The latest Call of Duty: Black Ops DLC – “Rezurrection” – was exclusive to the Xbox 360, just like
previous Call of Duty DLC packs – dating back to Modern Warfare 2.
Over the past several years of my gaming life, I’ve been noticing a trend in the Downloadable Content (DLC) marketplace that has created a burning question in me: “Exclusive” rights to new DLC.
Much of this has shown its face in the form of map packs for Call of Duty games or DLC for games like Fallout: New Vegas. What’s more, when it comes to who gets the DLC first, it is ALWAYS (unless the game is exclusive to a console), The Xbox 360 that gets it first.
Now, understand first that I have nothing against the Xbox 360. The only reason I sold my 360 in favor of PS3 was for the free online gameplay, which the 360 did (and still doesn’t) have – a fact that my wife reminded me of each time I spent money on my LIVE gold membership. I enjoyed my time on my 360, just as I’ve enjoyed my time on my PS3 – with the exception of DLC.
My curiosity lies within the the message that is sent when Microsoft pays however much it is they pay to have DLC for games come out a month early on their console. For many 360 faithful, there is no problem. For many PS3 faithful, it’s a vicious injustice. For me, as a gaming fan in general, it’s a divisive tool that suggests there is inequality between the consoles and suggests that there is a “better” console to own.
I’m sure some of you just read that and are now thinking “of course there’s a better console! It’s [insert console of choice]!” But hold on a second and let me continue before you click away.
What I mean is, I’m tired of the incredibly pointless arguments that surround which console is better and I’m especially tired of how DLC exclusivity perpetuates that idea that there IS a better console.
In its current state, the 360 v. PS3 debate is incredibly stupid when you consider that each console have their own share of great exclusives and share most of the big-name titles that have come/are coming out. Both consoles have great graphics (depending on the game you’re playing; lets face it – some of the games that are billed as high profile before they release can end up laying an egg with the bulk of gamers. See: Homefront). That’s not to say the games themselves are terrible, but unfortunately, some people put graphics further ahead of story than they should. Another area that people might argue is price. With the base-model 360 costing roughly $50 less than base-model PS3, people forget that the PS3 has a Blu-ray player which provides incentive to raise the price by at LEAST $50. Take away the Blu-ray and it’s very likely the price points are the same.
My point is, the best console on the market is the console that allows you to enjoy the games you want to buy. Unfortunately, exclusive DLC releases for games on both consoles suggest otherwise (at least in my view). Microsoft seems to feel the need to buy the loyalty of their console owners by puffing their chest with exclusive DLC when – in all likelihood – if they released DLC at the same time as the PS3, it probably wouldn’t do ANY worse.
Now, if you’re thinking at this very moment that I’m simply an envious PS3 owner, please save your breathe – this is not the case. It doesn’t hurt me personally that I have to wait an extra 30 days for DLC – I certainly don’t hate waiting to spend my money these days (my wife doesn’t either). What I think what it DOES hurt is the camaraderie that there should be within the gaming world across all platforms. Instead, we have owners of one console or the other trying to argue that their choice is better and we have exclusive DLC adding more ammunition to a pointless argument.
Do I think the DLC-exclusivity is subject to change anytime soon? No. Do I hope it does? Absolutely. I think the less contrived reasons for us to argue over which console is better we have, the better. And, in the same regard, I think the more positive dialogue we have between the owners of different consoles, the better.
We’re gamers because we enjoy the experience. How we enjoy that experience should be secondary to the experience itself (unless it is a console-exclusive title, which creates another opportunity for positive dialogue). If we’re too busy arguing over who has the better console (and why DLC is a reason for that), we’re missing an incredibly important aspect of the gaming experience and hurting the upward momentum of a unified gaming community.
Now, let me know what YOU think. Get at me.