The Mouth: PS3 Mass Effect – Microsoft's Loss
Does BioWare’s announcement of Mass Effect 2 coming to the PS3 finally show that Microsoft is letting its core audience down?
Is this the beginning of the end?
When Mass Effect 2 for the PS3 hits shop shelves next year, I for one will be picking it up and making it my definitive copy. Ignoring the fact that there will be no save game from Mass Effect 1 for me to import, this edition will no doubt bring with it a much more polished and visually impressive experience than the one I played through on the 360 earlier this year.
Bar this one little omission, the extra development time and higher capacity storage options the console provides will lead to a better, more polished and generally more satisfying experience. But where does this shift of previously exclusive titles leave the 360?
After confirming its dedication to the hardcore, despite showing a keen interest in upping the 360’s appeal to casual gamers (hello, Kinect), this latest move perhaps signifies a shift in the water for Microsoft.
For many years, it was the PS3 that had its exclusives constantly under threat, and Microsoft’s aggressive plays for the likes of GTA IV and Final Fantasy went a long way to convincing gamers the 360 was a real contender.
With the move of BioWare to EA, it was perhaps unclear at the time that this was reflective of Microsoft’s shift in its target audience. After all, the hardcore had generally already invested in a 360, it makes sense for the casual market to become the new area up for dominance – Microsoft has clearly begun pursuing it with that same aggressive edge.
The 360 only has a handful of exclusive titles that can be called ‘system sellers’, so does the release of Mass Effect 2 on PS3 indicate a change in the market away from the importance of these titles or a change in priorities for the 360? Let’s give the PS3 some credit and say Microsoft is perhaps dropping the ball and leaving its faithful audience hanging.
With Halo: Reach largely keeping the core happy, looking to the future the landscape has changed dramatically. Microsoft could be leaving behind the players that granted it the success it’s previously enjoyed up to now.
Leave them behind and the winds could change for the worse for Microsoft. Sony’s not likely to let any opportunities go to waste.