I have made no secret over the years that my loyalty lies with PlayStation. This isn’t some stupid blind loyalty that I have created just to start arguments on social media, instead it comes from years and years of being treated to the best video game exclusives on what I believe is the most consumer friendly console of this generation. I have ventured over to Nintendo as well given that the same reasons for loving the PS4 applies to the Switch too. Ever since the birth of games such as Uncharted, God of War 3, Heavy Rain and The Last Of Us all burst onto PS3, Xbox consoles and their dwindling library have become nothing but a distant memory. Now we’re heading into a new era and only a few short days ago I was expecting even more PlayStation dominance, then Microsoft casually changed the game by purchasing one of the biggest developers on the planet – Bethesda.
It is worth pointing out that this acquisition isn’t completely out of nowhere. In the gigantic shadow of PlayStation exclusives, Microsoft have been quietly hoovering up studios for a while now and have managed to add the likes of Obsidian and Ninja Theory to their developing Xbox Game Studios. Although the two developers just mentioned as well as the dozen or so others under the Xbox umbrella are far from anything to turn your nose up at, the recent addition of Bethesda is nothing short of an earth shattering game changer for the industry.
As a PlayStation player I have seen the likes of Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Evil Within, DOOM and many more grace my consoles for decades but there’s a good chance that will be no more. It’s still hard to say what Microsoft will do with these titles, as it stands they have only said that each game will be assessed on a case by case basis. One thing is for sure though, the best place to play these games will unquestionably be on Xbox consoles. Partly because new games will be developed with those machines in mind but also because they will likely be released straight to Xbox GamePass as part of your already great-for-value subscription package. There is of course a very good chance that Microsoft still releases these games at a later date on PlayStation consoles but that is yet to be seen.
So how does this affect me, the PlayStation guy? Firstly I count myself lucky that unlike my former PS Pod co-host Javier, I do not have the same love for Bethesda games like many others do. So there’s no immediate rush to go out and pre-order an Xbox Series X/S just yet. Having said that, I can’t help but see this move as not only a game changer but also a massive statement of intent from the American giant. Let us not forget that Microsoft has a lot more cash to splash than Sony does and this recent buy could just be Microsoft flexing their muscles rather than trying to land the killing blow. If that is the case then there’s a great chance that PlayStation holding all the cards when it comes to the best exclusives could become a thing of the past.
I don’t believe for one second though that PS exclusives will drop in quality anytime soon. With PlayStation Studios still including powerhouses such as Naughty Dog, Santa Monica, Insomniac, Sucker Punch and so many more, there’s just no way we don’t get treated to 9 and 10 out of 10 classics for generations to come. The only difference will now be the big shiny distraction of potential similar outings from the other side.
Okay, time to stop beating around the bush. After quietly deciding that I’d never even look at Xbox again since my old 360 was relegated to a door stop, will I now be making that purchase some point in this upcoming generation? Yes. How could I not after the moves Microsoft have made? Let’s not get too carried away though, as it stands this is a purchase with the future in mind rather than the here and now so my big Xbox purchase will likely be while away, and even then it’ll likely be the cheaper Series S as I’ll see it as my secondary console to my PS5 while my Switch remains my on the go device. With the great value of GamePass, the upcoming Hellblade 2 and whatever Bethesda might do next, I’d feel left out if I didn’t jump on the Xbox bandwagon soon. When I get it and how much I pay for it though isn’t the story here, the fact I’m going to actually buy an Xbox full stop just goes to show how well team green have done since the failure of the Xbox One. Take a bow Xbox and welcome back to the table.