Does Microsoft Really Believe a Timed Exclusive Will Boost Xbox One Sales?

Microsoft has secured a timed exclusive deal for the new Tomb Raider, but will that really generate a sales spike for Xbox One?

Microsoft has secured a timed exclusive deal for the new Tomb Raider, but will that really generate a sales spike for Xbox One?
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As we all know by now, Rise of the Tomb Raider will be a timed exclusive on Xbox platforms.

History tells us that this exclusivity deal is probably for one year, which means PlayStation fans won’t see the game for quite some time. However, it’s worth noting that when RotTR finally arrives on PS4, it’ll undoubtedly be another “definitive edition” of sorts.

The PlayStation 4 has outsold the Xbox One in the US for the seventh consecutive month, according to freshly released NPD statistics. It seems the recent price drop to $399 hasn’t given Microsoft’s system that spur it so desperately needed. However, we’ll learn more when the holiday season arrives, because both competing consoles will feature the same price, and the Xbox One arguably has the exclusive edge.

But in looking at 2015, will Xbox One “rise” thanks to Rise of the Tomb Raider?

Yes, there is a significant difference between “exclusive” and “timed exclusive”

“Exclusive” means it’ll never show up on another console. “Timed exclusive” simply means that if people are patient, they’ll get what they want. A timed exclusive is more important if there aren’t many games on the horizon that consumers want, but that certainly isn’t the case with the PlayStation 4. In other words, just because PS4 owners don’t get the new Tomb Raider in 2015, that doesn’t mean they’ll have nothing to play.

It was pretty clear during Sony’s Gamescom press conference that once again, PlayStation is a great platform for core gamers. HellbladeWildBloodborne and more reminded us what’s in store for the future, and that’s not counting titles like Uncharted 4: A Thief’s EndThe Order: 1886, and others already in the first-party Sony stable (Gran TurismoGod of War, etc.). Therefore, Sony followers have plenty of games to look forward to in the coming months and years.

Yes, they have to wait for the new Tomb Raider. You think there won’t be anything to buy?

If you’re buying Xbox One for the express purpose of playing Rise of the Tomb Raider…you’re probably in the minority

If you’re buying an Xbox One, you’re probably not doing it for Rise of the Tomb Raider. That’s beyond ridiculous. You’ll buy it for real exclusives like Sunset Overdrive and the new Halo. Even die-hard Tomb Raider fans probably won’t be running to the store to get an Xbox One, just because of this week’s surprising announcement. Therefore, I’m not sure Microsoft is going to see the sales jump they’re anticipating, despite the fact that RotTR is bound to sell quite well.

No, you need more than one game to entice intelligent consumers, and it probably should be something that will never go to other platforms. Right now, I find it hard to believe that Rise of the Tomb Raider‘s timed exclusivity will single-handedly allow Microsoft to catch up to Sony. The PlayStation 4 has a wide variety of upcoming exclusive content; it’ll be just fine without Lara. She’ll show up eventually, anyway.

About the author


A gaming journalism veteran of 14 years, a confirmed gamer for over 30 years, and a lover of fine literature and ridiculously sweet desserts.