loyalty can be argued when it’s Apple vs. Android. But when it’s an investment of my hard earned money it’s about more than that. It’s about reliability of service and access to incredible games. Now, the majority of games I play are available on both consoles, and I’m scared to death of Dark Souls, so that’s not a driving factor. But I cannot help but feel a little regret when I look over at my Xbox One feeling this generation, Microsoft has done me wrong. I got behind them. I used my $424 to tell them that I trusted them to bring amazing games to market, ones that would make me proud to own an Xbox, a system that would be on every night running so hot it would cause the red rings of death. But I haven’t had this system running long enough to cause last generation’s defect. Even if this generation did have it – my console would be safe, and I consider that an issue.

tl;dr
– When GameSpot made videos of this year’s announced exclusives Xbox’svideo was 2:09 and Playstation’s was over 7 minutes.
– The console war stops when I sit down to play, I don’t care what you’re playing as long as I’m enjoying myself.
– It seems that this year Microsoft did not reach out to as many partners as I feel they should have. Their first party line-up is as strong as ever, but their third party exclusives are lacking.
– You can argue about brand loyalty, but when you’ve invested $400 in something you expect there to be games for you to play.

@WASDmeta

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