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WHY MICROSOFT ARE LOOSING THE EXCLUSIVES BATTLE

At E3 2008, Square Enix’s Yoichi Wada shocked the gaming world. Taking to the stage at Microsoft’s press conference, he announced that the latest in a series long associated with PlayStation would no longer be exclusive to Sony. Final Fantasy XIII was hitting Xbox 360.

It was a huge surprise, perhaps E3 2008’s only true megaton, an increasingly rare phenomena for an event beset by pre-show leaks. Comments threads and forums around the world exploded with rage.

The news was heralded as yet another example of the US giant’s spending power and increased market share. PlayStation were no longer the dominant force. One by one, the strong relationships Sony had developed with publishers over more than a decade were being eroded by the prospect of increased revenues that only Microsoft could offer.

But as well as nibbling away at Sony’s exclusives, Microsoft had also proved more than adept at securing their own. Indeed, their efforts dwarfed that of their rivals. By the close of 2008 a massive 205 titles were available exclusively on the Xbox 360. In comparison, Sony’s PlayStation 3 had merely 60.

Microsoft had quality on their side too. The Halo, Fable and Gears of War series were among the industry’s very hottest properties, and they were all on Xbox 360. Add titles like Crackdown and Mass Effect, timed-exclusivity on Bioshock and the GTA IV episodes, and Microsoft’s position looked strong. Unassailable, even.

Yet the intervening years has seen a shift in power. Franchise mistreatment, disappointing sequels and over-familiarity have tarnished the impact of Microsoft’s line-up. Now, in 2010, it’s Sony that have the upper hand.

(Read more at GamingUnion)

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FORZA MOTORSPORT 3 PREVIEW

FFO

Christmas came early to London recently, with Microsoft holding a sneaky-peek preview event showcasing some of the goodies they’ll be offering this festive season. With everything from mice that work on any surface, to HD webcams and a new Windows Mobile operating system, rest assured that Microsoft has plenty to keep your average tech-minded geek smiling this Chrimbo.

But that’s not why we were there, of course. We were there for the games. For in among all the gadgets and gizmos were a couple of tasty looking triple-screen set-ups for Microsoft’s exclusive car-sim, Forza Motorsport 3. We ducked past the leggy ladies in sexy elf costumes, stuffed one last canape into our face and grabbed a controller.

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