Until Hardware Is Equal, Exclusives Remain Important
The battle continues to rage concerning exclusive titles versus multiplatform; while many see the obvious advantages of a developer focusing entirely on one piece of hardware, others complain that such an approach requires hardcore gamers to pay extra dollars for multiple systems.
And that's part of the reason people say things like, gamers want an end to exclusives, which is a sensible statement in and of itself, but doesn't take into account various factors. For instance, right off the bat, I always find it amusing how many Xbox fans (who have never owned a PS3 and have only seen its exclusives in advertisements) seem to believe that everything on the PS3 can be done on the 360. This, in the wake of multiple developers stating a hundred times over that game franchises like Uncharted absolutely could not be done on any platform besides the PS3. Perhaps the MS fans just think the developers are lying.
It all could go multi, theoretically; Uncharted, God of War, Gran Turismo, Heavy Rain, Killzone, LittleBigPlanet, etc. could all be on the 360. But they'd all have to be changed significantly; most wouldn't even be able to function as straight ports; designers would have to rebuild to accommodate for the - let's face it - lesser hardware. Or even if you don't agree that it's "lesser," it's certainly a very different architecture, which is exactly why many of the best games of the generation are exclusive. Gears of War is great but if it had to be remade to fit into the PS3's architecture, would it be as good? Maybe not. Then again, if any game was made primarily for the more powerful machine, it should definitely benefit. But that's a different subject.
The bottom line is that developers will always complain about how different the PS3 and 360 are from a technical standpoint. Therefore, if exclusives disappear, the maximum level of possible quality will fall. It's inevitable. If we continue to force even the most talented game makers to jam their game onto two extraordinarily different pieces of hardware - despite their growing ease with them - we'll never reach the potential of an exclusive. When a developer can throw all its weight, effort and resources into focusing entirely on one architecture, the best results are possible. But until that day comes, exclusives will continue to be the cream of the crop.
And as for PS3 exclusives vs. 360 exclusives... Please. That's not really still an argument, is it? I mean, Uncharted 3 on the 360? Naughty Dog is currently snickering behind their sleeves.
5/10/2011 9:53:36 AM Ben Dutka