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Community Voice #22: Console Based Exclusive Content: Good or Bad?

As this gen of gaming continues, the trend of console exclusivity seems to be slowly fading in to the past. Key characters like Master Chief, Mario, and Nathan Drake will remain loyal to their respective consoles, but youre seeing less and less console-exclusive games. Dont forget the “exclusive” franchises that eventually break rank and end up multiplatform. Take Halo creators Bungie Studios for example. Since Halo 2, theyd been an Xbox 360 exclusive company, and yet now their recently inked partnership with Activision has them poised to appear on other consoles.

What were seeing more and more of is publishers and developers striking deals with one of the “big three” to release exclusive extra content, meanwhile leaving fans of the game who dont own said “exclusive” console out in the cold. So instead of Xbox 360 fanboys arguing with their PS3 nemeses about things like graphics, youve got one rubbing their console exclusive content in the others face.  Moreso, it takes choice away, in a sense, from the consumer, rendering some versions of the game less complete than others, since access to exclusive DLC will be forever (or at least for an extended period of time) barred from those users access.

Which is why I propose a solution that may enhance the highly profitable “console wars” we gamers are in the midst of. How about instead of offering only one console-exclusive content, companies start offering separate, but comparable, content for each console. Structure it the way game retailers do when it comes to pre-order bonuses, and offer each system its own unique bonus content. It not only offers hardcore fanboys perks for purchasing a game on their console of choice, it gives those who hold no allegiance choice, and gives item hoarders a chance to pick up each copy and nab all the exclusive content.  As a result, everyone can win: console manufacturers, developers, and gamers.

What do you think? How do you feel when only one console gets exclusive content? Is the above solution a viable option? Do you have a different idea on how to remedy the sometimes unbalanced exclusivity issue? Sound off and let your voices be heard!

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