#FightFriday: Should Killer Instinct 2013 get ported to Playstation and Nintendo?

During this console generation, Microsoft has taken a distinctive approach compared to Sony. Rather than solely focusing on hardware sales, Microsoft has been positioning Xbox as a comprehensive brand and ecosystem. Instead of prioritizing the development of the best controller or console, Microsoft has shifted its focus to initiatives like Game Pass, establishing a PC presence, and expanding its games to multiple platforms. Sony appears to be embracing a similar strategy, as indicated by their recent acquisitions of titles like Sea of Thieves and Hi-Fi Rush. The longstanding amicable relationship between Nintendo and Microsoft, evident in their support for crossplay and Xbox’s willingness to share its games with the Switch, further underscores this shift in approach.

As Microsoft continues to execute this strategic vision, one question looms large: What about Killer Instinct?

Killer Instinct 2013 needs no introduction among fighting game enthusiasts. It’s hailed as a darling of the genre, excelling in monetization, gameplay, training modes, and netcode. Even today, the game remains relevant, thanks in part to the Anniversary Edition patch released recently and the revival of the Ultra Tour. However, its potential is hindered by a limitation beyond its control—it’s confined to the Xbox platform. While it’s also available on PC, this does little to benefit console players, particularly those who primarily game on PlayStation or Nintendo platforms. They’re left with the dilemma of either purchasing an Xbox or waiting indefinitely for access to one.

Given Xbox’s recent strategic shifts, does this limitation still need to persist? Unlike the unfortunate situation with Tatsunoko vs Capcom, which remains trapped on the Wii (and PC through emulation), Killer Instinct could potentially break free from its platform constraints. Microsoft could theoretically make a significant impact by announcing the expansion of Killer Instinct to other platforms, perhaps starting with the PS5. Such a move would inject new life into the game’s community and elevate its status, possibly placing it in contention with heavyweight titles like Tekken 8 and Street Fighter 6, especially considering the positive reception those titles seem to be enjoying.

As for Nintendo, while there’s merit in bringing Killer Instinct to a Nintendo console, the choice of platform warrants careful consideration. Memories of the SNES port of the original Killer Instinct serve as a cautionary tale. While acceptable for its time, it fell short of replicating the arcade experience. We must ensure that the 2013 iteration of Killer Instinct doesn’t suffer a similar fate on the Switch. The current hardware limitations may struggle to accommodate the game’s intricate particle effects and lighting. However, this shouldn’t exclude Nintendo platforms altogether. With the imminent release of the Switch 2 or its successor, there’s potential for Killer Instinct to shine as a launch title, provided it runs flawlessly without compromises. If Nintendo continues its trend of prioritizing portability, this could further solidify its position as the definitive version of the game.

While this discussion may seem speculative, it’s crucial to voice these considerations. The Killer Instinct community has repeatedly demonstrated its unity and passion, advocating for recognition and opportunities. If Xbox is willing to outsource games that have exhausted their sales potential, Killer Instinct seems like an obvious choice. Despite recent updates, the game’s sales potential remains untapped, partly due to its limited availability. Expanding to PlayStation and other Nintendo platforms could unlock new avenues for success. It’s time to prioritize Killer Instinct over less desirable alternatives—like Redfall.

Killer Instinct Anniversary Stream

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