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PlayStation Starts Off Very Strong With Its Showcase; Should Xbox Be Worried?

Two weeks ago, Xbox Game Studios CEO Phil Spencer said on a Kinda Funny Xcast special was blunt in reframing Xbox’s narrative in the games industry, stating that it’s “not in the business of out-consoling Sony or out-consoling Nintendo”. He also said the following:

“It’s just not true that, if we go off and build great games, all of a sudden you’re going to see console share shift in some dramatic way.”

I don’t know where this “defeatist” mentality is coming from, but this is most likely the last thing you should be saying in a field where Xbox previously used to be the cream of the crop in the 2000s and “HD era” of gaming. And especially if your recent exclusive isn’t quite well-received by the public.

With PlayStation’s recent PlayStation Showcase 2023, there is an inkling of said “console share shift” in the works. And hopefully a wake-up call for Xbox.

Just Play

Not counting all the multiplatform announcements on the PlayStation Showcase, for which there’s a good number from the Metal Gear Solid 3 remake to Dragon’s Dogma 2 (which I’m personally excited for), here are the exclusives on tap:

  • Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, is slated for Fall 2023. The last two Insomniac-made PlayStation-exclusive Spider-Man games (also on PC) were well-received, so I’d be shocked if this game turned out average. Definitely one chief reason you would buy a PS5.
  • Foamstars, a 4v4 shooter where you defeat each other with foam projectiles; basically Square Enix’s take on a colourful non-lethal shooter ala Splatoon but for PlayStation.
  • Fairgame$, a heist-themed multiplayer game from Haven Studios, a company formed by ex-Assassins Creed producer Jade Raymond. Also for PlayStation 5 and PC.
  • Project Q, a handheld streaming device for PlayStation 5 games. Yes, it only streams games, not run them like a handheld gaming device; you download your PS5 game first, then stream it to Project Q via Wi-Fi. Also, new PS5 Bluetooth headsets. Both will be out in 2023.
  • Final Fantasy 16, because Square Enix and PlayStation need to remind everyone that one of the chief reasons you should buy a PS5 is coming soon; 22nd June.
  • A bunch of PSVR 2 games to justify the peripheral’s existence.

The presentation itself might seem standard, but it does show that PlayStation is drawing first blood with its salvo of games early to entice more people to come aboard its side. While Foamstars and Fairgame$ are still “proof of concept” announcements, Spider-Man 2 and Final Fantasy 16 are still enough reasons for people to get PS5s, in addition to the other existing exclusive titles the console has: Returnal, the recent Ratchet & Clank, and God of War: Ragnarok off the top of my head.

I’m having trouble figuring out what Xbox has this year (and last) that’s worth playing, is a major triple-A title, and is a company exclusive, be it a standalone purchase on its Xbox Series console or on Game Pass.

 

Falling Behind?

Again, the Game Pass is always going to be a good deal to have, but at the end of the day, great games still sell consoles. And great games that are just exclusive for one platform (even ones with PC ports) will still get people to buy that one platform, just for those games alone that they will play for weeks or months to come.

It’s a tale as old as time that still rings true even to this day. People bought Xbox consoles for Halo: Combat Evolved. People bought the Xbox 360 for Gears of War, Grand Theft Auto 4, and Halo 3, even with the red ring of death error going on. Where is this drive and competitiveness during the Xbox One and Xbox Series period? Yes, I love Hi-Fi Rush a lot and that’s an exclusive for the Xbox. The Xbox Game Pass indies are also worth playing, with SEA titles like Coffee Talk Episode 2 and Kabaret in the forefront.

And the line-up below that could be an Xbox Game Pass Day One entry? That would be great:

But for the mass market who determines your console’s justified existence? It’s unfortunately not enough.

You’re only as good as the games you have on tap. And the brand hasn’t made a strong case for people to buy the console AND the Game Pass as of late, at least from a “killer app”  and exclusive games perspective. It really sucks, because having one console company running the triple-A gaming show (PlayStation) and another one just being in its own world (Nintendo) isn’t as cracked up compared to having three of them one-upping each other.

It’s still weeks before 12 June’s Xbox Bethesda Showcase, so the tides could turn in Microsoft’s favour. But unless they have more noteworthy games apart from Starfield, or some groundbreaking exclusives that will help with their standing, the Xbox brand will have to be content with third place. In a race with just three competitors.

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Comment(2)

  1. mydragoon

    May 25, 2023 at 11:10 am

    would love to try out XBox but iinm, only series S is officially in MY. which is a bit of a bummer.

  2. When Will PlayStation’s Project Q Come Out In Malaysia? | Kakuchopurei

    May 28, 2023 at 1:22 pm

    […] has announced its upcoming remote streaming game-playing device Project Q during last week’s PlayStation Showcase 2023. It’s got an 8-inch LCD screen, has a screen & body with two halves of a DualShock 5 […]

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