Microsoft at one point wanted Xbox Game Pass subscription service to be everywhere, even on competing platforms like Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4. While Head of Xbox Phil Spencer says that’s still the future the company would ideally like to have, he says that the service ever coming to those platforms is more or less a dead dream.
In an interview with GameStar, Spencer said flatly that Sony and Nintendo “really aren’t interested” in having the entirety of Xbox’s services on their respective consoles. This hasn’t been an issue with mobile devices and Windows PCs, but any hope of PlayStation or Nintendo getting anything beyond ports, if anything, is basically gone.
“The thing about other gaming console platforms is we’re not able to bring a full Xbox experience on those platforms,” Spencer said.
“In places where we have brought Xbox – mobile phones like we’re doing now with Project xCloud with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate [and] what we’ve done with PC bringing our full Xbox experience there – we know when somebody is playing one of our Xbox games there is an expectation that they’ve got their Xbox Live community, they have their Achievements, Game Pass is an option, my first-party library is completely there…
“The other competitive platforms really aren’t interested in having a full Xbox experience on their hardware. But for us, we want to be where gamers want to be and that’s the path that we’re on.”
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While Xbox Game Pass ever being on a PlayStation platform sounded like a pipe dream to begin with, Microsoft and Nintendo had been steadily moving toward a working relationship. Games like Cuphead and Ori and the Blind Forest had made their way to the Switch, but last year Microsoft confirmed it was kind of done bringing its games to other platforms, instead focusing on making exclusives for Xbox and Windows platforms from here on out. Given that, it makes sense that everyone involved with getting Xbox Game Pass on other devices would kind of just throw their hands up and walk away. So if these deals and dreams of the possibility of ubiquitous ecosystems were making you hopeful for the beginning of the fabled “one console future” where everyone plays and develops for the same device, that dream might not be happening any time soon. Or at least not in any form Microsoft might have wanted to make.
Speaking of Microsoft games and exclusives, we’re just a few days away from the next Xbox Games Showcase, which will focus on Xbox Series X games developed by Xbox Games Studios. This will include games like Halo: Infinite, and other things in development by Microsoft’s first-party developers. The presentation will take place on Thursday, July 23 at 11 a.m. Eastern Time, and will be the second of several planned presentations between now and the Xbox Series X’s launch to show off games and features of the new console ahead of its holiday launch.