The subject of console parity has been thrown about quite recently, with games either being accused of crippling one version to match up with another, and even cases of it being confirmed.
Phil Spencer had some rather interesting comments on this, in a recent interview with EDGE Magazine. When asked if he thought what they called the “parity clause” was dead – he said this…
“I think so. There’s this idea that’s been named ‘parity clause’, but there is no clause. We’ve come out and been very transparent in the last four or five months about exactly what we want. If there’s a developer who’s building a game and they just can’t get the game done for both platforms – cool. We’ll take a staggered release. We’ve done it before, and we work with them on that.”
“If another platform does a deal with you as a developer to build an exclusive version of your game for them, and you can’t ship on my platform for a year, when the game comes out in a year let’s just work together to make it special in some way. People complained about that, but you did a deal with somebody else and you got paid for it and I’m happy – we do those same deals, so I’m not knocking you. It’s going to be better for you, actually, because people don’t want last year’s game, they want something special and new.”
So it’s kind of vague, to be honest. He skirted around the question by saying there was no “clause”, (so no official agreement set in writing), but that’s not to say a verbal agreement hasn’t been reached. The number of games struck down by parity are few, but it has happened…. the question remains, if that was on the developers side or not.