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The Earth is not infinite, but it is very large, and if you retreat far enough, even this scab (the single ugliest sight I’ve witnessed in a lifetime of traveling the planet) gets swallowed up in the vastness that is Canada’s boreal forest, and that in the vastness of North America, and that in the vastness of the hemisphere.
Likewise, to wake up in Delhi at the moment is to wake up in a gray, grim purgatory.
The clatter and smell of one of the planet’s most crowded cities assail you as always, but some days the smog grows so thick you can’t see the end of the block.
Walking down the pavement, you seem almost alone, and the city noise seems as if it must be made by ghosts.
According to recent reports, the first game from Respawn Entertainment, called Titan Fall, will be an Xbox One exclusive. It’s a clear sign that Microsoft is going all-in to dominate PS4 in the next-generation. Because true third-party exclusives like these cost big, big money.
Other rumours suggest that Mirror's Edge 2 and Fallout 4 could also be single format games--or at the least Xbox and PC only. During the current generation true third-party exclusives have dwindled from ‘unusual’ to ‘rare as rocking horse droppings’. However, fully exclusive games remain very expensive, which is what makes the Titan Fall news so significant.
When the air is at its worst, when the smoke from the region’s farms burning off stubble combines with the exhaust of cars and buses and the cooking fires of the slums, it’s almost unbearable: in one recent outbreak, the international airlines scrubbed their flights into Delhi because the runway was invisible, and then cars began crashing on the highways, and then the city’s trains were cancelled due to poor visibility.
This is basic economics, so it should come as no surprise that true, single format exclusives, are incredibly unusual. Securing peripheral content like DLC, services such as Love Film, and pre-release extras is a practice that has really taken off during this generation. In fact, they’re taking it to the next level for the next generation.
At a big international cricket match the next month, with pollution levels 15 times the global standard for safety, players began “continuously vomiting.” After halting play for 20 minutes, the umpire said, “There aren’t too many rules regarding pollution.” Delhi’s air pollution may currently be the worst in the world, besting even the smoke-racked Chinese cities where the authorities installed giant LED screens to show video of the sun rising.
Or maybe Lahore, in Pakistan, deserves the crown: particulate levels there have reached 30 times the safe level, producing a soupy brown haze likened by one journalist to a “giant airport smokers’ lounge.” Asian authorities routinely close schools because of the bad air, but because most homes lack filters, that doesn’t help much.
Why limit yourself to Xbox 360 when there are 80 million PS3 owners out there too? Now, six years later, the practice of paying for exclusivity--no matter how petty--has become the norm. Pretty much everything is up for sale, as console manufacturers and even retailers try to get one up on each other without paying silly money. The PS3 version of Assassin's Creed Brotherhood has you covered. Back in 2007 the bean-counters at Microsoft decided that million in both exclusive sales and damage to the opposition was worth it.
At E3 2007, when Microsoft announced via the medium of tattooed Scouser, that GTA IV's Episodes From Liberty City would both be exclusive to Xbox 360 for over a year eyebrows were raised. Let’s not forget, the GTA Episodes deal wasn’t just about money: it was about reputation and competition.
Multi-format games will be largely indistinguishable, so the question both companies are asking is: what will make people buy our machine?