Microsoft is bringing most of its formerly Xbox One exclusive games to PC, but find out why one writer hopes that the upcoming Gears of War 4 bucks the trend.
With Quantum Break having released on PC, and a number of other formerly Xbox One exclusives making their way to the platform as well, it is clear that Microsoft is serious about its PC gaming initiative. In fact, it appears as though the vast majority of Xbox One console exclusives on the horizon have now been announced as also having PC releases, but I sincerely hope that the upcoming Gears of War 4 breaks from the mold and stays completely exclusive to Xbox One.
Gears of War 4 is arguably the biggest Xbox One game of the year, and Microsoft has appropriately been hyping the game to the moon and back. From having a Gears of War 4 story trailer drop during the season premiere of Fear The Walking Dead, to giving Game Informer an entire month’s worth of coverage of the game, the hype is real when it comes to Gears of War 4. While those with gaming PCs and no Xbox One systems would probably like a chance to play the game, I think Gears of War 4 staying exclusive to Xbox would be the smartest move for Microsoft. Now, here’s why.
For one, people need a reason to buy an Xbox One. It’s true that the console has almost no chance of winning the eighth generation console sales race, especially with PS4 sales expected to be double that of Xbox One sales by 2019, but that doesn’t mean the platform is selling poorly. On the contrary, the Xbox One is actually doing quite well, outpacing Xbox 360 sales, and having already surpassed the Wii U (which had a year head-start, I might add). However, if Microsoft brings all of the Xbox One exclusives to PC, it gives consumers little reason to pick up the hardware, which could result in the system’s sales stagnating.
As someone that primarily games on the Xbox One, this is the last thing I want to see. If the sales of the console slow down significantly, that could be disastrous for the system’s third-party support moving forward. It could also mean a dip in Xbox Live Gold subscriptions, which is one of the primary ways that the Xbox brand brings in revenue.
To that end, it doesn’t appear as though Microsoft has any plans to extend Xbox Live Gold subscriptions to PC gamers. While this means that PC gamers miss out on the Xbox Live Free Games with Gold program, it also means that those gamers are able to play Xbox titles like Killer Instinct and Gears of War: Ultimate Edition online for free. This can potentially rub consumers the wrong way, and again, gives people little reason to pick up the platform. Why buy an Xbox One, where one is required to pay for Xbox Live Gold to play online, when you can just buy a PC and play Xbox games online for free?
And, indeed, it seems like most Xbox games can be played at PC at this juncture. As previously mentioned, Killer Instinct is now on PC, as is Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, and of course, the recently released Quantum Break. Very few games have stayed pure Xbox One exclusive titles, and even less are all that noteworthy. Games like Sunset Overdrive and Halo 5: Guardians come to my mind as strong pure Xbox One exclusives and, who would’ve guessed, the month that Halo 5 released is one of the few months where the Xbox One outsold the PlayStation 4.
It’s clear that high quality exclusives are still important when it comes to the sales of a system. If Gears of War 4 stays exclusive to the Xbox One when it releases this coming October, Microsoft should be able to expect another sales boost for the console. However, the possibility of Gears of War 4 coming to PC has already been suggested by Coalition head Rod Fergusson, which may mean it’s too late for Gears 4 to help Xbox One sales.
Take Rise of the Tomb Raider, for example. Rise of the Tomb Raider was timed-exclusive to the Xbox One, but everyone knew the game was also coming to PC and PS4 later on. The result was that Rise of the Tomb Raider, despite releasing to widespread critical acclaim, failed to improve Xbox One sales in any meaningful capacity. Meanwhile, the PC version of Rise of the Tomb Raider outsold the Xbox One version. I am of the opinion that if there was no talk or announcement of Rise of the Tomb Raider coming to PC before the game released on Xbox One, then the Xbox One version of the game would have fared much better.
As a gamer that loves home console gaming, I just want to see the Xbox brand (and the PlayStation and Nintendo brands for that matter) succeed, and I think if Microsoft decides to bring Gears of War 4 to PC, home console gaming will be negatively impacted. Competition is healthy for any creative industry, and if Microsoft wound up leaving the console space to focus on PC gaming, it could mean bad things for consumers moving forward in the next generation of home consoles and beyond. Microsoft can still support PC gaming, but it doesn’t have to do so at the expense of its home console business.
Do you think Gears of War 4 should stay exclusive to Xbox One? Let us know your opinion on the matter in the comments below.
Gears of War 4 will be available on October 11, exclusively on Xbox One… for now.