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Monday, June 05, 2006

The End of Killer Aps?

One thing that I have noticed with this new generation of consoles is there are fewer major third-party exclusive titles for the three systems. Sure, Xbox will always have Halo, PlayStation will have God of War, and Nintendo all their first-party goodness, but exclusive third-party titles are going the way of the dodo. Look at Grand Theft Auto - every GTA since GTA3 has been PS2 exclusive for a few months until released on Xbox and PC. At E3, it was announced that GTA4 will be multi-platform from day 1. Final Fantasy XI, the online FF, started with the PS2, then quickly moved to PC. Once released, the Xbox 360 got a hold of FFXI as well, making it the first Final Fantasy on Microsoft's console. And once the PlayStation was released, Mega Man X jumped ship from the SNES over to the PlayStation with exclusive releases of Mega Man X4, X5, X6, and X7 for the PS2. It wasn't until Mega Man X Command Mission did Mega Man X finally return to multi-platform gaming.

What does this mean for the consumer? Good things. With less and less exclusive titles on the systems, it means that you can go out and buy one system to play a multitude of games on it without being shut in the dark completely. There will still be draws to each system, whether it be Xbox's Live,Arcade and Halo, PlayStation's large library of RPGs, Wii's Virtual console and near-perfect first-party line-up, or PC's large MMORPG support and downloadable content. It's just that the lines that once separate one console to another are becoming a lot more blurred.

But one thing is for certain, there will always be those system sellers, the "killer aps" for each system, that will never cross over. You will never see a Halo game on PS3, a Legend of Zelda game on an Xbox, or God of War on the Wii. There will still be some absolutes, just not as many as there once was.

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