Could you imagine if the consoles were to exchange gaming franchises with each other? What types of deals would go down? Would you see Crash return exclusively to the PlayStation brand? Would Sonic end up exclusively on one console? Anything is possible when you think about it.
Trade Scenario #1:
PlayStation gets: Resident Evil
Microsoft gets: Crash Bandicoot and Tomb Raider
This trade looks pretty impossible, but it would actually benefit both consoles. Crash Bandicoot and Tomb Raider are gaming franchises that may appear way past their prime, but there could be a reason for that; a lack of focus. When Crash and Lara were the faces of the PS Brand, these were some of the best titles around. Allowing a developer to focus on one console and “market” could allow for the experiences that each title brings to be refined and developed properly. I suggest that the series receive a complete reboot once this deal goes through.
Resident Evil is not exclusively a PlayStation franchise anymore. Resident Evil 4 proved that. Not to mention the Dreamcast releases to boot. However, when you think of Resident Evil, you often think of Resident Evil 2. That is easily a gaming classic and its home is the PSX. Trading the rights to 2 franchises that are not as appealing to the PS fanbase as in yesteryear would be a good move. There may be some trouble convincing MS to take the deal though. Resident Evil is still going strong and in spite of the complaints of gameplay mechanics, the franchise can continue to grow. Sony may have to throw some cash in to make this deal.
Trade Scenario #2:
Nintendo gets: Sonic
PlayStation gets: Devil May Cry
Microsoft gets: Lost Planet and Dead Rising 2 Exclusive Content
Nintendo is going to end up with Sonic exclusively someday anyway. The Wii owners are the most likely audience to embrace the Sonic experience going forward. The Mario and Sonic cross over games will only get better once the Nintendo gets Sonic exclusively. I can see a Luigi and Tails game coming out of this as well.
Lost Planet was a hit or miss title with many. The 360 crowd has been stereotyped as the FPS crowd, but that is not necessarily the total case. This series was started on the console and there are some that would be just fine with the title staying there. The 360 is more than capable of providing the customer base for the franchise going forward. The bet way to develop a diehard following is to pour time and energy into the fanbase that is most receptive of the title. Many PS3 owners were over it by the time it finally came to the console.
Devil May Cry plays flawlessly on a Dualshock controller. It always has and it always will. The sheer awesomeness that could be unleashed on a 25GB or 50GB Blu-Ray makes my palms sweat. Sony would be losing out on Lost Planet and Dead Rising would be further cemented as a 360 franchise in the minds of many, but don’t you think it is worth it?
FYI: Nintendo is mentioned here only because of the previous release of Dead Rising on the Wii and the need to properly balance the trade. The Wii is definitely not the last console you will be seeing from Nintendo.
These two trade scenarios are of 3rd party titles. Why are these more likely to be traded than 1st party titles? An obvious answer would be the investments made in developing the brand. I could not picture Halo on a PlayStation console. Nor would I feel right seeing Nathan Drake on any other console. Strategically aligning 3rd party titles with consoles will allow for some of these titles to get the shine they truly deserve. Dead Rising is a great title. I do not care what console it is on. I cannot help but to think of the 360 when I play it though. It is just the way it is. The same exaction situation occurs with Devil May Cry. All I see is a Dualshock when I think of the title. Well that and an amazing sword.
The reboot idea for Crash and Tomb Raider would give the 360 something to hold up against Ratchet and Uncharted. Some may say that Resident Evil is a hefty price to pay, but what would you do in order to bring your exclusive offerings up to par with your competition? None of these trades are likely to happen. The age of 3rd party exclusives is all but over. It is still fun to sit down and think about what could be though.
Which trades would you like to see?