June 7, 2009 // 7:34 pm
- First it came in the form of an epic 'screw you' to every non-Sony gamer who was looking forward to the simultaneous multiplatform PAL release of Ghostbusters: The Video Game
The common criticism was that Microsoft had done it for a long time, so why shouldn't Sony be able to do the same thing?
As time passed it became clear that Atari was in some potentially dire financial straits that may well have acted as necessary motivation to accept Sony's offer.
Potentially Sony was acting as a saviour and throwing Atari a lifeline that allowed them to release a game that has enjoyed considerable positive hype.
The other platforms aren't missing out on Ghostbusters entirely; they're merely forced to wait for a period of time before they can access it.
In this respect, the Ghostbusters debacle can be seen as 'just desserts' for Microsoft who have been more than willing to do such things in the past.
But then came the announcement that Batman: Arkham Asylum, another multiplatform release, is set to receive exclusive content for PS3 owners. PS3 owners who purchase Arkham Asylum will be able to access The Joker in the game's Challenge Modes.
Given that The Joker is considered to be one of the greatest (if not the greatest) comic book villains of all time, this is quite an enticement for those gamers that own an Xbox 360 and PS3, or for those looking to purchase a next-gen console after the release of the game.
No word has been received yet as to whether the other Arkham Asylum platforms will receive their own exclusive content. Normally, this type of thing could be written off as an isolated event; a big name game that Sony managed to beat Microsoft to the punch on.
But during the presentation of Assassin's Creed II at E3 was an announcement of another exclusive deal that was glossed over in the presentation; Sony is set to receive more exclusive content on a multiplatform title.
This time around, the exclusive content is a little more complicated to access, as it requires both a PSP and Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines along with a PS3 and Assassin's Creed II. Regardless, those who combine the aforementioned items will have access to six exclusive weapons.
While this exclusive content isn't as significant as a playable Joker in Arkham Asylum, it does show a willingness by Sony to enter into a battle of exclusives with Microsoft.
We doubt that Microsoft will take the exclusive one-upmanship sitting down, and rumors are already circulating that they have secured a timed-exclusive deal for the next Tony Hawk game.
Inevitably this sort of exclusive content cockfight will only get worse before it gets better, with Xbox 360 and PS3 gamers gaining one piece of content at the expense of another.
Exclusive games are one thing, but when Microsoft and Sony continue to meddle with points of difference on multiplatform titles, it all gets a bit ugly. Even Batman isn't happy about the exclusive content war.