Kingdom Hearts, most famous for its extremely intricate and complicated plots, is also pretty famously entirely console exclusive, with each entry only being released on one console per game. With entries on the DS, 3DS, Gameboy, mobile phones, and most famously, PS2 (with remasters on PS3 and soon to be PS4), it came as a surprise to many that the "overwhelmingly big" Kingdom Hearts 3 would launch on both Xbox One and PS4. Well, until Square Enix just pulled the link to the game from the Xbox store.
This is Both a Good and a Bad Thing
Obviously by being exclusive to one console, the game ultimately restricts its audience, but Kingdom Hearts has always been console exclusive. With Kingdom Hearts 2.8 already being released on PS4 in December, console exclusivity in that regard isn't too bad – many of the fans will already have a PS4 from playing Kingdom Hearts 2.8.
But not releasing the game on Xbox keeps players that are solely Xbox gamers from experiencing the title, which could make them adverse to wanting to play other games from the series in the future.
A Series Of Console Exclusives
Kingdom Hearts is one of the few 3rd party franchises that truly crafts its games to the consoles they appear on. When the news broke that Kingdom Hearts 3 would be on both PS4 and Xbox One, that's what I thought about first (well, that and what worlds are we gonna get?).
How would they craft it to a system if the game is cross-platform? It would change a lot of the mechanics that you simply can't do cross-platform, or at least can't do easily. After all, the PS4 and Xbox One are very different consoles.
What Does It Mean For The PS4 Release Date?
Perhaps Square Enix is cutting Kingdom Hearts 3's launch to get the game out on-schedule for the PS4. If that is indeed the case, then I wouldn't be mad – granted, I'm also primarily a PlayStation gamer.
At the end of the day, we've been waiting a cool ten years for Kingdom Hearts 3 and at this point whatever it takes to give us a release date, I'll be ok with.
Here's a fun parting fact: Aqua has been in the Realm of Darkness only two years longer than we've been waiting for Kingdom Hearts 3.