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Console War, p78

September 23, 2020 by Tim

After touching base with each faction in the last couple of strips, I kind of thought I was going to be done with these until the next generation started. Then Microsoft goes and drops this bombshell in my lap.

It will be quite a while before we see how this acquisition really affects the console space in any practical way, but it’s a hell of a power move, that’s for sure.


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Dodgy
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Dodgy

Brilliant! Thanks Tim!

foducool
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foducool

lmao, M$ is taking the disney approach of PURCHASING EVERYTHING ON SIGHT!

mughi
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mughi

That’s been the MS motto for YEARS in software

RobertK
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RobertK

Love it! 😀

Crestlinger
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Crestlinger
Jacob
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Jacob

FTA, and absolutely appropriate for this comic:

“Microsoft’s acquisitions are more about area denial—it gets to decide whether or not these games show up on competitors’ platforms, if they do at all—than an argument in favor of purchasing an Xbox. It’s weakening Sony’s position, not strengthening its own.”

Kenju
Guest
Kenju

It’s weakening Sony’s position, not strengthening its own.”

Only if they can force through a new graphics engine. I love TES, been a hardcore player since Daggerfall, but when Oblivion on PS2 looks pretty much identical to Skyrim Deluex Ultra Super Third Re-final release edition, there is a problem.

Fallout 76 I would have given an applause to if they’d introduced a grain filter to the graphics to make it look as old as it felt at least lol

TuffMelon
Guest
TuffMelon

Apparently they’re upgrading from the engine theyve used since Oblivion, but given that engine is from like 13 years ago or something, ‘upgrade’ is a bit of an ambiguous term. Using a 12 year old engine is still technically an upgrade 😛

Kenju
Guest
Kenju

Very true, but look how long Todd Howard has clung to keeping everything the same across the many, many, MANY rereleases of Skyrim, the only significant chance I’m aware of between them is the DLC being on the disc and VR capability, though still graphics 😛

TuffMelon
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TuffMelon

Oh yeah, i should have mentioned i meant going forward, not for the next edition of Skyrim. They’ve only really confirmed an upgrade for TESVI.

Croi
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Croi

Thank god they have to honor the release of Elder Scrolls 6 on the PS5. If there’s a Fallout game in development, then we probably won’t see it on there. We know Diablo has gone to pot, so really who cares if we see that on PS5. It’ll be YEARS before another Elder Scrolls game shows up, so…meh…

It’s the beyond this generation that will be the concern.

Drood
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Drood

I would be very surprised if Elder Scrolls 6 is on the PS5. Maybe eventually but that was not one of the ones that already had a deal with Sony, so it will likely be a timed exclusive to PC and Xbox at the very least.

Stephen
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Stephen

I don’t think there’s anything indicating they have to do anything with ES6. Deathloop and Ghostwire have contracts – ES6 is so far out i doubt it does.

I certainly hope, as a gamer, that they release all current IPs on all the platforms they’ve previously been on. Keep Starfield and anything new as exclusive, but don’t gate franchises in the middle.

Urazz
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Urazz

Do they, I didn’t hear anything about that. It was just Deathloop and Ghostwire are the games that are contracted.

The Legacy
Guest
The Legacy

Does that mean we can finally get Todd Howard fired? 😮

Urazz
Guest
Urazz

If Bethesda doesn’t perform well now under Microsoft, then it’s certainly possible.

Steeeeve
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Steeeeve

… I don’t know how to feel about this. On one hand it’s usually a bad sign when big company buys out small, but on the other maybe MS will force them to actually release games w/o game breaking bugs that are never fixed and patched by the players? So it could be a good thing, I don’t know MS’s record of buying up game companies… do they monetize the F out of it like EA? It was bad enough Bethesda was already doing that. The games just better not become XBox exclusive. Exclusives are BS even if it would… Read more »

Eldest Gruff
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Eldest Gruff

I’m hoping it’s a positive move. Being a first-party developer generally affords a developer more time, freedom, and budget to make the game they truly want. Instead of constantly being worried about whether they’re getting enough income to cover costs, and having to microtransaction/loot crate/DLC it to death, to craft a quality experience. I used to be upset at Microsoft for ‘ruining’ Rare, and see that really wasn’t the case. Rare was just a company that worked really, REALLY good paired with Nintendo’s direction, and the sudden clash of cultures caused it to abrupt 180. As for me, personally… I’ve… Read more »

Pulse
Guest
Pulse

and with microsoft and nintendo playing nice with each other we can have a reasonable hope bethesda games still show up on nintendo consoles. that leaves the question of do they deny the obvious money able to be made selling to playstation players, which really i dont see them doing. if they cared about making people want to buy their console they wouldn’t have pulled the stupidity they did at launch of the last gen. going for a broad sweep and milking their competitors in a way is a nice way to ensure you stay up.

Casra
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Casra

MS is not EA, and Microtransactions don’t really fit the GamePass model, so I doubt we’ll see that. MS is greedy, but not squeeze you for every dime ala EA level of greed.

Brown
Guest
Brown

Surprised there’s no comic about Nintendo having dropped the Mario 3D collection.
Sure as hell got me more excited than everything else that dropped, or has yet to be dropped, this year on any platform.

Not the best year, really.

Eldest Gruff
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Eldest Gruff

Nintendo’s effectively decided to hole up, put up a solid defense, and wait out the launch. Smart move, IMO, as neither Sony nor Microsoft are really coming out swinging strong with must-have exclusives. Covid’s probably helping them out, too, forcing a 2016-like year where the best exclusives are held back for the next.

Soag
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Soag

Sony has taken an arrow in the knee.

Jay Field
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Jay Field

Each faction? I mean, you haven’t really checked in with the Switches recently. Are we just pretending they’re not still in this war at all? After “Age of Calamity” and “3D All Stars” announced?

John Doe
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John Doe

Nintendo is like the Switzerland of the console wars. They have just enough exclusives and offer such a different play style, that they effectively aren’t a part of the console war.

Eldest Gruff
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Eldest Gruff

Not quite. They DO get territory from the others; however, in the Venn Diagram of customer base, Sony and Microsoft show the greatest overlap with demographics, and Nintendo’s more like 50/50. So the war between Sony and Microsoft will always be more bitter.

leduk
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leduk

well, I ALWAYS had a nintendo. With a pc, and sometimes a ps, or an xbox. But ALWAYS a nintendo.

Paweł Zdanowski
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Paweł Zdanowski

I must tell you the Switches are definitely winning the war at my house. I’ve finished more games on Switch that I have since the original lockdown then on the PS4 during this whole generation. The mobility and ease to just pick it up, play a quest or a level, and put it down made it my console No 1. Actually I even sold my PS4 last week… of course, I’ve also preordered PS5, but it is thanks to Switch that I know I don’t need a big console for those 2 months. And to be fair I’m more excited… Read more »

raven0ak
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raven0ak

and meanwhile nintendo keeps laughing and holding nukes ready

Paweł Zdanowski
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Paweł Zdanowski

I just hope whatever they will decide to unveil will be a potable like a Switch. so, hopefully, “Nukes in a suitcases” 🙂

Pulse
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Pulse

botw2 releases, a wave of oddly red tinted poison clouds sweep across the lands

KBABZ
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KBABZ

I LOVE how adaptable you were for this one, nice work!

CDO
Guest
CDO

Seriously, I don’t mean to diminish your other creations, but your Console Wars series is the best web comic out there!

The way you work the current events and dynamics into the story is just wonderful every time!

Kenju
Guest
Kenju

I love the way this played out both in the comic and in the meta sense, how you thought you were going to be done till the next generation of consoles are out only for this to happen.

Like literally, that is how war is, unpredictable as hell.

I was looking forward to playing TES 6 when it eventually came out on the PS8 (or later lol) but, oh well *sighs* looks like they are going to be too busy relaunching Skyrim Deluxe Limited Ultimate Edition for the X-Bones, along with various other rereleases lol

Ocramot
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Ocramot

I don’t want to sound like a snob, but having a PC with Windows for gaming, I was quite indifferent to the news when I heard that. I didn’t even realize how groundbreaking it was for the console war.

Drood
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Drood

Probably should not have commented if you didn’t want to sound like a snob then.

Freddie
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Freddie

there is no should or should not. There is just “do”

TomB
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TomB

Well, when the console folks are getting all excited and dancing about the new exclusive, the PC gamers just kind of live with it. I don’t think it makes the console gamers snobs or any other negative thing when they do that. I don’t think it’s a snob thing to observe that the big fuss here just didn’t register much for the PC crowd.

Of course, I am a PC gamer.

FITCamaro
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FITCamaro

I don’t see them cutting out Sony on Elder Scrolls and Fallout. Those are far too entrenched of series to make exclusives. But possibly Starfield. And timed exclusivity.

Eldest Gruff
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Eldest Gruff

Not quite. Elder Scrolls, at least, is THE system-seller. Selling Skyrim on just about everything made a massive culture that desperately want a “Skyrim 2”. It would be beyond foolish to spend that money on it and NOT make the only place to access it, XBox’s ecosystem. Not the same as Minecraft, whose core player base at the time was kids, who don’t have the same control over their money and will leave it for the “next big thing.” Kinda like iOS and Fortnite. To me, says they’d make it exclusive to XBox, PC, Gamepass, and (if they can manage… Read more »

Croi
Guest
Croi

They can’t at first. ES6 was contracted to PS5, so it has to be honored. MS has already said so. It’s anything after that. FO might be an issue down the line, and past this console generation it’ll be an issue.

Pulse
Guest
Pulse

confirmation links? it fits what i think would happen, but after the crapshow that was last minute “ignore the steam logo on the box” epic gamestore exclusives…

Solokov
Guest
Solokov

Todd, that madman actually did it, he sold Skyrim, AGAIN!

Eldest Gruff
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Eldest Gruff

Finally! My dream of playing Skyrim on my Zune can be realized!

TomB
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TomB

Maybe your sidekick in one of your quests could be Clippy!

tassadar7945
Guest
tassadar7945

“It looks like you’re trying to sneak through this bandit lair, would you like some help?”

James Rye
Guest
James Rye

“Overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer.”

Kenju
Guest
Kenju

EA and Blizzard *think* overconfidence is their problem, when really it’s incompetence lol

James Rye
Guest
James Rye

“Incompetence is a fast and obvious killer.”

Kenju
Guest
Kenju

Take my upvote, and please somebody make these two combined statements into a bumper sticker lol

Eldest Gruff
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Eldest Gruff

And often hilarious. Thank you, Darwin Awards.

TomB
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TomB

Really, overconfidence and incompetence are the same. If you are overconfident, you think you are more competent than you are. If you are incompetent, you think you are more compitent than you are. And incompetent people have more confidence than they should and overconfident people have less competence than they should.

Rick
Guest
Rick

On a related note, has anyone seen the rumours about MS acquiring Sega? I was initially telling my colleagues there was no way they’d spend that kind of cash, as just Sega’s games business is currently valued in the multi-billion USD range (just their stock is worth $4B USD as of last week’s numbers if my math is right). But with MS dropping billions on Bethesda and then picking up Zenimax, maybe there’s some truth to all the tweets mentioning Sega.

Stabbmaster
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Stabbmaster

I can’t stop laughing at the Skyrim Re-release barrens sitting just above action-RPG land

stromboul
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stromboul

Ha! hadn’t noticed that! lol

Kenju
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Kenju

Ah yes, King Todd from the lands of Howard, most avoid that place if possible as reports that time moves in a Groundhog Day loop there 😛

AlexAngryguy
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AlexAngryguy

A shame to lose Doom and Prey, I have heard a lot of good stuff about prey, i am waiting for the game to go on sale again.

As long Capcom is not bought by anyone I really don’t mind.

Can’t wait to see u do the Xbox Series S and X on this comic.

Him.
Guest
Him.

“My god, they let Bethseda’s buggy hands into Microsoft territory?”
“No, no- Microsoft bought Bethseda’s the right to make their titles without the bugs”
“…that’s okay then”

As an aside, Microsoft IS the most probable of them all to make things not exclusive. They’ll probably leverage things like Doom to be exclusive for the first 6 months, but then available on PS afterwards. So this is probably the best case scenario for Nintendo, and “it could be worse” for Sony.

Doodm4n
Guest
Doodm4n

Jumping on the Nintendo Switch train for a second, was there anything about how the new Animal Crossing basically took over the world back in March/April? General Tom Nook or something? I got my wife a Switch just for that game, and I thought I would be able to sneak in some Zelda time…. Yeah, that did not happen. She just got the “strategy guide” for it. She uses this as a checklist of whatever she needs to find to collect EVERYTHING…

Pulse
Guest
Pulse

perfect way to make this into a comic, but on the topic itself i dont see it coming into play unless sony steps in. they are gonna want the money from the playstation people who are gonna want the next games. it’ll be like having a mole stealing money from within.

Herald
Guest
Herald

There goes the neighborhood. Another developer dead, lopped of at the knees. Everyone bow down to your corporate overlords!

Fitzer
Guest
Fitzer

First thing I thought where I saw this news, ‘Oh man, this is gonna be great content for console wars! Can’t wait to see what Tim does with it.’
Good job Tim!

AZDadTk
Guest
AZDadTk

I think MS has a bigger idea at play here, if they own Bethesda, then it is easy to add those games to the Game Pass, for either PC or for Xbox. It seems as Microsoft really wants as many as people add subscriptions, they believe that is where the real future is, not just the $60 for the game.

Steeeeve
Guest
Steeeeve

When will they learn MS is the overlord who has already captured most of the computer world with this same method and is moving on consoles? MS just purchased a company that’s a 5th of Sony and it’s pocket change to them.

How do you fight a behemoth like that? Got to have some dedicated fans to survive or be lucky enough not to have the eye of MS on you. O_o

Pulse
Guest
Pulse

they will eventually reach a point where they legally cant buy more, it will be ALOT, but there is a point.

Steeeve
Guest
Steeeve

They have figured out where that point is with Windows. MS does what it can to keep a competitor alive to avoid Monopoly issues and tries it’s best to wipe out or buy up the rest. Soon, we’ll be left with a choice between Xbox and Nintendo.

Casra
Guest
Casra

I seriously love your console wars series. And yes, this is just perfect. MS just pulled off the equivalent of the D-Day invasion, but I like your take on it. In 3 years as the full implications of “Exclusive only on X-Box” starts really coming out left and right, we’ll see the real impact of this. OR we’ll see a new era of cross platform, a truce. Horizon Zero South? for all platforms maybe…

Cheez
Guest
Cheez

Next comic make it so the Xbox receives reinforcements but its old tech due to naming issues on the deployment forms and the next gen wave isn’t as large as they hoped from the order numbers.

Random Players
Guest
Random Players

Maybe I missed it, but has Gamepass and it’s effects been mentioned in any of the comics? Because I feel like that could be a interesting topic.

On my end, I’ve loooong been PC+Nintendo (Due to Zelda, Mario, Metroid, etc) but Gamepass is making me ‘lean’ towards ‘Team Xbox’ so to speak.