Halo: Combat Evolved on PS5 Might Open the Floodgates for Xbox Exclusives
Image Source: Xbox Game Studios

Halo: Combat Evolved on PS5 Might Open the Floodgates for Xbox Exclusives

Can Halo: CE be the catalyst for Sony players to finally get Xbox exclusives?

When you think of Xbox exclusives, there are only so many you can list before getting to Halo. It’s been one of Xbox’s flagships for over 20 years, but what if that were about to change? With rumors circulating that Halo: Combat Evolved could be coming to PlayStation, what might this mean for the rest of the industry?

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There is plenty to consider before reaching a conclusion, but there’s no telling for sure until it happens. Game companies have been particular about their exclusives for as long as there have been different companies, but the landscape has been slowly shifting over the years.

What Makes An Xbox Exclusive?

doom eternal helmet xbox exclusive
Image Source: Bethesda Softworks

Some companies have exclusive games that wouldn’t make sense to bring to other platforms. Most Nintendo IP wouldn’t carry over as well to the Xbox or PlayStation in the same ways that other games can for the Switch. Games like Doom and Assassin’s Creed have ports on the Switch, but you’d be hard-pressed to find Mario anywhere on the Xbox Store.

However, Nintendo is a case that stands alone from the rest of the game industry. Sony and Microsoft have always had their exclusives, but plenty of games share the love. Call of Duty has been playable on both systems since Call of Duty 3, but there have been DLC or pre-order bonuses exclusive to one system or the other.

While some games are developed for any system, others are recognized as exclusive in a way that feels strange to alter. It would be hard to imagine telling someone you’ve been playing God of War for the Xbox achievements, just like it would be to play Gears of War for the trophies.

This standard could be on the verge of shifting. It’s not unimaginable for games to go from being exclusive to being cross-platform, but Halo has always seemed untouchable. When you look at Xbox’s library of exclusives, Halo has been the figure standing the longest as the beacon of Microsoft’s success.

Why Aren’t More Games Cross-Platform?

shadow of the tomb raider xbox exclusive
Image Source: Square Enix

This isn’t all to say that timed exclusives are a new concept. Microsoft had Shadow of the Tomb Raider as an Xbox exclusive until it later came to PlayStation, but Halo is a different story. Migrating Xbox’s golden child to the competition after decades of exclusivity seems like a bold move that could leave some ripples in the pond.

There’s a reason this would be so significant. Sure, porting Halo to PS5 or The Last of Us to Xbox wouldn’t be unachievable, but it seems counterintuitive given where the money comes from and where it goes.

Racing games are the perfect example based on how they’re developed. Turn 10 Studios is the main entity that develops the Forza franchise and is a subsidiary of Xbox Game Studios. Sure, they could develop Forza and release it on PlayStation, but why would they? Why would Microsoft fund something intended to be better than its Sony alternative, Gran Turismo, only to put it where Sony can still profit from it?

For fans of racing games, the choice between Forza and Gran Turismo might be the choice between Xbox and PlayStation. Now, that $70 going towards a game represents the $500 going to either Sony or Microsoft for their console. That’s where much of the competition stems. However, while some players like having the exclusivity of their favorite games, others don’t want to have to choose.

What’s The Future Hold?

hifi rush xbox exclusive
Image Source: Bethesda Softworks

There are also plenty of games on Xbox that don’t feel like they need to be exclusive. Games like Sea of Thieves and HiFi Rush still perform well on PlayStation, even without launching there. They indicate what could be to come, and the cross-platform future looks bright.

If Microsoft started releasing Xbox exclusives on PlayStation, it would only be fair to assume that Sony might follow suit. This might quell the fires of the console wars, although arguments would shift to which system runs games better. However, to see titles like Starfield, Dead Rising, and Forza Horizon land on the PS5 feels like it could be a dream come true for both performance and visuals.

While there should be some exclusivity for companies, having less would make gaming feel more fun and less like business. Halo making its way to PS5 would be one hell of an olive branch, and with it could come a flood of games that single-system players have been waiting to try for themselves. They might just get a preorder bonus depending on what system they play on.

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Nick Rivera
Nick Rivera graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2021 studying Digital Media and started as a Freelance Writer with Twinfinite in early 2023. Nick plays anything from Halo to Stardew Valley to Peggle, but is a sucker for a magnetic story.