Reports say Microsoft is thinking about bringing select Xbox console exclusive games to PlayStation and Nintendo Switch. Fans are predictably not happy and want answers. Next week, they will have them.
Multiple reports say that big-name games like Starfield, the new Indiana Jones project, and even Gears of War could break exclusivity and release on PlayStation. The goal here would be to maximize sales outside of the Xbox and Windows Store ecosystem--both of which have not captured substantial shares of their respective console and PC markets.
Everyone is confused by these announcements, but Xbox gaming CEO Phil Spencer confirms that the new business plans will be revealed next week during a special stream. This event could determine the fate of the Xbox hardware business as we know it.
"We're listening and we hear you. We've been planning a business update event for next week, where we look forward to sharing more details with you about our vision for the future of Xbox. Stay tuned," Phil Spencer said on Twitter.
Xbox president Sarah Bond and VP of marketing Aaron Greenberg have both retweeted the comment.
The rumored plan to expand first-party Xbox exclusives to other platforms is typically something that a platform-holder may do if it plans to go third-party and potentially quit producing console hardware. The Xbox 360 was the last big Xbox console to capture considerable market share, but the mis-steps with the Xbox One era have carried over through a decade of disruption and non-profitable hardware sales.
It's possible that Microsoft could be using the step-change opportunity with the ABK acquisition to transform its business from a platform holder into a service and content provider--which is Microsoft's core raison d'etre.
That being said, one of the key motivations for the Activision buyout was to build a Universal Store that delivers games and content to all platforms. It's unknown whether or not Xbox will be one of them.