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With Microsoft getting serious about getting more Japanese third party support, will we see the battle of who gets the timed exclusive Japanese AAA third party game?
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Microsoft was the first to announce Dragon Quest XI S on a non-Nintendo console. And Microsoft was also the first to bring Octopath Traveler to a non-Nintendo console outside of PC. (I don't know if Microsoft paid for timed console exclusivity for Octopath Traveler like with Nintendo.) So Microsoft right now is doing a much better jobs in getting AAA Japanese third party support than during the Xbox 360 days.
And unfortunately, timed third party exclusives is going to last a very long time, as long as it leads to more hardware sales.
Exclusives are the only reason Nintendo exists at all today. Or despite hardware, they would likely be relegated to a very niche block, as Sony, MS, and other actually large companies like Microsoft, with near unlimited funds might see a potential market in handhelds.
So, while I am annoyed at times for niche titles, it does assure system sales. Plenty of gamers are obsessed with best hardware, and right now that would be in MS' corner, as it will take some time for developers to properly utilize the PS5's features, while the Series has no special features to exploit beyond raw power. Making it easier to grant the Series the highest grade graphics. As a result, timed exclusives, and exclusives are one of the core reason why people still go Sony, much as with Nintendo 1st party games (and because they've cemented themselves as the defacto player in the handheld market, the only true dedicated handheld system outside of retro or copy-cat enthusiast builds).
Plus, without them, it would make it harder for certain tech to develop properly. While no one is using the remote system of the Wii, it was rather popular for awhile, and would not have been possible without Nintendo catering to specific markets with specific games. Sure they were super casual mom's looking for a workout, and why not with their kid's consoles, but it did allow that tech to expand. Similarly with the Dual Screen going into my favourite handheld to date, the 3DS. If there were no exclusives, Sony likely would have won that game, and we would never have experienced the fun of the 3DS, and dual-screen systems would have been in the dust bin.
Simplicity typically wins out, and innovation is sadly more often cut short by lack of a driver in the market for that innovation, until the last second. Why to fund that innovation, some companies attempt to start early, and the only way to do this, is to generate incentive for people to buy a product that allows other companies to see viability in that direction. Even if it's just a stupid sales pitch. We only have Nvidia, because they learned to package exclusive games with their systems, that were very difficult to find, or would cost a lot of money, or were early releases. It's one key reason we no longer have Voodoo.
There is never any innate incentive for changing things up, much like Sony is doing with the PS5 (which will completely reshape the PC market landscape as they're hitting bottlenecks fast, as raw number crunching is expensive and costly without jacking up your electricity draw rates, and even then, we plateaued about 3 years ago, and are well into the minimum gains period, with no direction to speak of, until Sony figured out an alternative...others are through Atom processors, others with layers of potential AI specific chips layered into chips, others by forcing groups of bytes into simple arrays by splitting them into simple patterns of the same group, then expanding them after processing...others are by mimicking quantum computing by guessing at the other of every two sets of bits, and using an AI controller that picks up patterns to determine the second bit). The thing though is you need backing and money to drive industry towards new horizons.
So while MS isn't pushing any boundaries, they are using exclusives to break into new markets, which on its own creates new avenues of revenue draw for other companies in Japan. In this case, it might help resurrect a floundering industry that the Japanese government has been fast tracking the death of, and I do mean killing the Videogame industry in Japan, because they prefer worker slave bots to help alleviate the bloat and negate hyperinflation, rather than curb spending. Unfortunately, for all the positives of Japan, social pressure on what determines adulthood is far stronger than it is here, and is abused when it comes to deleting an industry. Hell, Japan has only to look at itself for the direction Sony took in moving away from the country, as it is literally the fault of the populace deliberately not buying their products so as not to be seen as an adult in diapers in the workplace. It's one reason the Vita bombed so hard, and even the 3DS took a hit. Nintendo's marketing campaign for the Switch was also helped because the Japanese government and industry stopped lambasting the practice of gaming, for whatever reason, maybe because the industry was floundering, and so many of their companies forced to rely on the inconsistent revenue streams of mobile games (unless they put out a gem that really draws in cash...it's even less lucrative overall than MMO's, though less costly so easier to turn-around).
So I can't agree. There are good reasons for exclusives. The only thing I don't like, is when system companies buyout 3rd party companies and generate exclusives that were normally multi-platform, or would have had a good shot at being multi-platform. As in this case. Though MS is also looking towards the future battle with Apple, Google, and Amazon. While the ball is in Nintendo, Sony, and MS' court, Apple, Google, and Amazon are like MS, in that they're far larger, with a lot more free cash to burn, than Sony, and especially Nintendo.
So I fully expect to see a LOT of 3rd party buyouts, or exclusive contracts for particular releases (like Bloodborne).