Not all gamers own all gaming platforms available on the market. There are several possible reasons for this fact such as it may not be a financially viable option or the fact that one may really only play multi-platform titles, thus making the need to own several different platforms somewhat redundant.
So, if you are only able to or simply choose to purchase only one platform, what influences your choice?
For many gamers, a huge factor in this decision are platform-exclusive titles, for example, the Uncharted series on PlayStation or the Halo series on Xbox.
These titles may be limited to one or a limited number of platforms, may be made by first-, second- or third-party studios and may be based in any video game genre. The only consistent feature within platform-exclusive titles is that access to them is limited, meaning that you have to own a specific platform to play the title in question.
A recent conversation with a friend actually got me thinking about the importance we place on platform-exclusive titles. Basically, he had stated that he’d bought a PS4 in order to play No Man Sky because his laptop would not be able to handle the title’s specifications.
At first I had thought the prospect of buying a new console for a single game was somewhat ridiculous. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a dedicated console peasant or a member of the PC Master Race, purchasing a new platform and all of the peripherals that go with it is a rather expensive ordeal.
The more I thought of it, however, the more I realised that I was being somewhat hypocritical as I had previously bought a console for a single game too. I originally bought an Xbox 360 to play Halo 4 in 2012. I had played the first Halo title on PC (Halo: Combat Evolved), but never really carried on with the series after that. This was mostly due to the fact that most of the subsequent titles in the series were available on Xbox only.
Finally, just before Halo 4 was about to be released, a few of my friends were able to convince me to purchase an Xbox 360 so that I could play what was supposedly going to be one of the best games ever with them.
I wasn’t all that impressed by Halo 4. In fact, I was actually really angry about how disappointing it was as I had bought a whole new console for a title that I thought wasn’t as great as everyone made it out to be. (This did later change as I played other Xbox exclusives and really grew to love the console.)
Platform-exclusives, thus, do have the ability to sell consoles; the total number of consoles, however, is entirely dependent on the title’s scope and following.
The Halo series is extremely famous for being a title that sells consoles. In the week of the release of Halo 3, the weekly average sales of the Xbox 360 doubled. The franchise does, however, have an extremely massive following, thus feats such as this are somewhat expected when a new Halo title is released.
Many other platform-exclusives do not have as great an effect on the sales of a platform. Although a fantastic title, Sunset Overdrive did not carry the same potential that a Halo or Gears of War title would to push the sales of the Xbox One for most gamers. (Rather ironically, Sunset Overdrive was the title that made me want to purchase an Xbox One as soon as the title was released).
Previously I wrote that the cross-platform play may have the ability to end the console war, however, the power of platform-exclusives is a primary counter to this notion. As long as platform-exclusives are released, people will want to buy different consoles to be able to play certain titles; a factor that will hopefully keep the quality of gaming at an extremely high level.
As previously mentioned, platform-exclusives have made me buy particular consoles in the past. Have any of you ever bought a new console just to play a single title?