Versus! Console Exclusives

Following the recent Bayonetta 2 fan rage, Bradly and Pierre debate whether console exclusives have any place in today’s world of gaming.

By Bradly Halestorm. Posted 11/23/2012 10:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

Games for Everyone!

By Bradly Hale

While I can see both sides of this argument, I tend to advocate for less console exclusivity and more games readily available for all systems. Although I think exclusives may have a time and a place, they do us, the consumers, no favors nevertheless, especially from a financial standpoint. In the most rudimentary perspective, console exclusivity simply means we have to shell out more of our hard earned cash for specific systems just to experience a game that looks appealing. With the world economic crisis still in effect, spending exorbitant amounts of money on extraneous items that don’t include bills, student loan debt, and various other pertinent life amenities, is difficult to justify. Because of this, dishing out a few hundred dollars for a new system just to play the latest Halo or Yakuza is about the least appealing thing I can think of. In truth, console exclusivity only ever results in one, cold, unrelenting fact: my bank account lamenting.

The other issue I have is this: I shouldn’t be excluded from experiencing a defining piece of gaming bliss because I don’t own the console on which a certain game is released. Essentially, this exclusivity concept penalizes, and even punishes, those who are unwilling to spend heaps of money on several different consoles– consoles that will, for the most part, share a very similar games library, minus a few additions of course. It saddens me to think how many people out there have not experienced Super Mario Galaxy because they never owned a Wii, or Gears of War because they never owned a 360, or Heavy Rain because they never converted to Sony’s way of gaming.

Bayonetta 2 exclusivity

This ultimately leads us to companies’ products not being seen by a wide audience. Right now, and as always, it has been challenging for developers to keep their doors open. It seems like there are more studios shutting down than starting up these days (barring indie companies, of course). Often this is due to fans not being able to support, purchase, and play these games due to not owning the system needed to play the title in the first place. If console exclusivity ultimately means more companies are going to go under, and, as a result, less games are going to be released, then I vehemently oppose the notion. I don’t need a games market filled with only products from EA and Ubisoft. I need diversity, and often it’s the exclusive titles that offer the most compelling and unique experiences.

From a broader view, though, companies should be promoting the growth of gaming, not putting parameters on it. Unfortunately, that’s what it has come to– hardware manufacturers deciding the fate of games as well as how we experience them. Gaming is a growing culture, that much is without question, but it is also one that is still divided for a number of reasons, one of the most notable ones being fanboy-ism.

If you’ve been on any gaming message board in the last decade, then you’ve probably been subjected to some of the Internet’s finest denizens. Regrettably, many of these individuals are heathens created from the very existence of console exclusivity. In short, this concept promotes a heinously barbaric mindset, and in effect, keeps gaming from reaching its full potential. And just think, this is all thanks to the humanistic element that is criminally overlooked, yet profoundly impacted in a rather disgusting manner.

The worst part of all this is certain games are not represented in the way they should, through exclusivity. Though we’re finally getting Mario in HD on Wii U, how fantastic would it have been to get that six years ago? Or what if some of the best hack and slash games found on Xbox could’ve been enhanced with Motion Control Plus? A console’s technical specifications and abilities can enhance, but also grossly restrict what a game has to offer. A seemingly great title can ultimately be brought down by the limitations of its system of origin.

If we want a stagnant gaming culture, then yes, I say let’s keep this exclusive thing going. If gaming ever expects to transcend its current form, however, then this kind of mentality and practice cannot persist.

So readers, who do you think made the better argument? Vote in the comments below!

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