Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
11 July 2006
The horror of platform exclusive bonus features
Update: Ok, I finally managed to get a bit more coherent on this point. Well, at least that's my hope.

Look, who benefits by splitting the bonuses across the different platforms? I don't see a benefit to anyone, even the publisher. 99% of consumers won't know the difference, first off. Those who do might, like me, be angered at not getting something which could have been trivially included. And those who aren't angry, who own both platforms and know the difference and might buy both versions of the collection...they've got to be a fraction of a tenth of a percent of the market.

So really...why does this make sense, even from the publisher's point of view?

Original rant follows...

Taito Legends 2 for the Xbox is not the same as Taito Legends 2 for the PlayStation 2. While they both share a core set of emulated classic games, each has platform exclusive titles:

Xbox exclusives: Bubble Symphony, Cadash, Pop 'n Pop, Rayforce
PlayStation 2 exclusives: Balloon Bomber, G Darius, Ray Storm, Syvalion

I'd love to have Bubble Symphony, it's being released on a collection, but only as a platform exclusive? What kind of insanity is that?

This kind of exclusivity burns me up. The only reason I got Namco Museum 50th Anniversary for the PlayStation 2 was to have Galaga '88, a game inexplicably absent from the PSP Namco Battle Collection. On the other hand, I'd like to have Namco Battle Collection so I can pick up Dig Dug II and a few other titles.

Along similar lines, you can get the original Prince of Persia as a bonus in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time for the PlayStation 2. But if you want to play Prince of Persia 2 (and I do), you can only get that as a bonus item in the Xbox version of Sands of Time. The kicker is that the Xbox apparently got both classic games, while the PlayStation 2 got only the first. Argh!

Yes, I realize Namco's evil plans worked. Sucker that I am, I bought the PS2 version of Namco Museum 50th Anniversary and I will eventually buy Battle Collection for my PSP. Fate would have it that I own both systems. But I am not buying an Xbox just to get Bubble Symphony. In either case it is a stupid idea to break the bonus games up, and I hate both companies for doing it.

This is why I really wanted StarROMs to succeed. Shopping for just the games I want, instead of buying a mixed bag to get the gems, was such a better model for me.
--Matt Matthews at 11:33
Comment [ 4 ]

Comments on this post:

Yes, I realize Namco's evil plans worked. Sucker that I am, I bought the PS2 version of Namco Museum 50th Anniversary and I will eventually buy Battle Collection for my PSP. Fate would have it that I own both systems. But I am not buying an Xbox just to get Bubble Symphony. In either case it is a stupid idea to break the bonus games up, and I hate both companies for doing it.

Okay, so you're buying an extra copy of the game for systems you "happen" to have, yet claim, "I don't see a benefit to anyone, even the publisher."

Here's a key, and it's somthing I've learned in part from my time spent in high-end malls to visit Apple store. Prepare yourself.

Some people have scads of money.

There is a market that includes people that
will buy every console released. This market won't think twice about buying the extra version to get those extra games. If you make the games different, which seems in some of your cases to possibly be as simple as *disabling* selected games on different consoles, you'll sell more. Plain as that.

Seriously, if you want the game, what's the chance that you're not going to buy if they split up a few? I'm going to bet the number of people who don't buy any version Taito Legends because of this move is less than the people who buy two copies.

When one version comes out after another, it's an even easier decision to make. Throw the Atari homebrews on the Acitivision Anthology for the GBA and poof, I'm thinking about buying it again, even though I've got 90% of what I want from the games on my PS2 already. How about Earthworm Jim for SegaCD?

Let's face it, even Matt and I are somehow rich enough to have multiple target platforms for some games. There are richer folk than us out there, and they'll buy several times over with even less compunction.

(Btw, I made it a hard and fast rule to stop buying games I have on another system already. No more Golden Axes, Froggers, and Pac-Mans, dang it. Well, *maybe* more Pac-Mans.)

By Blogger rufbo, at 12 July, 2006 00:10  

The real evil is the collections themselves. Game collections are evil, evil marketing that will not go away because it is so damn effective.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12 July, 2006 11:30  

I also like the near deus ex machina usage with "Fate would have it". Marketing? Oh, no. Could never be that that's got me not only knowing about but owning a PS2 & a PSP.

;^)

By Blogger rufbo, at 12 July, 2006 11:55  

Let's not overlook the fact that the PS2 version, last I checked, does not, in fact, work on a PSP. This being the case, my copy of Namcomuseum for PS2 does little good when I am not at home. Having the PSP version would make it significantly easier to play Dig-Dug on my way to work.

By Blogger Deadguy, at 12 July, 2006 16:57  

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