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Phil Spencer shoots down Game Pass coming to Switch, competing systems

Phil Spencer discusses why services like Game Pass won't show up on competing platforms, and it all boils down to control.

@DeekeTweak
Published Mon, Jul 20 2020 9:15 AM CDT   |   Updated Mon, Oct 19 2020 8:20 PM CDT

As we've said before, don't expect Xbox Game Pass to show up on competing platforms like the Nintendo Switch, and especially not on Sony's PlayStation ecosystem.

Phil Spencer shoots down Game Pass coming to Switch, competing systems 66 | TweakTown.com

In a recent interview with German website Game Star, Xbox boss Phil Spencer discussed why critical services like Game Pass won't show up on other hardware platforms like the Switch, PlayStation, or even Google Stadia. The reason is pretty simple: Microsoft can't bring over the other Xbox ecosystem tidbits like achievements, friends, and more.

"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, like mobile phones like we're doing now with Project xCloud with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, what we've done with PC with 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 for me, my first-party library is completely there."

Spencer goes on to talk about the flip-side from the platform-holders's perspective. Other competitors (Nintendo, Sony, Google, etc) simply aren't interested in hosting an Xbox service framework and ecosystem within their own online infrastructures. This would drastically undermine the separation between the Big Three and their lucrative software, services, and hardware strategies.

"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."

The reality too is that Game Pass isn't just a download-based all-you-can play service any more. With Project xCloud, Microsoft is basically mimicking Stadia and PlayStation Now, albeit on a more value-oriented level. Sony and Nintendo would be crazy to undermine their own respective premium subscriptions and let Game Pass roll out on their platforms even if they got a cut from subs, simply because it could push gamers towards the full Xbox ecosystem, which means moving to PC or Xbox console hardware.

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Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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