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Why Rise of the Tomb Raider Is An Xbox Exclusive

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The latest Tomb Raider game developed by Crystal Dynamics is set to be an Xbox exclusive, after it was announced by Microsoft’s Phil Harrison at their media briefing at Gamescom this week. The title due out “holiday 2015″ will be “the most ambitious Tomb Raider game ever built” according to head of studios Darrell Gallagher, who at the companies blog explained why the latest instalment to what is a popular series on both platforms is now exclusive to one.

“Our friends at Microsoft have always seen huge potential in Tomb Raider and have believed in our vision since our first unveil with them on their stage at E3 2011,” he writes. “We know they will get behind this game more than any support we have had from them in the past – we believe this will be a step to really forging the Tomb Raider brand as one of the biggest in gaming, with the help, belief and backing of a major partner like Microsoft.”

“This doesn’t mean that we’re walking away from our fans who only play on PlayStation or on PC. Those are great systems, with great partners, and amazing communities. We have Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris coming to those platforms this December, and Tomb Raider: The Definitive Edition is available on PS4.”

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Microsoft wants to lure the people it lost amidst the controversy over the Xbox One’s policies and price difference when it launched in the latter stages in 2013, with high profile exclusives

Its quite interesting to see a publisher go exclusive on a platform when their title has good reception on all platforms in this console era and the previous, particularly when the hardware is effectively the same. Each console has its nuances of course, with the Xbox being less powerful graphics-wise compared to the Playstaiton, but it compensates by churning out greater CPU performance. So on that basis you would think that any additional resources on offer would be redundant given this fact, and that the publisher should be looking to maximise the revenue as much as possible. Now, of course you won’t get the visuals of the best gaming monitor but these days, it’s getting close.

But this has less to do with the publisher and the game, and more about the platform. Microsoft are behind Sony when it comes to overall sales of their consoles, with the Playstation now outselling the Xbox One at a three-to-one ratio after the Japanese outfit announced it sold over 10 million units to customers worldwide this week. This is despite the fact that the Xbox One did have more titles at launch than the Playstation in November, but after the controversy with its DRM policies, the consoles “always on” state, and the price difference being £100, it seems that has left a lasting mark on consumers purchasing.

So the best way its clawing back the customers it lost or who were in limbo when they entered next-gen late last year, is by giving them high profile and highly anticipated exclusives. Thats not to say these will be exclusive for life, Microsoft’s Phil Spencer has already noted that this is a timed exclusive in an interview with Eurogamer. And with the Xbox One still yet to launch in many territories including some countries in Europe, and many still yet to make the jump to next-gen in places where the consoles are out, this temporary exclusivity could be enough to win consumers over and