When Sony and Microsoft released their latest home consoles at the tail end of 2013, both companies seemed poised and ready to compete with one another for the attention and money of every consumer and gaming enthusiast on the planet. While both sides focused a great deal of their efforts on the development of first-party exclusives, the quick approach of picking up third party timed exclusives served as another way to lure fans in and stifle the competition.
Now that we are in the mist of what is expected to be a phenomenal year of game releases, it’s important to point out that some of these timed exclusives will carry more significance than others. To illustrate this point further, I decided to put together a list on 6 of the most important timed exclusives of 2015.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
When Rise of the Tomb Raider was revealed as a timed holiday 2015 exclusive for both the Xbox One and Xbox 360, diehard fans of the series responded with criticism and blamed Square Enix for favoring one platform over the other. Xbox head Phil Spencer then admitted that Microsoft doesn’t have anything like Uncharted and that this was their attempt at filling a need.
If Square Enix is able to successfully release this game within the projected timeline, then this game will definitely give the Xbox One a bigger boost during the holidays. Whether or not this game ultimately outshines Uncharted 4 still remains questionable, but at the very least it will be interesting to see how everything ultimately pans out.
Hellblade is an upcoming action game that was revealed during Sony’s Gamescom 2014 presentation. This Ninja Theory developed game is already drawing comparisons to Heavenly Sword but remains listed as a timed exclusive for the PS4.
While Ninja Theory have not yet revealed additional publishing plans for the game, it seems highly likely that we will see the title on the PC and Xbox One in the not too distant future. If however this game fails to impress fans, then the chances are even slimmer that an Xbox One version is guaranteed.
Last May, the talented developers over at Capybara Games released their captivating side-scroller Super Time Force as a timed exclusive on both the Xbox One and Xbox 360. This time travel themed shooter proved to be a huge success for Microsoft because it showed that the company was making a strong effort to improve the presence of indie games on their platform. Eventually this title was rereleased on PC as Super Time Force Ultra and is currently slated to appear on both the PS4 and PlayStation Vita later this year.
With Below expected to launch as a timed console exclusive on the Xbox One later this year, Microsoft is set to reap the early benefits again from their deal with Capybara. I had the opportunity to write up a preview of this game shortly after PAX East 2014 and I can personally say that this is definitely one indie title that everyone will be talking about before 2015 is over.
After releasing Braid as a timed exclusive through Xbox Live way back in August of 2008, Jonathan Blow started to visualize what his next game would be. The end result of this intense thought process led to an ambitious 3D puzzle game titled The Witness, a PS4 launch window title that was delayed and is now back on track for a 2015 release.
Blow has been very vocal in the past by saying that he enjoys his current working relationship with Sony and is only committed to the PS4 version of the game for now. While it seems likely that this title will eventually come to the PC and other platforms, there is no doubt that additional versions of the game will only be made possible if the first release proves to be a success.
Denmark based development studio Playdead struck gold when they released Limbo as a timed exclusive over Xbox Live on July 21st, 2010. Since then, this puzzle-platformer has appeared on pretty much every system aside from the Wii U and 3DS.
Inside is the next major game from this studio and is expected to launch on the Xbox One first. If the game turns out to be just as successful as Limbo was, then Microsoft will successfully attract even more indie development projects to their platform.
No Man’s Sky
Of all the games mentioned above, No Man’s Sky is easily the one timed exclusive that will carry the most importance in 2015. Sony has done absolutely everything possible to put this game out there front and center at all of their events and we will soon know if all this praise is justified.
Hello Games have already confirmed that their highly anticipated adventure game will debut as a timed PS4 exclusive before coming over to the PC at a later date. Given that most games typically launch on PC first, this news is indeed a big deal and all the more reason why it pays to have access to all platforms.
This concludes my list on 6 of the most important timed exclusives of 2015. Are any of this titles currently on your radar? If so, please feel free to tell us which ones and why in the comments section below.