It’s a war that’s been raging on since the dawn of the console existence. In recent years it’s turned some parts of our global community so toxic that even Chernobyl feels like a safer place to be, and yet in an era capable of showcasing some of the finest works of art within its many games, the console which you play on is still a subject that’s enough to add the fuel to the fire behind hundreds and thousands of gamers, dividing opinion entirely.

But why?

Why in 2017 must we be in a situation that allows us to choose from thousands of games – a passion we all share – yet can see us ridiculed, hassled, and arguing just because of the platform which we choose to enjoy?

Why must we be limited to what we can play thanks to the choice of hardware we own and the corporate figures behind them? Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, listen up… you’ve been doing it all wrong for years and here’s what you can do to change gaming for the better.

Before we go any further however, I should probably let you know that this isn’t the ramblings of an unsatisfied fanboy, and in actual fact whilst the Xbox consoles are the ones I choose to spend most of my time with, I am also an owner of each of the most recent consoles in the PlayStation and Nintendo families, and tend to dabble with my fair share of PC gaming too. So this is instead the thoughts of a gamer who wants to see exclusivity done right, regardless of platform choice.

So, it’s fair to say that even though I may have this big wish for everyone to be part of gaming together, exclusivity isn’t going away any time soon. But for me, the way in which each company goes about utilising business powers just to ensure a select group of people can play a game on their specific piece of hardware is the wrong way to go about things. In the past few years, games such as Gears of War, Forza, Halo, Horizon Zero Dawn, The Last of Us, Zelda and Mario have lit up their respective platforms, bringing enjoyment to those who played them and provided yet another reason as to why gaming has risen so much in popularity with their unique experiences.

Upon release of each title though and indeed many others, the gaming world has been divided. Console platforms have been quick to showcase their best efforts, creating competition between each other to provide the best gaming experiences for their section of the market, but in turn this has caused many members of the gaming community, all of which are passionate gamers, to spend time debating away about which game is the best, or which they can play that others can’t – all because of the poor practices in place from the platform holders. At present, exclusivity in gaming is dividing our community, it’s dividing us with the way we play, it’s dividing us with games we have access too, and it’s dividing the opinion of a group of people who all share the same common interest.

In recent years, exclusivity hasn’t just dictated what games we can play either. It’s been used to take away gaming experiences from certain console owners for specific periods of time, and it has taken away a lot of the value in the experience a particular game can give – despite the fact that we all spend the same money for the same thing. Should this be acceptable? Of course not. But how can we remedy this? It’s quite simple actually.

Exclusivity is without doubt harming our experiences within gaming, but it’s not entirely the worst thing in the world either, and I’m not saying it should go away all together as if done right, it can have a very valuable place in the gaming industry. So, here’s what I think could ensure a better gaming experience for all, whilst retaining the values of what it brings to the market in terms of business.

The first and most important change would be to stop exclusive games and exclusive content – timed or not – entirely. It’s fair to say that every gamer out there buys their chosen platform because they love gaming. So instead of splitting us with what we can play, bring every game to every console; bring Halo to PlayStation, bring Gran Turismo to Xbox, bring Pokemon to all, bring downloadable content to every gamer at the same time, and turn games into games again instead of a marketing tool.

By doing this every gamer would immediately benefit from thousands of new gaming opportunities and we could all enjoy the same experiences. In terms of business, such a move would no doubt be a profitable one with each game then open to a much wider audience, therefore improving sales and making for a larger and more active player base going forward. We all spend the same money, so why shouldn’t we enjoy the same experiences?

The next thing to change is the way we play. Give us the option for cross-platform play no matter the platform, and give us cross-platform play for every gaming experience that comes to the market. Allow PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo and PC gamers to enjoy their games together as one. Doing this would not only allow all gamers to enjoy their favourite games together, but it would also provide games a much longer-lived online community, therefore extending the time players can enjoy their favourite games online.

To take it further, why not allow players to join their friends in party-chat regardless of the platform they play, and dive into a co-op experience together? This would probably go a long way to fixing the toxicity that has plagued the online community for so long and help unite players once more, making gaming a nicer pastime for all.

Of course, you could argue that without exclusive gaming, the competition between the platform giants would no-doubt disappear, therefore making the choice between platforms irrelevant whilst potentially ruining the entire business side of gaming completely. In turn, such drastic changes could allow the corporate giants to take further control of the gaming market and our gaming experiences as a whole. So how can we keep exclusivity in gaming, whilst removing the restrictions facing the many gamers out there? What better place than within our hardware choices instead.

As I previously stated, I myself am an owner of each of the different platforms on the market, and as someone who plays each one regularly one thing that has become quite clear is that whilst the games available on each platform are usually different due to the exclusivity tied to them, the overall console experience is generally a rather similar experience. Whilst the controllers and the look are certainly different, the features within each give very little reason to buy one over the other, at least in terms of Xbox and PlayStation. Despite the fact many users will argue as to which console is the best, each of the main consoles have their own achievement/trophy system, both have their own club style system and without the game exclusivity, none of them have anything different that makes owning that console any better than the other.

So how do we fix the issue of exclusive gaming? Simple. Take away every aspect of exclusivity in games and allow every game to be played on every console. Ensure every gaming release is fully cross-platform compatible, and allow gamers to come together regardless of console choice, and finally take the effort that’s put into marketing and exclusivity deals, and utilise it to put more effort into what each respective console is capable of. Give us a reason to buy your console, but put features in that we won’t see on any other, and make the console an exclusive experience rather than the games that we all want to play.

So, do you agree with these thoughts? Is exclusive gaming something of the future or would things be better if we were brought together with these changes to the industry? Let us know in the comments below or via our usual social channels.

 

51 COMMENTS

  1. Lol what a stupid article why should I buy a PS4 Over Xbox if PS4 Console doesn’t offer me anything differently then Xbox or the other way around.
    You dude srsly don’t have any idea what you are writing about!

    • Hey Cypher, I can’t help but feel you’ve missed the entire point of the article. If my opinion was to happen (which obviously it won’t) there would be a difference between consoles and something different offered.

      • No You have your opinion and I have every right to tell you your opinion sucks.
        No it doesn’t offer me anything there are no services which Ps4 has over Xbox or Xbox over Ps4.
        And you still didn’t answered anything…Why would i chose Ps over Xbox if i can get the same stuff services interest no one most of them hate services that console offer.

        • If you read the article properly you would see my point stating that it would be great to see hardware have differences.. I would appreciate your opinion if you at least properly read mine.

          • The article is click bait and has no bearing on how the industry works and why it works the way it does. Your article isn’t really an opinion because its not in context as to how the industry works.

            “Hey guys, it would be great for the world, if there was no world hunger… there really is no reason why someone should go hungry” – Sly

            I could simply say, it would be nice, if Microsoft closed down the Xbox division (its not even a separate division anymore) and the Microsoft store and release their gaming software on Steam, Playstation Store and Nintendo device…. so I can play Gears of War. It makes a hell of a lot more sense than your article.

          • I did read your article twice,you still are not telling me why should i Buy A Xbox over PS4 or the other way around if all the games are on all the systems.

            But why should hardware have to be different hardware is not the lifeblood of a console manufacturer software is everyone knows that.

            That’s like me saying I do not want to buy PS4 because of Uncharted only Ok that would be a valid point but do you know what would make me buy a PS4…Uncharted,Persona 5,BloodBorne,Ratchet And Clank,last Of us,HZD,Ghost of Tsushima,Detroit BH,God Of War,Spider Man,Gravity Rush 1 and 2,Until Dawn these just came from top of my head.

            And saying I’m not interested in those games that’s your thing but a lot of people are interested and will invest in them making your point totally moot.

            Your foundation is flawed when you have virtually same consoles and want to mix everything up,then the Console would not have any identity and would be obsolete just like Xbox is becoming now while Switch thrives on their exclusives and I mean literally only on their exclusives third party games aren’t doing so hot right now.

    • @ridvesalius:disqus no not quite and as a gamer, I don’t see how exclusive gaming could be seen as a good thing for anybody.

      • come on you just came out of the shell now? just now? after Xbox x is out with out great games for xbox one? this is the problem dude,i want nintend to be what they are,as well as sony….MS on the other hand i want them to change,i want them to build good games and not focus on hardware….this is the problem

  2. This is why you xboxone and x fans should be bitching to phil instead of eating everything that compulsive liar feeds you, xboxone x is a great console, but without the exclusive software its worthless for gaming.

    • With no further changes I would agree completely, hence my point in stating changes should be made to the internals of the hardware. If the mobile experience can do it there’s no reason the console experience can’t.

    • @sampson3121:disqus I too am a PS4 owner, a Nintendo owner and a PC owner, so whilst I may have the choice of playing whatever, I feel exclusivity holds back the potential of gaming.

      • it does not,dude are you for real? lets say MS , Nintendo and sony are one company? you think you would have zeld,horizon and Bloodborne? probably one of the 3 way? because the aiming is not to build the best game,but to build the one that sells millions in a short amount of time…since there is no competition….im sorry but no,and we are in 2017 exclusives are here for a long time now.and only now you came up with this? because you know MS is bringing shit to the table(this is the problem ) MS is not bringing good games…and now you want Sony to give way the aces they put tears,blood and sweat on it? sorry but you are wrong…..

        • That’s not my opinion at all and I believe a good read of the article proves that. You assume I mean all games to Xbox, I don’t. Plus Xbox haven’t got poor exclusives, how are Forza, Halo, Gears of War – all multi-million selling titles proof of MS not bringing good games?

  3. What a dumb idea. If you have all of the consoles then you’ve already solved your problem. “Let’s make the hardware exclusive, yeah!” Lmfao. What a trash article.

    • @jwillj2k4:disqus As someone who does have all of the consoles, I disagree, I don’t think exclusivity is harming the industry because I don’t have the option to play what I want. I think it’s harming the industry for all the reasons in my article.. maybe you should read it 🙂

      • Don’t have the option to play what you want? Now your contradicting yourself. By default you have ALL the options you want and you chose to buy ALL the consoles.

        I’ll tell you why your article is trash. Let’s say this actually happened. The lack of killer exclusives removes the impulse buys of other consoles. In the end one of the companies will bow out of the hardware genre (probably ms because it’s least popular), and if it were to be Microsoft the inclusion of the lack of 1st party software would end their tenure in this industry.

  4. Either this is satire or, this guy has singlehandedly concocted the most retarded article in the history of articles… Either you are butthurt or jus plain ole brainless. Why the heck would this even be a good idea. That would make consoles as a whole pointless. There would be no need for consoles period. No identity. Basically a PC. Exclusives have dated back before you were even born im sure, so how will this help out. Identity is the word… Reasons we have Mcdonalds and BurgerKing. KFC and Popeyes. White and Black… Good and evil. Hot and Cold…. Seems like you need to move to the Matrix bro. Wat was the whole point of Neo for that matter😂

      • @doddynuryanto:disqus indeed, but it doesn’t mean it’s a good thing for consumers, hence why many use other means to watch the shows they want outside of both Netflix and Amazon Video

    • @deitrichhouston:disqus I’m sure if you read the article again you will find my reasons for thinking this is a good idea 🙂 As for the no need for consoles, you could say the same about many phones. Especially given that many competitors use Android, all of which have the same apps yet still retain their competitive nature due to what the individual product offers. So nope, not pointless, infact it’s an idea that would help bring the entire gaming populace together. As for Matrix, have never seen it so you tell me what the whole point of Neo was.

  5. I understand why PS4 fanboys would rip on this XBOX player. They love to mock others and completely miss the point.
    Many argue then “Without exclusives, what’s the point of consoles?” …. Yeah, exactly.

    Without exclusives, consoles literally have nothing. I personally don’t like exclusives. They exclude people from playing games and in the end, we all wanna play great games. (and no PS fanboys, I have a PS4 as well so don’t even try the “butthurt XBOX fan, I don’t even have an XBOX) I wanna play Uncharted 4, but I wanna play it on my PC. And yes, I wouldn’t care if PC exclusives came to PS4 as long as they don’t limit the developers. That’s the biggest problem.

    See, because there isn’t really a bottom line or standard, PC gaming is both the cheapest and most expensive system. It is the strongest and weakest. As a result, games on the PC is a bit of a free for all. Any game on any of the consoles can run on a PC. Not every PC game can run on a console though. Not without serious limitations at times.

    However, while I myself am against the idea of exclusives, I wasn’t born yesterday and understand why we have em. It isn’t rocket science ofcourse. Sony wants to sell their console so they have games exclusive to their system. On one hand, I like how many XBOX games are now also released on PC. It is good for me, the consumer, because I get to not only play on a system I already own, I play on my preferred system which is my PC.

    In the end, it’s business. Is it good business? Well let’s think about it.
    Sony and Microsoft both confirmed that console sales don’t net much profit and most of the stuff is from games. Not just game sales and what not, but also licensing. If a third party studio wants to release on PS4, they have to pay Sony royalties (and that is with every platform). Same with updating games. They have to pay the company. Records also show (and logical thinking) that third party games sell far more than first party games. They never even come close. So maybe they should make all exclusives third party? Well, if that would happen, from a consumer’s point of view, it would be awesome. From a business point of view …

    We already established that without exclusives, there would be very little reasons to own a console. As a result, what MIGHT happen (read MIGHT, not saying WOULD) is that the vast majority of console gamers would switch over to PC and as a result, many less consoles would be bought and ofcourse less games on said systems. Developers then might not see enough profits and not release the game on those systems and it just goes on from there.

    Now that is hypothetical ofcourse, but taking it into consideration that it might happen, no wonder that Sony and Nintendo keep their exclusives. They run the risk of losing consumers.

    I don’t like exclusives, but it is a business practice that until the companies sink, won’t go away any time soon.

    • @GrimmyReaper:disqus Hey Grimmy, i’m not just an Xbox player, but also a Nintendo, PlayStation and PC player too. Nevertheless I understand why we have exclusives but with changes to hardware and those becoming the exclusive options between consoles rather than the games, I think gaming as a whole would be a much better experience. With the changes mentioned in the article I think there would still be a relevance for consoles whilst also bringing more games to players, which should be what we all want as gamers right?

  6. When Carlos first mentioned running an article along these lines my initial thoughts were positive. It’s great to see another take on the whole ‘exclusives’ matter. My second thoughts however pointed to the comments section going on a bit of a rocky ride. Glad to see I was right there.

    Personally, I care little for what happens over on the other side of town, mainly because from the OG Xbox, I committed to running this way and I have no regrets. I don’t have the time, nor the inclination to bother playing on other systems and rarely do I even check in on the exclusive games that are coming out on PS4. They are none of my business and I can’t be worried about something I know nothing about. The whole ‘we’ve got this, you haven’t’ thing bores the hell out of me – from both sides may I add – which is why I’ll nearly exclusively only bother reading about Xbox related (and Switch because I have one of those) news.

    As for the article, I see exactly where Carlos is coming from and feel that the hardware choice is part of the draw of the Switch – and why it is doing so god damn well. It offers something different hardware wise and that is why people are loving it. Consumer wise, it would be a great call to make all games cross-platform, doing away with exclusives but like someone else has put, it’s never going to happen. Exclusive games sell systems and that is – and should – be the way it stays.

    I just wish the whole vitriolic comments would stop though – I’m not talking about the comments on this piece, just comments fired from both sides in general. As for this piece though, I’m all for people having opinions and when one of our writers has an opinion like in this article, I expect others to be able to follow up with their own thoughts. I know many sites that would censor the bad and those who don’t agree, but unless things start getting out of hand, any comment anyone wants to put will stay.

  7. Never going to happen and if I’m honest I don’t want it to. Platform exclusives are what sell systems and I can’t see either Sony or Microsoft wanting to lose that. It also encourages innovation and gets the two companies competing against each other which is great for the customer. For example, if it wasn’t for Microsoft, Sony may never have bothered implementing their Trophy system and if it wasn’t for Sony, Microsoft may not have introduced Games with Gold.

    I’m first and foremost a Microsoft gamer but I wanted to be able to play Uncharted, The Last of Us and The Last Guardian so I got a PS4. If they were available on the Xbox I would never have bothered. Likewise if a PS4 gamer wants to play Halo, Gears or Quantum Break they buy an Xbox. I think Microsoft are already shooting themselves in the foot to a degree with offering the games on PC but only time will tell how that’s going to pan out. Also it’s all very well saying make the hardware unique but that’s not really feasible other than the neat trick the Switch is trying to pull off (portability).

    I do agree about the timed exclusivity deals though – they don’t really benefit anyone in the long run. People are not going to buy a competing console just to get access to a game or content earlier – they just end up enduring a long wait for it to come out on their platform of choice.

  8. So you think companies would invest millions in a new game for it to be on the rivals system with potentially better graphics and framerate leaving yourself with the second or even third best version (depending who has the most powerful console at the time)?

    It would kill the pushing of boundaries and lead to generic looking and playing games that are minimal effort maximum profit.

    No thanks, id like the companies to work for our money and show off the system to its maximum.

  9. this is not real? is it? since now exclusives should go to MS ? because MS it self cant do shit? so Nintendo and Sony must give the Best Aces they have to MS??? i will say one thing this is bullshit and only one to blame MS is the one to blame,so you guys want games? go for the brand that actually does something for the gamers….ok? so ya MS you die for me….sad but you are not better than EA….

  10. ALL THE POWER OF XBOX! And no exclusives to play. Just pull your head out, get a PS4 and or switch, and play all those games xbox will never have.

    • I have both a PS4 and a swithc and even a gaming PC. Maybe a read of the article will help you to understand my opinion.

      • Its either port begging or click bait? Take your pick. The article is junk and makes zero sense from a business perspective. So, let me get this right… I develop my own specific hardware, which requires unique complying requirements, etc. for code to run…. you think Microsoft should be somehow forced to release software on my platform?

        I think you might want to read your own article… come back and tell us how you think you did

        • @disqus_Diy06Y3Tty:disqus actually it’s neither and instead is simply my opinion on a heavily divided topic. And unfortunately no, you haven’t got this right at all.

          • No its not an opinion… without correct and proper context its click bait nonsense. You clearly haven’t gotten anything right other than troll posting click bait… on that you get an A+.

          • You didn’t- and can’t- properly explain how exclusives hurt the industry. It’s just a claim by you, that’s all.

            It’s also not a “heavily divided topic.” The ONLY people in gaming that try to make the argument you just made are Xbox fans.

  11. “Exclusive gaming is harming the industry” Exclusive games are what gives each console it’s identity hence why you’ll never hear that coming from PlayStation or Nintendo websites and only from an Xbox dedicated website lol. I mean come on, what would be the point of having multiple consoles if there are no more exclusives? Without console exclusives you’ll no longer see devs pushing each console to its absolute limits or raising the bar for other devs to follow suit.

    Both exclusives and multiplats can and do co-exist without either making the other irrelevant, so carry on with making great exclusive games I say. Without exclusive games a console loses all its distinctiveness.

  12. you want 3rd person single player games that are dead and forgotten a week after release…Get ps4

    you want blockbuster coop, single player and multiplayer games to play with friends that develop their own communities and live for years…get xbox.

    knack 2, no mans lie, GT sport embarrassments or Forza 7, Cuphead and PUBG gems and all the best multiplats…its pretty simple.

  13. you want 3rd person single player games that are dead and forgotten a week after release…Get ps4

    you want blockbuster coop, single player and multiplayer games to play with friends that develop their own communities and live for years…get xbox.

    knack 2, no mans lie, GT sport embarrassments or Forza 7, Cuphead and PUBG gems and all the best multiplats…its pretty simple.

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