Portal 2 On PS3 Bigger Than FFXIII On Xbox 360?
Two big titles. Two big surprise moves to multiplatform development. Which marked a bigger shift in the games industry?
It’s odd how the biggest E3 announcements no longer seem to be about exclusives being gained so much as lost, but it can’t be denied that the back and forth of exclusivity this generation has tended to offer the biggest headlines. Yesterday was no different as it was revealed that Portal 2 would be coming to PlayStation 3 despite the assumption that it would be a Xbox 360 and PC only title. The size of the announcement brought to mind Microsoft’s capture of Final Fantasy XIII at E3 2008.
This got me to thinking about which could be considered the bigger announcement (calling it an achievement would perhaps be overstating things). Both have marked significant shifts in influence and status, both came as welcome surprises. It could be argued that both have marked important milestones in the perception and momentum of each console too.
Final Fantasy XIII coming to Xbox was huge. This series, long associated with the PlayStation was always an important hardware shifting title and Square Enix bringing it to the 360 essentially confirmed the Xbox brand as the new force in gaming. FFXIII couldn’t afford to not be on the Xbox 360 given its user base in North America and the UK. It was almost as if the winner of the next-gen war was being crowned. Almost. What it really marked was a levelling out of the playing field as Microsoft and Sony suddenly became equals.
Portal 2 isn’t likely to be a hardware pusher and it’s not a series in any way associated with exclusivity on a single platform, but I would argue that its impact is bigger and here’s why. Valve’s dislike of the PS3 has been well known for a long time. The first Portal, packaged with the Orange Box was ported by EA, not by Valve. Valve disliked the hardware structure. It said it was too complex to design for. Now, it claims that PS3 will have the best version of Portal 2.
For me Portal 2 coming to PS3 is bigger that FFXIII going to the Xbox 360 because it says the PS3 is the console of the game designer. It says the PS3 is the console where developers have freedom to create better titles than elsewhere. It also restates something we’ve known for a while – The PS3 is the console with momentum and its only going to get better.
For up to the minute E3 Coverage and more on Portal 2 later today head over to NowGamer.com