Where there are consoles, there is division. Where there are competitors, there is war. There will always be the inevitable bias that predictably inflates the languishing antagonism between two inanimate devices. Developed by companies that both attempt to beguile you with flashy incentives and engage in derogatory quips directed at a competitor not just to gain your fealty, but more importantly your money. The “Console Wars” endure with all the arbitrary and shallow hyperbole you’d expect from a couple of infants disputing whose Daddy is better. The whole “Console War” premise is an idly frivolous pursuit fabricated to create unnecessary division between people who play games as a leisurely enjoyed activity. It’s like Tennis fans arguing on forums about which racquet is best. It’s a marketing strategy that serves businesses, not consumers. As you can tell I don’t like to stoke the fires of the perennially irrelevant console war, but I have to say that in this instance I maybe equipped with a rather large tank of petrol when I say that PlayStation does exclusives better, specifically single player.
A controversial statement, sure. A legitimately subjective opinion, absolutely. But one I’m objectively assured is correct, particularly considering the continued success of Sony exclusives. I’ve remained loyal to PlayStation not out of sentiment or some inherent obligation to the brand, but because of its content that has not only stabilised this generation, but thrived. Partnered with talented studios, creating products of flourishing creative freedom, that don’t seem confined by an intrusive hierarchy that demands annual sequels. It’s PlayStation and its contributors that have successfully banished the ignorant rhetoric endorsed by publishers like EA that falsely claim gamers “don’t want single player formats”. Utter garbage EA, as is your appraisal of consumer preference!
You only have to look at the PS4’s solo focused games to see that such myopic attitudes are not only false but damaging to the integrity of creative expression. Just look at what they did to the ambitious Star Wars linear game, the studio developing it and the peerless Amy Hennig?! You have established system sellers like “God Of War”, “Uncharted” and “Ni No Kuni” renewing the profitability of singular play, as well as original games like “Bloodborne”, “Until Dawn” and “Horizon Zero Dawn” forging there own popularity. And it’s evident from these exclusives that by championing single player content, without marginalizing its functionality with pay walls or loot boxes is advantageous for us and financially beneficial for them.
“Horizon Zero Dawn” sold 2.6 million units worldwide in 2 weeks. “Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End” managed 2.7 million in 7 days. And “God Of War” surpassed both by shifting 3.1 million units worldwide, in just 3 days! Would any of these have achieved such illustrious sales if they were fettered with pay to win mechanics? Consumer retention is vital for maintaining a consoles momentum and Sony for all their faults seem to understand that. The simple consumer friendly philosophy of providing traditional quality games that require a substantial one-off payment and distributed without crippling glitches is why the PS4 is still the most desirable choice for the discerning gamer. Exclusive PlayStation games aren’t released incomplete or worse cleaved into smaller, amenable portions so that it can be disseminated over an allotted time for greater financial residuals. Even games like “The Order 1886” though hugely disappointing, at least tried to do something creative and distinct.
Being subservient to a game that releases integral, narrative refining DLC mere months after a games initial release that amends narrative irregularities isn’t just suspect, its devious. But let’s not stray too far into the duplicitous “Destiny” tangent. I’ve laboured on that subject too many times. Though many of the issues such as “loot crates” are colloquial problems for both PlayStation and Xbox, this is a bigger issue for the latter than it is the former. Xbox complacency in relying on familiarity rather than innovation is their primary concern. They can’t just keep flogging “Forza”, “Gears Of War” and “Halo” to attract or retain an audience because fatigue will inevitably kick in, and profitability will eventually diminish.
To me, at the moment at least PlayStation is the partisan of quality, single player experience which is what I personally want. Xbox’s dearth of quality exclusive content is a symptom of a much more potent affliction: trust, or lack thereof. One that can be traced back to its source at the now infamous E3 announcement back in 2013. But why create new exciting ideas when you can continue to expand their own library of games with backwards compatibility. Because the future?
PlayStation has always been my preferred means of gaming. And it’s now more than ever that I can confidently say I’ve made the right choice.
What do you guys think? How important are exclusive games to you? Let me know in the comments below. Cheers.