Console Exclusives That Didn’t Need to Be

Console Exclusive Video Games

As long as I can remember, there have always been video games that were only released on a specific console. Yes, sometimes there were deals in place that made it happen that way, but sometimes it would seem that a game could easily have been released on multiple platforms. You would think that having a broader user base to sell to would be the direction most game studios would want to go, but sadly that isn’t always the case. Join me on a journey through games I wish were available on multiple platforms.

Before we get into this I feel like I should set up some ground rules.

1) If a game studio owned by the console’s company (Nintendo, Sony, etc.) that game should stick with that console for obvious reasons.

2) If the hardware power varies too much then the game shouldn’t be available on all consoles. An exception to this rule of course is between Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 which are often compared and are considered close in power.

Heavy Rain

Heavy Rain Only On PS3

Developed by Quantic Dream

Heavy Rain is one of the interesting experiments in gaming history. You don’t so much play it as you interact with it by following on-screen cues. The cues used are button combinations that are supposed to replicate the difficulty of an action. Shaving is a simple, everyday action that requires a simple input, but something like climbing up a slippery hill will require more complex button prompts. A critical darling as well as a game that many people enjoyed. My gripe with the game is that it is only available on PlayStation 3, not Xbox 360 or even PC. There was even an update to the game that allowed for PS Move controls; Sony’s answer to Wii’s growing dominance in the motion control market.

When I look at Heavy Rain I don’t see anything that the Xbox 360 can’t do. Yes, it would probably have to be distributed across multiple game discs, but both L.A. Noire and Final Fantasy XIII did that and as someone who has owned both, I didn’t find switching discs to be that huge of a hassle. Hell, just make it a Games on Demand release and my hard drive can eat it and I’ll be happy.

Gears of War (Series)

GOW Xbox 360 Exclusive

Developed by Epic Games

Ah, Gears of War, where to begin with this game series? On one hand, I swear I would actually like it if I played it and just stuck with the campaign mode, but on the other hand I feel as if the major fan boys have ruined it for me. The main point is that unlike Halo, Gears of War is made by a studio that isn’t affiliated with Microsoft. Epic Games is huge and more than capable of publishing games on multiple platforms. Again, if we go by specs alone there is no reason why PlayStation 3 can’t run it. Naturally, Microsoft must have made some kind of deal to have it as an exclusive. Imagine a world where we aren’t separated by what console we have.

Harvest Moon: Animal Parade

Harvest Moon Animal Parade Console Exclusive

Developed by Marvelous Interactive

Ok, picking a Wii exclusive that Nintendo didn’t make that I would want on other consoles is kind of a tricky one. I could have went with the gaming community’s praised gem Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros’ Treasure, but this is my list so I’m going to pick from a series that is close to my heart; Harvest Moon: Animal Parade. This game could have easily been ported to either Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, even if it kept its motion controls. Harvest Moon, if you don’t know, is a series that features an odd hybrid of farming simulation with RPG elements. You earn money by foraging in the wilderness or by raising your own crops and/or animals. The RPG elements include upgrading your tools and farm as well as courting and marrying a mate and making friends. It’s truly simple stuff that could easily be featured on a variety of consoles.

Okami HD

Okami HD Remake

Developed by Clover Studio/Capcom

This is the straw that broke my back and inspired this article. Every time Okami is released it is released for a console I don’t have. First it was for the PlayStation 2 and critics loved it, but it sold poorly and eventually Clover Studio folded. Nearly two years later it was re-released for the Wii, which I didn’t have anymore. Sadly it only sold a few more copies than the original PlayStation 2 version. Finally, Okami HD was released on October 30th (North America) of this year on yet another console I do not own – The PlayStation 3. Three releases of the same game and I’m still not able to play any of them. For this reason alone I hate console exclusives and hope and pray to the gaming gods that the next generation does away with them.

Of course, that won’t ever happen. But gamers in a situation like me are free to dream of greener pastures.

[Submitted by contributor Shane Peltzer]