Xbox is about to leave PlayStation in the shimmering space dust of Starfield

The post below has been updated 8.28.23.

It’s been a long time coming, however starfield Almost here. Today is almost upon us. The time is near. September 1st for pre-orders and September 6th for everyone.

For the very first time, very A long time ago, Xbox was about to launch the biggest console exclusive of the year – bigger than Sony’s spiderman 2, Bigger than Nintendo The Legend of Zelda: Kingdom’s Tears.

In a year filled with huge game releases —Hogwarts Legacy, Diablo IV, Baldur’s Gate 3, Etc – nothing so highly anticipated as starfield, Bethesda’s answer to the question: “What if skyrim, But in space?

This is partly due to starfield It’s been in development for a long time, in part because of another big RPG from Bethesda—Manuscripts of the Sixth Elder– still years away. starfield It was announced in 2018, before Microsoft acquired Bethesda’s parent company ZeniMax in 2020 for $7.5 billion.

In fact, Microsoft decided to pull the trigger for this acquisition due to fears that Sony might strike a deal with Bethesda to shut down Xbox.

“When we acquired ZeniMax, one of the drivers behind that was because Sony had done a deal for it. death loop And Justwire “You’re going to pay Bethesda not to ship those games on the Xbox,” Xbox chief Phil Spencer said during a Federal Trade Commission hearing against Microsoft earlier this year. So the discussion is about starfield when we heard it starfield It’s also possible that we’ll end up bypassing the Xbox, we can’t be in a position as a third-place console where we lag further behind in ownership of our content, so we’ve had to secure content to still be able to continue to operate.

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Now it looks like the chickens are returning home to roost on Sony. Those exclusive deals may have paid off in the short term, but with Xbox now entirely owned by Bethesda, it’s unlikely that more of its games will come to PlayStation. starfield It is the first of many. that Indiana Jones The game is in the works at Bethesda that will also skip PlayStation, and it seems unlikely Manuscripts of the Sixth Elder It will launch on any console other than Xbox.

And Bethesda is not the only game development company acquired by Microsoft. Along with a handful of smaller studios, Microsoft is currently working on an acquisition Call of duty Publisher Activision in a deal worth nearly $70 billion.

With Microsoft making these huge games part of Xbox Game Pass, the barrier to play is lower than ever for Xbox gamers, who can easily start a Game Pass subscription just to play one title and then pause their membership until another game they want is released. to play.

Whether this is a healthy future for the video game industry or a sustainable one for game developers and publishers is another matter entirely.

This could be the start of a major shift in the console wars, especially if… starfield It turned out to be a hit. Based on success He falls And ancient scrolls series, this seems like a foregone conclusion.

Updated 8/28/23

I had a few more ideas to add to the post above, so I decided to add them here.

First, I want to make it very clear that I have absolutely nothing against Sony or PlayStation. I love the many PlayStation exclusives Spider Man to Ratchet and Clank to The last of us.

I gave Spider Man 9.5/10 when I reviewed it. Demon souls And bloodborne, Both are PlayStation exclusives, and are among my favorite games of all time. I love unknown And God of War And so on and so forth. Sony has some great games and I love playing them on PS3, PS4 and PS5. I would still be playing on my PS Vita if it didn’t break.

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But I also think competition is a good thing, so I like to support the underdogs. In this case, this is the Xbox. I want Xbox to give Sony a run for its money. I want Xbox to offer more compelling exclusives. I think this leads to a healthier market for gamers.

This brings me to my second, perhaps contradictory, point. As much as I want Sony and Xbox to continue putting out exclusives, I also don’t like the trend we’ve seen lately of several studio acquisitions. Microsoft was a big buy, and Bethesda and Activision will now be Microsoft developers, with cross-platform content previously left to Sony.

Of course, this is partly Sony’s fault. As I noted above, Microsoft was pushed to buy Bethesda precisely because Sony was making exclusive deals on Bethesda games. Sony has bought a lot of high-end developers in the past in order to keep as many attractive titles exclusive to the PlayStation as possible. The only way to answer that is to do what Microsoft is doing now and bring together more studios to compete.

Finally, I don’t know what to think about Xbox Game Pass. It’s a smart business move on Microsoft’s part but I’m very concerned that the subscription model is a house of cards. We’re already seeing this with streaming media content and the ways in which Netflix can “disrupt” the entertainment industry into its complete meltdown. I would hate to see something similar in games.

So no, I don’t want PlayStation to fail. I want Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo and every game studio out there to succeed.

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