Console Exclusives and Their Influence on Consumers

Following the rise of digitalisation, the next generation of video game consoles have sought to capture global interests by refining their focuses on producing unique content. While, of course, software varies across numerous game devices, the fundamental difference between contemporary consoles revolves around their respective exclusive titles. So, let’s consider how vital exclusives are within modern-day society.  

How Integral are Exclusives to Gamers? 

From a consumer standpoint, the spread of exclusive content across numerous devices can prove costly. Because of this, towards the end of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One era, both Microsoft and Sony slowed their desire to produce games internally, according to a report by Metro in 2017. Going forward, it’s expected that the Xbox Series X won’t have exclusive first-party games upon its launch in 2020, due to the device’s focus on the Xbox Play Anywhere feature.  

However, the PS5 will feature a wide array of exclusive games, such as Gran Turismo 7, Horizon Forbidden West, and many more. Intriguingly, this appears to be a sensible marketing decision by Sony with traditional consoles seemingly being overtaken regarding popularity by mobile devices. Mobile Marketer states that, in 2019, smartphone games made up 60 percent of the revenue for the global video game sector.  

Furthermore, when you combine the emergence of smartphone gaming with the market’s diverse approach to contemporary titles, it’s hardly surprising that traditional consoles are trying to maintain their long-standing superiority through exclusives. Aside from providing a route to conveniently play popular titles, such as Fortnite, mobiles also ensure an opportunity to participate in ever-growing markets, such as iGaming. For example, because operators like Voodoo Dreams have optimised their platform for remote devices, prospective gamers can accessibly enjoy a whole host of live casino games, including Blackjack Party, Speed Roulette, VIP Auto Roulette, and many more. 

Technology or Branding? 

Many years ago, the evolution of console exclusives was partly down to software, with some advancements not catering to the forward-thinking ideas of modern-day developers. However, since then, GameCrate reports that they’ve since been used as a marketing tool for branding purposes. Of course, to an extent, this is true. The likes of Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony, for example, need to provide prospective users with a reason to purchase and play on their devices. Crucially, exclusives, in this regard, ensure brand reinforcement.

Given the competitive nature of the gaming industry, the sustained development of specific franchises, such as Animal Crossing, Gran Turismo, and Halo, are pivotal in console creators maintaining their audience base. Importantly, given as the structure of console gaming will inevitably result in the release of a new future device, as showcased by the upcoming PS5, exclusives are undoubtedly integral from a business perspective.  

That said, some contrasting opinions surround the implementation of console-specific content across traditional devices and PCs. As per an article at Exclusively Games, there’s a belief that consoles are feature and upgrade-restricted developments, thus illustrating the need for exclusive titles to lock gamers into a brand-orientated eco-system.  

The Need to Compete 

Ultimately, because of the graphics quality and versatility that are on offer with traditional consoles, they will never become globally unpopular. While, in the past, exclusives have been created for branding purposes, they may, in the coming years, prove integral in ensuring that wired devices can keep up with the flourishing mobile market.

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