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Is the Joker DLC a test for Sony?

Until now, Microsoft took the place of the little dirty evil that wants to slow down PS3 sales and development with mostly hard-edged patents (the in-game music system is patented by Microsoft for example) and paying third party developers to acquire exclusive DLC.

Remember the times when it has been announced that Microsoft paid $50 millions (which represents twice the budget of an AAA game) to get exclusive DLCs for GTA IV. Certainly a smart move considering the prodigious sales the game benefited. On a same side, Eidos announced an exclusive chapter for Tomb Raider : Underworld. Fallout 3 also obtained 5 DLCs on PC and Xbox 360 while PS3 is still waiting for its first one.

For a gamer that only owns one console, it's either considered as a good deal (if you own the good console) either an irritating choice (if you own the wrong console). And for gamers that owns both PS3 and Xbox 360, the platform of choice is pretty obvious when one gets DLC and not the other.

But when Sony proudly announced an exclusivity deal for the upcoming Batman : Arkham Asylum game (scheduled for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 the 28th August 2009), most of the gamers praised Sony as a smart move, a great slap for Xbox 360 owners that kept exhibiting their exclusive DLCs on other games. They probably feel as much irritated about it as PS3 owners for 360/PC-exclusive DLC.

We should wonder what does this PS3-exclusive DLC represent for Sony? It appears that Sony changed much from their past years. Do you remember the japanese and European ads to announce the PS3's launch?
European ad "This is living"
Japanese ad "11 11" (1)
Japanese ad "11 11" (2)
See now upcoming PS3 Slim japanese ad.
Japanese ad "PlayFace"

Sony almost always had very strange ads, sometimes even disturbing. But with the launch of PS3 Slim, it appears that Sony change their approach to advertise, keeping some kind of disturbing sense but with more impact. The PlayFace campaign looks actually like Xbox 360's Live Your Moment campaign.
"Live your moment" Rock Band ad
"Live your moment" Lego Batman ad

It seems that Sony learned from their mistakes and from their concurrents and are dropping too much metaphoric advertising for more simple and direct marketing. The recently announced price drop for the PS3 is also another step to a more open way of business. Playstation 3 launched at 599$ / 599€, which represents for a regular European worker half a salary. PS3 was shown and designed as a luxury product.

And now you have a PS3 Slim that certainly is less classy than its big sister but is also less expensive. With the 299$ / 299€ price tag, PS3 is no longer "the most expensive console on the market" but a direct concurrent to Wii and Xbox 360 (and probably the PSP Go, considering the handheld only costs 50$ / 50€ less than the PS3).

But the price cut and the new advertising campaigns may not be the only lessons Sony took from their concurrents. There is also the development of their motion control wand, directly in competition with Nintendo's Wiimote, but also a potential new approach of third party games.

Indeed, Sony promised an exclusive DLC for the upcoming Batman : Arkham Asylum on PS3, and hearing Sony and the developers, unlike Fallout 3's DLCs, there is apparently no way Xbox 360 will get it. But where does this decision of having suddenly exclusive DLC on PS3 come from?

Will the sales of Batman Arkham Asylum on PS3 and the downloads of its exclusive DLC be determining a new strategic approach for Sony? Will the Joker be the first soldier of an army in construction? If Batman and Joker success on PS3, will Sony amplify their exclusive DLC deals?

With a 299$ PS3 this winter, the PS3 motion controller announced for fall 2010 and Sony's plans for a 10-years lifespan for PS3, next year promises to be defining for the new Sony and the console war may finally be interesting.

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darthv723159d ago

I only have one real gripe about exclusive dlc. It should have substance that pertains to the game and not feel like a last minute add-on.

The idea of playing as the joker in this game was exciting until it was revealed it wasnt during the actual story but simply the bonus challenge levels. WTF? Why make the hoopla over something that has no bearing on the game itself? At least with the GTA4 and Fallout dlc there was substance. Story to interact with that either could be viewed as a spin off or side mission and yet added to the overall feel of the main games.

This type (joker) is somewhat pointless just as the golden guns in gears 2. It used to be that if a multiplatform company wanted to keep versions of their game independent on the competing platforms they found a way to incorporate extra stuff in the game. Not on the side. Essentially almost giving reason to own both to see what is different in each.

I do find it somewhat ironic that those who criticized the competition for the exclusive dlc are now excited to have some of their own. As if to say yeah you. Having it or not really changes nothing in the gameplay. It is more like bragging right than anything else. It wouldnt surprise me if ubi released this joker as a premium dlc on xbl much like namco did with both vader and yoda for SC4.

The core game is the same and that is a testament to the programmers. It really is a fun and entertaining look into the series as has never been made before. No matter which version you play you will be entertained from start to finish.

reuben4boston3158d ago (Edited 3158d ago )

only when it actually costs money. If its something small like this, and its free, it is substantial enough.

The only reason people booed at the GTA dlc was because it was another 10-20$ extra. Fallout 3, while an amazing game on both platforms, cost an additional 50$ for all five expansions. when you pay as much as 60 dollars for the game, exclusive dlc that costs these large amounts arent as nice as some of the free things.

TheBand1t3158d ago

lol, that picture is epic. Jack Nicholson as the Joker FTW!

Shendow3158d ago

Well playing as the Joker in bonus challenge levels, kind is like playing the story. You have to take out the guards and we didn't get to see that.

DonCorneo3158d ago (Edited 3158d ago )

blu-ray quality.. plus a free batcave apartment in home, not that i care about that.. oh yeah, plus superior graphics.

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