Eventually, you might see a small selection of Xbox-rooted titles arrive on the PlayStation 4 and the Nintendo Switch. It’s more likely that this would happen in future generations of video game consoles, but Xbox Game Studios chief Matt Booty says Microsoft hasn’t ruled out the idea.
Just don’t expect to see Halo or Forza on competing platforms. Microsoft will leverage them as exclusive franchises for its own platform, attracting gamers to the Xbox ecosystem and driving hardware sales. The games brought over to Sony’s and Nintendo’s platforms would be decided as necessary, rather than casting a huge net over specific franchises.
In fact, Microsoft’s Phil Spencer said back in June that he’s open to introducing Xbox Game Pass on the Switch. So this isn’t the first time we’ve heard from an Xbox executive who’s interested in expanding beyond their own territory.
In an interview with Game Informer, Booty said this about the idea:
“I think the question is less binary about, ‘Should it be on Switch, should it be on PlayStation’ and more, ‘Does it make sense for the franchise?’ In other words, is it a kind of game where it would benefit from the network effect of being on a bunch of different platforms, or is it a game where we can best support it by putting resources and making sure that our platforms, things like xCloud and Game Pass and Xbox Live, are really leaning in to support the game.”
With Minecraft, the Redmond-based company already showcased its interest in competing platforms. It acquired Mojang for $2.5 billion in 2014, but the best-selling video game continued with support on PlayStation and elsewhere. Certain titles could benefit from a wider audience on multiple platforms even if they’re developed by Xbox Game Studios.
Another example: Cuphead. The title isn’t developed by Microsoft, but, despite being released as an exclusive for the Xbox One and Windows, the company asked its developer to release it for the Switch as well. Over 4 million copies have been sold across all platforms so far.