Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Death of a Salesman

I am really getting sick of the failed "exclusivity deals" going on in the Next Gen world.
If you haven't heard, the next game to magically lose exclusivity is Virtua Fighter 5 (originally slated only for PS3, but now is coming to XBOX360 as well). This wouldn't normally be a big deal, but SEGA had previously announced that VF5 would only be coming to PS3. However, this past week, SEGA announced that the game would be coming to XBOX360 as well.
So what the hell happened in those few weeks?
There are really two options. Either, A: SEGA was paid by Sony not to announce the 360 version until later, or B: the good folks at Microsoft decided that they wanted the game after the announcement that it would be coming to PS3.
I'll tell you right now, option B sounds pretty stupid. VF5 is a big name. The Virtua Fighter series stands next to Tekken and Soul Calibur as the huge "let's kick each other's asses" games for the masses. There is not a chance in hell that Microsoft wouldn't know about that deal
That leaves only option A, which is that Sony deliberately had the 360 announcement delayed. And for what? To get those 4 people in the entire USA that say "Holy shit! The PS3 has that one game I MUST HAVE!!! I think I'll go wait in line for three days to get one!" to go run out the week before Christmas (where they couldn't get one anyways)?
You can't really build excitement when the announcement is only good for a week.
This SEGA business is bad enough, but this isn't the first instance of it happening.
Assassin's Creed, a game that I am really looking forward to (think Prince of Persia, but with more Guerrilla tactics), was also in the "is it exclusive" mishmash. Again, Sony made the announcement of exclusivity, and then, just a few weeks later, Microsoft had the product, too.
According to Newsweek, Kutaragi sat on his ass too long with exclusivity agreements (basically, GTA4 and Assassin's Creed were both supposed to be PS3 exclusive), and they fell through, allowing Microsoft to snatch them up.
But why the wait? These negotiations are hardly resolved in a span of 2 weeks.

Sony, I can only wonder what the hell you're thinking this year.

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