Boston (TheNextXbox) – The first-party exclusive killer app is something that is always tied to a console, and can make or break a console at launch. With that said, we want to ask the question of whether or not the next-generation Xbox 720 needs Halo 5 at launch in order for the launch to be a success?
The original Xbox had a successful run out of the gate because of one game and one game alone, and that game was Halo.
Halo was the game that made the Xbox brand, it was the Microsoft version of Mario, Crash Bandicoot, Sly Cooper, Kratos, and those other fantastic first-party characters that have defined gaming for years now.
Without Halo at launch on the original Xbox, the system would have had a much harder time garnering any ground in terms of performing alongside the juggernaut that was the Sony PlayStation 2, and even the Nintendo GameCube for that matter.
Halo has been an absolute beast for Microsoft with the hardcore gaming crowd. The series has grossed over $3 billion for Microsoft with its various iterations, with Halo 4 raking in over $200 million in one day when it launched.
So now Microsoft is gearing up for the release of the next-generation Xbox 720, the successor to the Xbox 360. They are going to be releasing during virtually the same time as Sony with their PlayStation 4, at most eight weeks apart by all accounts as of now. This sparks the question of just how much Microsoft needs Master Chief himself.
If Microsoft released the next-generation Xbox with largely third-party support in the form of a new Call of Duty, Battlefield, Need for Speed, your typical range of sports games from Electronic Arts, and so on, they are going to find themselves at a major disadvantage.
When the Xbox 360 launched, Microsoft had a year advantage on Sony, they did not have to go head-to-head with them. This allowed them to released with third-party support, plus average first-partye exclusives such as Perfect Dark Zero.
This year is going to be very different though, as Sony is reportedly clearing the deck and could launch day and date with a new God of War, Uncharted, Killzone, or any other exclusives they have in their arsenal.
When you think about Microsoft, their big gun is Halo, and they really have no other major franchise that is quite as popular or can create as much of a stir in terms of notariety.
The next-generation Xbox launches in November 2013, and if Microsoft does not have a new Halo or a re-make of an old Halo with next-generation visuals, they may have a very difficult time going toe to toe with the PlayStation 4, and that is just the reality of what Microsoft is going up against.