When it comes to Microsoft and Sony battling for console exclusives, it’s a pretty cutthroat business. While one typically tries to offer more added features, the other entices players with a promise of superior quality, bolstered by their disc format’s capacity. Despite the competition’s positives though, Microsoft typically wins out and snags the hotter exclusives.
But what if a lot of that exclusivity and multi-platform equality came as a result of Microsoft’s bullying? Well, according to Sony’s VP of Publisher Relations, Rob Dyer, it does.
According to Microsoft’s Chris Lewis, the company not only prides themselves on being able to simultaneously offer multiplatform titles on the Xbox 360, they demand it. If a title like Call of Duty were to come out first on the PS3 and then on the Xbox 360 some months later, Microsoft would actually considered blocking that game from even releasing on their platform at all.
There have been some cases where the converse, Sony holding an Xbox 360 title from releasing before the PS3 version was ready, has occurred but that situation was a result of a contractual agreement, not one made before any pen was put to paper.
Obviously the war for console exclusives will have one company fighting harder to gain the upper hand, but does it help the consumer at all? Probably not, but when you look at the prevalence of first-release XBLA titles it’s hard not to see that Microsoft clearly wants to cement their role as the place to get access to games early.
Take for example a title like Bastion, which hit first on Xbox Live, makes its way to the PC, but never ends up on the PS3. This is Microsoft working hard to secure their exclusives, but it might also hold developers back from earning what they deserve to be earning. According to Dyer, this issue both on the downloadable and the console market, is holding some developers back.
If a developer is working on a title they hope to be a multi-platform release they have a few things to consider, chief among which is whether or not it can fit on the DVD format. Pushing a title to its limits — making full use of the Blu-Ray space — is not an option, at least according to Dyer, if you are going to make a title that is available for both the PS3 and Xbox 360.
“I think what Chris and the other representatives at Microsoft are doing is protecting an inferior technology. I think they want to dumb it down and keep it as pedestrian as possible so that if you want to do anything for Blu-ray or you have extra content above 9 gigs or you want to do anything of that nature, you’d better sure as heck remember that Microsoft can’t handle that.”
Some argument can be made that Sony third party developers don’t usually do much with the extra Blu-Ray space for PS3, but is that because they are trying to make a game that works on both platforms?
Both sides of the issue make sense — Microsoft wanting to protect their consumers and Sony not wanting to stifle developers — but each has their flaws. What the future holds for console exclusives, with so few coming in the years to come, is unclear, but we hope that Microsoft and Sony can learn to play nice.
Do you think that Microsoft and Sony should lighten up and let the other release their multiplatform title first? Does hearing this revelation from Sony color your impression of Microsoft?
Source: Industry Gamers