Wedbush Securities analyst discusses the significance of exclusives at this point in the console generation.
If you haven’t heard, the PS4 has been dominating the global console market. It’s sold more than 70 million consoles worldwide, had perhaps the best exclusives line-up this year next to Nintendo and is poised to have an even bigger 2018 with titles like God of War, Days Gone, Spider-Man and Detroit: Become Human. And those are just the games we know of.
However, what about the Xbox One which has a number of titles like State of Decay, Crackdown 3 and Sea of Thieves? Will that be enough against the mighty Nintendo and Sony? GamingBolt spoke to Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter about the same and he believes that there’s “too much emphasis on exclusives” sometimes.
“I think this late in the console cycle, I mean, the consoles launched in 2013, who doesn’t own one of them yet? Sony is something like 70 million, and Microsoft is 35 million, so I guess they are two thirds of the way through. The only people who haven’t bought a console yet who will buy one are working people, or very young kid whose parents will get one for them. And, I guess, exclusives will bring some people back in who haven’t played Mario in a while, to the Switch, which is still new. But not something like Halo 6 – if you like Halo, you got an Xbox One for Halo 5.
“Halo 6 will definitely sell a lot to its fan base who already own an Xbox One, but it’s not gonna drive new hardware sales, it’s very different this late in the console cycle. So the reason I think the Switch is so popular is that they launched two giant games with Zelda and Mario, plus two really good games with Mario Kart and Splatoon. And that’s enough for Nintendo fans to say ‘I have to have this device,’ which is why the Switch is sold out…”
That being said, Pachter didn’t underestimate the importance of an exclusive like Halo to Microsoft’s roster. “To answer your question, yes, any Microsoft lineup with Halo in it is better than any Microsoft lineup without Halo. But, for example, if they had had Halo this year, I would still have said Nintendo wins by a mile. Mario and Zelda in the same year? I can’t remember that happening, ever. This year Nintendo won by a mile, but I can’t expect them to to do that next year.
“Next year, Microsoft with Halo coming out, I think it’s coming out, looks strong. And, Sony’s lineup looks fine, I mean their lineup over the next several years looks good. But I don’t think either their line-up or Microsoft’s makes a difference anymore, people have already made their minds up, and it was probably driven by, ‘If I want early access to Call of Duty DLC, I’ll buy a PlayStation.'”
Pachter raises a good point – the majority of consumers who purchased a PS4 did so on the basis of third party timed exclusive DLC like Call of Duty and Destiny, exclusive access to franchises like God of War, and the Sony brand as a whole (especially considering how badly Microsoft damaged the Xbox One out of the gate in 2013). While Nintendo will make its mark in the long run, it’s going to come down to what’s special about the Switch along with the games it has rather than either factor alone, at least in my opinion.
What are your thoughts on the matter though? Let us know in the comments.