After reading the title to this article, I know what you’re all thinking: “How can that be true?” Well, SCEA’s Senior Vice President of Publisher Relations Rob Dyer seems to think that it’s a pretty solid fact. It is true that the Xbox 360 had a year lead time in its console release and that certainly put Sony in a position where they not only had to play “catch-up ball” as Dyer puts it. Though, with the recent $299 price drop for the PS3 and more people picking up the system since it became a bit more affordable, there are more systems in more homes. It is because of this growing number that Dyer says the PS3 is a better platform for publishers over the 360.
Before the price cut, they had a two-to-one advantage; if you were a third-party publisher looking at the index, you should have been selling twice the number of units on the 360 as you would on the PS3. So what we did when following a particular title was see if we over or under-indexed against that. So anything below 2, we over-indexed, meaning we did better, and above 2 meant it was under-indexing.
What it shows you is that as our installed base has been growing, we’re now down to a 1.6 to 1.0, and what we’ve been finding is that outside of the shooter category we literally over-index every single category — sports, fighting, action/adventure, music, etc. We do better for our publishing community than 360 does.
Dyer’s position is clearly stated. Publishers should start looking at developing for PS3 first over 360 because the install base is growing, but in a world where gamers buy more 360 versions of a multi-platform game, how does Sony plan to whisk gamers away from the big white box?
What is going to be the driving force is either exclusive ad campaigns, like the Madden campaign, or exclusive content like we had with Batman. The PS3 version outsold the 360 version, and what we’ve said to [developers] is ‘If you take advantage of what the PS3 can deliver — more content on the Blu-ray disc, better graphics, being able to get more of what the player wants onto the disc — you’re going to see those sales translate.’
So what we’ve been doing is going to publishers and using that as our basic story, and going after exclusive content. You’re going to see a lot of that, and for example, you’re seeing it now with Dante’s Inferno. EA had the collector’s edition only on PS3. They filled up that Blu-ray disc and were able to do a lot more that they couldn’t with 360. The consumer is starting to understand that — there’s a lot of cross-ownership between PS3 and 360, and so we’re now trying to differentiate that and give that consumer a reason to buy the PS3 version instead of the 360 version.
The strategy is adding more content to fit on to the BD format, which without a doubt has a very hefty storage amount. I’m groaning at the idea of this being implemented by developers if only because it would add more time to the development of a game. Outside of the idea of adding content, developing for a PS3 and utilizing it’s maximum capability does take time unless you’re someone like Naughty Dog who has some time to see what the system can and cannot do and not have the hardware go to waste.
Adding content that’s inaccessible to gamers because they chose to make the choice of not buying a console is a terrible and selfish move on the part of Sony. I understand that dollars and units sold are a big deal for both Microsoft and Sony, but cheating gamers out of the maximum experience they can get out of a game? Shameful. It goes beyond the console-exclusivity you find with games like Mass Effect 2 or Halo.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to feel penalized because I didn’t want to jump on the PS3 side of the console war. I can see how this can be spun as a “reward” for the early adopters, but it still doesn’t change the fact that it’s kind of a jip that I can’t get access to more content out of the game because I don’t have a PS3. And when they mean exclusive content, that means I can’t get it DLC either.
So what’s this all mean then? Will Sony be able to take over the console market because of exclusive content in the games that are released for their console? I’m gonna be a little cavalier here and say “no.” Why? Ignoring PS3’s growing install base, there are people who just plain prefer playing their games on Xbox 360. As much as the console war is ugly, the loser shouldn’t be the gamer.
Source: Industry Gamers