Since the launch of both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 last year, gamers have been talking up exclusive titles. But what most gamers forget is that exclusive titles do not always guarantee hits. Most gamers will also not buy a console solely for exclusive titles. Developers and publishers have historically preferred going multi-platform because it offers them wider sales opportunities.
When all is said and done, there is no way the Xbox One can match the success of the PS4 outside of performing a miracle. Granted it will do well as it has, recently selling 100,000 units in the first week of sales in China according to the International Business Times, but it may lose out in the long run if customers prefer multi-platform titles on Sony’s machine or opt for exclusives on Nintendo’s Wii U.
Not that we have an issue with exclusive titles, but which mega-hit game released in the last twelve months was an exclusive? Rockstar Games’ ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ was 2013’s biggest hit on previous generation consoles the PS3 and Xbox 360. Now this landmark game will make its current gen debut and expect to boost sales of both consoles.
Let’s analyze the launch titles of both the PS4 and Xbox One. ‘Knack’ and ‘Killzone: Shadowfall’ were decent launch exclusives for the PS4 but were not much better than multi-platform titles like ‘Battlefield 4’ and ‘Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag’.
Similarly on the Xbox One, ‘Ryse: Son of Rome’ and ‘Killer Instinct’ were fairly good titles but nothing worth spending $500 on a console for. Some of the upcoming PS4 exclusives do look promising such as ‘Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End’, and are expected to do well due to the fact that its previous titles were blockbusters on the PS3.
There has also been lots of hype surrounding upcoming Xbox One titles like ‘Sunset Overdrive’ but we’ll have to wait and see how well it does before dubbing it ‘one worth purchasing the Xbox One for’. A timed exclusive like ‘Rise of Tomb Raider’, according to IGN, has been labeled a ‘surprise deal’ for Microsoft. Even the racing title ‘Forza Horizon 2’ is a hit, but it is aimed at simulation racing enthusiasts. Sony will rival Forza with the release of ‘Driveclub’ this month which is already rated highly by gaming sites Polygon and Destructoid.
Microsoft will need to rely on the strength of its Halo franchise including the upcoming ‘Halo: Master Chief Collection’ and potentially ‘Halo 5’. But what about ‘Gears of War’? Even ‘Gears of War 4’ would’ve made owning the Xbox One worth it, considering the success of the last two titles on the Xbox 360.
That being said the same could be said for the PS4; that it is relying on multi-platform titles as much as the Xbox One. The question we have to ask ourselves is which console would be better for multi-platform hits? The numbers do not lie. Over 10 million units of the PS4 have already been sold and the Xbox One is definitely lagging behind. IGN reports approximately 5 million units have been sold of the Xbox One. The PS4 is a gaming console designed for gamers the way 90’s juggernauts like the Sega Genesis was for its era.
For now the console war has clearly been won by Sony. The question is who will take second place? Let’s hope for Microsoft’s sake that they come up with more than a miracle to fend off Nintendo who according to GameSpot has sold 6.17 million units so far. Otherwise, it may just be game over!