As the Nintendo Switch burns up the sales charts with exclusive 2017 releases like Super Mario Odyssey and Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, much has been made of Xbox One and PlayStation 4’s own compelling exclusives released in 2017. Or, more precisely, their lack thereof.
Microsoft is particularly feeling the heat on this front. Sony’s PlayStation 4 became the exclusive home to Game of the Year Contender Horizon: Zero Dawn earlier this year, and the console continues to enjoy a tens of millions of units sales lead. Meanwhile, Microsoft is launching its new mid-generation $500 console, Xbox One X, this month sans the backing of even a single new AAA game that won’t be playable on some other platform.
Speaking with GameSpot, however, Microsoft General Manager of Global Games Publishing Shannon Loftis expressed satisfaction with Xbox’s exclusive lineup, albeit while admitting that in an ideal world it would be more impressive.
“I think our offering is good, and it is solid,” said Loftis. “I definitely hear that gamers want more. Would we love to have two-dozen more super-strong, absolutely exclusives? You bet. We do have more coming; more that are in the works that we’re not talking about now. But I feel good about what we have to offer for the launch [of Xbox One X].”
Microsoft and many of its defenders have made a habit of citing games that are available on both Xbox and PC as Xbox exclusives. Forza Motorsport 7, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and Cuphead are perhaps the games mentioned most often of late when this argument is made. Many other gamers, however, have argued that this is a twisting of the classic definition of “exclusive” games.
For her part, Loftis offered up another game that’s playable on both Xbox One and PC as a supposed Xbox exclusive: Killer Instinct. Continuing, she added that bringing Killer Instinct to both platforms and allowing cross-play has been good for gamers since it expanded the game’s player pool in multiplayer matchmaking. But while this strategy may be in gamers’ best interests, it has come at the cost of Xbox One receiving truly exclusive games.
But Loftis is not blind to fans’ concerns about Xbox exclusives. “I don’t want to disregard the feelings of the people [who] care deeply about exclusives for Xbox,” she said.
Xbox owners will have to wait and see what that means for them in the long term.