This PS5 secret weapon could destroy Xbox Series X

(Image credit: Sony)

While we can spend hours debating whether the Xbox Series X or PS5 has the better hardware, picking which one to buy comes down to one thing: the games. And a new rumor suggests that Sony aims to make it a clear win for the PS5 when both consoles go on sale later this year.

According to former Game Informer editor Imran Khan, Sony is spending big on ensuring that a lot of promising titles debut on PlayStation 5, even if they end up elsewhere later on.

Khan let this slip on his Kinda Funny podcast in a segment discussing the news that the PS5 version of Marvel’s Avengers will have Spider-Man as an exclusive character. You can see the relevant bit at around the 22-minute mark in the video below. 

If you didn’t press play, here’s what you missed: “There are things you will be shocked to find out that Sony is moneyhatting, that they are locking up for timed exclusivity. 'Wow, that is a game that you're choosing?' Not because it's bad, but because it's huge.

“So I am interested to see where this conversation is going to be in a couple of months because there are games that are widely accepted as multi-platform that Sony is locking up for a while.”

Console exclusives are nothing new, and they come in two forms: genuine exclusives and time-limited ones. The former is easy to follow — they happen because the studios are owned by one hardware manufacturer. It’s the reason you can be sure that Mario won’t ever pop up on PlayStation or Xbox, and you won’t ever see Master Chief picking up a blue shell in Mario Kart. 

But timed exclusives are a little bit trickier, because it can apply to just about any third-party game and companies aren’t always transparent about whether they’ll appear on other platforms. Cuphead, for example, started as an Xbox One and PC exclusive, but then appeared on Switch in 2019 and PS4 last week. 

Some games take years to lose their exclusivity. The original Dead Rising, for example, was only playable on Xbox 360 for ten years, until a remaster came out for Xbox One and PS4. If that doesn’t sound very consumer friendly, that’s because it isn’t — and it can lead to ludicrous situations. PlayStation gamers didn’t get to play 2007’s Mass Effect until 2012 – after the second and third games had been released on Sony’s platform.

Microsoft isn’t immune from this either, of course. Despite Xbox Head Phil Spencer claiming not to be a fan, a lot of Xbox Series X “console launch exclusives” look like they could be PS5 bound eventually. We’ll just have to see what Sony has up its sleeves in retaliation... 

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.