It’s a common saying among statistic obsessed gamers that Microsoft’s Xbox 360 exclusives sells many more units than PlayStation 3 exclusives. While there may be some that disagree, and others who punch the air in acknowledgement, the truth remains, depicted from the statistical data over the years.
And what is the truth? Well, let’s just say the air-punching and acknowledging gamers are right. It may seem like an Xbox fan-boy avouchment, but it’s really not; unbiased statistics would prove that, based on the history of the two consoles.
Recent statistical data shows that the Xbox 360 has sold well over hundred million copies of exclusives, while PlayStation 3 has sold round about 70 million. This rather substantial difference may or may not reflect the quality of the games, depending on who you ask, but on average, I daresay that the PlayStation 3 exclusives are equally good as the Xbox 360 ones, if not better.
Then why the massive difference? Well, there could be more than just one reason, or there could be no reason at all, one of those unfortunate ‘bad luck’ scenarios that just happen. I like to think it’s a mixture of both. To tear it down to a more focused level, let’s have a one-to-one look at some of the major exclusive titles of both the consoles, and compare them.
Halo is big – it’s freaking massive. Heck, it’s one of the most well-known first-person shooter series ever. On the other hand we have Killzone, a first-person shooter that has grown with time, having a great start with the original game for the PS2, and then really making it big with Killzone 2 and 3. But Halo has clearly out-sold Killzone.
Similarly there is Gears of War and Uncharted, out of which the clear winner in-terms of sales is Gears of War. But in-terms of sheer quality and experience, I would sway towards Uncharted, as it’s probably one of the best action-adventure games in gaming history.
We come back to the question of why Xbox 360 exclusives actually tend to sell more than those of PS3. Perhaps it’ll help if we recalled the starting years of the two consoles. Xbox 360 came first, and Gears of War was one of the earlier games to be released for it.
The delay in the PS3 release could’ve possibly earned Microsoft’s console more fans, and that would obviously have earned the more renowned games (such as the mentioned example) much more applause and followers.
When the PlayStation 3 did eventually come out, a lot of people simply bought it because of its at-that-time revolutionary Blue-Ray playing aspect.
There was no better alternative available when it came to that, and perhaps that is why some of the great games were ignored by a considerable amount of the PS3 owners, simply because they owned the console as a Blue-Ray player, and not as a gaming console.
Some people would say that one reason is because the Xbox 360 sells more than the PS3. I wouldn’t quite agree, as sales of both the consoles have evened out, unless you really consider last month’s dense sales of Microsoft’s console.
Another major reason is how PS3 developers tend to over-flood specific genres. For example, PS3-exclusive developers make loads of third-person action/adventure games, and though many of them are good, one always prefers a change of genre. Xbox 360 seems to be more diverse in this way, having all kinds of exclusives.
Another reason is that Microsoft tends to market their exclusives more than PS3. Titles like Halo, Gears of War and Forza are always highlighted much more in pre-release conferences and events like the E3, whereas since PS3 has more exclusive titles (an accepted fact), their advertising is distributed, because of which one particular game that is brilliant won’t be advertised/marketed as much as it deserves.
So what is Sony’s solution to this? Well, they could definitely improve their market, and secondly lower the amount of exclusive games that come. You could call it quality control if you wish, or you could just call it smart management, but it’s truly essential that potentially great games deserve much more respect, marketing, and promotion than others, particularly among the exclusive games family.