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Halo: Combat Evolved anniversary, a new Halo trilogy and Gears of War 3 – they are the heavy hitters this E3 for the Xbox 360. But their showcasing really makes something hit home with regards to Microsoft’s exclusives. That being the barrel is drying out fast! I love both Halo and Gears of War, but they’re not going to be enough to carry another console. Mass Effect and BioShock were huge losses for the Xbox 360, and the overwhelmingly negative reaction to the Kinect-based Fable is not good news for them either.
to the question above is simply yes, the Xbox 360 is in dire need of new
exclusives right now. Sony and Nintendo have considerably more exclusive IP’s
and, more importantly, they have more life left in them at this point. The next
run of consoles is drawing ever closer, and I don’t think Microsoft can rely on
Halo for a third time to be the killer app for its next console. It’s a shame
that Gears of War 3 is to be the last entry, as at the moment I feel that
franchise has finally begun to find its feet.
Gears 3 certainly made an impression at E3, but Microsoft could do with another two or three franchises like it.
take a minute to look at what the 360 is going up against in terms of exclusive
IP. Nintendo has their usual catalogue of franchises that people always buy
and Sony is really showcasing the benefits of a title that is developed solely
for their platform. Not to mention both of these have new hardware coming out
over the next twelve months that will again bring in more exclusive content to
each of them.
Microsoft began this generation very well – Devil May Cry was made multiplatform, they had their killer fighting game in Dead or Alive 4, Dead Rising was innovative and fun. Gears of War and BioShock came out of nowhere and showed everyone that you didn’t need to wait for Halo 3, then Halo 3 did arrive and everything was going extremely well for the 360. Unfortunate as it is though, most of them aren’t relevant anymore. Exclusives are becoming less of a thing in gaming; it makes far more business sense to release a game on three platforms than it does one. But exclusive titles help differentiate a console, they’re a way to show what it has over the others and in that regard, the 360 is starting to lag behind.
While the Kinect does offer up a ton of exclusive opportunity, that was not the original intention for the console, nor are Kinect enthusiasts the original target audience. The early years of the 360 gave us some of the best exclusives available and it really felt like a next generation console. Now it’s on the verge of milking beloved franchises to stay afloat, the 360 still has some great advantages over its competitors, but it needs to step things up a notch with regards to exclusives. The killer app for the 360’s successor cannot be Halo 5 at this point.