Earlier this week, Microsoft announced that the Xbox Series X will not have next-gen exclusive titles at launch. The company felt that having next-gen exclusive games on its new console would just not be fair for the consumers and would go against Microsoft’s message of inclusivity.
However, this announcement stirred up a lot of controversy on social media as people started bashing Microsoft for their decision. According to them, this meant that there was no reason to buy the Xbox Series X on launch as the games would still be playable on PC and Xbox One.
Sony, on the other hand, has decided to go the opposite way according to Kotaku’s Jason Schreier. Apparently, Sony will indeed have PlayStation 5 exclusive launch titles, which would not be playable on the current gen PlayStation 4 or the PS4 Pro.
“I’ve heard some of the PS5 launch titles”, Schreier said when asked about Sony’s strategy for next-gen. “I won’t say them yet as I probably will want to some kind of report on that stuff for the future. But those will be on PS5 only.”
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Is this a wise decision by Sony or is Microsoft right for allowing freedom of choice? Let’s evaluate.
Microsoft vs. Sony – A fight between two philosophies
Ever since Phil Spencer took over at Microsoft way back in 2014, the company has been a lot more consumer-friendly and for good reason as well. For the Xbox One launch, Microsoft disregarded the community as a result of which, their console sales suffered.
Sony, meanwhile, capitalized on Microsoft’s failure and advertised the PS4 as a console for gamers. This gave the PS4 that initial boost and after a bunch of great exclusives, it quickly became one of the best selling consoles of all time. However, some people feel that Sony is becoming rather complacent after the success of the PlayStation 4.
For example, the company skipped E3 last year as it didn’t have many new things to show at the event. However, if recent rumours are to be believed, it seems like Sony will not be attending E3 this year either which is extremely bizarre since E3 can make or break a new gaming console. The company has not really announced any PlayStation 5 titles yet either and apart from the usual internals, we don’t know much about the console even though it is less than 12 months away at this point.
On the other hand, Microsoft has doubled down on the marketing for Xbox Series X. The unveil at The Game Awards took everyone by surprise and the APU reveal during CES also took the hype away from the PlayStation 5. In addition to that, Microsoft has already shown a couple of games for the Xbox Series X with more promised at E3 2020.
The main problem with Microsoft deciding to ditch next-gen exclusivity though is that it will not drive console sales at the start. However, that is a problem for Microsoft and not for the consumers. In fact, the whole situation could not have been better if you’re a consumer because now, Microsoft has given us the choice to play the latest exclusive games on Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Project xCloud or PC.
In addition to that, Phil Spencer has stated multiple times that software is what drives revenue, not the consoles, especially at the start of a generation. So, whether you’re on Xbox or PC, services like Game Pass will mean that Microsoft does not have to worry about sales. In addition to that, if you do want to get the latest and greatest in the form of Xbox Series X, you’ll obviously get the benefit of better visuals, higher FPS and better loading times.
Sony’s strategy is a lot more inconspicuous in comparison. In their reveal event, Sony unveiled games like SpiderMan Miles Morales. However, the company did not specify which platforms the game would be coming to or whether it was a standalone DLC. However, Insomniac Games did indeed confirm reports later on. So, Sony will indeed lock games exclusively for the PlayStation 5.
In any case, having console exclusives on the PlayStation 5 will definitely boost the sales for Sony which, from a business standpoint, makes total sense. However, if you’re someone who doesn’t want to buy a new console on day 1, you’ll sadly be missing out on these games.
The Sony vs. Microsoft battle this year will be extremely fascinating since neither of the two companies seems like it’s going to have any major slip-ups. Hopefully, by the Holiday season, things will be a lot clear for consumers to decide between the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Until then, all we can do is wait and speculate.