Microsoft wants to 'use other platforms' to grow Xbox

Further proof console wars don't exist: Microsoft wants to use other platforms like PlayStation and Nintendo Switch to grow the Xbox brand into the future.

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Microsoft gaming CEO Phil Spencer discusses some of the reasons why Xbox games are coming over to other platforms.

Microsoft wants to 'use other platforms' to grow Xbox 1

Gaming is at crossroads right now. Games have grown far beyond consoles, and now platform-holders like Microsoft and even Sony are eyeing expansion. Microsoft has expanded through content and services, keeping the bulk of its first-party games exclusive to Xbox. But with Xbox consoles hitting saturation levels, Microsoft now wants to expand to other platforms--even rivals like PlayStation and Nintendo.

Microsoft has announced plans to release previously-exclusive Xbox games to PlayStation and Nintendo Switch. On paper, this decision makes sense: The PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Switch have a combined shipment base of nearly 200 million units, compared to the estimated 27 million Xbox Series installed base.

In practice, this plan isn't anything different for Xbox. Microsoft has been releasing Minecraft games and updates on all platforms for years now. Since buying Minecraft, the Xbox gaming business has in large part depended on its rivals. There's a mutualistic relationship between the Big 3, and they all help one another out whether it be through releasing games on rival platforms, or selling a rival's game on your own platform.

In today's business meeting, Phil Spencer had this to say about the decision and why it was made.

"We think this is an interesting point in time for us to use some of what the other platforms have right now to help grow our franchises, so we're going to do that," Spencer said.

Going a bit farther, the Xbox CEO riffed on the current ways to grow a traditionally console-dominated gaming business:

"If we don't get to growing as an industry, the industry will struggle. And today there's really two choices on how you grow the industry.

"Do you say, I have a fixed number of players, the players we have today, and I find new ways to monetize those players to get more money from the players that I have;

"...Or do you think about expanding the business, how do I find new players, and adding those.

"Our focus on Xbox, for the last decade, has really been on that latter point. On how do we make sure Xbox is growing, growing for our players, growing for our creators so that those people are finding success on our platform and grow the Xbox business, and put Xbox in a position to be very strong for years and decades to come."

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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. 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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