E3 2008 Editorial: Calm Yourselves Over Loss Of Exclusives
After yesterday's relatively stunning revelation that Final Fantasy XIII would be headed to the Xbox 360, and today's rumors that claim Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots will eventually come to the 360 as well, I figure everyone needs to drink some decaf, sit back in a nice, comfy armchair, and convince themselves that the world is not actually ending.
Of course, we're keeping a very careful eye on the proceedings at E3, and that means we're not limiting our scan to the Sony conference (which kicks off in about two and a half hours, by the way). Obviously, we noticed the FFXIII announcement, and immediately afterwards, the predictable happened: the Internet exploded. However, while I understand the motivation behind it, it seems painfully obvious that everyone is getting just a touch carried away. I'm reading articles now about how the PS3 might be "dead" because it "lost" FFXIII, and how nobody should even bother buying the PS3. The knee-jerk reactions are expected, but seriously, take a step back and survey the situation with a realistic, reasonable, and logical eye:
I think we've all known for a while that the third-party exclusive is going the way of the dodo. I figured that was just common knowledge. Before long, the only "exclusives" left will be first-party titles, and after some time, I'm willing to bet even those will be subject to negotiation. Thing is, in regards to FFXIII, that's still a ways off, and I don't see how Grand Theft Auto IV hurt anyone. Is Sony really suffering because that game launched simultaneously for the PS3 and 360? And what about MGS4? It won't be a while until it comes out for the 360 - even if it does arrive - and by then, the PS3 will have already reaped the rewards. It happened with Bioshock's timed exclusivity for the 360, yes? The bottom line is that Sony executives aren't currently hiding under their desks just because FFXIII is also going to the 360. That's just not happening.
And gamers out there need to step off the fanboy wagon and simply appreciate the situation for what it is. Another group of gamers who own a different console will get to play a fantastic title, and if someone owns both consoles...what difference does it make, anyway? This is not the end of the world. If we have to, we can compare Sony's first-party exclusives to Microsoft's, but I honestly believe Sony wins that battle without any trouble. Furthermore, would it be wrong to assume something like Gears of War is coming to the PS3? Why do 360 owners just assume it's sticking around? Third-party exclusives are just about done, and we have to accept that for this new generation. Hardware sales aren't going to take a dive tomorrow because a game loosely scheduled for 2009 is no longer available for only one platform! And sales aren't going to spike for the other platform, either! It's a bonus for 360 owners, but in all actuality, current PS3 owners - and prospective PS3 owners - aren't "losing" anything.
They still get FFXIII, and at the same time as Xbox 360 owners. They still get the first-party exclusives, with names like Gran Turismo, Resistance, Ratchet and Clank, etc. They still get Blu-Ray. They still get a free Network. They still get far greater reliability (still true; MS has yet to fix the RRoD problem, obviously). Nobody in their right minds is curling up into a ball and crying over this. And by the way, one final note: for years, Xbox loyalists have bashed FF relentlessly; they won't play a "kiddie RPG, anyway," and "FF sucks; who cares?" This note of significant jealousy died yesterday, and they all pulled a complete 180. In a nutshell, this is why fanboyism is so unbelievably lame. For my part, I keep my 360 for a variety of reasons, and while I'm certain I'll play FFXIII on my PS3, I really have no problem playing GeoW2 on my 360. Nor do I have a problem playing Infinite Undiscovery and Lost Odyssey on it.
But you know what I won't do? I won't cry if any of those lose exclusivity and go to the PS3. Just like I'm not crying about FFXIII. Perhaps sadly, the "knee-jerk" days are gone for me, and I'm too old...I'm forced to be a realist. Could everyone else at least attempt to adopt that same philosophy for the sake of maturity in this industry? Thanks.
7/15/2008 Ben Dutka