Recently at Gamescom 2010, BioWare announced that hit RPG Mass Effect 2 would be releasing on the PlayStation 3 sometime this January. This was a rather shocking announcement as the Mass Effect series was previously one of Microsoft’s biggest console exclusives. It stands to reason that the next Mass Effect game will also be multiplatform.
The loss of Mass Effect 2 comes after the equally stunning announcement a few months ago at E3 when Gabe Newell of Valve took the stage of Sony’s press conference, proceeded to apologize to the audience for previously writing off the PlayStation 3, and then revealed that Portal 2 would no longer be a 360 exclusive but was also making its way to the PS3.
Having now lost the mass Mass Effect franchise to multiplatform-hood, Microsoft has been left with only a handful of big name exclusive franchises such as Halo, Fable, Forza, and Gears of War. Many fans have expressed that consumer trust in Microsoft must be waning in light of these announcements and that the Xbox 360 could be in trouble.
While it is true that the PlayStation 3 has gained a lot of momentum in the so-called “console war,” the Xbox 360 is by no means an obsolete machine which is evidenced by the fact the console is selling better than ever before. Looking at the monthly NPD sales numbers for this year, the Xbox 360 has sold more in each month of 2010 than it did in 2009. It has also outsold its main rival, the PS3, every month of 2010 (in North America) and has even topped the Nintendo Wii for three months out of seven. Obviously, consumer confidence in the Xbox 360 has not been shaken. With the casual-oriented motion controller Kinect set to release this holiday, sales should grow even more.
Often hailed as having the best online service of the three next-gen consoles (albeit a paid one), the Xbox 360 is typically the console of choice for games that are multiplatform so fans should not worry when a game is announced to no longer be an exclusive. Historically, games still sell better on their original consoles than the ported versions. For example, Final Fantasy XIII on PS3 outsold the 360 version and BioShock on the 360 outsold the PS3 port. There is no reason to be mad when a game makes its way to another console. If anything, 360 gamers should be happy that more people can now enjoy the awesome story and gameplay that is Mass Effect.