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Microsoft's Kim:  Metal Gear Solid  For Xbox 360 Shows 'Level Playing Field' For Third Party Exclusivity
Microsoft's Kim: Metal Gear Solid For Xbox 360 Shows 'Level Playing Field' For Third Party Exclusivity
June 16, 2009 | By Staff, Brandon Sheffield, Kris Graft

June 16, 2009 | By Staff, Brandon Sheffield, Kris Graft
More: Console/PC

Microsoft VP Shane Kim has told Gamasutra that the company has "effectively" reached a "level third-party playing field" for exclusive titles with the announcement of Metal Gear Solid Rising for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

Xbox veteran Kim was talking as part of an in-depth new Gamasutra interview conducted at the recent E3 Expo in Los Angeles. When asked about how vital exclusive games and content were to any console's success, Kim commented:

"I still think exclusive content is really important. First of all, in games, we've said for a long time that a key part of our strategy with Xbox 360 was a level third-party playing field. Now we've effectively done that with Metal Gear Solid coming to the Xbox 360.

The economics are such that third parties also have to support multiple platforms, and you can't ignore Xbox 360. It's the second leading platform.

It's too much of a business-driver to just be focused on a single platform if you're not a first party. So, it's up to the first parties to deliver the bulk of the exclusive game content.

Now, we're having success with third parties because we can still get exclusive downloadable content, because of the service we've built with Live and the business we've been able to generate for third-party publishers there.

But I also think we have to broaden our definition of exclusive content now. It has to include things like Xbox Live, because I do think Xbox Live is a real competitive differentiator for us.

And now Project Natal is going to be an exclusive thing, too. And so, we feel good about how that's shaping up, but it's really not about relying on third parties, because I don't think that that is sustainable, as we've proven. And it's up to each of us to differentiate on our own."

The full Gamasutra interview with Microsoft's Shane Kim is now available, including lots more on plans for Natal, social gaming initiatives such as 1 Vs. 100 and Joy Ride, and more.

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Kouga Saejima
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"But I also think we have to broaden our definition of exclusive content now."

Because "exclusive" means "exclusive, for now... maybe"

Christopher Shell
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Well the only "exclusive" content I don't take with a grain of salt is content developed by a 1st party.

Brett Cummings
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Agreed with Christopher. Xbox won't be the number two platform for long in my opinion once their Project Natal thing is released.


Trump Forum

Anatoly Ropotov
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Tekken, Final Fantasy, Metal Gear Solid. Coming up next: Mario.

Jeremy Griffith
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All the companies you listed are third-party games, why would this lead to Mario (a first-party game) being made for the 360. This whole article in fact is regarding third-party exclusives.

Mike Doscher
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This is going to be an awesome movie!

Chris Remo
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Brandon Sheffield
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feelgood hit of the summer!

Kris Graft
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I'm looking more forward to G.I. Joe, personally.

Anatoly Ropotov
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2Jeremy Griffith: That's the last missing Link! :)

Victor Bunn
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@brett, Do you mean MS will take the number on spot with Natal? I doubt it. MS still doesn't have the one thing Nintendo has even though the 360 is far more powerful than Wii. Superior first party and second party development. Actually MS comes third in that regard. So even though MS has stunning 3rd party support, Nintendo's first party support is what made the Wii the success it is and is proven better than MS's. Even Sony's first party and second party development outshines MS's especially on PSN. Will MS be able to offer something that Nintendo hasn't already provided with Wii? That remains to be seen. But I doubt it. If the NXE is any indication, Natal will offer their versions of Wii hits. Expect a Wii-Fit clone, expect a wii sports clone among others...

What I find more amazing than anything else is how the industry in general constantly downplayed motion control as nothing more than a gimmick for casual gamers that didn't know any better, regardless of the games that actually worked better than dual analog with motion (CoD3, CoD4, CoD WaW, Metroid Prime 3, Pikmen, Resident Evil 4, Metal of Honor etc.) Many people complained about how "no one wanted to swing their arms in front of the television for hours on end..." But now all of a sudden, not only is arm waggle acceptable but full body waggle is acceptable. riiiiiight, sure,

Like I mentioned when e3 was occurring. Explain to me how a Gears of War is going to work with "you" as the controller and I'll be interested. Explain to me how a Splinter Cell or an Assassin's Creed will work with Natal and I'll be interested. As it stands right now, I don't see anyone jumping over couches and diving over counter tops to emulate Gears or any other game for that matter and calling it fun. Fail.

Anatoly Ropotov
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@Victor Bunn: You can't go against sales stats of Wii Fit, Wii Sports and brain trainings on DS. That's what casual people want.

But Nintendo has one tinly little overlooked thing in a battle against Natal. A price-drop.

Amir Sharar
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I'd argue that in some ways the 3rd party playing field favours MS at the moment. MGS was probably the last high profile 3rd party exclusive the PS3 had, but it has to be kept in mind that all of the other multiplatform games ended up looking better on the 360. You had drastic examples like Turok, DiRT, The games with a slight but noticeable differences like VF5, SFIV, and the recently released UFC.

Despite owning both consoles, nearly all of my multiplatform games are bought for the 360. The only PS3 multiplatform title I have is Fallout 3 (bought at a sale price), and I heavily regret it considering all the content the 360 version was getting. Sure, that content is now hitting PSN, but my attention has diverted to other games.

My PS3 purchase is validated by Sony's first party efforts, which in my opinion has the most quantity and quality of all 3 platforms. Coupled with the fact that I use it often as a BluRay player.

But I have to say as far as 3rd party games are concerned, the 360 has been the console I've purchased them on, and this was long before the new MGS game was announced for the 360.

Bob McIntyre
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Kojima's not even working on the cross-platform MGS. He's just the producer. He's gone out of his way to say that the next "true sequel" (or whatever you call it) is the PSP game that he's producing, designing, and directing. I'm not saying that it'll be bad, but it's not like this was the one holdout thing and now MS has it all. It also doesn't matter if a good exclusive game is first-party or third-party or second-party or fiftieth-party, so really the whole point is irrelevant.