E3 2017: Here’s the difference between “Xbox and Windows 10 Exclusive” and “console launch exclusive”

Laurent Giret

Xbox One X Controller

If you followed Microsoft’s E3 press briefing on Sunday, you may have been overwhelmed by the record 42 titles that were showcased during the nearly two hours long event. In a recap post on Xbox Wire, Microsoft said that 22 of these games will have “console exclusivity”, though the company didn’t make it clear what were the differences between the “Xbox exclusive” and “console launch exclusive” wordings that have been heavily used during the media briefing.

Yesterday, Xbox head Phil Spencer finally clarified the matter in an interview with GameSpot. “Console launch exclusive means the first console the game will launch on will be Xbox One,” he explained. “I don’t know, honestly, anything about when those games are going to launch on another platform. It’s really up to the developer to do the work to make that happen.”

According to Spencer, “timed exclusive” doesn’t accurately describes these games as “some of these are already out on PC, so that’s why we chose the term that we did.” As reminder, some of the most important console launch exclusives games that Microsoft announced on Sunday include Playerunknown’s Battleground, Tacoma, The Last Night, Ashen, The Darwin Project and Deep Rock Galactic.


Next, Microsoft announced several “Xbox One and Windows 10 exclusive” titles during the press event, and as you can guess these games will only be available on the Xbox and Windows 10 stores (they will also support Xbox Play Anywhere).  The list includes Forza Motorsports 7, Sea of Thieves, Crackdown 3, Ori and the Will of the WispsState of Decay 2 and Super Lucky’s Tale (the sequel to a a former exclusive Oculus Rift game). Interestingly, Microsoft also included Cuphead in this list even though the retro-looking run and gun platform game will also be released on Steam on September 29.

Lastly, the “world premiere” wording that Microsoft used for Anthem, Metro Exodus, Assassin’s Creed Origins, Dragon Ball FigtherZ or Life is Strange: Before the Storm just means that this was the first time that these games were showcased. All of them will also be released on Playstation 4 and Windows, even though the trailer for Anthem was a really great demo for Microsoft’s powerful Xbox One X console.

Now that both Sony and Nintendo held their own E3 press events, Microsoft is probably relieved to see that it had one of the most exciting media briefings this year. Best of all, many of the games that Microsoft showcased will be available this Fall, including Forza Motorsports 7, Crackdown 3, Cuphead and Super Lucky’s Tale.