Microsoft's Shane Kim has said that with the arrival of Metal Gear Solid on Xbox 360 they've achieved "a key part" of their strategy, to eliminate big third-party exclusives.
Content exclusive to platforms is still "really important," that will continue through first-party creations like Project Natal. Microsoft don't want to be "relying on third parties" anymore.
"I still think exclusive content is really important. First of all, in games, we've said for a long time that a key part of our strategy with Xbox 360 was a level third-party playing field. Now we've effectively done that with Metal Gear Solid coming to the Xbox 360," Kim tells .
"The economics are such that third parties also have to support multiple platforms, and you can't ignore Xbox 360," he added. "It's too much of a business-driver to just be focused on a single platform if you're not a first party. So, it's up to the first parties to deliver the bulk of the exclusive game content."
Xbox Live is a saving grace for Microsoft implies Kim, they can secure third-party exclusive content for download thanks to the proven revenues for publishers. "But I also think we have to broaden our definition of exclusive content now. It has to include things like Xbox Live, because I do think Xbox Live is a real competitive differentiator for us."
"And now Project Natal is going to be an exclusive thing, too. And so, we feel good about how that's shaping up, but it's really not about relying on third parties, because I don't think that that is sustainable, as we've proven. And it's up to each of us to differentiate on our own."
Grand Theft Auto, Final Fantasy and now Metal Gear Solid - all were PlayStation exclusives but now Microsoft has rather succeeded in neutralizing the third-party threat to Xbox. Looks like the corporate giants only have their first-party teams to defend them now.
Does Hideo Kojima's Metal Gear really level the third-party playing field?