Can anyone please check whether Hell froze over because Xbox and PlayStation are trading console exclusives with one another? Admittedly, we’re not discussing first-party exclusive titles but those developed by third-party studios—Scorn and Stray–both of which were actually nominated for the Game of the Year 2022.
When can you play Scorn and Stray on their new platforms?
According to VGC, PlayStation console exclusive gaming title Stray has been announced for Xbox Series X|S consoles, while Ebb Software’s atmospheric first-person horror game, Scorn, is coming to PlayStation 5. The former is a cyberpunk adventure game from a perspective of a cat—which is actually the game’s protagonist—and it’s scheduled to launch on Xbox on August 10 this year.
Scorn, on the other hand, has been given a 2023 release window for PlayStation 5, and while the exact date still hasn’t been established, the Ebb Software announced that it would take full advantage of PS5’s DualSense controller.
Two games previously exclusive to one or the other console – Scorn and Stray – will each be offered to both Xbox and PlayStation players soon.
Scorn was a very surreal first-person horror console exclusive released on Xbox Series X|S in October last year. Unfortunately, it received a lukewarm reception due to its combat system, but it was highly praised for its puzzles, macabre art direction, and interesting aesthetic.
Ebb Software, the game’s developer, stated that the DualSense controller action would deepen the player’s immersion into the in-game world. Haptic feedback will play a major role here, especially since there’s no dialogue in the game.
Besides the peculiar audio-visual experiences this console exclusive offers, the lack of dialogue is actually a strong suit since the character interacts with the environment using his hands, and most of these interactions are quite painful for the protagonist—which is why haptics play such a crucial role in the PlayStation 5 version of Scorn.
The visual experience of pain, paired with the in-game sensation, will be transferred to haptics, allowing gamers to “feel” what the game’s protagonist feels.
Stray is a bit different. This PlayStation console exclusive was very well-received, and cat-loving Xbox owners are actually quite excited to receive this release on their favorite gaming console. Developed by Annapurna Interactive, the same studio working on the new Blade Runner game, Stray was an instantaneous hit upon release.
The game has players taking control of a stray cat traversing a post-apocalyptic world devoid of human life and populated by the humans’ remaining robotic servants, named Companions.
Stray received generally favorable reviews among media outlets, with critics praising the game’s graphical quality, design, and low camera angle, which allowed players to enjoy the environment. The praise was extended to narrative themes, which were further accentuated considering the basic gameplay concept associated with this PlayStation console exclusive.
The game is scheduled to launch on Xbox Series X|S on August 10 this year—a whole year after it was released on the PlayStation platform.
Ultimately, this isn’t all that surprising. The current Xbox vs. FTC case brought plenty of things to attention, including the FTC’s apparent interest in protecting Sony’s business, as well as Sony’s hypocrisy when it comes to console exclusives—as in, it’s okay when Sony does it, but it’s anti-competitive when Xbox does the same.
Will more exclusives release on other platforms?
It’s entirely possible that the age of console exclusives is coming to an end, and we wouldn’t be surprised if future console exclusives come out as times exclusives before launching on all other platforms.