Microsoft: Four exclusive Xbox games are coming to PS5 and Nintendo Switch

It’s official: Microsoft is bringing a number of Xbox exclusives to PS5 and Nintendo Switch. It’s part of a broader strategy shift within Microsoft’s gaming business to grow games beyond the company’s Xbox consoles.

“We’ve decided that we’re going to bring four games to the other consoles,” Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer revealed on the official Xbox podcast. Oddly enough, Microsoft declines to name the four titles, but the company says two are community-driven games and the other two are smaller titles.

Sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans tell me that the first two titles will be HiFi rush And Pentimentfollowed by Sea of ​​thieves And Grounded. Spencer claims there has been no change in the company that makes Xbox exclusives, but at the same time he also thinks there will be fewer console exclusives in the industry over the next decade.

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“I fundamentally believe that exclusive games, games that are exclusive to one piece of hardware, will be a smaller and smaller part of the gaming industry over the next five or 10 years,” Spencer said on the Xbox podcast.

Microsoft sees this move as just four games that the company can learn from, and test the waters if you will. But rumors have suggested that Microsoft’s ambitions for multiplatform games go much deeper. Starfield The PS5 has been rumored, and I reported earlier this month that Microsoft was considering launching it Indiana Jones on PS5 months after the Xbox launch.

Spencer confirms that Starfield And Indiana Jones are not part of the first four games, but he does not rule out that these titles will appear on PS5 in the future. “I don’t think we as an industry should ever rule out a game going to another platform,” Spencer said in an interview with The edge. “We are focused on these four games and learning from the experience. We don’t have any work on other franchises. But when someone stands up and says nothing will ever happen, I think it feels like creating more certainty in a gaming world where you really want to respond to what customers want and what our players and creators are looking for.

So not every Xbox game will suddenly appear on competing consoles, but Microsoft is clearly considering the possibilities for more in the future. I asked Spencer if there will be more multiplatform games, especially if these four are successful:

Yes, but we haven’t seen that yet. We’re clearly one of the biggest publishers on PlayStation and Nintendo today, if you think about the Activision Blizzard and Bethesda line of games. So we know what it means to ship games on Steam, PlayStation, Nintendo and Xbox.

These are games originally released on Xbox. They were Xbox-branded games and we want to see what happens because doing the development work to bring them to new platforms is real work. We want to be sure that the return makes sense. We want to make sure that the audience present is hungry, maybe not.

I understand that Microsoft has also previously considered the idea of Weapons of war, Microsoft Flight Simulatorand even the next Fate game to rival platforms. No final decisions have been made yet on these other games, but there will certainly be more than just four. As this strategy continues to develop, it’s clear that some interesting decisions will be made about the future of Xbox games and exclusivity.

Why should Microsoft launch Xbox exclusive games on competing platforms? The company speaks of the need for Xbox to evolve “to ensure long-term success for both Xbox and the industry as a whole.” Microsoft’s gaming business just grew bigger than its Windows division thanks to its acquisition of Activision Blizzard, so it’s not in trouble. However, the Xbox business as a whole still needs to get bigger. Sales of Microsoft’s Xbox Series S and So content revenue could be a good source of growth.

Microsoft is now taking the opportunity to house its games elsewhere, or ‘Xbox Everywhere’ as the company calls it internally. “We make these decisions for some specific reasons,” says Spencer. “We make every decision with the long-term health of Xbox in mind, which means a growing platform, our games performing, building the best platform for creators, and reaching as many players as possible. As a leadership team, we are always looking to learn and grow, and we think this is an interesting time for us to use what some of the other platforms have now to help grow our franchises.”

Responses from Xbox fans will inform Microsoft’s next steps. “I always take feedback from our most ardent fans very seriously,” admits Spencer, who isn’t convinced by the idea that exclusive games always help Xbox console sales. “We know today that when people play, their affinity for their platform has as much to do with their friends and where their game library is as it does with any type of exclusive game. I know there’s a fictional world out there where people think one exclusive game will drive sales for a platform, but the industry doesn’t really work that way these days.

Fans are also concerned about the future of Xbox hardware, and Microsoft is teasing a next-gen console to reassure them. “We have some exciting things coming out in terms of hardware that we’ll be sharing this holiday, and we’ve also invested in the next-generation roadmap,” Xbox President Sarah Bond said on the Xbox Podcast. “What we’re really focused on is achieving the biggest technical leap you’ll ever see in a hardware generation.”

There are even some “more console and controller options” for Xbox fans this holiday, and maybe even an Xbox handheld in the future. You can read more about Microsoft’s Xbox hardware plans here.

I ended my interview with Phil Spencer by asking him: What is Xbox to Microsoft now? “Xbox is our gaming platform and content company. It is Microsoft’s largest consumer business,” says Spencer. “It’s an important business, it’s a consumer category driven by technology and creativity.”

But he never mentions that Xbox is a console, a single piece of hardware, because it isn’t anymore. Microsoft Gaming has grown far beyond the Xbox. Now the company is really starting to show what the Xbox Everywhere vision is all about. If Microsoft is successful, it could change the way the entire gaming industry thinks about making games. If not, you can bet that Microsoft will go back to the drawing board to figure out how it can continue to take Xbox everywhere.

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