If there's one definitive way to push publishers, developers and public relations personnel off balance, it's broaching the subject of console exclusivity. Begin the line of inquiry and you're sure to get darting eyes, an elongated "Wellllll ..." and an answer that crumples in on itself as soon as it's spoken. Perhaps it's appropriate that the topic of Splinter Cell: Conviction's exclusivity is steeped in a cloak-and-dagger mystery.
When asked if the ambitious Xbox 360 and PC stealth title was exclusive in the really real sense, producer Alex Parizeau simply stated, "It's exclusive," and admitted that it was a business arrangement with Microsoft. Prodding about timed exclusivity (a la BioShock and Fallout 3 DLC) didn't yield anything less enigmatic, so they turned to lead game designer Steve Masters. "As far as I know," he said, "this is completely exclusive."