For a while now I have been seeing problems with peoples understanding of what exactly constitutes and "Exclusive". I am writing this to break down how you can define an exclusive so you can be better educated on the subject. Not only so you don't look like a moron when you post about exclusives but to also mitigate flaming and 50 posts and replies in every article debating what an "Exclusive" actually constitutes.
Exclusive by Definition.
not divided or shared with others; "they have exclusive use of the machine"; "sole rights of publication"
much or all; especially all but a particular group or minority;
"exclusive clubs"; "an exclusive restaurants and shops"
a news report that is reported first by one news organization; "he got a scoop on the bribery of city officials"
not divided among or brought to bear on more than one object or
objective; "judging a contest with a single eye"; "a single devotion to
duty"; "undivided affection"; "gained their exclusive attention"
So taking a few points in mind I would like you to carry these with you throughout my blog post. "Not divided or shared with others" and "Not divided among or brought to bear with more then one object".
As far as gaming goes many people throw the word "exclusive" around in many ways. I would like to make a clear and concise blog for 2 reasons.
1. To clarify what an exclusive is for those who don't know and the discussion/debate can ensue here and not fill up 90% of other articles.
2. So that when someone says "ZOMG Exclusive FTW" when by definition it's really not. They can be sent here to be (re)educated on the subject with a simple link.
Now that the formalities are out of the way I will go into what makes something exclusive and why.
An exclusive game is a game that can only be played on one platform and one platform only. No matter the system. Examples are as follows Fable 2, Halo 3, Gears of War 2, God of war1,2,3, Killzone 2, Super Mario Galaxy, Legend of Zelda:Spirit Tracks, God of War: Chains of Olympus, Diablo 1,2,3 and World of Warcraft. These games are only available on a single Platform i.e. Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Playstation 2, Nintendo wii, Nintendo DS, PSP or PC.
Now granted one could argue down to the nitty gritty about "Hey 'Bowsers inside story' can be played on the DS, DSi, DS lite or any other form of DS. So is it exclusive?" Well yes. Similar to how Fable 2 can be played on a Xbox 360 Arcade, pro, elite or even the collectors edition Modern Warfare 2 kit. Just like how Killzone 2 can be played on any form of PS3 as well. They are exclusive because they come from one publisher and are all on one format(for the most part) that is designed to work with any version of a specific item. Similar to how not many PC's are alike but Bejeweled can be played on nearly any of them.
When is a game not exclusive? When it is on more then one platform. For current game releases the platforms on which they can be played, for the most part, include. PS2, PS3, Wii, DS, Xbox 360, PSP, PC, Mac, iPod touch/iPhone and soon we may see things like Onlive or other formats.
Now a game like "DC Universe online" for example that is releasing on PC and PS3 is not a "PS3 exclusive" Nor is it a "PC exclusive" it is a multiplatform game. Just like 'Mass Effect', 'The Agency' or 'Left 4 Dead' are all multiplatform games. They can be played on more then one platform. This is where most people get confused. The difference they choose to see is "Console vs Platform". Which is different. PC is not typically seen as a "Home gaming console" Even though it can be set up to be one. It is however still a gaming platform. By definition again.
"A video game console is an interactive entertainment computer or modified computer system that produces a video display signal which can be used with a display device (a television, monitor, etc.) to display a video game. The term "video game console" is used to distinguish a machine designed for consumers to buy and use solely for playing video games from a personal computer, which has many other functions, or arcade machines, which are designed for businesses that buy them and then charge others to play."
So someone can create their own console if they so choose but traditionally it is a machine you buy from a store like a PS3, Wii or Xbox 360. So when someone calls a game "Multiplatform" it is by definition not an exclusive.
The flip side is someone could say it is a "Console exclusive" Meaning it can only be played on the PS3, Wii, Xbox 360 or otherwise but could also be found on PC. The term "Handheld console exclusive" would mean it could only be played on a DS or a PSP and PC(or console if your strictly talking about handhelds) such as "Dinner Dash" or something like that... until recently anyway.
There are also franchises which are exclusive to a company. Such as 'little Big planet'. This game series is a "Playstation exclusive" No need for a number as it is on multiple consoles/formats(PS3, PSP) throughout the brands existence.
Next up is the "Timed exclusive" What this means is a game that gets released for one platform and is then released sometime later for another. i.e. The 'Fallout 3' DLC was a "Timed" Xbox 360/PC exclusive. Another game would be 'Braid' which is on PC and PS3 now when it was first on the 360 only.
There are a number of gray areas as well like 'Ninja Gaiden 2' vs 'Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2' they are very similar in many ways and it's up for debate on which any individual prefers. They are both technically exclusives to their individual consoles. There are variances in visuals, online support, playable characters, level design and otherwise... But are they really both exclusive as they are, at the core, the same game? They offer different experiences rooted in the same design and philosophy...
The gray area can be hard sometimes. Is GTA4 more exclusive to the 360 because of the DLC? is Left 4 Dead more exclusive to PC because of the visuals and mods? A change in experience can make a game totally different so be wary in this gray area as it may start some forum arguments. Truth be told in situations like this stay away from the word 'exclusive' because it wont get you anywhere say something like "Left 4 Dead is simply better on PC due to the active modding community" or "GTA4 is made so much better due to the 'Ballad of gay Tony' DLC"
One more thing that you may be able to think of as "Gray area" would be emulators. If someone were to make a "360 emulator" for the PC would 360 games be exclusive to the 360 still? Yes! Why? Because emulators are illegal and the games were never published for these formats. Any form of piracy or illegal activity automatically voids legitimacy. Emulators don't have specific releases or terms of agreement hence are not true exclusives. Unless brought to you through a legitimate source with publishers approval. i.e. "Steam" service or "good ol' games"... Could someone simply say "I ain't supporting that company. I'm gonna play all the games free on my PC". Sure they could. That's their choice but there is no arguing the validity of exclusivity.
So we have gone over exclusives, platform vs console, Multiplatform, Console exclusives, Franchises, timed exclusives (Keep in mind you could say something is a "Timed console exclusive" as well if it will be coming to either PC later or another console so long as you keep in mind what the difference is between a console and a platform and otherwise) as well as covering the gray area which, for the most part, can be figured out by using logic and not idiocy.
Now that this is all cleared up hopefully we can have a more productive time in the comments section.