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Microsoft’s gaming top brass are expected to lay out their plans to publish some Xbox games on PlayStation and Nintendo platforms via a business update released this week as a podcast.
The podcast episode will be made available this Thursday, 15th February at 8pm UK time – that’s 3pm Eastern or noon Pacific.
Microsoft gaming boss Phil Spencer, Xbox president Sarah Bond and head of Xbox game studios Matt Booty – the company’s top Triforce of gaming division decision makers – will share “updates on the Xbox business”, according to a post from the platform holder on X.
This update comes after repeated leaks of Microsoft’s plans to make some – but likely not all – of its gaming portfolio available on rival console platforms – a massive change in strategy.
Last week, word that this strategy could potentially extend to high profile exclusives such as last year’s Starfield and this year’s Indiana Jones and the Great Circle caused a disturbance in the Force of some Xbox followers. Indeed, the very fact these ongoing, internal discussions had spilled over into the public domain was reported to be a sign of discomfort from some staff within Xbox regarding the plans.
Exactly how far Microsoft will go with launching its games on rival platforms was always unclear – and it will be fascinating to see how much it feels like these nascent plans have changed again following the leaks.
Please join us for a special edition of the Official Xbox Podcast.
Hear from Phil Spencer, Sarah Bond and Matt Booty as they share updates on the Xbox business. pic.twitter.com/TxwWJVUbgx
— Xbox (@Xbox) February 12, 2024
On the one hand, a push towards launching some titles on other platforms makes sense – games like Hi-Fi Rush will find a fresh audience and more appreciation, live services like Sea of Thieves will benefit from a wave of new players, and Microsoft will of course gain a rush of extra revenue from Sony fans having to pay full whack for Microsoft first-party titles without the benefits of Game Pass. After splashing $67.8bn on Activision Blizzard and then immediately cutting 1900 jobs, it’s clear there’s a great deal of focus right now within Microsoft on Xbox’s bottom line.
On the other hand, what is a console platform without its exclusives? Why subscribe to Game Pass when you can cherry pick the games you really care about and play them on PlayStation? And what does this mean for Xbox’s long-term future in gaming? These are questions Phil Spencer and co. will likely seek to answer in order to soothe fears on social media.
We’ll have the details for you on Thursday as soon as the podcast is published.