On March 11, Microsoft released arguably the biggest game release of the current console generation, Titanfall. How was Microsoft able to land this exclusive over Sony, whose own next-generation console had also launched only months before?
New details from Geoff Keighly’s Final Hours app reveal that Microsoft didn’t have to do much at all. Sony said no to Titanfall.
Early during development of the PS4 and Xbox One, both Sony and Microsoft were very secretive about their consoles, fearing that hardware leaks could hurt their competitive advantage. When Respawn entertainment approached Sony to bring Titanfall to the PlayStation 4, Sony wasn’t willing to disclose any information of their hardware, fearing that a Respawn employee might leak the tech specs to Microsoft.
At a certain point in development of a new system, companies need to lock down specifications so that they may start manufacturing. Console manufacturers usually have to start production six months before release, just to build inventory to meet tremendous demand.
Although Sony sacrificed Titanfall, it seems that secrecy worked. On Feb. 21 last year, Sony revealed at a press conference the internal specifications of the PS4. By this time, it was too late for Microsoft to alter the final design of the Xbox One. And Sony had the advantage.
Its decision to go with eight gigabytes of DDR5 RAM as opposed to Microsoft’s eight gigabytes of DDR3 RAM with 32MB of esRAM has led to higher fidelity games on the PS4. And that's despite the fact that the Xbox One's CPU is clocked slightly faster at 1.75GHz as opposed to PS4's 1.6 GHz.
And gamers notice the difference. Call of Duty: Ghosts boasts a 1080p resolution on the PS4 as opposed to 720p on the Xbox One. Tomb Raider Definitive Edition, meanwhile, is able to run at 60 frames-per-second on the PS4 while the Xbox One iteration only musters up 30.
Gamers have responded in droves, many choosing to go with the more powerful machine. After only on the market for six months, Sony's PS4 has managed to sell more than 7 million PS4, outselling the Xbox One’s by 3 million.
Sony did push for a version of Titanfall to be released on its PS Vita handheld system, even offering to help in development. But it looks like the folks at Respawn weren’t as interested.
Via Eurogamer via Geoff Keighly’s Final Hours App